BMW Motorrad has officially rolled out the much-awaited R 18. The retro-styled cruiser is the marque's attempt to dip into the segment dominated by Harley-Davidson. Perhaps as a playful taunt, it's building on its German-built reputation.
The R 18 is a cruiser powered by a 1,802cc “Big Boxer” engine – the largest boxer twin that BMW has ever produced – with a peak output of 92 Ps (91 hp) at 4,750 rpm. It also boasts of over 150 Nm of torque, available between 2,000 to 4,000 rpm, producing low range pulling power combined with a full, resonant sound.
While the new BMW R 18 could be considered an homage to the classic, purist and no-frills BMW motorcycles of old, it is not without the latest technology that BMW has to offer.
The new R 18 offers three standard riding modes “Rain”, “Roll” and “Rock” – unusual in this segment – so as to be able to adapt to individual rider preferences. Rock is the most aggressive ride mode, that unleashes its full power and torque. Roll mode is like the usual Road or Normal mode. Rain offers softer throttle response and more limited power and torque.
The standard trim also includes ASC (Automatic Stability Control, disengageable), which ensures a high level of riding safety. In addition, the new R 18 equips engine drag torque control (MSR) as standard. Among other options, a reverse assist makes maneuvering backwards more convenient, while the Hill Start Control function facilitates uphill starts.
It is also equipped with state-of-the-art LED lighting technology (integrated into clasically-shaped light housings), keyless ride, optional adaptive cornering lights, ABS and more.
Perhaps, one of the most important selling points of the new R 18 (and other cruiser motorcycles) is it's high customizability. “BMW Motorrad is collaborating with Roland Sands Design and several well-known suppliers, including US manufacturer, Mustang Seat, to offer different versions of high-quality hand-made seats. In addition, the customizing potential for the exhaust systems in cooperation with Vance & Hines is no less creative,” according to their press statement.
Finally, as opposed to Harley-Davidson and Indian's proud "American made" branding, BMW has cheekily inserted "Berlin-Built" badges all around the bike.
Philippine release and pricing
BMW Motorrad Philippines Director, Gil Balderas, has shared with MotoPinas.com that they plan to bring in the R 18 here in the country later in the year. As for the pricing, there is still no SRP yet, but we're sure that the pricing will be positioned to be competitive with the Harley-Davidson and Indian motorcycles.