BMW Motorrad has shown another bobber concept at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. The Concept R 18 is powered by BMW’s new air and oil-cooled 1,800 cc boxer engine and takes classic motorcycle design into the modern age of custom attitude. The new Concept R 18 seems to combine the Bavarian brand’s 1,800 cc prototype engine with the trendy, retro bobber style seen on its supercharged R 5 Hommage shown back in 2016.
The BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 was designed by Bart Janssen Groesbeek who decided to highlight purity and naked minimalism. It features a cradle frame with a triangular softail swingarm, universal shaft, teardrop-shaped tank, and embossed solo leather saddle. Its paint scheme’s black base is accentuated by subtle gold varnishing, metallic flaking, and pinstriped details. The motorcycle rides on spoked wheels (21-inch front, 18-inch rear) wrapped in Metzeler rubber.
This is the third BMW Motorrad custom project to use the 1,800 cc boxer prototype. The large-displacement flat twin previously appeared in the “Departed” bike by Japan’s CUSTOM WORKS ZON and the “Revival Birdcage” by Austin-based Revival Cycles. Now seen on the BMW Concept R 18, the new boxer maintains a classic appearance with high-quality aluminum components and Solex dual carburetors. The exposed universal shaft is chrome-plated, while the machine’s simple electronics are limited to the starter and LED lights.
This direction further suggests that BMW Motorrad is growing its commitment to develop a power cruiser-style motorcycle powered by its 1,800 cc boxer. Some reports point toward a production model for 2020.
“With its clear aesthetics openly on display, the Concept R 18 embodies for me what motorcycling, at its core, is really about. It is all about feeling instead of thinking, and not using technology for self-staging, instead giving space for imagination. This concept bike appeals to something deep down – you just want to just get on it and ride off. But when you get off it again, you don’t just put it in the garage and walk away – you turn around again and give it a final parting glance,” said Edgar Heinrich, head of BMW Motorrad Design.
“For me, motorcycles like the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 are a response to a growing need among the motorcycling community: instead of technology, the focus here is on simplification, authenticity and transparency. I observe an almost romantic yearning for real mechanical engineering. Our aim with this concept bike is to address this need and turn it into an analogue statement in a digital age. We have a rich history of iconic motorcycles, and they all bear the same design characteristics. We believe that this can still work well together today with the current technology.”