BMW has been teasing us for about a year with an exciting new concept they have been working on, the BMW R18. The bike was first revealed through custom builds made by Custom Works Zon and Revival Cycles. Over the weekend, on April 3, they finally gave what everyone has been waiting for and finally revealed the motorcycle’s full production version. One thing we can tell you is that it did not disappoint.
The look of the new BMW R18 did not digress too much from the concept. They were on a mission to penetrate the American cruiser market dominated by Harley-Davidson and Indian. Instead of looking at their American counterparts, they decided to look back at their own history and found inspiration from the iconic 1936 R5. Its primary designer, Edgar Heinrich, managed to retain the same clean lines of the R5 flowing from the shape of the tank, all the way to its tail section, eliminating unnecessary clutter, keeping only what is essential with hardly any superfluous bits and pieces. The result is a BMW motorcycle in its purest form.
The first thing that would catch your attention is the brute size of the 1,802 cc boxer-twin engine. Its sheer mass would make you instantly notice how large the bike is. Considering its size, the engine is tuned for cruising which produces a mere 91 hp. However, it is capable of producing 157 Nm of torque at 3000 RPM. It still accelerates to 100 km/h at 4.8 seconds and has a top speed of 180 km/h. The exposed drive shaft delivering the power to the rear wheel was also taken from the R5’s design.
ABS comes standard for the front and rear brakes together with switchable stability control. There are three riding modes namely, Rain, Roll, and Rock. It also comes with an electronically controlled anti-slip feature to prevent unnecessary skids caused by heavy acceleration. A single clock analog speedometer with a small digital display gives all the necessary information needed to drive but at the same time giving the handlebar a minimalist look with all the wiring running inside it. Its rear turn signals also function as its taillights.
All in all, it would take a very keen eye to notice the very subtle differences between the concept and the production version. In reality, according to Edgar Heinrich, BMW’s chief designer, the production version was ready even before the concept version was revealed to the public.
To develop an all-new bike, including a brand-new engine, takes more than four years. So when the four concept bikes were revealed, the series production bike was already on its way onto the production line. The concepts were very important milestones: they helped prepare the storyline, and they provided indispensable feedback to the development team from potential customers. Most importantly was the fact that the overwhelmingly positive feedback gave us confidence and security in our quest of entering new territory.
Although we do already have the release of the R18’s official production, when it lands into showrooms is another question. It is slated to be priced at $17,495 for the standard model or $19,870 for the upmarket “First Edition”. We could merely speculate that its pricing here would be at par with Harley-Davidson's cruisers or somewhere around Php 1,200,000 to Php 1,300,000. When they do get released to our shores, trust that you would hear it from us too.