Above the clouds with the BMW R18

Published on 06.07.2022

Berlin Built, the BMW R 18 is clearly displaying its roots, and its designer and sound engineer certainly deserve recognition for their harmonious collaboration on the R 18.

From the moment you start the engine, you’re immediately fascinated by the symphonic sound of the engine. The rider’s seat on the R 18 will give you the impression you’re flying a 1920s prop plane, the two cylinders are visually reminiscent of the radial engines of the past, and the sound of the engine will make you feel just like the Red Baron, but without the unnecessary noise.

One thing that stands one is the chrome that’s everywhere, meaning that the bike really glows in the light. The seating position is comfortable and chopper-like but perhaps somewhat tricky for those over 6ft tall.

There are three riding modes to choose from here: the very appropriately named Rock, Roll and Rain.   Roll mode is intended for rather comfortable cruising, while in Rock mode you can really feel the arms lengthening, ready to absorb the shocks. Starting from an idle, the engine pulls so strongly that you feel like you're riding a cannonball. If the term ‘torque wave’ didn't already exist, it would definitely have been invented when the R 18 came along. The rev counter reaches 1750rpm at 80km/h on a country road.

The handling is what you would expect of a chopper - a wonderfully stable, relaxed ride with no need for speed. The chassis, meanwhile, is typical of a BMW - perfectly designed. The R 18 certainly knows how to get the adrenaline going and is a real pleasure to ride. If you fancy treating yourself, go for it, despite the price tag, and invest in the R 18 with a clear conscience.



Technical data

Engine: Four-stroke, two-cylinder boxer engine, air/oil cooled
Cubic capacity: 1,802cm3
Power: 67kW (91hp) at 4,750rpm
Torque: 158Nm at 3,000rpm
Gearbox: 6-speed with dog clutch
Top speed: Over 180km/h
Fuel consumption: 5.6L
Weight: 345kg
Base price: €20,900



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