BMW’s R 18 model Classic debuts

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Words: NZ Autocar
23 Oct 2020

BMW Motorrad has unveiled the second member of its new cruiser family, the R 18 Classic. It’s a tourer with a large windscreen, a pillion seat, saddle bags, additional LED headlights and a 16-inch front wheel. It joins the original R 18 launched recently.

The new BMW R 18 Classic is a retro-style tourer, borrowing design cues from early models like the R 5.

At its core is the “Big Boxer” 1802cc engine with output of 67kW (91 hp) at 4750rpm and over 150Nm of torque available at any revs. This makes for relaxed touring.

The centrepiece of the suspension is a double-loop steel tube frame. Like the R 5, the rear swing arm – sporting a comparable design – surrounds the rear axle transmission.

Up front a set of 49mm telescopic forks link to a central suspension strut with travel-dependent damping and adjustable spring preload. Twin discs with four-piston fixed calipers slow the front wheel, and a single four-piston caliper acts on the rear disc. Wire-spoked wheels complete the retro picture.

The riding position features mid-mounted footpegs behind the cylinders, enabling a relaxed triangle for easy long distance control. Three riding modes and TC/stability control are standard, along with engine drag control. Reverse assist and Hillstart Control are options, though will likely be standard fit here.

Other retro cues include the tear-drop tank, the open-running universal shaft and the double-lined paintwork. Bodywork is made of metal rather than plastic.

An R 18 Classic First Edition model will be available from launch. This comes with numerous chrome surfaces, a seat badge and a “First Edition” chrome clasp on the side covers.

To help with customisation, the R 18 Classic features an easily removable rear frame and a simple-to-dismantle painted part set. Different style handlebars can be easily fitted. Visible cylinder head covers and engine housing cover are located outside the oil chamber, making them easy to change.

BMW Motorrad offers two Roland Sands Design kits, dubbed “Machined” and “2-Tone-Black”. Other optional bits and pieces include Mustang comfort seats and Vance & Hines exhaust systems.


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