Motorrad’s Classic packs a wallop

Riley Riley

BMW Motorrad’s second heavy hitter the R 18 Classic lobs early next year.

The R 18 Classic is the second variant of its first-ever cruiser that borrows from famous models such as the BMW R 5 for its inspiration — both technologically and visually.

With the boxer engine as the focal point of riding enjoyment, the emphasis is on pure, no-frills technology to create a compelling concept for enthusiasts.

The centrepiece of the new BMW R 18 Classic and R 18 is a newly developed, two-cylinder boxer engine – the “Big Boxer”.

Its impressive appearance and technology reflect a continuation of the traditional air-cooled boxer engines that have offered an inspiring riding experience for more than seven decades.

The most powerful two-cylinder boxer engine ever used in a series production motorcycle has a displacement of 1802cc, with peak output of 67kW at 4750 rpm.

From 2000 to 4000 rpm, more than 150Nm of torque is available.

A double-loop steel tube frame perpetuates the longstanding BMW Motorrad tradition of this frame type.

Outstanding manufacturing quality and a meticulous attention to detail is also evident in barely perceptible features such as the welded joints.

As with the legendary BMW R 5, the rear swinging arm – sporting a comparable design – surrounds the rear axle transmission in authentic style with bolted connections.

The suspension elements of the new BMW R 18 Classic and R 18 deliberately dispense with electronic adjustment options.

Instead, a telescopic fork and a directly mounted central suspension strut with travel-dependent damping and adjustable spring preload ensure superior wheel control and suspension comfort.

As with the R 5, the tubes of the telescopic fork are encased in fork sleeves.

The fork tube diameter is 49mm, while the suspension travel is 120mm at the front and 90mm at the rear.


The new R 18 Classic and R 18 feature twin disc brakes at the front and a single disc setup at the rear, in conjunction with four-piston fixed calipers.

The wire-spoked wheels ensure a stylish appearance.

In keeping with tradition, both bikes feature a laid-back positioning of the footrests, known as “mid-mounted footpegs”.

This classic position behind the cylinders enables a relaxed and active riding position for optimum control.

Both bikes offer three standard riding modes – “Rain”, “Roll” and “Rock” – to adapt to individual rider preferences.

The standard trim also includes Automatic Stability Control which ensures a high level of riding safety — but can be switched off.

In addition, both are equipped with engine drag torque control (MSR).

Among other options, reverse assist makes manoeuvring convenient, while the Hill Start Control function facilitates uphill starts.


The new duo will be offered worldwide as an exclusive R 18 Classic First Edition and R 18 First Edition right from launch, with a standard model reserved additionally for certain markets.

It combines the R 18 look with exclusive equipment features in a classic black finish with white, double-lined paintwork.

Other highlights include numerous chrome surfaces, a seat badge and a “First Edition” chrome clasp on the side covers.

New R 18 Classic and R 18 offer conversion-friendly architecture.

Both models are fitted with an easily removable rear frame and a simple-to-dismantle painted part set.

Carefully conceived interface points for the hydraulic lines of the brake, clutch and cable harness allow problem-free installation of higher or lower handlebars in conjunction with matching hydraulic lines and cable harnesses.

In addition, the visible valve covers and belt cover are designed in such a way that they are located outside the oil chamber, making them simple to change.

The BMW Motorrad equipment range offers a maximum selection of individualisation options.

For launch two different design collections of milled aluminium parts are available, created in collaboration with Roland Sands Design: “Machined” and “2-Tone-Black”.

BMW Motorrad is collaborating not just with Roland Sands Design but also several well-known suppliers for its accessories and customising program.

It has partnered with US manufacturer Mustang Seat to offer different versions of high-quality hand-made seats.

The customising potential for the exhaust systems in cooperation with Vance & Hines is no less creative.

Full detail of R 18 Classic local specification and pricing will be provided in early 2021.


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