Just before Christmas, we were marvelling at the BMW ‘Big Boxer’ engine. Displacing a whopping 1802cc, it’s the biggest flat-twin ever, and BMW’s most powerful two-cylinder boxer. Now, we know what it’s for - the R18.
As expected, since it’s a heavy (110kg), low-revving, torquey kind of engine, the Big Boxer has been mounted in the frame of a cruiser. And doesn’t it look magnificent in there?
It follows the R18 concept, taking the same basic shape but adding much more in the way of bodywork - the show bike looked like it was all engine with just a handful of components hanging off. The production version is still built around a double-loop steel frame though, mirroring the concept and BMW cruiser bikes of old.
The big ol’ twin provides 90bhp at 4750rpm, with peak torque of 116lb ft available from 2000 to 4000rpm. The rear wheel is turned via an exposed driveshaft, much like the 1936 R5, which the R18 takes styling inspiration from.
Despite the retro styling, though, it’s chock full of modern tech under the skin. It has three riding modes - Rain, Roll and Rock (yes, really) - traction control, cornering ABS and cruise control. Hill Start Control and a reverse assist are on the options menu. Since the R18 weighs 345kg, you might wish to spec those.
Want to tweak the styling? There’ll be a whole host of official BMW Motorrad accessories available thanks to a partnership with Roland Sands Design. Two main flavours of parts will be available: ‘Machined’ and ‘2-Tone Black’. Seat options will be on offer from Mustang Seat, while Vance & Hines will be supplying different exhaust systems for the bike.
Like what you see? The R18 First Edition - which includes white pinstripes, First Edition badging and a whole load of chrome - will be £18,995.