For the last year, BMW Motorrad has been teasing the imminent release of a new large-bore cruiser model, first with a pair of bespoke builds utilizing the forthcoming model’s all-new engine, followed by an official prototype. And after these repeated sneak peeks, the Bavarian brand has now finally revealed the production-ready 2021 R 18.
The first BMW cruiser bike since the company’s poorly-received R1200C, the all-new R 18 takes ample inspiration from BMW’s bikes of yesteryear, specifically the marque’s 1930’s R 5 (which itself was derived from the Type 255 Kompressor: a supercharged BMW boxer twin that won the 1939 IoM TT). And not only does the R 18 resemble an antique mount with its teardrop tank, bobber saddle, and fishtail exhausts, but it also sports all-metal bodywork. Powering the R 18 is BMW’s biggest horizontally-opposed twin to date, with a massive air-cooled 1,802cc boxer twin with 90hp and 116ft-lbs of torque. Weighing 761lbs (wet), the 2021 R 18 is built around an exposed steel tube chassis — a modern take on a traditional double-downtube frame. Pricing for the 2021 BMW R 18 starts at $17,495 (before fees), though there’s also a $21,570 First Edition model that comes equipped with a heap of the high-dollar optional bits that BMW is offering for the vintage cruiser.