BMW Concept R 18 /2 First Look: The Next Step Toward the Showroom
Let’s face it, the less said about the BMW R 1200 C, the better. BMW’s ill-fated attempt to break into the cruiser market in the late 20th century was a resounding styling failure. Even placement in a James Bond movie wasn’t enough to save it from deserved obscurity. The BMW Concept R 18 and the next-generation BMW Concept R 18 /2 (pronounced “slash-two”) changes everything. It is a stunning addition to the cruiser canon.Powering the BMW Concept R 18 /2 is a massive 1800cc air- and oil-cooled boxer twin. While we don’t have any performance numbers available, common sense tells us that the torque numbers will be substantial. The motor has been used in builds outside of BMW Motorrad, including Departed by Custom Works Zon in Japan and The Revival Birdcage by Austin’s Revival Cycles. This second-generation build from BMW proper is tantalizingly close to a production version. From what we can tell, all it needs are turn signals and mirrors—it even has a side-mount license plate holder.
There will be other changes, doubtlessly. The R 18 /2 has cast iron wheels in a 19-/16-inch pairing, and we would expect the source material to be switched to aluminum. Brembo brake calipers are likely to stay, though the German-made Hattech stainless steel exhaust may not make the cut due to cost or sound-output considerations—perhaps the exhaust will live-on as a factory option. The beautiful Candy Apple Red Metallic paint deserves to be carried over to the production version, as does the bullet fairing, cantilevered rear-shock suspension, and intake shrouds.“After the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18,” Bart Janssen Groesbeek, BMW Motorrad Vehicle Designer for the Big Boxer Concepts explains, “our aim with the Concept R 18 /2 is to demonstrate how flexible the basic engine and suspension are as a starting point for customization, and how easy it is to authentically realize different styles. And I have to admit we were very impressed at how it was possible to bring this boxer concept forward from the ’30s via the ’80s into the 2020s.”The BMW Concept R 18 /2 is premium eye candy. We are looking forward to seeing how BMW translates an impressive prototype into an aspirational production motorcycle.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week’s episode features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the beautiful new Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST that is loosely based around the original FXRT Sport Glide from the 1980s. Hailing from The Golden State, these cult-status performance machines became known as West Coast style, with sportier suspension, increased horsepower, and niceties including creature comforts such as a tidy fairing and sporty luggage.
In past episodes you might have heard us mention my best friend, Daniel Schoenewald, and in the second segment I chat with him about some of the really special machines in his 170 or so—and growing—motorcycle collection. He’s always said to me that he doesn’t consider himself the owner, merely the curator of the motorcycles for the next generation.
Yet Daniel is not just a collector, but I can attest a really skilled rider. His bikes are not trailer queens, they’re ridden, and they’re ridden pretty hard. Actually, we have had many, many memorable rides on pretty much all of the machines in the collection at one time or another.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!