BMW Motorrad Australia have overnight released all the details, pricing and availability of the much anticipated R 18 First Edition cruiser. Here is everything you need to know...
BMW Motorrad Australia will have the all-new R 18 Cruiser in dealership showrooms Nationally from July, with the 1802cc, 150Nm boxer engined First Edition arriving in limited numbers with a price tag from $31,690 + ORC, which includes reverse gear…
The very first shipment of the R 18 to land here will be First Edition models, which have double pin-striping paint and extra chrome, plus our first batch will have Reverse Assist, bringing the price up to $31,690 + ORC. The standard First Edition will be priced at $30,190.
Powered by what BMW are saying is the most powerful boxer engine they have ever built, the 1802cc motor makes 67kW (91hp) at 4750rpm and a whopping 158Nm (118ft-lbs) of torque at 3000rpm, while 150Nm (116ft-lbs) is available from 2000rpm to 4000rpm, which is going to be arm-stretching! We can’t wait to experience that torque…
It’s a completely new motor by BMW, dubbed the Big Boxer. With a separate engine and gearbox, and pushrod valve drive, it has the same structural design as the original Boxer engine from well over 90-years ago. The Big Boxer has a 107.1mm bore and a whopping 100mm stroke, with a heavy flywheel mass and a maximum redline of 5750rpm. Idling speed is just 950rpm.
The Big Boxer is air/oil cooled and has vertically split crankcases. It weighs in at 110kg complete and the forged crankshaft has an extra centre main bearing for support, such is the size of it. The conrods are forged tempered steel items with whopping cast three-ring pistons swinging in NiCaSil bores.
Lubrication for this giant engine is taken care of by a two-stage oil pump that is chain driven by the crankshaft. Valve actuation is classic OHV style, due to the size of the motor.
The Big Boxer has four-valve heads, dual ignition system, a modern combustion chamber design, intake manifold EFI, yet retains the heritage of the R 5/R 51 (1936 – 1941) and the R 51/2 (1950 – 1951) by running OHV with pushrod actuation via dual camshafts driven off the crank by chain.
The twin camshafts are positioned high and this shortens pushrod length, giving less pushrod flex and therefore more precise valve control and timing. There are two forked rocker arms in each cylinder-head, operating the EX and IN valves. Interestingly, there is no hydraulic clearance control, but manually adjusted valve clearances via a single lock nut and screw for each set of valves and clearance is a generous 0.3 – 0.5mm. Valves are steel, the IN valve diameter is 41.2mm and the EX valve diameter is 35mm. Valve angle is 21º on the intake side and 24º on the exhaust side.
The clutch is the traditional BMW Boxer single disc dry unit, however for the first time, this one has an anti-hopping design built into to prevent rear wheel skip during downshifting. The six-speed gearbox is housed in a cast alloy casing and features four gear shafts and helical gear pairs. A reverse gear is available at an extra cost. This is driven by an intermediate gear and an electric motor. The driveshaft is Nickel-plated and exposed, with a universal joint, shaft and rear-axle drive with bevel and ring gear.
The R 18 frame is a double-loop steel tube frame with an enclosed axle drive in a rigid frame, the same as the legendary R 5 had. There are numerous cast and forged parts, with the two frame tubes bolted together at four points. The swingarm is also steel tube with cast and forged parts. The original rigid look of the R 5 was recreated in the R 18 by using a central cantilever suspension system. It looks fantastic if you as us, they did a good job there.
A massive bike needs massive forks, so the R 18 has 49mm inverted units encased in fork sleeves, with 120mm of travel up front. At the back the single shock is adjustable for preload and there is 90mm of travel. There is no ESC on the R 18 and the forks are non-adjustable.
The seat height of the standard version is just 690mm, and with the two large cylinders preventing traditional style feet-forward cruising, the rider triangle on the R 18 looks to be like no other cruiser, more like a nakedbike with a low seat height. The footpegs are mid-mounted, which gives more rider control than feet forward, and various footboards, seats and handlebars are available for the R 18.
Stopping a 345kg motorcycle requires serious brakes. The R 18 is equipped with three 300mm rotors and four-piston fixed calipers at both ends. It is a linked brake system, with the front lever also activating the rear brake. The rear brake pedal only actives the back though. BMW Motorrad Integral ABS is a key feature. There is also a two-stage brake light for added warning to those behind.
The wire spoked wheels are tubeless, with the front being a 3.50 x 19in and the rear a 5.0 x 16in. The tyre sizes are 120/70-19 and 180/65-16 but the brand and model of tyre is unknown at this point.
The R 18 Cruiser features state-of-the-art LED lighting systems. The headlight is housed in a traditional chrome housing but is full LED and is customisable. Indicators and taillight are also LED, while optional Adaptive Turning Lights can be added, these are your traditional cornering lights that adapt to lean angle by individually controlling the LEDs.
The instruments are classic circular with an analogue display speedo and a multi-function display including gear position indicator, which I would assume would mostly read 6 with all that torque!
The R 18 features BMW’s Keyless Ride as an option but from what we can make out, it comes standard with a traditional key and ignition lock. This optional system has the ignition and alarm controlled by a transponder integrated into the key, which remains in your pocket.
There are Riding Modes featured on the R 18, with Rain, Roll and Rock (yeah, I know…), as well as ASC and MSR. The Riding Modes offer three levels of delivery, with Rain giving the most Automatic Stability Control, or traction control, and MSR (back-torque slip). Roll is more your traditional Road setting and Rock is the setting with the most lively throttle and least ASC and MSR. The ASC can be switched off for those giant rolling burnouts!
The R 18 cruiser is a lot better looking than the R 1200 C was and hopefully a lot nicer to ride. Styled more along the classic and heritage lines, BMW Motorrad have captured that coolness of the R 5. The tank, guards and all bodywork are made of metal and the fuel tank is 16L with a classic pear shape.
The words Berlin Built are inscribed on the classically styled dash face, while there are more inscriptions on things like the handlebar clamp, filler cap and clock face.
The R 18 cruiser, like all BMW models, has a vast number of optional equipment and original BMW Motorrad accessories that can be used to customise the bike to suit each individual owner. The First Edition, which is what we are expecting here in Q3, also featuring reverse, is what BMW are offering World Wide on launch, with the standard version released later for selected markets.
The First Edition has more chrome, Blackstorm Metallic paint with Lightwhite pinstriping, a seat badge, First Edition chrome clasp on the sidecovers, and First Edition owners get a special Welcome Box that features historical tank emblems, slotted copper head screws, assembly gloves, screwdriver/keyring, R 18 First Edition cap, R 18 First Edition leather belt and a book called 100-Year History of BMW Motorrad.
There is a Ride & Style Collection program available for the R 18 owners. Optional Original BMW Motorrad Accessories for the R 18 include:
- Fuel tank bag
- Frame bag
- Saddle bag
- Rear bag
- Machined headlight cover
- Various fork caps and covers
- Machined speedo housing
- Various handlebar clamps
- Machined mirrors
- Expansion tank lids
- Fuel caps
- Wheel covers and wheels
- Number plate holder
- Engine guards and covers
- Tapered silencer
- Various bar riders
- Various handlebars
- Various windscreens
- Various footpegs and boards
- Lots of seats
For the accessorising of the R 18, BMW have collaborated with Roland Sands Design, Mustang Seats, as well as Vance & Hines, three American businesses.
2020 BMW R 18 First Edition Cruiser Specifications
Price: $31,690 + ORC (First Edition with Reverse)
Claimed Power: 67kW[91hp]@4750rpm
Claimed Torque: 158Nm[118lbs-ft]@3000rpm
Wet Weight: 345kg
Fuel capacity: 16L
Engine: Air-cooled/oil-cooled twin-cylinder, four-stroke 8-valve twin-cam pushrod OHV, EFI, 48mm throttle-bodies, twin exhaust system, 1802cc, 107.1 x 100 bore x stroke, 9.6:1 compression, EU5 compliant. Gearbox: Six-speed seperate housing. Clutch: Dry single plate, hydraulic actuation.
Chassis: Double-loop steel tube frame and steel tune swingarm
Suspension: 49mm forks, non-adjustable, 120mm travel, single cantilever shock, preload adjustability, 90mm travel,
Brakes: 300mm rotors (f), dual four-piston calipers and conventional master-cylinder, 300mm rotor (r), four-piston caliper, linked brakes (front activates rear), ABS.
Wheels & Tyres: Spoked tubeless wheels, 3.50 x 19in (f), 5.50 x 16in (r), 120/70 – 19, 180/65 – 16.
Seat height: 690mm
Ground clearance: N/A
Overall width: 964mm
Overall Length: 2440mm
Overall height: N/A
Instruments: LED multi-function housed in classic clock style single central dash.