BMW will launch the R 18 Classic early 2021. The new model borrows from famous models such as the BMW R 5 both technologically and visually, shifting the focus back onto motorcycle essentials with purist, no-frills technology and the boxer engine as the focal point – Press from BMW Motorrad Australia.

The centrepiece of the new BMW R 18 Classic and R 18 is the 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, back to when BMW Motorrad began production in 1923.

The most powerful two-cylinder boxer engine ever used in motorcycle series production has a displacement of 1,802cc with peak output of 67kW [91hp]@4,750rpm. From 2000 to 4000rpm, more than 150Nm of torque is available.

A double-loop steel tube frame is at the heart of the new R 18 Classic’s suspension. Its design perpetuates the longstanding BMW Motorrad tradition of this frame type. As with the legendary BMW R 5, the rear swingarm – 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.

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As with the legendary BMW 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 BMW R 18 Classic and R 18 are decelerated by a twin disc brake at the front and a single disc brake at the rear in conjunction with four-piston fixed calipers. The wire-spoked wheels ensure a stylish appearance.

In keeping with the BMW Motorrad philosophy, the new BMW R 18 Classic and R 18 feature a laid-back positioning of the footrests. The positioning is also known as “mid-mounted footpegs”. This classic position behind the cylinders is not only typical of BMW; it also enables a relaxed and active riding position for optimum control.

The new R 18 Classic and R 18 offer the three standard riding modes – “Rain”, “Roll” and “Rock” – to adapt to individual rider preferences. The standard trim also includes ASC (Automatic Stability Control; disengageable), which ensures a high level of riding safety.

In addition, the new R 18 Classic and R 18 are equipped as standard with engine drag torque control (MSR). Among other options, a reverse assist makes manoeuvring convenient, while the Hill Start Control facilitates hill starts.

The R 18 Classic and R 18 transpose the iconic style of bygone times to the present day, retaining a purist design in numerous details that is mainly influenced by classics such as the BMW R 5. The functional and stylistic elements such as the double-loop frame, pear-drop tank, openrunning universal shaft and the double-lined paintwork are reminiscent of the legendary boxer dating back to 1936.

The classic bodywork features of the R 18 Classic and R 18 are also fashioned from metal – as befits an authentic classic. The suspension is also aptly reminiscent of the legendary R 5. Together with the double-sided swinging arm and a cantilever suspension strut, the rigid-frame concept of the R 5 is transported into the modern age in visual terms.

The new R 18 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.

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

Cassons Arai

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