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PressClub South Africa · Article.

New BMW R 18 cruises into SA.

BMW Motorrad, with the new R 18, makes a decisive entrance to the cruiser segment.

R 18

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BMW Group

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Midrand. BMW Motorrad, with the new R 18, makes a decisive entrance to the cruiser segment.


Like no other BMW motorcycle before it, this model stands entirely in the tradition of historical BMW motorcycles – both technically and in terms of design style. It borrows from famous models such as the BMW R 5 – both technologically and visually – and shifts the focus back onto the motorcycle essentials: purist, no-frills technology with the boxer engine as the epicentre of riding pleasure. What is more, classic design is combined with contemporary technology in the R 18 to create a fascinating overall concept – offering a riding experience that is as cultivated as it is emotional.


Supreme cruiser with historical roots.


The most powerful BMW boxer engine of all time is the centrepiece the new BMW R 18. A newly developed 2-cylinder boxer engine, it impresses with it appearance and its suite of technological features, while reflecting on the traditional air-cooled boxer engines that have been a BMW Motorrad hallmark production began in 1923. The most powerful 2-cylinder boxer engine ever used in motorcycle series production has a displacement of 1 802 cc. The peak output is 67 kW at 4 750 rpm, which 150Nm (of the 158Nm of torque on offer) is available from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm.


The centrepiece of the suspension in the new R 18 is a double-loop steel tube frame. Its design perpetuates the longstanding BMW Motorrad tradition of this frame type, showing outstanding manufacturing quality and meticulous attention to detail. These qualities are also evident in features such as the welded joints between the steel tubes and the cast or forged parts. Like the legendary BMW R 5, the rear swingarm – sporting a comparable design – surrounds the rear axle transmission in authentic style using bolted connections.


The suspension elements of the new BMW 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 attractive suspension comfort. As in the legendary BMW R 5, the tubes of the telescopic fork are encased in fork sleeves. The fork tube diameter is 49 mm, while the suspension travel is 120 mm at the front and 90 mm at the rear. The new BMW R 18 braking system consists of a twin disc brake at the front and a single disc brake at the rear in conjunction with four-piston fixed callipers. Meanwhile the wire-spoked wheels ensure a supremely stylish appearance.


In keeping with the BMW Motorrad philosophy, the new BMW R 18 features a laid-back positioning of the footrests – so-called “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 vehicle control.


The new R 18 offers three standard riding modes “Rain”, “Roll” and “Rock” to be able to adapt to individual rider preferences. The standard trim also includes ASC (Automatic Stability Control that can be disengaged), which ensures a high level of riding safety. In addition, the new R 18 is equipped as standard with engine drag torque control (MSR). Reverse assist makes manoeuvring convenient, while the Hill Start Control function facilitates uphill starts.


Each riding mode ensures optimum interaction between engine characteristics or throttle response, ASC control and engine drag torque control. In “Rain” mode, the throttle response is gentler and the control characteristics of ASC and MSR allow for wet, and therefore more slippery, road surfaces. In “Roll” mode, the engine offers optimum throttle response, while ASC and MSR are set to achieve ideal performance on all roads. The “Rock” riding mode allows the rider to tap into the full dynamic potential of the new R 18. Throttle response is very spontaneous and direct, while ASC allows a little more slip.


Iconic style, modern technology and authentic materials.


The R 18 masterfully transposes the iconic style of bygone times to the present day, retaining a purist design influenced by classics such as the BMW R 5. It is no coincidence that functional and stylistic elements such as the double-loop frame, the teardrop tank, the open-running driveshaft and the pinstriped paintwork are reminiscent of the legendary boxer dating back to 1936. The classic bodywork features of the R 18 are also made of metal – as befits an authentic classic. The suspension is likewise aptly reminiscent of the legendary R 5. Together with the double-sided swingarm and a cantilever suspension strut, the rigid-frame concept of the R 5 is perfectly transported into the modern age in visual terms.


All R 18 models available at launch in South Africa will be offered with the exclusive R 18 First Edition pack that adds exclusive equipment features such as a classic black finish with white pinstriped paintwork, chrome details and a “First Edition” chrome clasp on the side covers.


Conversion-friendly design

Another standout feature of the new R 18 is its highly conversion-friendly design, which was a key focus even in the early stages of the motorcycle’s basic layout. Therefore, the R 18 is equipped with an easily removable rear frame and a simple-to-dismantle painted part set. Carefully conceived attachment points for the hydraulic lines of the brake, clutch and cable harness likewise allow easy installation of higher or lower handlebars in conjunction with matching hydraulic lines and cable harnesses. In addition, the visible valve covers (cylinder head covers) and the belt cover (engine housing cover) are designed in such a way that they are located outside the oil chamber, making them very easy to change.


The BMW Motorrad equipment range offers a maximum selection of individualisation options with which to adapt the R 18 to personal taste and preferences. Contact your preferred BMW Motorrad dealer for specific availability and pricing.


The new BMW R 18 costs R319 900.


The highlights of the new BMW R 18:


• Iconic style blending modern technology with authentic materials.


• Biggest-ever BMW boxer engine with a capacity of 1 802 cc.


• Output 67 kW at 4 750 rpm, maximum torque 158 Nm at 3 000 rpm.


• More than 150 Nm available at all times from 2 000 to 4 000 rpm.


• Exposed driveshaft based on the classic role model.


• Elaborately crafted double-loop steel tube frame.


• Rear swingarm with enclosed axle drive in rigid-frame design.


• Telescopic fork with sleeves and cantilever suspension strut featuring travel-dependent damping.


• Harmonious ergonomics for relaxed riding and optimum control.


• Disc brakes front and rear, with wire-spoked wheels.


• State-of-the-art LED lighting technology, classically interpreted.


• Adaptive turning light for even better illumination of the road when cornering.


• Classically designed circular instrument with integrated display.


• Keyless Ride for convenient function activation by remote control.


• Three standard riding modes, ASC and MSR.


• Reverse assist for convenient manoeuvring and Hill Start Control.


• Exclusive look in paint and chrome for the R 18 First Edition models.


• Extensive range of optional extras and Original BMW Motorrad Accessories as well as a cool Ride & Style Collection.


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