When BMW Motorrad debuted the Concept R 18 bobber earlier this year at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, a big chunk of the riding public swooned. The R 18 was the third custom bike to utilize BMW’s prototype air and oil-cooled 1,800 cc boxer twin. Recently, the fourth was revealed in the form of the new ‘80s-inspired Concept R 18 /2 (pronounced “slash two”). All of these machines mean to showcase the platform’s customizability.

BMW tests R 18 in spy shots, opens preordering, shows Concept R 18 /2 image

BMW Motorrad decided to produce the R 18 for 2020-2021 and the production form won’t look exactly like the exquisite concept, if the test mules spied by Motociclismo are any indication. After all, there are still those stringent European regulations to contend with. The situation will probably be similar to the how the FTR1200 Custom led to the definitive FTR 1200; the concept was such a sexy creation, and the production version was less so but still a very cool bike.


BMW tests R 18 in spy shots, opens preordering, shows Concept R 18 /2 image

Preordering went live in select markets such as France and Italy, asking interested buyers for a €1,000 deposit to reserve an R 18 with no risk. Pre-booking is not firm and final; people can change their minds and the deposit will be refunded upon cancellation. Those who preorder will benefit from delivery priority, an exclusive newsletter about the model’s development, and closed-room presentations of the R 18. The final price, design, and specs will be announced during the motorcycle’s release in 2020. Contact your local dealer to find out when you’ll be able to do the same.

Concept R 18 / 2

BMW tests R 18 in spy shots, opens preordering, shows Concept R 18 /2 image

BMW Motorrad also showcased its new Concept R 18 /2 at EICMA 2019. This manifestation was meant to look more modern, performance-oriented, and ‘80s dragster-inspired compared to the classic ‘30s look of the R 18. The Concept R 18 /2 adopts a bikini fairing, teardrop fuel tank, and metallic Candy Apple Red paint. It wears 19-inch front and 16-inch rear wheels, Brembo brakes, and Hattech stainless steel pipes while sporting an updated seat and side covers — similar to the aforementioned spied test mules.

BMW tests R 18 in spy shots, opens preordering, shows Concept R 18 /2 image

“After the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18, our aim with the Concept R 18 /2 is to demonstrate how flexible the basic engine and suspension are as a starting point for customization, and how easy it is to authentically realize different styles. And I have to admit: we were very impressed at how it was possible to bring this boxer concept forward from the 30s via the 80s into the 2020s,” said Bart Janssen Groesbeek, BMW Motorrad Vehicle Designer for the Big Boxer Concepts.

BMW tests R 18 in spy shots, opens preordering, shows Concept R 18 /2 image

“It's a highly emotional bike designed for active riding. At the same time, the Concept R 18 /2 reflects the range of characterizations and customer dreams that we are able to realize using the same backbone,” said Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad.