Big Boxer turns bagger with new BMW R 18 Classic

2021 BMW R 18 Classic

A slew of new models were always going to spin out of the new Big Boxer engine after the debut of the R 18. The first addition to the range broke cover overnight and it is, predictably, a bagger.

BMW R 18 Classic joins the range

The new BMW R 18 Classic is essentially a touring version of the R 18 complete with a large windscreen, passenger seat, saddle bags, additional LED headlights and 16-inch front wheel. It will arrive in Australia during the first quarter of 2021.

BMW R 18 Classic features wire-spoked rims, but unlike the R 18 it has a smaller 16-inch front with 130/90 B 16 tyre.

The highlights of the new BMW R 18 Classic

  • Windshield (removable).
  • Saddle bags (removable).
  • Passenger seat (removable).
  • Additional LED headlight.
  • 16-inch front wheel.
  • Electronic Cruise Control as standard.

The centrepiece of the new BMW R 18 Classic and R 18 is the new 1802 cc two-cylinder ‘Big Boxer’ engine. Both its dominating appearance and technology reflect a continuation of the traditional air-cooled boxer engines. From 2,000 to 4,000 rpm, over 150 Nm of torque is available at all times while peak power is 91 horsepower at 4750 rpm.

Output 67 kW (91 hp) at 4 750 rpm, maximum torque 158 Nm at 3 000 rpm

The centrepiece of the suspension in the new R 18 Classic is a double-loop steel tube frame. Its design perpetuates the longstanding BMW Motorrad tradition of this frame type.

Carefully conceived interface points for the hydraulic lines of the brake, clutch and cable harness likewise allow entirely problem-free installation of higher or lower handlebars in conjunction with matching hydraulic lines and cable harnesses

The suspension elements of the new BMW R 18 Classic and R 18 deliberately dispense with electronic adjustment options. Instead, a telescopic fork and a directly mounted shock with travel-dependent damping and adjustable spring preload looks after suspension duties.

As in the legendary BMW R 5, the tubes of the telescopic fork are encased in fork sleeves

Fork tube diameter is 49 mm, while the suspension travel is 120 mm at the front and 90 mm at the rear.

300 mm front discs with four-piston calipers. BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (part integral). This braking system involves use of the handbrake lever to activate the front and rear brakes together. The footbrake lever only acts on the rear brake.

The new BMW R 18 Classic and R 18 are stopped by a twin disc front end and a single disc brake at the rear in conjunction with four-piston fixed calipers.

Here the R 18 Classic is seen with the screen removed, accessory bars and cylinder head covers

The new BMW R 18 Classic and R 18 feature mid-mount pegs.

Mid-mount peg position. These two images above show the R 18 Classic with and without screen.

Three standard riding modes “Rain”, “Roll” and “Rock” adapt to individual rider preferences and conditions.

In “Rain” mode, throttle response is gentler and the control characteristics of ASC and MSR allow for a wet and therefore more slippery road surface in terms of their regulation characteristics, thereby ensuring a particularly high level of riding safety.
In “Roll” mode, the engine offers optimum throttle response, while ASC and MSR are set to achieve ideal performance on all roads.
The “Rock” riding mode allows the rider to tap into the full dynamic potential of the new R 18 Classic and R 18. Throttle response is direct, while ASC allows a little more slip.

Standard trim also includes ASC (Automatic Stability Control, disengageable) and engine drag torque control (MSR).

The R 18 Classic and R 18 feature a newly developed, strikingly designed LED main headlight with optimised low and high beam light in a high-quality metal housing

Among other options, a reverse assist makes manoeuvring convenient, while the Hill Start Control function facilitates uphill starts.

R 18 Classic comes with electronic cruise control as standard

The new R 18 will be offered worldwide as an exclusive R 18 Classic First Edition and R 18 First Edition right from launch, with a standard model reserved additionally for certain markets. It combines the R 18 look with exclusive equipment features in a classic black finish with white double-lined paintwork. Other highlights include numerous chrome surfaces, a seat badge and a “First Edition” chrome clasp on the side covers.

Another highlight of the “First Edition” is the Welcome Box reserved exclusively for “First Edition” buyers, which includes:
• Box with picture of the engine on the lid
• Historical tank emblems (copper-coloured lettering)
• Historical slotted screws (copper-coloured)
• Assembly gloves
• Assembly screwdriver (can also be used as key ring)
• “R 18 First Edition” cap
• Leather belt with exclusive “R 18 First Edition” clasp
• Book about the almost 100-year history of BMW Motorrad

Common highlights of the new BMW R 18 Classic and R 18

  • Iconic style blending modern technology with authentic materials.
  • Biggest ever BMW boxer engine with a capacity of 1802 cc.
  • Output 67 kW (91 hp) at 4 750 rpm, maximum torque 158 Nm at 3 000 rpm.
  • More than 150 Nm available at all times from 2 000 to 4 000 rpm.
  • Open-running universal-shaft drive based on the classic role model.
  • Elaborately crafted double-loop steel tube frame.
  • Rear swinging arm with enclosed axle drive in rigid-frame design.
  • Telescopic fork with sleeves and cantilever suspension strut featuring travel-dependent damping.
  • Harmonious ergonomics for relaxed riding and optimum control.
  • Disc brakes and front and rear, with wire-spoked wheels.
  • State-of-the-art LED lighting technology, classically interpreted.
  • Adaptive turning light for even better illumination of the road when cornering as an ex works option.
  • Classically designed circular instrument with integrated display.
  • Keyless Ride for convenient function activation by remote control.
  • Two standard riding modes, ASC and MSR.
  • Reverse assist for convenient manoeuvring and Hill Start Control for easy hill starts as ex works options.
  • The R 18 First Edition: exclusive look in paint and chrome.
  • Extensive range of optional extras and Original BMW Motorrad Accessories as well as a cool Ride & Style Collection.

With its OHV valve drive along with a separate engine and transmission housing, the new “Big Boxer” has the same structural features that distinguished the very first BMW Motorrad boxer engine
Highest-capacity twin-cylinder boxer engine ever used in motorcycle series production is a 1802 cc engine, resulting from a 107.1 mm bore and 100 mm stroke.
Cylinder head covers and the engine housing cover are designed in such a way that they are located outside the oil chamber, making them very easy to change or customise. Maximum engine speed is 5 750 rpm, while the idling speed is 950 rpm
Unlike the classic air-cooled 2-valve boxer engines made by BMW Motorrad, the Big Boxer crankshaft, forged from quenched and tempered steel, has an additional main bearing at the centre, which was necessary due to the enormous cylinder volume in order to prevent undesirable bending vibrations of the crankshaft
Lubricating and cooling oil is supplied by a wet sump lubrication system with a two-stage oil pump via sleeve-type chain driven by the crankshaft.
Single-disc dry clutch transmits the torque generated by the engine to the transmission. For the first time it is designed as a self-reinforcing anti-hopping clutch, thereby eliminating unwanted locking of the rear wheel caused by engine drag torque in the event of hard downshifting.
As in all BMW motorcycles with boxer engines, torque is transmitted from the gearbox to the rear wheel in the R 18 via a propeller-shaft or universal-shaft drive with universal joint, shaft and rear-axle drive with bevel and ring gear. The propeller shaft and universal joint are nickel-plated and open, as was commonly the case in BMW Motorrad models up to and including model year 1955
The look of the rigid frame used historically in the R 5 was recreated for the R 18 by BMW developers based on a central cantilever suspension strut that is almost aligned with the frame’s top tube and “concealed”, along with a tube guide for the swinging arm that connects seamlessly to the main frame.
Optionally available footboards (standard in the USA) combine a comfortable seating position with a traditional look, while footrests that are also available as BMW Motorrad Original Accessories ensure a particularly relaxed riding position on the highway. In addition, the BMW Motorrad equipment programme has numerous options for adapting the R 18 Classic and R 18 to individual ergonomic requirements by means of various handlebars and seats
With its windshield, passenger seat and saddle bags, the new R 18 Classic is kitted out for weekend touring for two . The windshield holder is connected to the front of the vehicle at four points. The windshield is inserted at the top into the fork and connected at the bottom with locking brackets on the grab rail, which also carries the additional headlight and indicators. The passenger seat is plugged and screwed in for easy removal. The saddle bags each offer 15.5 litres of luggage volume. If the liners are used, the volume is 10 litres each.


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