BMW’s first cruiser, the R 18, now has an M version

It was April of 2020 when we first got a glimpse of BMW Motorrad’s cruiser project that obviously has its eyes set on Harley-Davidson and to some extent, Indian Motorcycle.

Then in December of the same year, BMW PH officially unveiled the R 18 here in the country, with an SRP of PHP 1.955M. 21 months later and a couple of versions to showcase the R 18’s versatility in terms of customization, BMW Motorrad Italy collaborated with  Italian Magazine LowRide and American Dreams to create the R 18 M.

BMW R 18 M

M is the letter that distinguished the sport versions of BMW four-wheeled models, and today it also includes BMW motorcycles. The source of inspiration for the BMW R 18 M project by the editorial staff of LowRide is to give the BMW cruiser a more streamlined and sportier look, as well as avoiding exaggerations and especially without forgetting the reference to the BMW R 18 retro lines.

BMW unveils R 18 “M” version at the Verona Motor Bike Expo image

"Stability, long wheelbase, and readiness of the 1800 cc big boxer instigate lightning starts and deserve, in our opinion, a sporty and retro look. In the R 18 M design, we find suggestions from BMW Motorrad tradition and cues from the four-wheelers: M stands for Motorsport” as Giuseppe Roncen, director of LowRide and a great expert of the world of specials, described the BMW R 18 M project.

The work has focused on chassis, suspension set-up, bodywork, and accessories, leaving mechanics and electronics unchanged as the natural strengths of the R 18. Lightened and with a different riding position, the BMW R 18 M promises to be even more fun to ride: "We remain curious to experience its potential. Significantly lightened, the bike should also be easy to handle due to its riding position, which is more compact and forward loaded, without exaggeration."

Handbuilt BMW R 18 M

The R 18 M project was made possible by BMW Italia and was born in the wake of the emotions that this bike can give: a fun cruiser, powerful and lively, with a big heart and an infinite torque. LowRide has involved some of the best Italian craftsmanship and companies specialized in the sector.

The realization of the sketches was entrusted to designer Oberdan Bezzi, already a partner of LowRide in the past. He has managed to make it an exciting power cruiser without upsetting the essence of the BMW R 18.

BMW unveils R 18 “M” version at the Verona Motor Bike Expo image

American Dreams handled the assembly and coordinated the work; Elaboratorio, specializing in prototyping and modeling, created tail, tip, and fiberglass windshield from scratch. Carbon Italy handled the head covers, intake ducts, and other carbon fiber details. The short exhaust pipe, designed to make the line more compact and allow greater lean angles, bears the signature of ER Exhaust Revolution.

The short exhaust pipes also give greater prominence to the splendid uncovered nickel-plated shaft, an evocative detail that deserves to be highlighted. L.R. Leather covered the saddle in leather, while the paintwork was entrusted to Dox Art Factory. Rizoma provided mirrors, grips, and universal indicators for the accessories, perfectly in line with the bike's character.

The new BMW R 18 M was on display at the Verona Bike Expo from January 13 to 16 2022.