BMW Motorrad’s classic R 18 touring motorcycle gives off vintage vibes – Robb Report


BMW Motorrad is no stranger to advanced motorcycle technology. Just look at the recently released M 1000 RR racing bike. But it’s also not averse to looking into the past for inspiration.

For proof, look no further than its latest cruiser, the R 18 Classic, a vintage-inspired revamp of the R 18 touring motorcycle that the German company launched in April. But while its design may echo some of the brand’s most revered two-wheelers of the past – the R5, in particular – its technology and robust array of features are entirely modern.

BMW Motorrad R 18 Classic

BMW Motorrad

The standard R 18 Classic and the standard R 18 look almost identical at a glance, especially the pear-shaped tank and double-buckle frame, but a closer inspection reveals some key differences. Chief among these “nostalgic” modifications is a much larger windshield and straightened tailpipes, which help to make an already muscular bike even more muscular. Other tweaks include a smaller but bigger 16-inch front tire, additional LED headlight, thicker saddle, passenger seat, and removable saddlebags. Early editions of the bike will also feature a “First Edition” badge and additional chrome details.

The two cruisers are very similar from a mechanical point of view. The new model is powered by the same massive 1.8-liter boxer engine, dubbed the “Big Boxer,” capable of developing 91 horsepower and 116 lb-ft of torque. The air-cooled chipper remains the most powerful in BMW Motoradd’s 97-year history. The R 18 Classic also features a telescopic fork with 1.9 inch fork sleeves, cantilever strut, metal wire wheels and disc brakes. The bikes share the same electronic system, including three standard ride modes (“Rain”, “Roll” and “Rock”), although cruise control is standard this time around.

BMW Motorrad R 18 Classic

BMW Motorrad

BMW Motorrad has yet to announce the price or release date of the R 18 Classic. While there are clear differences between the two bikes, we wouldn’t be surprised if the cost is similar to the $ 19,870 starting price of the exclusive “First Edition” variant of the standard bike.


About Todd Wurtsbach

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