Hot on the heels of the 2021 BMW R 18 First Edition comes the 2021 BMW R 18 Classic. BMW goes for the touring crowd with his second-released incarnation of the new R 18 platform. Let’s take a look at the differences that give this version Classic status.
There are two flavors of the 2021 BMW R 18 Classic. The base model R 18 Classic is built from the standard R 18. If you like the premium chrome and paint on the R18 First Edition, there’s also a Classic First Edition that includes First Edition badging.
The R 18 Classic is ready for two-up riding. There’s a pillion seat on the R 18 Classic, so you don’t have to travel solo. Footpegs are standard for both the rider and passenger, with floorboards optional. We aren’t fans of the standard R 18 footpegs, so we look forward to trying out the floorboards for the rider, along with the heel/toe shifter. Although screws attach the passenger seat, the seat can be removed for solo rides, if desired.
The twin saddlebags hold 15.5 liters each, so they are designed for short-haul touring. The old-school buckles are a ruse—there are plastic clips behind them that function to close the lid. Also, should you choose to use BMW’s saddlebag liners, the volume drops to 10 liters per bag. When you’re not out on a trip, the saddlebags can be left in the garage when not in use. Screws hold the bags on, and BMW supplies blind screws so there aren’t unsightly holes when the bags are off.
A windshield keeps the rider from taking the brunt of high-speed touring runs. The headlights and turn indicators are mounted on the windshield, so consider it a permanent part of the R 18 Classic.
Triple LED headlights take care of you after dark. The R 18 Classic also gets distinctive LED turn indicators.
The standard R 18’s stylish 19-inch front rim is replaced by a 16-inch wire-spoked unit on the Classic. The 16-inch tire is 10mm wider than the 19 incher it replaces.
Befitting a touring motorcycle, cruise control is standard on the BMW R 18 Classic.
All of the parts that make the R 18 into a Classic add 43 pounds to the chassis. That means the 2021 R 18 Classic weighs in at 804 pounds.
You pay $2000 extra for the touring features on Classic. If you can forego the First Edition features, you can get the standard BMW R 18 Classic for under $20k.
2021 BMW R 18 Classic and Classic First Edition SpecsENGINE
Type: Opposed twin
Bore x stroke: 107.1 x 100mm
Maximum power: 91 horsepower @ 4750 rpm
Maximum torque: 116 ft-lbs @ 3000 rpm
Maximum speed: Over 111 mph
Compression ratio: 9.6:1
Valvetrain: Pushrod-actuated OHV w/ two camshafts; 4 vpc
Cooling: Air and oil
Transmission: 6-speed (w/ optional reverse)
Clutch: Single-disc dry w/ slipper function
Final drive: Shaft
Frame: Steel-tube double-loop
Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable 49mm Showa fork; 4.7 inches