Each year, automotive (and motorcycle) manufacturers introduce their latest ideas and pursuits at the biggest venues in the industry — often, with the hope of additional interest from consumers. In a similar fashion to the company’s newly announced Garmisch Classic Concept, BMW has utilized the famed Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este as a stage for the reveal of its latest concept bike, the Motorrad Concept R18.
As the third platform from the company to house the new 1800cc R18 boxer engine, the R18 is the first to be built completely in-house. Bart Janssen Groesbeek, the company’s lead designer, pays homage to the German manufacturer’s classic two-wheeled variants, including the R60, R50, and R5. To bring the bike into the modern day, Groesbeek and the team at BMW Motorrad opted for a modified take on the established cruiser segment, utilizing a larger chassis, cradle frame, drop-shaped fuel tank, and exposed shaft drive to give the cycle its own unique footprint. But, as with the company’s previous concepts, the gigantic 1800cc air-cooled boxer is the primary centerpiece — boasting the same iconic design as the company’s famed ‘60s-era engines. Bead-blasted (and polished aluminum) elements adorn both the engine block and transmission case, complementing the R18’s minimalistic silhouette. As an additional hat-tip toward the company’s heritage, Solex dual carbs and the exclusion of all electronics (aside from the starter and lights) pay respect to the mechanically-inclined machines of old.
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