The BMW R18 Cruiser Is Not a Bike for Noobs

In the film industry, an R18 classification implies that a film is not fit for viewing by those who have not yet reached the age of consent and competence. The same concept appears applicable to BMW’s new bike, the R18 Cruiser. The moment you lay your eyes on it, you immediately get the feeling that this two-wheeler is definitely not for noobs. Borrowing from famous models such as the BMW R5, which puts the boxer engine as the epicenter of riding pleasure, along with the “good vibrations” generated by such engine types, BMW Motorrad appears to be dipping its toes into new territory with the BMW R18 Cruiser, a bike that looks poised to duke it out with the likes of Harley Davidson and Indian in its segment. That’s not to say that BMW is a newbie in the cruiser bike business, as the German manufacturer actually started off with them during its early beginnings in 1923. Suffice to say, BMW is not a cruiser newbie. Rather, the R18 is simply a return to its roots. From its double steel tube frame, exposed shaft drive, and solidly built rear, capped off by a perfect flat twin engine, outstanding manufacturing quality and a meticulous attention to detail is evident in every inch of this new BMW bike. The most powerful 2-cylinder boxer engine ever used in a BMW bike is equipped in the R18, and it has a displacement of 1802 cc, outputting 91 horsepower and over 150 Nm of torque. A new double-loop steel tube frame lies at the heart of the suspension, perpetuating the longstanding BMW Motorrad tradition of this frame type. Like R5 it draws inspiration from, the R18’s rear swing arm – sporting a comparable design – surrounds the rear axle transmission in authentic style by means of bolted connections. The brakes consist of a twin disc at the front and a single disc at the rear, controlled by four-piston fixed calipers. The positioning of the footrests – so-called “mid-mounted footpegs,” enables a relaxed and active riding position for optimum bike control. The new R 18 also offers the three standard riding modes, which are unusual in the cruiser bike segment. Riders can choose between “Rain”, “Roll” and “Rock” to adapt to personal preferences. The standard trim also includes ASC (Automatic Stability Control, disengageable), which ensures a high level of riding safety. In addition, the new R 18 is equipped as standard with engine drag torque control (MSR). Among other options, a reverse assist makes maneuvering convenient, while the Hill Start Control function facilitates uphill starts. Wheelbase is 1731 millimeters (mm) long, and kerb weight of sits at 345 kilogram. The fork tube diameter is 49 mm, while the suspension travel is 120 mm at the front and 90 mm at the rear. The new R18 will be offered worldwide as an exclusive R18 First Edition right from launch, with a standard model reserved additionally for certain markets. It combines the R18 look with exclusive equipment features in a classic black finish with white pinstriped paintwork. Other highlights include numerous chrome surfaces, a seat badge and a “First Edition” chrome clasp on the side covers. Prices in the US for the base variant is set at USD 17,495 (approximately PHP 887, 000), while the First Edition will be priced at USD 19,870 (PhP 1 million) with units expected to hit BMW dealers by late 2020.  

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