Hopes of BMW building an R18 with an 1800cc engine have risen with this new video showing a wild Japanese custom BMW “Departed” R18 in action.
Doesn’t it sound absolutely awesome?
There is no reference to it being an 1800cc engine, but the R18 nomenclature seems to suggest it.
Although, it was first rolled out in December 2018, so it could just be a reference to the year.
We don’t think so. That deep, guttural sound seems to come from a big-capacity engine.
Let’s hope the normally conservative Bavarian company really is considering an 1800cc boxer engine.
At the end of the video the Japanese custom builders from Custom Works Zon speculate on what type of bike BMW will build around the engine.
BMW says: “Further details about the engine and its possible future use will be communicated at a later point in time.”
The Bavarian company has a history of handing over custom builds to outside design houses that eventually turn into production models.
A prominent example is the R nineT which started as the Concept Ninety by Roland Sands Designs in LA.
This time, BMW has handed over an unidentified boxer pushrod engine to Custom Works Zon who built an entire bike around it.
Unlike the new R 1250 ShiftCam models, it doesn’t appear to have liquid cooling, but oil and air-cooled heads.
The heads are chromed on the outside and have a similar fin design to the 1960s boxer engines from BMW. Although that could just be for aesthetics and could be masking liquid-cooling tech.
The custom R18 project is pretty wild and we don’t expect BMW to produce a bike with such a small tank to go with an 1800cc engine.
However, we remain ever hopefully of a big 1.8-litre Boxer!
Other confronting design elements include 21” and 26” wheels, solid aluminium girder forks, steel pipe swingarm or concealed Softail-style suspension.
The R18 follows the equally wild Nmoto Nostalgia based on the R nineT.
Nmoto has now started producing a limited number of these retro R nineT customs.
Like the Nmoto, the R18 draws heavily on BMW models from early years.
Retro and nostalgia bikes are big business at the moment.
Triumph is having enormous success with its Bonneville dozen-model range, Ducati’s Scrambler has become their top seller, Kawasaki has won hearts with its Z900RS and BMW has had enormous success with its R nineT.