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Big 1,800cc Cruiser Coming From BMW

After rolling out several “concepts”, including the latest one last week in Italy (pictured), it is clear now that BMW is on course to introduce an 1,800cc boxer twin-powered cruiser as a production model.

The big boxer lump has been given a name by BMW … the R18. Reports indicate the bore and stroke is 107mm x 100mm – slightly oversquare, which might indicate the bike will rev a bit higher than some of its cruiser competition. This latest “Concept R18” showcases what are likely production frame and components, such as brake calipers, but the styling represents the efforts of Unique Custom Cycles of Sweden.

Nevertheless, BMW heritage shines through with the exposed driveshaft and iconic fuel tank shape and paint. But why would BMW enter the cruiser segment, when sales seem to be declining (and Harley-Davidson is diversifying with non-cruiser models)?

The answer to that question can be found in a quote from Timo Resch, vice president sales and marketing for BMW Motorrad:

“It has been a long-term strategic decision that if we want to continue the success story of BMW Motorrad, which has been for the last several years quite positive, at some point we have to look also at the cruiser segment. It has had a bit of a reduction, but it is still by far the biggest segment of the premium motorcycle world. We see that as an opportunity and chance for us.


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92 Comments

  1. David Eib says:

    This thing is really bare bones cool. It looks like it’s a soft tail which should provide a better ride. I think the appearance is great. Sign me up for the first ride.

  2. Kyle says:

    Beautiful. Should do well similar to Triumphs efforts with the Bobber and Rocket. I like the mid controls, not that they really have a choice. Tight knee angle, but I cruise with my passenger pegs on my Bonneville. I see the ankle angle being a problem though with shift and brake lever positioning.

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  4. Spike5519 says:

    Uh…why Even BMW dealers are scratching their collective heads over this one (and more to come, according to those in the know!).

  5. Ramish Rambarran says:

    This will not be in Gold Wing territory for smoothness.

  6. JC says:

    It looks really heavy and the cylinders leave no option for forward controls. I like the idea of the big motor and the torque it must produce, but the bike is ugly. The motor should be in a big sport touring bike similar to the K1600 models.

  7. ABQ says:

    I was hoping that BMW would make a cruiser using the F800 engine.
    It may look similar to the Kawasaki Vulcan 650, or the Honda CTX700.

  8. Artem says:

    Why R18 (2018 concept)? That thing is similar to R71.

    • Artem says:

      Zundapp KS 750 was better, AFAIK, as it was the main german army motorcycle during the world war 2.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think the BMW R75 was the main unit.

        • Anonymous says:

          No, I’m wrong and Artem is right, according to Wiki the Zundapp was a superior design and it looks like the numbers also exceeded the WW2 R75.

  9. Don says:

    sweet jeezus! Is this a joke?

  10. arbuz says:

    Is there a video with a sound?
    Want to know if it will produce the Potato-Potato-Potato
    sound when at idle

  11. G Hill says:

    If you squint it’s a Sunbeam.

  12. VFR Marc says:

    Can’t wait for the custom guys to make cafe racers, scramblers and dirt trackers out of it.

  13. JB says:

    the length of teh intake runners is crazy….makes for a better look than the throttle bodies right at the heads.

    • Tom K. says:

      Thanks for the heads-up on that – shouldn’t there be a big ugly air cleaner box in there somewhere?