CHANDAN B MALLIK, Kolkata: With the new R 18, BMW Motorrad has officially entered their flat Boxer-engined motorcycle into what is traditionally considered as Harley-Davidson’s territory.
At first glance, in terms of design, it’s clear where the style inspiration has come from — yes, from the family of R5s, if you are familiar with BMW bikes.
Interestingly, despite it being developed from ground up, the R18 retains the brand’s core traditional technology which is air-cooling and pushrods.
Hosted in a double-loop steel cradle chassis, the low rider machine gets a newly-developed 1,802 cc horizontally opposed 2-cylinder Boxer engine. The peak output is rated at 91hp at 4,750 rpm with torque of 116 lbs-ft at 3,000 rpm available from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm. Power is sent through six-speed gearbox via an enclosed drive shaft to the fat 16in rear wheel.
The frame and suspension have been designed to give the bike a rigid frame appearance, typical of bikes in 30’s-40s.
The old school inspiration of the R5 is also evident in the front suspension where the usually exposed fork tubes are encased in fork sleeves.
The bike’s braking system is very much modern with twin discs up front and a single disc brake at the rear in conjunction with four-piston fixed calipers.
Electronics take care of the three riding modes along with ASC and MSR (engine drag torque control). Reverse assist and Hillstart Control are offered as factory options.
The R 18 will be offered worldwide as an exclusive First Edition, with a standard model reserved additionally for certain markets. First Edition comes with a classic black finish with white pinstripes. Other highlights include chrome trim, a seat badge and a “First Edition” logos.
Customisation has also been factored in by marketing and a host of factory options will also be on offer.