It’s rare that concept vehicles actually makes it to production. BMW Motoradd’s latest bike, the gorgeous heritage-inspired powerhouse R 18, is a welcome exception.
The German automaker’s motorcycle division unveiled the production version of the R 18 over the weekend, and the impressive bike looks almost identical to the concept that was first teased in Italy last May at an event in Villa d’Este, Italy.
While the bike’s retro-inspired looks are striking, its most eye-catching feature is its massive 1.8-liter boxer engine. Dubbed the “Big Boxer,” that brand new, horizontally opposed twin-cylinder engine more than lives up to its name and is the biggest boxer engine that BMW has produced by a half liter, according to a press release. The air-cooled mill is also the most powerful in the division’s 97-year history and is capable of producing a stunning 91 hp and 116 lb-ft of torque. Not bad for something so stylish.
In addition to the “Big Boxer,” the R 18 comes with BMW’s traditional large single-disc dry clutch and a six-speed gearbox. The bike’s driveshaft is also exposed, a tribute to prewar bikes from the company the R5 and R51, both of which inspired the R 18. Other features include a double-loop steel tube frame, telescopic fork with 1.9-inch fork sleeves, cantilever suspension strut, wire-spoked wheels and disc brakes. On the tech side, you have your choice of three riding modes—“Rain,” “Roll” and “Rock”—as well as reverse assist and Hillstart Control.
Two R 18 models will be available at launch, a standard version and the First Edition variant. Both look like classic prewar cruisers, but the First Edition also sports period-appropriate pinstriping and chrome, along with retro tank emblems and slotted screws. And just like the R NineT, the current BMW bike its closest to, it comes with a lot of customizable options, including accessories like a Mustang Seat and a Vance & Hines custom exhaust.
The standard version of the R 18 will start at $17,495 and the First Edition will be $19,870. The heritage-style bike is scheduled to arrive in dealerships later this year, though that date could be pushed back due to the current coronavirus crisis.