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BMW R 18 Going on Three-Nation Tour, including U.S.A.

By General Posts

The Great Getaway. That’s what German bike maker BMW Motorrad calls its first event dedicated to the moniker that marked its return to the cruiser segment, the insane R 18 motorcycles.

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

The motorcycle was first shown back in 2020, and quickly expanded into an entire family that now comprises no less than four models, namely the standard cruiser and the Classic, and the more recent R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental.

Advertised as one of the most important two-wheeled BMWs in recent memory, the family makes use of the most “powerful 2-cylinder boxer engine ever used in motorcycle series production,” the mighty Big Boxer – 1,802cc in displacement and rated at 91 hp at 4,750 rpm, and a maximum of 158 Nm of torque at 3,000 rpm.

Now, not enough time has passed since the model’s introduction for the world to have plenty of them on the roads, but that isn’t stopping the Germans from coming up with a series of mammoth ride events meant to advertise the bike to new customers.

The Great Getaway is in fact the first in what will be a series of travel events dedicated to R 18 riders. Next year, BMW promises “three inspiring destinations […] to provide riders with outstanding motorcycling pleasure in heritage style.”

The tour kicks off in March 2022 in Costa Rica, moves to Portugal in June, and ends in August in the U.S. Each of the tours in these countries will comprise eight days of riding “along rugged coasts, through dense forests and past mountains and waterfalls,” and benefit from “a tour guide, hotel accommodation and meals, support vehicle and an extensive social program.”

At the time of writing, BMW does not give any info on the cost for the rides, but says more info will be provided in due time on the dedicated webpage.

Visit The Great Getaway Website at: https://thegreatgetaway.net/

PRESS RELEASE: 15 NOVEMBER 2021

Experience the beauty of nature for eight days on the “Big Boxer” motorbikes of the R 18 family, enjoy the freedom of endless expanses, immerse yourself in the urban jungle, sometimes discover the unexpected and leave the stress of everyday life behind. In “The Great Getaway”, BMW Motorrad will be offering the perfectly organised travel format for a perfect time-out, arranged and carried out by BMW Motorrad partner Elephant Moto.

For the 2022 motorcycle season, three inspiring destinations have been planned to provide riders with outstanding motorcycling pleasure in heritage style: Costa Rica, Portugal and the USA. Each tour includes eight days of riding on motorcycles from the R18 family, a tour guide, hotel accommodation and meals, support vehicle and an extensive social programme. In short: everything has been thought of.

The “Big Boxers” will be cruisng along rugged coasts, through dense forests and past mountains and waterfalls. The participants will get to know hidden places and exciting people, indulge in local and international cuisine and recharge their batteries for the next day in accommodation specially tailored to the tours.

With a maximum of twelve participants per tour, the 150 to 200 kilometre daily stages guarantee speedy progress on the road, great fun together in the evening and an intensive shared experience on the “Urban Day”, where the participants get to immerse themselves in the melting pot of famous cities: San José in Costa Rica, Lisbon in Portugal and Portland/Oregon in the USA.

New, intense impressions await the participants at every turn: pulsating life, foreign scents, spectacular architecture, even the soundscape is never the same. After all, every city has its own rhythm. And you meet the people who make the city’s heartbeat. For example, when visiting a handcrafter or a local market.

After dinner, the day ends in a variety of ways. For example, with a whiskey tasting, cocktails “on the roof” or live music, before everyone is back in the saddle the next morning: “The Great Getaway – start your R 18, please!” Eight days of unforgettable riding pleasure combined with impressive experiences await the participants.

The time slots for “The Great Getaway” are:

1. Costa Rica, March 2022

2. Portugal, April to June 2022

3. USA, August to October 2022

Further information and bookings via www.thegreatgetaway.net

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.

BMW Debuts R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B ‘Bagger’ touring motorcycles

By General Posts

by Florina Spînu from https://www.autoevolution.com

According to BMW, the new R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B will be available worldwide as special R 18 Transcontinental First Edition and R 18 B First Edition models when they hit the market in September. The two new R 18 family members will be unveiled to the public for the first time on August 6th in Sturgis, South Dakota.

BMW is expanding the R 18 family with the new R 18 Transcontinental and the R 18 B “Bagger,” one ideal for long-distance rides and one perfect for touring and cruising. You can watch some high-octane scenes with the new models in The Cadillac Three’s new music video, “Get After It.”

The collaboration between the American Southern rock group and BMW only came naturally as the new models are built to appeal to those looking for a sportier ride and those going for a more touring-oriented machine. The southern country music is a perfect addition for these bad boys that star in the clip, riding just outside Nashville.

The new R 18 Transcontinental is a luxurious tourer that comes with a high windshield, wind deflector, and flaps. Compared to the standard R 18, it has additional lights, a top case, and four analog round instruments. The ride has seat heating as standard to ensure long-distance riding comfort even when two people get on it.

On the other hand, the R 18 B has no top case and a lower windscreen that adds to the style of a bagger. Among other features, it sports a smaller seat, wider and more comfortable footrests, and a matt black metallic engine.

Like the previous R 18 models, both rides combine the power of the 2-cylinder “Big Boxer” engine with a classic chassis design based on BMW’s historical motorcycle models. The engine generates an output of 67 kW (91 hp) at 4,750 RPM, and between the 2,000 to 4,000 RPM range, it produces more than 150 Nm of torque.

Tech-wise, they feature a 10.25 inch TFT color display that provides all the information the rider needs. The motorcycles come with three riding modes, Rain, Roll, and Rock, and a Hill Start Control function that turn one’s journeys into a memorable experience.

What can make that experience even better is the new Marshall sound system. Developed in collaboration with the British manufacturer Marshall (yes, the same brand that makes the renowned guitar amplifiers), the audio system uses 4 loudspeakers and 2 subwoofers to produce great sound quality and “good vibrations.”

BMW’s prewar-inspired R18 boxer motorcycle makes its production debut

By General Posts

by Kyle Hyatt from https://www.cnet.com/

We loved the concept at Villa d’Este, and now the production version will haunt our dreams until it’s released.

I’ve been looking forward to a production version of BMW’s R18 concept since it debuted last year at Villa d’Este, and now it’s finally here. How close does the production model get to the utterly gorgeous prewar-inspired concept?

Well, pretty close, actually. Sure, there will be plenty who argue that it should be closer, that the production bike’s front wheel is too small or that BMW should have retained the concept’s fork covers, but I’m not one of those people. This thing is a handsome-as-hell cruiser-bobber style motorcycle, and I badly want to ride it already.

The R18’s headline feature is its massive 1.8-liter horizontally opposed twin-cylinder engine. This is the biggest boxer that BMW has ever offered — by over half a liter — and it’s still air-cooled. This lump outputs a 91 horsepower and a whopping 116 pound-feet of torque. It’s got four valves per cylinder with dual overhead camshafts on each cylinder, and it promises to be a characterful old thing, in the best traditions of the brand.

The bike also features the classic BMW boxer large single-disc dry clutch and a six-speed gearbox. Unusual for the BMW though (these days, at least) is the decision to leave the bike’s driveshaft exposed. This was done in homage to the prewar Beemers like the R5 and R51 from which the R18 takes much of its inspiration. A reverse gear ala Honda’s Goldwing is available as an option.

The R18 is probably closest in spirit to the R NineT, at least as far as current production motorcycles go, and like that bike, it’s been designed with easy customization in mind. To that end, BMW has partnered with the likes of Roland Sands Design and Mustang Seats to offer factory-approved accessories to help make the R18 more your own.

Unlike the R NineT, the R18 features multiple ride modes which include Rock, Roll and Rain. The former being the most aggressive ride mode, with access to the bike’s full power and torque. Roll mode is analogous to most motorcycles’ Road mode, while Rain offers softer throttle response and more limited power and torque.

The bike’s suspension is pretty neat in that it looks very much like a hardtail (aka no rear suspension) but, in fact, is merely hiding its rear suspension bits. The bike’s front fork legs are each a whopping 49 millimeters in diameter and look suitably old-timey — though I’d have loved to see a modern BMW interpretation of the classic Earles fork design that it used in the 1920s and 30s.

The R18 will be available in two flavors at launch: the standard version and the First Edition, and it’s the latter one that really gets my attention. The First Edition pays the closest homage to the classic Beemers with all kinds of pinstriping and chrome. It also comes with some neat extras like historically accurate tank emblems, slotted screws (to look period correct while also annoying your mechanic), a leather belt, a screwdriver, gloves and a book celebrating the BMW motorcycles’ 97-year history.

The standard R18 will set you back a surprisingly reasonable $17,495, while the First Edition will go for $19,870. Bikes are currently slated to hit dealers later on in 2020, but given the dramatic effect that the coronavirus outbreak has had on the industry, that could be pushed back.