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.
BMW Concept R 18 /2 Photo Gallery