Skip to main content
Tag

Bikers Archives — Bikernet Blog - Online Biker Magazine

Tiny Triumph Motorcycle Range in Prototype – targets 200 to 750cc engine market segment

By General Posts

by Todd Halterman from https://www.autoevolution.com

Tiny Triumphs and EV Motorcycle Range in Prototype Now With Indian Firm Bajaj

Triumph is now teasing the development of a series of smaller displacement motorcycles that the company plans to build with Indian manufacturing giants Bajaj.

As far back as early 2020, Triumph announced that it reached an agreement with Bajaj – one of the largest motorcycle firms in the world – to develop and build an all-new range of so-called ‘baby’ Triumphs that would fill in the 200 – 750cc engine displacement category.

While the plan called for the companies to roll out the first models in the collaboration in 2022, the project has been pushed back as a consequence of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now that the pandemic crisis seems to be loosening its grip, both parties say they’re back on track to develop the bikes.

Triumph Head of Brand Management Miles Perkins says prototypes have already been created and plans are back in the offing.

“That’s going great guns, I have seen the development motorcycles – and the prototype for those – it’s all on track,” Perkins says. “We haven’t yet confirmed exactly what the bikes are and exactly when we will launch them but the news is forthcoming soon.”

And fear not, though Triumph hasn’t confirmed exactly which the partnership will create models, it has said the resulting bikes will be sold globally rather be sold only in Asian markets more conducive to sales of cheaper, small capacity motorcycles.

According to Perkins, Triumph found the ideal partner in Bajaj. He says the company’s large market share in India and experience working with KTM and Kawasaki were key to the deal.

“The relationship with Bajaj and conversations I have had with the team over there and the engineering team working with them are very like-minded and passionate individuals, and their focus and commitment are outstanding. They have similar leadership family principles and values,” Perkins says. “The working relationship is strong, the design development is completely Triumph, these are Triumphs and the partnership is building it and selling them around the world. What Bajaj brings is phenomenal in terms of the ability to develop quality in this volume, especially in the lower capacity range.”

Perkins also says the Triumph TE-1 EV prototype has been built and is ready for testing. It represents an electric sports bike model developed in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, and Perkins calls it “a blueprint for a future EV Triumph.”

Power for the TE-1 comes from an electric motor that delivers 174 horsepower at peak and 107 horses of continuous power. Triumph chose not to publish additional specifications, but Motorcycle News learned the bike weighs 485 pounds and offers up to 120 miles of range. Quick-charging technology zaps the battery pack with an 80% charge in about 20 minutes. Triumph stressed it aimed to give riders the performance of an internal-combustion-powered bike in an electric package, but what you see isn’t necessarily what will land in showrooms.

Triumph will begin testing the TE-1 prototype in the coming months, but it told Motorcycle News that it still needs to clear the cost hurdle before approving the production model. When it will do that is up in the air.

Triumph calls the TE-1 EV a prototype platform development and not an actual motorcycle available for sale, it’s a project which the company is using for “learning and developing the team’s experience but also developing the partnership of technology with several partners for a full-on electric Triumph platform that will follow in years to come.”

Darryn Binder joins Yamaha in MotoGP next season

By General Posts

from https://www.businesslive.co.za

Darryn follows brother Brad to the premier motorcycle racing division, and takes over from the legendary Valentino Rossi

SA motorcycle racer Darryn Binder has signed for Yamaha’s rebranded RNF MotoGP team for the 2022 season, with an option to stay on for 2023.

He will team up with the experienced Andrea Dovizioso and takes the place of the legendary Valentino Rossi, who retires at the end of this season.

Darryn, younger brother of KTM MotoGP rider Brad, is only the second rider since Jack Miller to jump from Moto3 to the premier MotoGP class.

Darryn has competed in the Moto3 class since 2015 and became a well-known name after Brad won the 2016 Moto3 championship.

However, Darryn has since long proven that he is an exceptional racing talent in his own right. Known for his hard racing and making use of any and every available gap during a race, the 23-year-old has ridden to six Moto3 podiums, including a win at the 2020 Catalan GP.

He is sixth in this year’s Moto3 world championship with two podiums.

“I want to give a warm welcome to Darryn. We are delighted that he is joining the Yamaha line-up next year,” said Lin Jarvis, MD of Yamaha Motor Company.

“We’ve had many conversations about who would be a good match for the new RNF MotoGP Team. It’s a fresh start for the Yamaha satellite team and that makes it all the more fitting to have a young and eager rider like Darryn join them.”

Jarvis said the primary mission of Yamaha’s satellite team is developing MotoGP talents.

“Darryn has already shown on numerous occasions what he’s made of in the Moto3 class,” he said. “We know he is a fast and determined rider who has got what it takes to battle at the front of the pack. Obviously, the step up to MotoGP is significant and will take some adjusting, but we feel that he’s ready.”

Binder said: “I’m extremely grateful for this opportunity, as it has been a lifelong dream to race in the MotoGP category. I definitely didn’t expect to make the jump straight from Moto3 to the highest class, but I do believe I’m up for the challenge, and I’m ready to put in all the hard work for 2022.”

Ducati to Make Electric Motorcycle for MotoE World Cup

By General Posts

From Ducati Racing Museum – Troy Bayliss

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Ducati to Make Electric Motorcycle for MotoE World Cup, Road Machines to Follow.

To date, despite the advances electric mobility is making in the world of motorcycles, there is only one major bike maker that has embraced electric drivetrains: Harley-Davidson, with its LiveWire. But soon, there will be more, and Ducati seems to be keen on becoming the next one.

The Italian company announced this week it is officially entering the electric motorcycle segment, but it will not be doing so with a bike that can be sold to the general public. Instead, the Borgo Panigale manufacturer will become the sole official supplier of motorcycles for the electric class of the MotoGP World Championship, the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup.

The deal between Ducati and the organizers of the competition, Dorna Sports, will come into effect in 2023 and will run through 2026. That means we’ll probably have to wait some more before we get to see official details and images of the electric bike, but Ducati tried to give us a glimpse of that by releasing a teaser rendering of the two-wheeler (main pic of this piece).

What’s more important is that Ducati promises the MotoE bike will influence “the evolution of the product range,” hinting the electric drive is something now under consideration for the general public.

“The goal is to study how to produce, as soon as the technology allows, a Ducati electric vehicle that is sporty, light, thrilling and able to satisfy all enthusiasts,” the Italians promised.

MotoE came into existence in 2019 and is presently using Energica Ego Corsa motorcycles. Sadly, the series became famous not for the achievements of these electric machines, but on account of a fire back in 2019 that destroyed all the motorcycles before racing could get going at Jerez.

Ducati promises to share the story of this new bike’s development throughout 2022, through means that are yet to be announced.

PRESS RELEASE FROM DUCATI

21 OCTOBER 2021
Ducati is thrilled to announce the beginning of its electric era: starting from the 2023 season it will be the sole official supplier of motorcycles for the FIM Enel MotoE™ World Cup, the electric class of the MotoGP™ World Championship.

The agreement signed with Dorna Sports, organizer and promoter of the most important international two-wheel racing championships, lasts until 2026 and will therefore cover four editions of the MotoE World Cup.

This is a historic step for the Borgo Panigale motorcycle manufacturer which, following its custom of using racing competition as a laboratory for technologies and solutions that then become reality for all motorcyclists, enters the world of electric bikes starting from the sportiest sector, that of the electric class of the MotoGP World Championship.

The goal is to develop expertise and technologies in a constantly evolving world such as the electric one, through an experience familiar to the company like that of racing competition. This has been a consolidated tradition for the Borgo Panigale company starting from the Ducati 851, which inaugurated the trend of Ducati road sports bikes by revolutionizing the concept with its innovative two-cylinder water-cooled engine, electronic fuel injection and the new twin-shaft, four-valve heads, deriving from the Ducati 748 IE bike that made its debut in endurance races at Le Castellet in 1986.

Since then, this endless transfer of expertise has always taken place from the Superbike World Championships, in which Ducati has participated since the first edition in 1988, and from MotoGP, in which Ducati is the only non-Japanese motorcycle manufacturer to have won a World Championship.

The crossover is also evident in the most recent and prestigious products of the Borgo Panigale manufacturer: the V4 engine of the Panigale is in fact strictly derived in its entire construction philosophy – from the bore and stroke measurements to the counter-rotating crankshaft – from the engine that debuted on the Desmosedici GP in 2015. The V4 Granturismo that equips the new Multistrada V4 was then derived from the Panigale engine. All the vehicle control software is also directly derived from those developed in the racing world. Not to mention the field of aerodynamics.

The technological solutions developed in the world of racing, transferred to the products that make up the range, allow Ducati to offer its enthusiasts extremely high-performance and fun-to-ride motorcycles. The FIM Enel MotoE Championship will also be no exception in this regard and will allow the Company to develop the best technologies and test methodologies applied to sporty, light and powerful electric motorcycles.

At the same time, the fact that Ducati forms part of the Volkswagen Group, which has made electric mobility an essential element of its 2030 “New Auto” strategy, represents the best prerequisite for an extraordinary exchange of expertise in the field of electric powertrains.

The announcement of the agreement was made during a joint press conference in the press room of the Misano World Circuit ‘Marco Simoncelli’ on the eve of the Made in Italy and Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix, the third to last round of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship. Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna Sports, and Claudio Domenicali, CEO Ducati Motor Holding, were both present.

Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding: “We are proud of this agreement because, like all the first times, it represents a historic moment for our company. Ducati is always projected towards the future and every time it enters a new world, it does so to create the best performing product possible. This agreement comes at the right time for Ducati, which has been studying the situation of electric powertrains for years, because it will allow us to experiment in a well-known and controlled field like that of racing competition. We will work to make available to all participants of the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup electric bikes that are high-performance and characterized by lightness. It is precisely on weight, a fundamental element of sports bikes, that the greatest challenge will be played out. Lightness has always been in Ducati’s DNA and thanks to the technology and chemistry of the batteries that are evolving rapidly we are convinced that we can obtain an excellent result. We test our innovations and our futuristic technological solutions on circuits all over the world and then make exciting and desirable products available to Ducatisti. I am convinced that once again we will build on the experiences we have had in the world of racing competition to transfer them and apply them also on production bikes.”

Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna Sports: “We are very proud to announce Ducati as the new, single manufacturer for the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup. With their incredible racing history, it is an honour to welcome this commitment from one of the best-known manufacturers in the paddock and to take on this new challenge together. We are eager to see what the future has in store and continue to watch this technology develop and grow, with the MotoGP paddock and MotoE continuing to drive innovation and evolution in the motorcycling industry – at the same time as creating an incredible on-track spectacle.”

This first step of Ducati in the world of electric bikes will also have an influence on the evolution of the product range. Now, the most important challenges in this field remain those of the size, weight, autonomy of the batteries and the availability of charging networks. Ducati’s experience in the FIM Enel MotoE World Cup will be a fundamental support for product R&D, together with the physiological evolution of technology and chemistry. The goal is to study how to produce, as soon as the technology allows, a Ducati electric vehicle that is sporty, light, thrilling and able to satisfy all enthusiasts.

A new chapter of the FIM Enel MotoE Word Cup is closer than ever. And that of Ducati too.

During 2022, various events and collective moments will allow all fans to discover the development of the project step by step.

Sons of Speed 2021 Event Report with Photos

By General Posts

Billy Lane at Finish Line – Chris Callen Flagman

Sons of Speed – Biketoberfest 2021 by Dmac

Billy Lane Rocks the Vintage Banked Motorcycle Racing World Once More

2021 has turned out to be the year of the “Covid Hangover!”

Many lives have been permanently changed, but Sons of Speed has not skipped a beat and has returned to the New Smyrna Speedway breathing life into the asphalt, 23 degree banked, ½ mile track.

Originally started in 2017 by Billy Lane of Choppers, inc., the race has been held at both New Smyrna Speedway and at the Pappy Hoel Campground Racetrack, in Sturgis, South Dakota.

Click Here To Read the Race Report and Photos only on Bikernet.com

Join the Cantina for more – Subscribe Today

https://www.bikernet.com/pages/custom/subscription.aspx

MRF Update: Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)

By General Posts

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation released an interactive website with data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). FARS, which became operational in 1975, containing data on a census of fatal traffic crashes within the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To be included in FARS, a crash must involve a motor vehicle traveling on a traffic way customarily open to the public and must result in the death of a vehicle occupant or a nonoccupant within 30 days of the crash.

Fatal crash data for motorcyclists and passengers from the years 2010 to 2019 is included on this website.

Users of the website can sort the information on fatalities by a variety of categories, including:

  • State where the crash took place
  • Crash Characteristics
  • Environmental Characteristics
  • Month of Crash
  • Time of Crash
  • Helmet Usage
  • Alcohol Usage
  • Age and Sex of Victims
  • Weather Conditions
  • Single Vehicle v Multi Vehicle

While this information can be useful in understanding when, why and where crashes are taking place, it’s important to note that this data includes not just traditional motorcycles but also mopeds, scooters, minibikes, and pocket bikes.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation believes crash avoidance is key component of rider safety. There are zero fatalities in crashes that never happen.

To see the website and view the decade’s long data click here.

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders.

Visit MRF Website at: https://mrf.org/

Turning a Cuddly Honda Super Cub into a Beast

By General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Cuddly Honda Super Cub Turns Into Beast, Looks Meaner Than Some Harley-Davidsons

Like it or not, even the many fans of the Honda Super Cub have to admit this particular two-wheeler is not exactly custom material. The underbone machine is a huge customer favorite, but most of the time we don’t get to see the results of investments made in customization processes.

The Super Cub is one of the longest-running nameplates in the Japanese bike maker’s portfolio. It was introduced all the way back in the late 1950s, and since that time, it sold over 100 million units, becoming in effect the world’s most-produced motor vehicle (and that includes cars).

Given the huge number of them on the market, it was only natural for some owners to customize their rides even if, as said, we don’t get to see such projects all that often. Yet this week, thanks to a garage called K-Speed, we’re treated to exactly that, a too-good of a Super Cub not to discuss.

The Japanese say this is their first custom Super Cub C125, but even so, they seem to have nailed a look that might even put some Harleys to shame. The conversion rides closer to the ground than its stock siblings, the front end has been completely restyled, and much larger wheels than we’re used to were fitted front and back.

The rear end has been chopped as well, making the motorcycle look more like a vintage bike than an overgrown scooter. The black paint spread head to toe enhances that impression even more.

Click Here to See Details of this custom Honda Super Cub by K-Speed.

K-Speed says no changes were made to the thing’s engine and brakes, but even so, the price is about three times higher than that of a stock machine. Whereas, for instance, you could buy the 2021 Super Cub C125 for just under $4,000, this one has a retail price of over $13,000.

Visit K-Speed Website at: https://k-speed.com/

Buell Motorcycle introducing new Buellvana® online reservation system

By General Posts

Buell is back and introducing Buellvana®, the new online reservation system making it easy to reserve, buy, and ride a new Buell.

Buellvana® Reservation System Goes Live Nov. 1, 2021

Grand Rapids, Mich. – Buell is Back…and on Monday, November 1, 2021, is introducing the new Buellvana® online reservation system allowing customers to reserve a production slot for their new Buell motorcycle.

In today’s digital world, customers expect simplicity when placing an order along with easy delivery. Buellvana® achieves both in an innovative way for customers and dealers. In 3 simple steps, customers can 1 – Reserve a production slot for $25, 2- Confirm their configuration, and 3 – Make final payment and arrange local delivery.

“We have tested the Buellvana model over the last 3 years and it works flawlessly,” said Bill Melvin, CEO of Buell Motorcycle Co. “Customers want an easy transaction and product delivered right to their community. Dealers want satisfied customers, a manufacturer that helps them solve issues, with an opportunity to maintain their profit margin. Buellvana achieves that and will be a model of the future for manufacturers.”

What is Buellvana®? Well, if nirvana is owning and riding a Buell, then Buellvana® is the ease of purchasing a Buell Motorcycle. The new Carbon Fiber Hammerhead 1190 will start at $18,995 retail, the Carbon Fiber 1190 SX will start at $17,995 retail, and increase with additional options, including an option for an extended warranty.

Here is how it works in three easy steps:

1. Go to www.BuellMotorcycle.com and place a $25 dollar reservation for a production slot, plus receive a limited-edition Buell hat.

2. When your production slot nears, the Buell sales team will call to discuss and confirm the exact model configuration. In addition, your local delivery location and local service dealer will be identified.

3. Ready for delivery. The Buell sales team will call to finalize payment and arrange delivery of your new Buell Motorcycle.

It’s that easy, it’s Buellvana®.

Production will begin in November, so reserving a production slot early will ensure customers get to the front of line. Want to wait until Spring for delivery…customers can do that too!

“Buell fully understands the customer’s need for a local servicing dealer and its importance to customer retention success. We also respect and are committed to building a strong service network to support our customers. Buellvana achieves that,” said Steve Laham, Chief Products, Development & Strategy officer. “With the rapidly changing nature of consumer online behavior, and demand for more choice, Buellvana is a more effective use of resources while satisfying the service dealer and our customers’ desires.”

Buell is back and introducing Buellvana®, the new online reservation system making it easy to reserve, buy, and ride a new Buell.

For future Buell updates, follow our news page on our website and our social media pages.

Website: www.BuellMotorcycle.com

Zakar Event Center Named Site of Vance & Hines Off-Road Proving Grounds

By General Posts

Zakar’s professionally built terrain park allows for product testing and demos

California City, CA – October 21, 2021 – The Zakar Event Center and Terrain Park, a subsidiary of RawHyde Adventures, has been named the site of the Vance & Hines Off-Road Proving Grounds (ORPG). As the aftermarket exhaust manufacturer continues to invest in the growing off-road and adventure motorcycle spaces, the ORPG will serve as the company’s private site for product development and testing.

Situated on 100 acres in the heart of the Mojave Desert, Zakar is an ideal location for the new ORPG, offering the Vance & Hines team immediate access to Zakar’s professionally-built terrain park as well as the area’s hundreds of miles of off-road trails.

“We are focused on bringing Vance & Hines exhilaration to all types of off-road riders. Our new proving grounds is an example of our commitment to create a steady flow of great products for off-road fans,” explained Vance & Hines President, Mike Kennedy.

The announcement came on the heels of the introduction of new Vance & Hines exhaust products designed for the adventure motorcycle segment.

“It is refreshing to see a company with the history and pedigree of Vance & Hines invest in the Adventure community,” remarked Jim Hyde, founder of RawHyde Adventures and Zakar Event Center. “ADV riders are all about performance, and to know that the new exhaust for the BMW R 1250 GS is just one of many products to come shows that Vance & Hines is committed to helping grow our space.”

To learn more about RawHyde’s new Zakar Event Center, visit www.zakar-events.com. For additional questions or to get a quote for your event, call (702) 209-8503.

About Zakar Event Center
Zakar, a RawHyde Adventures company, is an Overland Terrain Park and Event Center situated on 100 acres in the Mojave Desert, just two hours north of Los Angeles. In all of North America there is no place like Zakar, an off-road focused motorsports venue offering a full range of hospitality services as well as a professionally built terrain park for training, testing or product demonstrations.

For more information visit www.Zakar-Events.com.

The Nuts Bikernet Weekly News for October 21, 2021

By General Posts

Bedroll from 5-Ball Racing Gear

Bandit says, “Let’s ride, no matter what.”

Don’t ever give up on Freedom. It works.

— Bandit

The Bikernet Weekly News is sponsored in part by companies who also dig Freedom including: Cycle Source Magazine, the MRF, Las Vegas Bikefest, Iron Trader News, ChopperTown, BorntoRide.com and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum.

Click Here to Read the Weekly News only on Bikernet.com

Join the Cantina for more – Subscribe Today.

https://www.bikernet.com/pages/custom/subscription.aspx

First Ride Review of 2022 BMW R 18 B

By General Posts

by Dustin Wheelen from https://www.rideapart.com

A Tour(ing) De Force – Conquering California’s coast with a Bavarian bagger.

BMW made no bones about moving in on the Harley-dominated cruiser market when it launched the R 18 in April, 2020. Drawing from the Motor Company’s Softail Slim, the Bavarians literally took a page out of Harley’s book to attract buyers. BMW then returned to the well in October, 2020, introducing the R 18 Classic. Equipped with leather bags and a large windshield, the variant shared more than a moniker with Harley’s Heritage Classic.

That first offensive wasn’t BMW’s endgame, however. To truly hit the Harley where it hurts, the company went after the Bar and Shield’s bread and butter: the grand touring segment. Released in July, 2021, the R 18 B added long-distance comfort and convenience to the platform’s repertoire. BMW did more than just slap on a full-size fairing and hard bags though. The House of Munich re-engineered the chassis to suit the cruiser’s new touring ambitions as well.

A 19-inch front wheel steps in for the R18’s 16-incher, the rake tightens to 27.3 degrees, and the wheelbase shrinks to 66.7 inches. That revised double-loop frame not only accommodates two-up touring but also lightened the standard model’s heavy steering. BMW addressed another common R 18 complaint when it increased the bagger’s rear suspension travel to 4.7 inches while adding position-dependent damping and hydraulically adjustable ride height.

The advanced technology doesn’t stop at the tail end though. The new front fairing houses the IMAX of all motorcycle displays, a 10.25-inch-wide, HD resolution (1920 x 720) TFT dash. On the left switchgear, BMW’s trademark WonderWheel makes its R 18 debut, allowing riders to scroll through the bike’s diagnostics, settings, and available navigation. The Marshall stereo system encourages users to jam out to local radio stations or Bluetooth-connected media while the optional radar-assisted adaptive cruise control outfits the R 18 B for the long haul.

Improved geometry and cutting-edge tech may lead BMW’s latest charge, but the Beemer still has to stand up to the class benchmark: the Harley-Davidson Street Glide. With that gold standard in mind, we set out for a 1,100-mile trip up the California coast to test whether the new BMW R 18 B is a checkmate in a brewing battle of the baggers.

On Tour
Despite all the changes that went into the R 18 B, the big-bore boxer remains unchanged. The air/liquid-cooled, 1,802cc opposed twin still produces 116 ft-lb of torque (at 3,000 rpm) and 91 horsepower (at 4,750 rpm). For that reason, the Beemer shines between 3,000 rpm and 4,000 rpm. Within that range, the bagger pulls like a freight train, but as the torque curve dives, the R 18 B’s direct throttle response trails off as well. Beyond the 4,000-rpm mark, the burly boxer still chugs up to its 5,500-rpm redline, but without all the gusto found in the mid-range.

Though the R 18 B idles at around 1,000 rpm, riders have to coax the 1.8-liter engine up to 2,000 rpm, or else it stutters and bogs away from the line. Lean fueling (due to modern emissions standards) may be the root of the issue, but riders can manage takeoffs with a conservative clutch hand and a liberal right wrist.

The narrow powerband may be a limiting factor, but the mid-range also dampens the boxer’s raucous vibrations. In the lower gears, the vibes are most prominent, buzzing through the bars and mini-floorboards. At highway speeds, however, the sensation is much more tolerable.

At 70 mph in sixth gear, the R 18 B lumbers along at a steady pace, though throttle pick up slightly lags. As a result, I regularly cruised at highway speeds in fifth gear to stay within the 3,000-4,000-rpm sweet spot, which yields the best passing power for emergency situations. While the power pulses and delivery presented challenges, the optional adaptive cruise control (ACC) smoothed out all the rough edges.

The Bosch-developed system operates similar to standard cruise control, but with a following distance button at the right switchgear, the rider remains in control of the semi-automated functions. Even in the closest setting, the three-second buffer between the BMW and the vehicle ahead leaves enough time for the evasive maneuvers. If that following distance is too close for comfort, two additional settings enable users to extend that cushion to a more cautious gap.

On the open road, ACC proved invaluable. Those familiar with motorcycle cruise control systems know that the technology not only covers ground in the most efficient manner but also provides much-needed rest for the rider’s right wrist. With ACC, on the other hand, the user is even freer to set it and forget it. Gliding down the road at 75 mph, I regularly let the system take me along for the ride while I added intermittent steering inputs. Even when a car cut into my lane, the R 18 B throttled down to a comfortable 65 mph in a matter of seconds to maintain my buffer zone.

In those situations, ACC kicked in immediately but not abruptly. I never felt like I (or the system) was out of control. Of course, pulling in the clutch or brake lever disengages the cruise control, but users can also override the system with extra throttle if they need to escape a hairy situation. The ACC is also quite intuitive, slowing to the set speed after a throttle burst or ramping up once the vehicle ahead switches lanes.

The system not only accurately distinguishes between cars in neighboring lanes, but if the fairing-integrated radar detects a vehicle ahead picking up speed, it proportionately adds throttle as well. In its category, BMW’s R 18 B is the first to adopt the Bosch-developed ACC and that gives the Bavarian bagger a definite edge in technology. However, there’s more to touring than gizmos and gadgets, and the R 18 B brings its own bag of tricks to the party.

Every Twist And Turn
While the standard R 18 favored a stance and style perfect for bar-hopping, BMW had to outfit the touring variant for cross-country travels. To make the handling more responsive, the firm steepened the bagger’s rake by more than five degrees. The 19-inch wheel may seem counterintuitive to those goals, but the R 18 B changes direction with the slightest input at the handlebars.

Shod in Bridgestone Battlecruise H50 tires, the larger front wheel and 49mm fork did a commendable job of communicating the differing road surfaces. From super slab interstates to gravel-strewn backroads to tar-snaked twisties, I always understood the bagger’s available grip. At lean, the front end was just as accurate, providing predictable feedback and response. However, it’s hard to shower the rear suspension with similar praise.

The R 18 B’s updated monoshock certainly improves on the standard model’s harsh rear end. With just 3.5 inches of travel, the original shock sent each bump and pothole straight through the rider’s back. To atone for that oversight, BMW jacked up the bagger’s back end to 4.7 inches of travel, delivering an ultra-plush ride. The Beemer practically negates all road irregularities as a result, smoothing out even the hardest hits. Unfortunately, the soft rear end and direct front fork don’t always get along.

At tip-in, the R 18 B is planted and predictable. Conversely, if the rider deviates from the original line or encounters mid-corner bumps, the rear wallows with a slight undulating action. As a result, the feel out back becomes vague and disconnected. If you select and stick to a line throughout the curve, the bike plows right through without so much as a wobble. Unfortunately, unforeseen adjustments quickly expose the buoyant back end. Of course, we don’t expect a bagger to hustle around corners, but a manually adjustable monoshock could go a long way to addressing the issue.

It’s a similar story with the brakes. The dual four-piston calipers and twin 300mm front discs provide enough stopping power in the end, but they don’t provide much in the way of initial bite or feel. For those that favor the front brake, BMW’s system distributes a portion of braking power to the single four-piston caliper and 300mm rotor out back as well. The linked brakes help shed speed more efficiently, but you can also feel the system borrowing braking power at the lever. That’s a disconcerting sensation when you’re descending a steep hill. Luckily, the rider aid only intrudes in select situations and heavy braking zones.

Comfy Confines
Even if the R 18 B’s bag of tricks is a mixed bag, the infotainment system draws from BMW’s industry-leading interface. Unlike the R 18’s stripped-down controls and throwback circular speedometer, BMW throws the kitchen sink at the bagger’s new fairing. Four analog gauges report remaining fuel, speed, rpm, and voltage while the 10.25-inch TFT boasts enough room for a dual-pane layout. Using’s BMW’s intuitive Wonder Wheel and menu button, the user can access trip data, local radio stations, smartphone media, navigation, and bike settings.

While the system puts endless options at the rider’s fingertips, navigating those options with the Wonder Wheel and menu button can become cumbersome. Accessing certain submenus requires punching the menu button while others involve a lateral press on the Wonder Wheel. With practice, your left thumb develops the muscle memory necessary for jumping through the folders quickly, but a simplified interface would also speed up the process. Additionally, the turn Wonder Wheel is located next to the turn signal switch, and I embarrassingly pushed the wrong control during many a left-lane change.

As for the infotainment system’s performance, the Marshall speakers deliver crisp, clear audio. With two fairing-mounted speakers and optional subwoofers in each bag, the sound literally envelopes the rider. During testing, the system worked seamlessly with Apple iOS devices but frequently encountered connectivity issues with Android smartphones. Upon connecting, the interface offered full operation of the phone’s media, but functionality would suffer after a second startup. Disconnecting and reconnecting the device restored full control to the rider, but I eventually switched to the radio to avoid the hassle.

The rest of the R 18 B’s cockpit prioritized comfort and convenience as well. With wide buckhorn bars sweeping back to the rider, the upright position suits long-distance road trips. The broad fork-mounted fairing mitigated buffeting but the short windshield left turbulent air dancing on the top of my helmet. A taller windscreen from BMW’s catalog will easily remedy that situation for taller riders, but anyone under five foot, eight inches will be just fine with the stock shield.

Further back, BMW raised the seat 1.1 inches over the standard model’s saddle to relax the bend at the rider’s knees and the adjustment worked. Due to the massive outboard cylinders, the bagger’s legroom hasn’t increased over the R 18, but the taller seat does help relieve stiff knees during long journeys. On the other hand, extra padding on the touring seat would have gone a long way as well, but my bony back end typically endured the 225 miles between fill-ups.

The features that I can’t praise enough are the heated seat and hand grips. During my travels, I hit spots of rain and heavy winds. The chill temperatures eventually receded by the afternoon, but the five-level heated accessories allowed me to maintain my mileage quota in relative comfort. The premium features made the long stints in the saddle more enjoyable than ever, but they all come at a price.

Bringing It Home
Starting at $21,495, the 2022 BMW R 18 B slightly undercuts the 2021 Harley-Davidson Street Glide’s MSRP ($21,999). However, BMW’s Premium Light Package (hill start assist, adaptive headlight, reverse assist, and Marshall subwoofers) tacks on $2,300. The Select Package (alarm system, locking fuel cap, heated seat, tire pressure monitor, and electric bag locks) adds another $1,275 to the price tag. Throw in Roland Sand Designs milled cylinder covers, an engine housing cover, a two-tone black wheelset, and Vance & Hines slip-ons, and the asking price swiftly approaches $30,000.

Many riders will opt for the base package, but a fair share will also order the works, and for good reason. Features such as the tire pressure monitor system, heated seat, and Marshall Gold Series Audio amplify the R 18 B’s touring chops. However, it’s a solid package in stock trim. No, the new Beemer isn’t a death blow to Harley-Davidson, but it’s a worthy competitor. At 877 pounds, it has 22 pounds on its main rival, but it’s also the only bike in the category to offer adaptive cruise control and a 10.25-inch TFT display. The R 18 B may not be BMW’s endgame either, but it definitely changes the game for bagger customers.