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BMW Unveils Production R 18 Cruiser With Massive Boxer Engine

Seen in concept form many times, BMW has now unveiled the production version of the massive 1.8 liter Boxer twin, which will be known as the R 18. A direct shot at the cruiser category, the R 18 promises to be the perfect starting point for customization.

Before discussing the technology, particularly the engine, a tip of the hat to BMW for the purity of the design of the R 18. Take a look at the video below (which, frankly, is largely annoying) and scroll to 11:50 where you will see the profile of the bike in motion. The proportions, and balance, are gorgeous in our opinion. Attractive details abound, such as the exposed drive shaft.

The engine is 1,802cc, with a claimed 90 horsepower and 111 pound/feet of torque available everywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm.

We won’t bore you with all of the details, but you can find everything you might like to know, and probably more by following the link below to the full press release. The R 18 can be pre-ordered now, starting at $18,190, U.S. MSRP.

133 Comments

  1. Martin says:

    The bike is uninspiring. The video looks like an episode of Friends. Not something you would produce to sell a bike. Who thinks of this stuff ? Keep the faith

  2. jimjim says:

    I predict a bigger flop than the Honda Rune.

  3. Tank says:

    As far as this bike aimed at shorter riders, the BMW VP in charge of US, Mexico, Canada, Agentina and Brazil operations is female.

  4. It looks great as a stand-alone piece of art. Looks dumb when its being ridden. Just not the right seating position. fail

  5. Jim says:

    I would have spoiled the video by asking “who the #@&% came up with that lame seating position?!”

  6. Rich says:

    Exposed drive shaft. Just like my old R67/2!

  7. Mick says:

    I bought my last off the rack street bike in 1994, a 916 Ducati. Since that time I have been waiting for a bike, and these numbers haven’t changed over time, that has at least 80hp and weighs less than 350 pounds topped off with fuel and ready to ride. Less if it doesn’t have electric start.

    Do you know how many big ol’ giant cruisers have been produced since 1994? To me, each one represents perfectly good R&D money wasted.

    I’ll continue to wait for what will probably forever be a unicorn while I ride my 2003 plated dirt bike. Perfectly good new bike purchase money not wasted. My bike account could buy a small house and I have a number of nice mountain bikes.

    Whatever. When will they finally make a cruiser with three liters of displacement that doesn’t have a car engine in it? That would be so disinteresting.

  8. Mark says:

    It’s a ‘cruiser’ with the seating position of an ill fitting ‘standard’.
    Not stretched out enough for the cruiser crowd, too cramped and no room to move around for the standard crowd.
    This engine needs to be in a standard naked frame with good seat to peg distance.

  9. INTERPRIZE says:

    I wonder how the engine performs on a hot day doing 5mph for hours, like in a parade or a West Virginia interstate?

  10. kjazz says:

    I just wish they’d get on with building this……….(or pretty much any of the Roland Sands BMW concepts)….

    https://images.caradisiac.com/images/1/4/2/6/181426/S1-preparation-roland-sand-gs-620264.jpg

    • The Anonymouse says:

      Now that…That’s what I call a gorgeous motorcycle. It pays homage to BMW’s of the the past, present and future. Thanks for the link, brother!

      KJAZZ is a cool name and if I understand the meaning, it was also a great Jazz music station out of Long Beach, CA. If not, it’s still a great name. I dig Jazz and that bike you linked. Be well.

  11. The Anonymouse says:

    If the R1250GS is the “Adventure” bike then this thing must be the “Sadventure” version.
    The video and by ASSociation the bike, are Cirque du SoGhey. Talk about an imitation of life, this is the perfect ride for those living the scheme. A bike for the masses of asses, i.e., the hipster crowd. Bunch of cuckodiles in that video.

    Stupid.

    • The Anonymoose says:

      Sounds like you need to reach out to your therapist during this lock down.

      • Bob says:

        So Anonymoose, you’re a hipster, eh? Groovy, baby. Keep livin’ the scheme, kid. Was that you squealing “Hell yeah, man!” in the video?

        Thought so.

  12. Bubba Blue says:

    I like the retro design scheme. I think it would better serve a standard than a cruiser. Or, even a tourer. I’m not clear on how BMW continues or breaks into the cruiser market It is nice looking. Good luck BMW.

  13. Jim Bruce says:

    I thought the Triumph Thunderbird would be a big success for Triumph. It wasn’t, unfortunately. I think this one is in the same camp. It’s a beautiful bike, though.

    • Mick says:

      I’m about the last guy that would find either the Thunderbird or this thing appealing. But I do think that this one does a lot better job of being art deco. For that reason, I think that it will sell better than the Thunderbird. Maybe not with the Harley types. But city dwellers will probably buy a few. When I lived in Paris, the R nine T was very popular there for much of the same reason.

      Eww, motorcycles as fashion makes me gag.

  14. RyYYZ says:

    This does not look like the riding position that most cruiser riders want. Just sayin’.

  15. Don M. says:

    Wow, what a waste of engineering and raw materials.

    • Lawrence says:

      Just what I said when I test rode a “new” Excelsior-Henderson about 25 years ago. This may be as successful…

  16. JoeG says:

    Looks Like a collectors bike but I’m sure people will customize it. To me a BMW isn’t a BMW unless it has a boxer engine (or weird bird beaky thing up front).

    The seating position looks better suited for the toilet. Wonder if it comes with a suspended seat like some Harley’s. It looks like it needs it.

  17. Kent says:

    Yeah, that video is embarrassingly bad, the very definition of “trying too hard.” And let’s remember that Tommy is not a journalist. He’s an “influencer” who was hired to help sell a product. It makes me wonder, since I don’t have any tattoos, am I even allowed near it? With that out of the way, I will say I quite like the bike. It trades on BMW’s own design heritage rather than aping Harley-Davidson. Give me one with low bars, chrome cylinder heads and the springer-style seat, and I think I would be quite happy.

  18. The Anonymouse. says:

    This should help out Suzuki as I’ve often heard many people say that there are two reasons they haven’t bought an M109R.

    Number 1: There is nothing fuglier on the market to take the heat off M109R owners.

    Number 2: The M109R still doesn’t have ABS.

  19. paul says:

    Wow, that video is so lame. I know I can’t ever own an R18…. not because of the money…. but because I am just not cool enough.

  20. bad Chad says:

    The video is embarrassingly bad. I feel like I need to take a shower after seeing it.

  21. Jim says:

    Remarkably Vulcan2000ish

  22. SamG says:

    Beautifully done…. I had an R1200C. Finest machine I ever owned…

  23. ABQ says:

    Hitting the rear brake beneath that cylinder was always an issue for me.
    It is a nice looking bike. The one with risers was better.

  24. Relic says:

    Tomorrow belongs to me..

  25. motorhead says:

    Wait. Is that muffler flange?

  26. falcodoug says:

    Well that video is lame. Can’t even think about that bike now.

  27. North of Missoula says:

    Look at the faux hard tail frame, the drive shaft and that motor. Few modern motorcycles can be called a work of art. This is definitely a work of art. I love the Made in Berlin badging. Being a BMW, my guess is that for what it is, it will handle remarkably well and be a super refined ride. Love it.

    Not a cruiser rider, mind you I am 60 now….I need a third Beemer like I need a hole in the head.

  28. Randybobandy says:

    BMW trying to appeal to 5 foot tall riders who can’t straddle a Dyna? The guy in the video looks like his knees are gonna hit his elbows. Why so low a seat? This is just stupid.

  29. GS1000 says:

    Not impressed. The mufflers look like they belong in a Roger Rabbit movie. It was a noble effort but back to the drawing board BMW.

  30. Bubba Blue says:

    Also I really like Harley’s belt drive.

    To this one, I think I’d prefer a Rocket.

  31. Bubba Blue says:

    Nice BMW. but it ain’t no R75/6.

    I think the jugs would get in my way. They’re so big.

  32. Artem says:

    Back to 30s.

  33. Too ungainly for me. Give me a 400 lb. 750 or a 500 lb. 1200.

  34. Ricster says:

    You’re all missing the point: a forth coming R1800S! Woohoo!

  35. todd says:

    I don’t know who Tommy is or why BMW thinks we should care more about his adventures than the bike but I sure hope he finished up his vacation early and is healthy and stuck at home like the rest of us.