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2021 BMW R 18 Classic | Tour Test Review

2021 BMW R 18 Classic
The 2021 BMW R 18 Classic’s Big Boxer engine has a loping rhythm and produces plenty of low-end torque. Photos by Kevin Wing.

The hills are green! Time to up the saddlebags on the BMW R 18 Classic and hit the road.

California has two seasons – green and brown. Green is short, typically lasting only a couple months after winter rains. Come springtime, the rain stops, and the grass and wildflowers enjoy a brief moment of glory before they wither and lose their color. Brown is dry, dusty, and interminable, usually lasting from spring until after the new year. Brown is also the season of wildfires, which have become more intense and widespread in recent years.

2021 BMW R 18 Classic
Winding along Santa Rosa Creek Road, a delightfully neglected backroad on California’s Central Coast, on the 2021 BMW R 18 Classic.

The Los Angeles Times recently reported that the American West’s megadrought – now in its 22nd year – is the driest in 1,200 years. The last time it was this dry was in the early Middle Ages, only a few hundred years after the fall of the Roman Empire. Here in California, the only appreciable amount of precipitation within the past year fell in December, after which the spigot simply turned off. Warm, dry conditions in January and February encouraged green shoots of grass to emerge and wildflowers to bloom earlier than usual.

After eight or nine months of brown, it’s uplifting to see hillsides and fields carpeted with bright green vegetation. Last year was so dry that nothing turned green, so the brown season lasted for the better part of two years. When the green season arrived last year, I knew I had to take advantage of it.

2021 BMW R 18 Classic
The Classic replaces the R 18’s 19-inch front wheel with a 16-incher, and its exhausts are a more conventional shape.

Check out Rider’s 2022 Motorcycle Buyers Guide

Points North

Since its debut in late 2020, BMW’s R 18 lineup has grown to include four models: the R 18 cruiser; the R 18 Classic, which adds a windshield, saddlebags, a passenger seat, cruise control, and driving lights; the R 18 B bagger, which has a handlebar-mounted fairing and hard saddlebags; and the R 18 Transcontinental full-dress tourer. The Classic is the only model we haven’t tested, and it was the perfect choice for a leisurely cruise north through the green hills of California’s Central Coast.

2021 BMW R 18 Classic
Santa Barbara County’s San Rafael Mountains were dusted with snow, and the grapevines in the Santa Ynez Valley were still bare.

Getting into and loading/unloading the Classic’s 15.5-liter saddlebags is easy thanks to quick-release buckles for the straps and form-fitting drop-in liners, which are open-top tote bags with carry-handles as well as snaps to secure them inside the saddlebags. For those who sometimes prefer a minimalist look, the saddlebags, small passenger seat, and windshield are removeable.

The day before my ride, an erratic winter storm dusted the mountains with snow but brought no rain. On the morning of my departure, it was a frosty 39 degrees, so I dressed in multiple layers and switched the Classic’s heated grips to high. With photographer Kevin Wing in my rearview mirrors aboard our Yamaha Tracer 9 GT long-term test bike, we cruised north on U.S. Route 101 along the coast from Ventura to Santa Barbara. The Classic’s small windshield parts the air smoothly around the rider’s head and torso, but the rider’s hands and lower body remain exposed.

2021 BMW R 18 Classic
Taking a break at Cold Spring Tavern, an old stagecoach shop.

Rush-hour traffic compounded by highway construction motivated us to turn inland and try our luck on State Route 192 through well-to-do residential areas nestled in the foothills of the coast-facing Santa Ynez Mountains. We finally escaped the soccer moms and work trucks on State Route 154, a scenic byway that follows an old stagecoach route up and over San Marcos Pass. We took a break to warm up at Cold Spring Tavern, a former stagecoach relay station that dates back to 1865. Though too early for lunch, it’s a favorite spot for delicious tri-tip sandwiches, chili, and other fare. The rustic stone tavern holds special memories for me. Kevin and I ate there before my very first photo shoot – on a Buell XB12XT – back in 2008.

Strong as an Oak

After crossing the Santa Ynez Valley, we reconnected with U.S. 101 and continued north, riding through the rolling hills of Santa Barbara County’s wine country. The grapevines were still bare, but grass grew between the evenly spaced rows – sometimes kept in check by grazing sheep – and gnarled California oaks stood like giant sentries.

2021 BMW R 18 Classic
The Classic’s saddlebags, passenger seat, and windshield can be removed for a stripped-down look.

All R 18 models are built on BMW’s Big Boxer platform, with an air-cooled 1,802cc opposed flat-Twin mounted within a tubular-steel double-cradle frame. When we tested the standard R 18, it sent 80 horsepower and 109 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheel on Jett Tuning’s dyno, with all that grunt working through a 6-speed transmission mated to a single-plate dry slipper clutch and shaft final drive. Like many heavyweight cruisers, the clutch requires a firm pull (both levers are adjustable for reach). My boot didn’t easily fit under the shift lever, so for upshifts I used the heel shifter.

Throttle-by-wire enables three ride modes – Rock, Roll, and Rain – that alter throttle response, idle character, engine-drag torque control, and traction-control intervention. As the mode names imply, Rock offers more assertive throttle response and a lumpier feel at idle, whereas Roll is more relaxed, and Rain dials things back even further for sketchy conditions.

2021 BMW R 18 Classic
Behind the windshield is a single, round gauge in a chrome bezel. The analog speedometer surrounds indicator lights and a multifunction LCD display, but fuel level and ambient temperature are not provided.

The R 18 Classic is a long machine, stretching 68 inches between the axles. Add in lazy rake and long trail figures, and the result is a motorcycle that’s happier on straight roads than tight curves. The wide pullback handlebar provides plenty of steering leverage, and the Classic is stable and obedient, but limited cornering clearance and a rear shock with 3.5 inches of firmly damped travel necessitate a modest pace on backroads. Broken, patched, and potholed pavement can be jarring.

After warming up with hot coffee and stuffing ourselves with giant burritos at a Mexican restaurant off State Route 1 near Morro Bay, we wound along Old Creek Road, passing Whale Rock Reservoir and groves of avocado trees before climbing out of a tight canyon and riding through ranchland. Crossing State Route 41, the narrow byway becomes Santa Rosa Creek Road, a narrow, neglected 16-mile stretch of pavement that’s perfect for a BMW GS but a rough ride on the Classic. The road cuts through more ranchland and follows its namesake creek toward the coast.

2021 BMW R 18 Classic
After a cold night in Cambria, the BMW’s seat was covered in frost. With the seat’s firm padding and not much room to move around, I was ready for a break after about an hour.

We spent the night in Cambria, a charming seaside village that’s one of the last places to find food or lodging before riding Route 1 north to Big Sur. Our home for the night was the Bluebird Inn, which for many years was a gathering place for Rider staffers and contributors during the annual summer pilgrimage up to Laguna Seca for the Superbike races. Back then, the Bluebird was owned by the Cooper family, and they’d provide a cooler of beer and snacks for our motley crew. We’d share laughs and stories on the Bluebird’s shaded patio before walking to dinner. The Coopers retired a few years ago, but the family that bought the place has retained the motel’s cozy vibe and friendly atmosphere.

Don’t Feed the Elephant Seals

Kevin and I woke up dark and early to find the seats of our bikes covered in frost. There was no coffee in our rooms, and nothing in Cambria opened until 7 a.m., so we grumbled as we quietly started the bikes and rode north to a parking area right on the coast for some sunrise photos. As we polished the BMW’s chrome and positioned the bike just so, we heard the distinctive barking and fart-like noises of elephant seals.

2021 BMW R 18 Classic
Elephant seals rest on a haul-out beach near San Simeon.

We walked a few yards to a small bluff to find a pair of juvenile male seals fighting each other on the beach. With no females nearby, this was merely practice for when the males got older and would need to fight full-grown alpha males – which can be up to 16 feet long and weigh 5,000 lbs – to compete for mates.

A little further north, within sight of the Piedras Blancas lighthouse, is a dedicated parking area and elevated boardwalk where visitors can view an elephant seal haul-out area. A population of 25,000 elephant seals gathers at various times of the year along an eight-mile stretch of coast. Pups are born in December and January, and in the early months of the year you can see enormous alphas protecting their harem and exhausted mothers feeding their black-furred pups. The adults go months without food or water while on land during breeding season, so mostly they just lie about like giant sausages on the beach.

2021 BMW R 18 Classic
The Classic has LED driving lights, and the Premium Package includes an adaptive turning light that adjusts for lean angle.

Backroads & Byways

California Route 1 is world famous, and for good reason. It hugs the rugged coast for hundreds of miles, and the section from San Simeon up to Big Sur and Monterey is as beautiful and challenging as roads get. But in the shadows of well-known scenic roads are hidden gems like Santa Rosa Creek Road.

2021 BMW R 18 Classic
“Now where did I put that bag of Cow Chow?” The 15.5-liter saddlebags include handy tote-bag liners.

GEAR UP
Helmet: Schuberth C4 Pro Modular
Jacket: Scorpion Morpheus
Gloves: Alpinestars Patron Gore-Tex
Pants: Scorpion Covert Pro Jeans
Boots: Umberto Luce Crimson Boots

As we headed south, past the iconic Morro Rock, we left Route 1 and took South Bay Boulevard past the marshy Morro Bay Estuary, and then Turri Road along Los Osos Creek and through rolling ranchland. My favorite road in the area, which I discovered just a few years ago, is Prefumo Canyon Road. It climbs up and over the northern side of the coastal range, briefly turns to hard-packed dirt as it winds through a tunnel of trees, and then becomes See Canyon Road, which twists its way among apple farms and vineyards. It ends at San Luis Bay Road, which soon connects to Avila Beach Road for a short ride to Port San Luis, where an old wooden pier juts into San Luis Obispo Bay.

2021 BMW R 18 Classic
Jutting into the north side of San Luis Obispo Bay, the 1,320-foot-long Harford Pier was first built in the late 1800s. It’s home to several restaurants, fish markets, and fishing charters.

This ride was about visiting old favorite backroads and byways, and refamiliarizing ourselves with newer ones. You can find our route on REVER in the Rider Magazine Community. Download the free app or visit rever.co.

Chrome & Pinstripes

Our 2021 R 18 Classic test bike is outfitted with a few extras. It has the First Edition Package ($2,150), which includes Black Storm Metallic paint with white pinstripes and chrome-plated levers, covers, fittings, and calipers. It has the Premium Package ($1,450), which includes BMW’s Adaptive Headlight, Headlight Pro, Reverse Assist, and Hill Start Control. And it has the Select Package ($225), which adds heated grips, a locking fuel filler cap, and an anti-theft alarm.

2021 BMW R 18 Classic
California’s Central Coast stretches for 350 miles, from Port Hueneme in the south to Santa Cruz in the north. It’s a motorcyclist’s paradise.

Instrumentation is limited to a single gauge that includes an analog speedometer and an inset LCD, which displays ride mode, gear position, and an info screen that can be scrolled through various functions: tachometer, tripmeters, odometer, voltmeter, fuel economy, average speed, clock, and date. A touring bike in this price range should also provide fuel level and ambient temperature. We averaged 38 mpg from the 4.2-gallon tank, for a range of about 160 miles. The low-fuel light comes on with one gallon remaining.

End of the Road

Two full days in the saddle gave me an appreciation for what the R 18 Classic offers. Its traditional styling, especially the black-and-white-pinstripes First Edition version inspired by BMW’s 1930s-era R 5, fits well within the expectations of many heavyweight cruiser buyers. But with the opposed cylinders of its Big Boxer jutting out to the sides, the R 18 does not conform to the usual V-Twin formula.

2021 BMW R 18 Classic

The engine has the right sound and feel, and it produces plenty of low-end torque, but the cylinders create a barrier that prevents riders from stretching out their legs. On long rides, there’s limited space for changing hip and knee angle. Due to the placement of the heel-toe shifter, brake pedal, and dual exhaust pipes, the small footboards are also somewhat cramped (at least for size-11 boots). The firm seat is supportive, but there isn’t much room to move around.

Beneath the R 18 Classic’s throwback aesthetic is a fully modern motorcycle with ride modes, cruise control, linked ABS, traction control, and other electronic rider aids. The rhythmic lope of its big Twin, especially in Roll mode, encourages a relaxed, unhurried pace, to slow down and appreciate the view. Enjoy the season of green – and the ride – while you can.

2021 BMW R 18 Classic

2021 BMW R 18 Classic Specs

Base Price: $19,495 ($18,995 in 2022)
Price as Tested: $23,320 (First Edition Package, Premium Package, Select Package)
Warranty: 3 yrs., 36,000 miles
Website: bmwmotorcycles.com
ENGINE
Type: Air-/oil-cooled, longitudinal opposed flat-Twin, OHV w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 1,802cc (110ci)
Bore x Stroke: 107.1 x 100.0mm
Compression Ratio: 9.6:1
Valve Insp. Interval: 6,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: BMS-O EFI w/ 48mm throttle body
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 4.2 qt cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated single-plate dry slipper clutch
Final Drive: Shaft
CHASSIS
Frame: Tubular-steel double cradle w/ tubular-steel double-sided swingarm
Wheelbase: 68.1 in.
Rake/Trail: 32.7 degrees/5.9 in.
Seat Height: 28.0 in.
Suspension, Front: 49mm telescopic fork, no adj., 4.7 in. travel
Rear: Single cantilever shock, adj. for spring preload, 3.5 in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 300mm discs w/ 4-piston opposed calipers & ABS
Rear: Single 300mm disc w/ 4-piston opposed caliper & ABS
Wheels, Front: Spoked, 3.0 x 16 in.
Rear: Spoked, 5.0 x 16 in.
Tires, Front: Tube-type, 130/90-B16
Rear: Tube-type, 180/65-B16
Wet Weight: 805 lbs.
Load Capacity: 430 lbs.
GVWR: 1,235 lbs.
PERFORMANCE
Horsepower: 80 hp @ 4,500 rpm (2021 R 18, rear-wheel dyno)
Torque: 109 lb-ft @ 2,900 rpm (2021 R 18, rear-wheel dyno)
Fuel Capacity: 4.2 gals.
Fuel Consumption: 38 mpg
Estimated Range: 160 miles

The post 2021 BMW R 18 Classic | Tour Test Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

BMW Motorrad Canada Unveils R 18 Customs

BMW R 18 custom motorcycles

BMW Motorrad Canada has revealed the results of its first-ever motorcycle customization project. The company has partnered with three talented builders from across Canada and given them each a new BMW R 18 as their canvas.

The selected builders are Jay Donovan from Victoria, British Columbia, Konquer Motorcycles from Kelowna, British Columbia, and Augment Motorworks from Toronto, Ontario.

Read our BMW R 18 Road Test Review

The builders revealed their bikes to BMW Motorrad Canada as well as Roland Stocker, BMW Motorrad Project Manager for the Heritage models. “These projects show how important it is to create bikes that inspire creativity and act as a good base for owners and builders alike,” said Roland Stocker.

BMW R 18 custom

Stocker, who was essentially involved in the development of the R 18, traveled to Canada for the reveal. He was not only impressed by the completed bikes, but also by the builders themselves. “The vision, craftsmanship, and quality of work was very impressive, especially considering how young some of the builders are,” said Stocker. “I was very pleased with the result.”

Due to its classic design and extravagant proportions, the R 18 serves as an ideal base for customization work. The centerpiece of the R 18 is its 1,802cc, 2-cylinder “Big Boxer” engine – the most powerful 2-cylinder boxer engine ever used in a production motorcycle.

“We wanted to demonstrate the potential of the R 18 and designed a project to do just that,” said Johann von Balluseck, Director of BMW Motorrad Canada. “We chose builders that would approach this project in different ways in hopes they would give us three very different styles – and that’s exactly what we got.”

The only requirements for the builds were that the custom bikes remain operational and road legal. This summer, the three motorcycles will be included in a national retailer tour, visiting locations all across Canada.

Jay Donovan – R 18 Future Café

BMW R 18 custom motorcycle future cafe

The R 18 Future Café is a study in metal fabrication by artisan motorcycle builder Jay Donovan. Donovan’s design began with a desire to reroute the exhaust up and over the cylinder head and straight back, ending under the seat. A fully redesigned tank and upper section in bare, polished aluminum, and chopped front and rear fenders in contrasting black make for a long and sleek look.

Augment Motorworks – R 18 Tattooed Chopper

BMW R 18 custom motorcycle tattooed chopper

Nick Acosta from Augment Motorworks has applied the classic American chopper style to the big German boxer, which he has nicknamed “El Boxeador.” Fine, tattoo-themed paintwork paired with a sissy bar, a hand-carved headlight mount, mini ape hanger handlebars, a cocktail shaker exhaust, and a custom seat transform the bike into an instant classic with light-hearted touches.

Konquer Motorcycles – R 18 Diamond Custom

BMW R 18 custom motorcycle diamond custom

Rob Thiessen and his team at Konquer Motorcycles have taken the R 18 and created a factory custom dragster. Bronze Metallic paintwork and pinstriping, modified front and rear fenders, a custom seat, and a diamond motif throughout create a low-and-long factory custom look. In addition, gold-painted BMW roundels and an electronically adjustable exhaust help tie the new look together.

The post BMW Motorrad Canada Unveils R 18 Customs first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

BMW Reveals R 18 M and R 18 Aurora Customs

R 18 M and R 18 Aurora Customs
The BMW R 18 M is one of two R 18 customs unveiled at the Motor Bike Expo in Verona, Italy.

Since introducing its Big Boxer-powered R 18 in 2020, BMW has invited some of the world’s best customizers to put their own spin on Germany’s heavyweight cruiser. At the Motor Bike Expo in Verona, Italy, BMW unveiled the R 18 M and R 18 Aurora customs.

The creativity seen with previous R 18 customs, such as Kingston Custom’s Art Deco-styled “Spirit of Passion,” Roland Sands’ R 18 Dragster, and Shinya Kimura’s post-apocalyptic ‘The Wal,’ has been nothing short of jaw-dropping.

The latest customs are the result of the collaboration between BMW Motorrad Italy and its dealer network. The R 18 M was developed by Italian magazine LowRide and created by American Dreams. Commissioned by BMW Motorrad Roma, the R 18 Aurora was created by Garage 221.

RELATED: 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental Road Test Review

BMW R 18 M

M is the letter that distinguishes the sport versions of BMW four-wheeled models, and today it also includes motorcycles like the M 1000 RR. The source of inspiration for the BMW R 18 M project by the editorial staff of LowRide is the following: the idea is to give the BMW cruiser a sportier, more streamlined look, avoiding exaggerations while showing respect the R 18’s retro lines.

R 18 M and R 18 Aurora Customs

“Stability, long wheelbase, and readiness of the 1,800cc Big Boxer instigate lightning starts and deserve, in our opinion, a sporty and retro look,” said Giuseppe Roncen, director of LowRide. “In the R 18 M design, we find suggestions from BMW Motorrad tradition and cues from the four-wheelers: M stands for Motorsport.”

The work has focused on chassis, suspension set-up, bodywork, and accessories, leaving mechanics and electronics unchanged as the natural strengths of the R 18. Lightened and with a different riding position, the BMW R 18 M promises to be even more fun to ride.

R 18 M and R 18 Aurora Customs

“We remain curious to experience its potential,” continued Roncen. “Significantly lightened, the bike should also be easy to handle due to its riding position, which is more compact and forward loaded, without exaggeration.”

The R 18 M project was made possible by BMW Italia and was born in the wake of the emotions that this bike can give: a fun cruiser, powerful and lively, with a big heart and an infinite torque. LowRide has involved some of the best Italian craftsmen and companies specialized in the sector.

R 18 M and R 18 Aurora Customs

The realization of the sketches was entrusted to designer Oberdan Bezzi, already a partner of LowRide in the past. He has managed to make it an exciting power cruiser without upsetting the essence of the BMW R 18. American Dreams handled the assembly and coordinated the work. Elaboratorio, specializing in prototyping and modeling, created the headlight shroud, lower cowl, and tailsection.

Carbon Italy handled the head covers, intake ducts, and other carbon fiber details. The short exhaust pipe, designed to make the line more compact and allow greater lean angles, bears the signature of ER Exhaust Revolution. L.R. Leather covered the saddle in leather, while the paintwork was entrusted to Dox Art Factory. Rizoma provided mirrors, grips, and universal indicators for the accessories.

R 18 M and R 18 Aurora Customs
BMW R 18 M

Click here for the American Dreams interview

BMW R 18 Aurora

The idea and desire of Garage 221 to create a custom bike based on the BMW R 18 found its origins a while ago, at the presentation of the bike at EICMA 2019. The lines of the new BMW cruiser, innovative and at the same time faithfully traditional, deserved “complementary elements and an even more Heritage spirit, starting from the soft lines of the tank to the characteristic shapes of the boxer,” said Pier Francesco Marchio of Garage 221.

R 18 M and R 18 Aurora Customs
BMW R 18 Aurora

The project initially focused on the study of the different sections of the bike, keeping in mind the need to connect the new elements in a unique harmony of lines, taking inspiration from the cruisers of the 1970s, which have always impressed Pier Francesco “for their impressive aesthetic fluidity.” Distinctive elements of the BMW R 18 Aurora are the wraparound fenders and the batwing fairing.

R 18 M and R 18 Aurora Customs

Modifications that led to the R 18 Aurora stem from Garage 221’s deep knowledge of BMW Motorrad history. The saddle was borrowed in its entirety from a 2005 BMW R 1200 C. The fairing supports are adapted from parts on a 1982 BMW R 100 and a 1991 BMW K 75. Even for the color of the body, a 1983 BMW R 100 RT was used as a reference, customizing the graphics in its shades and intensity. The front and rear fender supports, saddle supports, and license plate holder arms are entirely handmade.

R 18 M and R 18 Aurora Customs

The exhaust pipes were made in collaboration with Leo Vince, taking particular care of the sound, to make it even more full-bodied and captivating. Their design has been specifically studied to give a very personal and muscular line to the central part of the R 18.

R 18 M and R 18 Aurora Customs

The R 18 Aurora’s oil cooler grille gives a classy natural touch, inspired by the grille of BMW’s cars from the 1960s. “It was a lot of hard work,” said Pier Francesco, “but the result is truly stunning. The textured paintwork of the cylinder head covers, the injection housings, the central crankcase and our oil cooler grille make everything look homogeneous, creating a unique effect with the cylinder block and the bevel gear.”

R 18 M and R 18 Aurora Customs

Click here for the Garage 221 interview

The post BMW Reveals R 18 M and R 18 Aurora Customs first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2021 BMW R 1250 GS | Road Test Review

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
For four decades, the BMW R-GS series — 80, 100, 1000, 1100, 1150, 1200, and 1250 — has been the standard bearer in the adventure bike market. The 2021 R 1250 GS 40 Years Edition celebrates this milestone. (Photos by Kevin Wing)

When I first laid eyes on our 2021 BMW R 1250 GS 40 Years of GS Edition test bike, I thought of my Uncle Clive. He had worked for the doomed British Leyland for years before accepting a role with BMW. His garage, once the perpetual home to a gleaming Rover, was now occupied by a stunning 5 Series sedan, but it was the new motorcycle, waiting in the shadows, which drew my attention. It was unlike any I had seen before.

The air-cooled cylinder heads of its opposed Twin jutted out brazenly from the sides of the engine cases, protected by crash bars. Though it wasn’t a dirtbike, it shared some of the same characteristics, like a long, single-piece seat and a high, fixed front mudguard. Most distinguishing of all, the rear wheel seemed to float in space. Uncle Clive, always ready to explain an engineering feature, eagerly directed me to view it from the other side and began a lengthy monologue on the benefits of a combined single-sided swingarm and driveshaft. The details were lost on me. I was only 12 at the time.

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
1980 BMW R 80 GS
2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
1987 BMW R 100 GS

It was 1984. What I didn’t know back then was how bold the path was that BMW had blazed a few years earlier with the R 80 G/S, the first motorcycle that delivered on-road comfort and performance and genuine off-road capability in equal measure. Between 1981 and 1985, the rugged G/S proved its mettle with four wins in the grueling Paris-Dakar Rally and three wins in the Baja 1000. And that single-sided swingarm – then called the Monolever – was lighter, stronger, and less expensive to manufacture than a two-sided swingarm with shaft drive, and it simplified repairs and maintenance.

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
1994 BMW R 1100 GS
2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
1999 BMW R 1150 GS

What I also didn’t know back then was that those two letters – G for Gelande (“terrain” in German) and S for StraBe (“street”), the slash between them soon dropped – would evolve into an abbreviation for adventure long before ADV stickers found their way onto aluminum panniers. Or that, years later, I would watch Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman ride R 1150 GS Adventures – descendants of that original R 80 G/S – around the world and be inspired to embark on my own adventures.

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
2004 BMW R 1200 GS
2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
2008 BMW R 1200 GS

I rode an R 1100 GS with the Dakar-style tank through the soggy mountains of Wales. My wife and I did two-up tours on R 1200 GSs through the canyons of Arizona and Utah, across Canada, and through the wilds of Chile and Argentina. I rode the first liquid-cooled 1200 down California’s fog-shrouded Highway 1 and around the Rockies of Colorado. I’ve ridden them in snow, rain, rubble, and the dreaded sand. Once, I somersaulted a GS down a hill at BMW’s off-road Rider Academy in South Carolina, picked it up, and rode it back to base.

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
2013 BMW R 1200 GS
2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
2021 BMW R 1250 GS

The earlier models required close attention to the oil level, and although I’ve suffered the odd puncture, a torn tire, and a luggage rack that disintegrated after 11 hours on Chilean roads, I’ve never had one fail on me. Not once.

There’s an obvious through-line from Uncle Clive’s R 80 G/S to the 2021 R 1250 GS tested here, but BMW’s flagship adventure bike has come a long way over the past four decades. Over multiple generations, engine displacement grew from 798cc to 1,254cc and output increased from 50 horsepower to 136, measured at the crank. (On Jett Tuning’s dyno, our test bike grunted out 119 horsepower at 7,900 rpm and 91 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm at the rear wheel.) Air cooling evolved into air/oil cooling and then air/liquid cooling. Cylinders had two valves, then four, and overhead valves evolved into dual overhead cams with variable valve timing. It had five speeds, then six, and a single-plate dry clutch evolved into a multi-plate wet clutch.

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
An R 100 GS flanked by the 40 Years of GS Edition R 1250 GS and R 1250 GS Adventure.

As the engine and drivetrain evolved, so did the chassis. The Monolever was replaced by the Paralever, solving the problem of shaft jacking. The telescopic fork was replaced by the Telelever, which moved suspension action from the fork tubes to a single shock attached to the front of the frame and an A-arm, reducing front-end dive under braking. A single-disc front brake and rear drum were replaced by dual discs up front and a single disc out back.

We recently tested the new Kawasaki KLR650, a dual-sport that was introduced in 1984 (as a 600), just a few years after the R 80 G/S. Resistance to change and dedication to simplicity (and affordability) have been points of pride for the KLR, so much so that adding electronic fuel injection and optional ABS on the 2022 model was a Big Deal.

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
Inspired by the “bumblebee” R 100 GS, the 40 Years of GS Edition Package also includes yellow handguards, special graphics, a gold handlebar, and a stainless-steel luggage carrier.

BMW, on the other hand, has taken an early-adopter approach to technology. Fuel injection and ABS were offered on the GS in the early ’90s. Traction control (known as ASC) and Enduro ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) were offered in 2008. Five years later, the GS got throttle-by-wire, riding modes, a Multi-Controller wheel for navigating settings and menus, multiple ABS modes, and Dynamic ESA that adapted the suspension to riding conditions. In 2019, the GS got the ShiftCam variable-valve timing system, a 5.7-inch TFT color display, and infotainment via Bluetooth connectivity to a smartphone. And the latest GS has a 6-axis IMU, which provides input for cornering ABS, lean-angle-sensitive traction control, and semi-active suspension, all of which have different settings for each riding mode. A new option on the 2024 model will supposedly do your taxes, but don’t quote me on that.

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
Although many R 1250 GS owners stick to the pavement, in the right hands it’s a surprisingly capable off-roader.

The GS’s enduring and broad appeal stems from its excellent handling, versatile performance, comfortable ride, comprehensive features, and renowned durability and reliability. It’s a capable canyon carver as well as a comfortable highway cruiser, great for loading up with a passenger and gear, and is surprisingly capable off-road. Nearly every GS owner – and motojournalist – has, at one time or another, described the bike as the Swiss Army knife of motorcycles.

Riding through Chile and Argentina with my wife on an R 1200 GS is one of the highlights of my motorcycling experience. Patagonia’s vast mountain ranges are a delight, but finding fuel was sometimes a challenge, and on one desolate backroad, I gladly accepted a sheep farmer’s offer of some fuel he kept in an old watering can. It’s at times like these you will be grateful for the knock sensors, which allow the GS to run on low-octane gas.

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
Special engine guards and gold cross-spoked wheels are part of the 40 Years of GS Edition Package.

Riding the R 1250 GS, I recalled that first trip through the Welsh mountains on the ’90s-era 1100. The performance improvements are night and day, with a huge increase in power but only a few pounds of additional weight. While the difference in acceleration is notable, the most pleasing aspect of the 1250’s engine is the abundant torque across the rev range. It allows for lazy short-shifting when relaxed riding is called for, or rewarding grunt when you feel like pushing the envelope.

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
At the heart of the model’s enduring appeal is its exceptional versatility.

The most telling improvement is the difference in handling and suspension. While older GS models responded begrudgingly to spirited inputs, our 1250 test bike, which was equipped with the optional Premium Package ($3,925) that includes Dynamic ESA, Ride Modes Pro, and a whole lot more, rolls out the red carpet. The latest version of BMW’s semi-active suspension setup now takes input from the IMU and automatically adjusts for various loads. The Telelever front end has always dulled meaningful feedback, but you can push the GS close to its limits with relaxed confidence. Chassis pitch is minimal and suspension compliance is phenomenal. It’s like riding on air.

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
BMW’s Atacama soft luggage is designed for long-distance adventure.

BMW made a few updates for 2021, starting with standard Integral ABS Pro. As before, the system is linked front to rear, so the hand lever actuates both front and rear brakes, but the brake pedal only actuates the rear brake. The ABS software has been updated to improve braking stability, and it works in conjunction with the IMU for better control on inclines. ABS Pro adapts to different on-and off-road conditions based on riding mode, with special settings in Enduro Pro and Dynamic Pro modes, and a more compact ABS unit is one pound lighter. Overall braking performance was excellent, whether riding solo or with the GS fully loaded and my wife riding pillion.

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
Solo or with a passenger, with or without luggage, on the road or off of it, the BMW R 1250 GS is an excellent all-around touring bike.

A new Eco riding mode takes advantage of the ShiftCam system to maximize range from the 5.3-gallon tank. All-around LED lights are standard, and a new adaptive headlight is available as an option, adjusting the sideward angle of the beam up to 35 degrees relative to lean angle to light up curves. Hill Start Control also comes as standard and was a useful addition in the traffic of hilly San Francisco. Just apply sharp pressure to either the brake lever or pedal at a stop, and the rear brake stays locked until you pull away. With optional HSC Pro (part of the Premium Package), the function can be customized to automatically activate when coming to a standstill on a gradient, and there are special settings for use in Enduro and Enduro Pro off-road modes.

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review

Our test bike featured the 40 Years of GS Edition Package ($1,750), which is inspired by the “bumblebee” black-and-yellow paint scheme of the R 100 GS. In addition to yellow accents and special graphics, it has a gold handlebar with yellow handguards, yellow cylinder head covers, gold anodized cross-spoke wheels, and a stainless-steel luggage rack. Our test bike was further equipped with BMW’s side case carriers and Atacama soft side cases and luggage roll ($2,352).

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
Throttle-by-wire works with an IMU to enable a full suite of rider aids, comfort features, and optional equipment. Ride modes, semi-active suspension, cornering ABS, and lean-angle-sensitive traction control are all customizable. They can be selected and adjusted using the Multi-Controller wheel and other switches, with info displayed on the color TFT screen.

There certainly is a lot of newness to this latest GS, with all its sensors and settings, with its customizability and high-tech sophistication. But for someone like me, who has put more miles on more GSs in more places than I have on any other motorcycle, there’s a lot of familiarity too. Like the distinctive sound of the boxer Twin when it fires up. Or the feel of the engine when hard on the gas. Or the sensation of leaning into a turn, aided by those horizontal cylinders keeping the weight down low.

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
Wherever you’re headed, the GS will take you there.

Experience can’t help but color our opinions, as unbiased as we may try to be. So, if I’m honest, I’m more than a little partial to the big GS. Uncle Clive certainly started the fire all those years ago, but the embers were stoked over the course of thousands of miles in all sorts of conditions on three different continents. The GS has proven itself to me time and again, and this latest model is the most impressive yet.

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review
Our 2021 BMW R 1250 GS 40 Years of GS Edition is also equipped with the Premium package, Light package, side carriers, and Atacama soft luggage, for an as-tested price of $26,071.

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Specs

Base Price: $17,995
Price as Tested: $26,071 (Premium & Lights Packages, 40 Years of GS Edition, side case carriers & luggage)
Warranty: 3 yrs., 36,000 miles
Website: bmwmotorcycles.com

ENGINE
Type: Liquid-cooled, longitudinal opposed-Twin, DOHC w/ VVT, 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 1,254cc
Bore x Stroke: 102.5 x 76.0mm
Compression Ratio: 12.5:1
Valve Insp. Interval: 6,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: BMS-X EFI
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 4.2 qt. cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: Shaft, 2.91:1

CHASSIS
Frame: Tubular-steel bridge frame w/ engine as stressed member & Paralever cast aluminum single-sided swingarm
Wheelbase: 59.6 in.
Rake/Trail: 25.5 degrees/3.9 in.
Seat Height: 33.5/34.3 in.
Suspension, Front: Telelever w/ single shock, electronically adj. & 7.5 in. travel
Rear: Single shock, electronically adj. & 7.9 in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual discs w/ 305mm floating rotors, opposed 4-piston calipers & linked ABS
Rear: Single disc w/ 276mm rotor, 2-piston floating caliper & linked ABS
Wheels, Front: Spoked tubeless, 3.0 x 19 in. (as tested)
Rear: Spoked tubeless, 4.5 x 17 in. (as tested)
Tires, Front: 120/70-R19
Rear: 170/60-R17
Wet Weight: 548 lbs.
Load Capacity: 455 lbs.
GVWR: 1,025 lbs.

PERFORMANCE
Horsepower: 119 @ 7,900 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
Torque: Torque: 91 lb-ft @ 6,500 rpm (rear-wheel dyno)
Fuel Capacity: 5.3 gal.
Fuel Consumption: 47 mpg
Estimated Range: 248 miles

2021 BMW R 1250 GS Road Test Review

The post 2021 BMW R 1250 GS | Road Test Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental | Road Test Review

2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental
The 2022 BMW R 18 B “Bagger” and R 18 Transcontinental (above) are BMW Motorrad’s first foray into the heavyweight traditional touring cruiser segment. (Photos by Kevin Wing)

BMW has long been committed to designing and building motorcycles for travel, and the all-new 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental continues that tradition in a new segment for the German brand. BMW’s current lineup is filled with sport-tourers, adventure tourers, luxury tourers, and even a bagger, but all occupy the modern, performance-oriented end of the spectrum. Many are popular and sell in respectable quantities each year, especially on a global scale.

But here in North America – the biggest market for large-displacement motorcycles – cruisers are king. And when it comes to heavyweight touring cruisers, Harley-Davidson is by far the dominant brand.

2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental
With a batwing-style fairing, audio and infotainment system, hard saddlebags, a trunk, a passenger seat with a wrap-around backrest, and other amenities, the R 18 Transcontinental is fully equipped for two-up, long-haul touring.

According to data from Infobike, two Harley-Davidson model families – Street Glide and Road Glide – accounted for 65% of global sales for heavyweight cruisers last year. If you add in Harley’s Electra Glide, Sport Glide, and Road King models, that number jumps to 84%. Of 67,859 units sold worldwide, Harley-Davidson accounts for 57,178 of them, and 49,331 (73%) were sold in the U.S.

That’s a lot of iron.

Carving out even a small slice of the big cruiser pie can be profitable, which is why the Japanese brands entered the traditional cruiser segment years ago. Taking a bite out of Harley’s market share motivated Polaris to launch Victory in 1998 and buy Indian in 2011. BMW gave it a shot, too, when it launched the R 1200 C back in 1998, but its small engine, funky ergonomics, and out-of-touch styling failed to resonate with buyers.

A Bigger Boxer

For its traditional cruiser reboot, BMW focused on both style and substance. First, it needed an engine – a big one. Just as Harley-Davidson is known for V-Twins, BMW is known for its horizontally opposed “boxer” Twins. In the spring of 2019, BMW unveiled a prototype engine it called the Big Boxer, which was the centerpiece of The Revival Birdcage, a minimalist custom built by Revival Cycles and shown at the Handbuilt Show in Austin.

Later that year, BMW unveiled the Concept R18 /2 and revealed that the Big Boxer displaced 1,800cc, making it by far the largest boxer to come out of Germany. In early April 2020, just as the pandemic began to suck all the air out of the room, BMW announced a production-ready model called the R 18. Rather than the modern styling of the Concept R18 /2, the R 18 had traditional styling inspired by the 1930s-era BMW R 5.

2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental
Aimed at solo riders, the R 18 B foregoes the trunk and has a slimmer seat and a shorter windscreen. It also weighs substantially less than the TC.

Greg’s Gear
Helmet: HJC RPHA 90S
Jacket: Vanson Stormer
Gloves: Highway 21 Trigger
Pants: Fly Racing Resistance Jeans
Boots: Sidi Gavia Gore-Tex

When we finally got a chance to test the R 18 late last year, former EIC Mark Tuttle wrote: “At 788 pounds fully fueled sitting on a long 68.1-inch wheelbase, the R 18 looks and feels overbuilt, like there’s a roomful of bagger and dresser bodywork tucked away somewhere just waiting to be hung on the sturdy platform.” The R 18 Classic, equipped with a windshield and semi-soft saddlebags, soon joined the lineup. But it wasn’t until this past summer that BMW announced the models that would compete with all those Road Glides and Street Glides.

Flight of the Hard Baggers

The R 18 B “Bagger” and R 18 Transcontinental fully realize the vision of what the Big Boxer platform was meant to be. Both have a handlebar-mounted batwing-style fairing, an infotainment system, hard saddlebags, and a comfy passenger seat. And the Transcontinental adds a top trunk with a wrap-around passenger backrest.

BMW invited Rider to test both models at their U.S. press launch in Denver, Colorado. After the one-day press ride, I spent four days riding an R 18 Transcontinental (TC) more than 1,500 miles through five states, with my wife, Carrie, as a passenger and the luggage packed full of gear.

PHOTO CAPTION: Carrie and I loaded up the R 18 TC and set off on a 1,500 mile journey. Starting in Denver, we rode west through the Rockies, crossing the Continental Divide several times (Loveland Pass, Hoosier Pass, and Monarch Pass) and visiting Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. We continued west through Utah and Arizona, riding through the red rocks of Monument Valley, crossing the Colorado River, and visiting the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. (Photos by the author)

Whereas the K 1600 B and K 1600 Grand America are high-performance, high-tech touring bikes powered by BMW’s inline-Six, the R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental take a different approach. The K 1600 mill is ultra-smooth and makes 130 horsepower and 106 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel. Traditional cruiser buyers aren’t concerned about horsepower. They want generous torque at low revs, and they want an engine with rumbling sound and feel. When we put the R 18 on Jett Tuning’s dyno, it made 109 lb-ft of rear-wheel torque at just 2,900 rpm, with more than 100 lb-ft of torque on tap from 2,000 to 3,600 rpm. Horsepower topped out at 80 at 4,500 rpm, and the rev limiter kicks in 6,000 rpm.

2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental
BMW’s 1,802cc Big Boxer lives up to its name.

The R 18 B and R 18 TC are both equipped for long-haul touring, but they’ll appeal to different buyers. With its low windshield and slim seat, the R 18 B is suited for solo touring and boulevard cruising with the occasional passenger. Designed for two-up touring, the R 18 Transcontinental is equipped with a tall windshield, a wide seat, wind deflectors, driving lights, heated seats, highway bars, a trunk, and a passenger backrest. The saddlebags hold 27 liters each, and the TC’s trunk holds 48 liters. Fuel capacity is a generous 6.3 gallons (up from 4.2 on the R 18), and over the course of more than 1,500 miles on the TC, every one of them ridden two-up and fully loaded, we averaged 42.5 mpg, which translates to about 268 miles of range.

The Right Tool for the Job

The R 18 B and R 18 TC are not just the R 18 with a fairing and luggage tacked on. Their shared frame was beefed-up to carry more weight; even with their higher curb weights, load capacity meets or exceeds that of the standard R 18. Compared to the R 18, the B and TC have a shorter wheelbase (66.7 inches, down from 68.1), less rake (27.3 degrees, down from 32.7 degrees), and more trail (7.2 inches, up from 5.9). They also have more rear suspension travel (4.7 inches, up from 3.5), which translates to additional cornering clearance (35 degrees, up from 32), and the rear shock auto-levels to accommodate various loads. The B and TC are heavier, but they handle better, especially on twisty roads and during low-speed maneuvers.

2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental
Compared to the standard R 18, a beefed-up frame increases load capacity, revised chassis geometry improves handling, and additional rear suspension travel increases cornering clearance.

The R 18 B and R 18 TC bikes we tested were equipped with optional packages that BMW believes most buyers will want. The Select Package adds a locking fuel filler cap, central luggage locks, a tire-pressure monitoring system, an anti-theft alarm, and heated seats on the B (they’re standard on the TC). The Premium Package adds the Adaptive Headlight with a mechanical cornering light function, which swivels +/-35 degrees to illuminate the inside of curves, as well as hill-hold control, reverse assist, Active Cruise Control, and Marshall Gold Series speakers in the saddlebag lids and, on the TC, in the passenger backrest.

In the Saddle

During the one-day press ride, I logged about 100 miles on the R 18 B. With its low, 28.3-inch seat and mid-mount footboards, my knees were level with my hips and my back was straight, which I preferred over the hip-rotating “clamshell” seating position that’s common on many cruisers. A comfortable reach to the pullback handlebar allowed me to maintain a relaxed bend in my elbows, and smooth airflow over the low windscreen hit right at helmet level with no buffeting.

BMW R 18 Transcontinental
Luxury touring amenities on the TC include plush heated seats, a passenger backrest, and surround-sound audio.

Because the Big Boxer’s cylinders jut far out to the sides, the rider’s legs are hemmed in place, limiting options to adjust knee and hip angle during long stints in the saddle. The engine is too wide to accommodate highway pegs, so BMW will offer (though we didn’t get a chance to test) accessory leg rests so riders can stretch out their legs on top of the cylinders without roasting their calves. The TC has highway bars in front of the cylinders, and my legs are long enough that I was able to put my heels on them and mostly straighten out my knees, though only briefly because it felt awkward.

Thicker foam in the TC’s seat adds nearly an inch of seat height, which resulted in more legroom and additional comfort during the 350- to 400-mile days in the saddle on our ride from Colorado to California. Carrie found the TC’s passenger seat and backrest to be all-day comfortable, and she liked the comfort and convenience of the footboards, especially when climbing on and off the bike.

2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental
The BMW R 18 Transcontinental is designed for America’s wide-open spaces.

Airflow over the TC’s tall windscreen went above my helmet, and Carrie appreciated the calm pocket of air with no turbulence. The top edge of the non-adjustable screen was in my line of sight, which was sometimes distracting during back-and-forth cornering. At the bottom edge of the TC’s fairing are adjustable air flaps that can be closed or opened to direct air into the cockpit. It also has non-adjustable wind deflectors mounted atop the highway bars, which were helpful when temps dropped as low as 40 degrees on Colorado’s Million Dollar Highway, but less so when we encountered triple-digit highs in the deserts of Arizona and Nevada.

Large and In Charge

To assist riders while piloting these machines, the cockpit is packed with data, functions, switches, and buttons. Behind the fairing are four analog gauges (speedo, tach, fuel, and power reserve) and an enormous 10.25-inch TFT color display, with different screens for vehicle info as well as music, phone, and navigation functions via a smartphone and the BMW Motorrad Connected app. BMW’s Multi-Controller wheel on the left grip makes menu navigation, volume control, and other functions easy, but the TFT’s hardened, glare-resistant screen isn’t touch-enabled.

2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental
Mission control includes analog gauges, a huge 10.25-inch TFT display, BMW’s proprietary Multi-Controller wheel on the left grip, and sensibly placed buttons.

BMW partnered with Marshall to create a premium audio system for the R 18 B and TC, and the standard setup includes two 25-watt speakers in the front fairing. The Premium Package adds two 90-watt subwoofers in the lids of the top-loading saddlebags and brings total output up to 230 watts on the B. The Premium-equipped TC gets another pair of 25-watt speakers in the passenger backrest, for a total of 280 watts. The surround-sound audio pumps out the jams, and the subwoofers add serious bass.

One downside of the extra speakers is that they reduce storage capacity by 0.5 liter in each of the saddlebags and 1 liter inthe trunk. The saddlebags seem large on the outside, but their narrow interiors present some challenges with packing (BMW offers accessory drop-in liner bags that should make the process easier). The trunk has a spacious, carpet-lined interior with a charging port. Pop-up metal levers with positive actuation make the luggage easy to open, close, and latch even when filled to the brim, and the central locks add convenient security.

On the Road

The R 18s have three ride modes – Rock, Roll, and Rain – that alter throttle response, idle character, engine-drag torque control, and traction-control intervention. In Rock mode, they feel lumpy and shake a lot at idle to add some visceral theater, and throttle response is direct. But in Roll and Rain mode, the response feels duller and slow to respond. The single-plate dry clutch requires some slip when pulling away from stops on hills and riding up steep hairpins, but the 6-speed transmission shifts smoothly and the heel-toe shifter comes in handy.

2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental
The TC’s fixed-height windscreen was sometimes distracting while cornering. The LED Adaptive Headlight swivels up to 35 degrees in each direction.

Like most heavyweight cruisers, the R 18 B/TC work best when they are short-shifted and kept in their peak torque range. Riding the TC day after day, it cruised smoothly in top gear and when maintaining steady throttle on flat stretches of road. Rolling on and off the gas while accelerating or negotiating curves and grades, however, sent a fair amount of vibration through the seat and grips that became tiresome after a while.

Despite the weight of the fairing on the handlebar, the R 18 B/TC steer with stability and confidence, though some effort is required. The massive brakes with BMW’s linked Full Integral ABS slow down the heavy bikes with authority, and the large brake and clutch levers are adjustable for reach. The R 18 and R 18 Classic have spoked wheels with tube-type tires, but the R 18 B/TC roll on cast wheels with tubeless tires, which is a real boon for roadside flat repairs.

Dynamic Cruise Control is standard on the B and TC, and, if necessary, it applies the brakes to slow the bikes on steep descents to maintain the set speed. Active Cruise Control, which is part of the Premium Package, uses radar sensors embedded in the front fairing that scan the lane in front of the bike when cruise control is activated. If a vehicle is detected in front of the bike, the system will automatically reduce speed to maintain a fixed distance. Using inputs from the lean-angle sensors, ACC also adjusts speed to assist with safer cornering. The system works well and isn’t affected by vehicles in adjacent lanes.

2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental
An early-morning exploration of roads near Golden, Colorado.

Toward the Horizon

Given BMW’s extensive experience in the touring segment, it’s no surprise that it built fully featured, highly functional heavyweight touring bikes right out of the gate. Traditional cruisers, though, are as much about style as they are about substance, and it’s tricky to strike the ideal balance. The R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental are good-looking motorcycles that caught the attention of many people we encountered at gas stations, restaurants, hotels, and national parks.

Cruiser buyers tend to be conservative. They’re wary of unconventional styling and will embrace high-tech features only if they don’t alter the look and feel of the motorcycle. BMW’s Big Boxer is a large-displacement air-cooled Twin, but its configuration is very different from a traditional V-Twin.

Likewise, there was no small amount of skepticism from the ADV crowd about Harley-Davidson building an adventure bike, a segment long dominated by BMW. But the Pan America 1250 proved itself to be highly capable, and Harley says it has become the best-selling ADV in the U.S.

For those interested in a heavyweight bagger or full-dress tourer with traditional styling, the R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental are worthy choices

2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental
Our R 18 Transcontinental test bike was equipped with the Premium and Select Packages, First Edition Black Storm paint scheme, Vance & Hines exhaust, and select Roland Sands Design accessories, for an as-tested price of $35,244.

2022 BMW R 18 B / Transcontinental Specs

Base Price: $21,945 / $24,995
Price as Tested: $28,420 (Premium & Select Packages, Galaxy Dust metallic/Titanium Silver 2 metallic) / $35,244 (Premium & Select Packages, First Edition Black Storm, Vance & Hines exhaust, Roland Sands Design accessories)
Website: bmwmotorcycles.com

ENGINE
Engine Type: Air-/oil-cooled, longitudinal opposed flat-Twin, OHV w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 1,802cc (110ci)
Bore x Stroke: 1 x 100.0mm
Compression Ratio: 9.6:1
Valve Insp. Interval: 6,000 miles
Fuel Delivery: BMS-O EFI w/ 48mm throttle body
Lubrication System: Wet sump, 4.2 qt cap.
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated single-plate dry slipper clutch
Final Drive: Shaft

CHASSIS
Frame: Tubular-steel double cradle w/ tubular-steel double-sided swingarm
Wheelbase: 66.7 in.
Rake/Trail: 27.3 degrees/7.2 in.
Seat Height: 28.3 in. / 29.1 in.
Suspension, Front: 49mm telescopic fork, no adj., 4.7 in. travel
Rear: Single cantilever shock, adj. for spring preload, 4.7-in. travel
Brakes, Front: Dual 300mm discs w/ 4-piston opposed calipers & ABS
Rear: Single cantilever shock, adj. for spring preload, 4.7-in. travel
Wheels, Front: Cast, 3.5 x 19 in.
Rear: Cast, 5.0 x 16 in.
Tires, Front: 120/70-B19
Rear: 180/65-B16
Wet Weight: 877 lbs. / 941 lbs. (claimed, base models)
Load Capacity: 512 lbs. / 448 lbs. (claimed, base models)
GVWR: 1,389 lbs.

PERFORMANCE
Horsepower: 80 hp @ 4,500 rpm (2021 R 18, rear-wheel dyno)
Torque: 109 lb-ft @ 2,900 rpm (2021 R 18, rear-wheel dyno)
Fuel Capacity: 6.3 gals.
Fuel Consumption: 42.5 mpg
Estimated Range: 268 miles

The post 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental | Road Test Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

BMW Invites R 18 Fans to The Great Getaway

BMW Invites R 18 Fans to The Great Getaway

When BMW added the R 18 to its Heritage lineup for 2021, the Bavarian brand finally made headway in the cruiser market. The R 18’s Big Boxer, timeless styling, and back-to-basics attitude immediately gained a dedicated audience. With the platform’s roots firmly planted in the big-bore cruiser segment, BMW invites R 18 fans to The Great Getaway.

Read our 2021 BMW R 18 First Edition Road Test Review

BMW Invites R 18 Fans to The Great Getaway

Partnering with motorcycle tour company Elephant Moto, BMW will host three eight-day guided tours in Costa Rica, Portugal, and the U.S. Each event will welcome a maximum of 12 riders and cover 100-125 miles per day. The manageable group sizes and reasonable ride distances promote a relaxed pace, allowing riders to soak up the scenery.

BMW Invites R 18 Fans to The Great Getaway

Led by Elephant Moto’s BMW-certified tour guides, attendees will rack up the miles on the open road and explore the urban centers. Riders can choose from several models within BMW’s new cruiser family, and with a support vehicle carrying participants’ luggage, the standard R 18 and R 18 Classic provide more than enough comfort for the road trip. Each tour also includes hotel accommodations, premium dining, and a social program for each evening. From rooftop cocktails to live bands, every night promises to be as eventful as the day full of riding.

BMW Invites R 18 Fans to The Great Getaway

The festivities don’t stop there, though. Each event will feature an “Urban Day” where participants get an authentic taste of local fare. From admiring the architecture in Lisbon, Portugal, to visiting handcrafters in San José, Costa Rica, to enjoying a local market in Portland, Oregon, the one-of-a-kind experience will immerse the riders in each city’s culture.

The all-inclusive tours start at €6,950 ($7,900 USD) and include local airport pick up/drop off. The Great Getaway will kickoff in Costa Rica in March 2022. The Portugal event will fall between April-June 2022, followed by the U.S. tour between August-October 2022.

For more information and to book one of the tours, visit thegreatgetaway.net.

The post BMW Invites R 18 Fans to The Great Getaway first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

BMW Unveils the R 18 ‘The Wal’ by Shinya Kimura

BMW R 18 The Wal Shinya Kimura
The BMW R 18 “The Wal” by Shinya Kimura, the third R 18 custom in BMW’s Soulfuel collaboration series. (Photos courtesy BMW Motorrad)

BMW’s R 18 platform is the German company’s first foray into the large-displacement, traditionally styled cruiser segment. To showcase the platform’s versatility, BMW has partnered with some of the top names in motorcycle customization. The latest R 18 custom is called “The Wal,” and it was designed by well-known Japanese customizer Shinya Kimura and is the third R 18 build in BMW Motorrad’s “Soulfuel” collaboration series.

The first R 18 custom was unveiled in late 2018, when BMW and Japanese builder Custom Works Zon presented an industrial-looking custom called “Departed” at the Mooneyes Show in Yokohama, Japan. Enormous cylinder heads covered in cooling fins jutted out from each side, providing the first look at what would come to be known as the “Big Boxer” engine – a flat opposed Twin that is all buy synonymous with the BMW brand.

BMW R 18 The Wal Shinya Kimura

In April 2019, Revival Cycles pulled the covers off The Revival Birdcage at the Handbuilt Show in Austin, Texas. The minimalist custom bike, with a delicate-looking “birdcage” frame wrapped around the Big Boxer made the engine look even bigger, and BMW confirmed it would eventually power a production model cruiser.

A month later, at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este on the shores of Lake Como, Italy, BMW presented the BMW Motorrad Concept R18. It was done in-house, and lead designer Bart Janssen Groesbeek drew inspiration from classic BMW models such as the R5, R50 and R60.

BMW R 18 The Wal Shinya Kimura

Next, in late 2019, came the Concept R18 /2, a classic cruiser in design, with modern flowing lines, a small headlight cowl, and a slightly bobbed rear fender. It had cast wheels – 19-inch front, 16-inch rear, Brembo brakes, and a gorgeous Candy Apple Red paint job. BMW confirmed that the Big Boxer displaced 1,800cc – by far the largest boxer Twin offered by the company.

BMW finally announced the production R 18 in early 2020, but due to the pandemic we didn’t have a chance to test it until later that year. The standard R 18 cruiser was soon joined by the R 18 Classic, which added a windshield and saddlebags.

BMW R 18 The Wal Shinya Kimura

The first R 18 custom in BMW’s “Soulfuel” collaboration series came from Roland Sands Design. Called the R 18 Dragster, a long and low hot rod with open exhausts and a fat drag-racing slick out back. We had a chance to see – and hear! (what?) – the R 18 Dragster at the Americade rally in September.

The second Soulfuel build was announced in January 2021. Called the BMW announced the R 18 “Spirit of Passion,” it was an Art Deco-style custom built by designer German Dirk Oehlerking. It was followed by two new R 18 production models, the R 18 B bagger and the R 18 Transcontinental tourer.

BMW R 18 The Wal Shinya Kimura

The third Soulfuel build is Shinya Kimura’s “The Wal.” Known for customizing older motorcycles and the originator of the “Zero Style,” Kimura has recently devoted himself to projects involving modern bikes.

“The basis is the R 18, powered by the latest and greatest engine I have ever worked on,” said Kimura. “It all started with a visit with the BMW Motorrad R 18 development team in Germany. I got to know the unbounded passion and innovative power that prevails at BMW Motorrad.

BMW R 18 The Wal Shinya Kimura

“Finally, in February 2021 in California, I rode the standard R 18 for a few hundred kilometers to get to know the character of the bike. Following a whole series of conversations, this eventually led to my personal interpretation of the R 18, in which I applied the entire range of my activities as a customizer.”

Shinya Kimura’s approach to craftsmanship is “hands on” – there are no sketches, drawings, blueprints, or mockups during the building process.

BMW R 18 The Wal Shinya Kimura

“I built the R 18 entirely for myself,” he said. “When I rode the production R 18, I thought it might suit my build and riding preferences better if I designed it to be a little more front-facing with a fairing.

“I decided to adopt the frame, wheels, and tires as well as suspension elements and brakes because I didn’t feel the need to change them after I had ridden the bike. I also wanted to be able to ride for long distances with my R 18 while feeling and enjoying the legendary boxer engine.

BMW R 18 The Wal Shinya Kimura

“It was very important to me to preserve the two characters of the R 18 as I experienced them when riding. Thanks to its mighty engine, the bike is wild and has almost inexhaustible power on the one hand, yet it is completely good-natured on the other. Just like a whale, hence the German animal name for this R 18, which for me is something like a ‘Sports Endurancer,’” Kimura explains.

“The Wal” has a redesigned fuel tank that is larger than the original, an elongated, rounded seat hump, and a half-shell fairing.

BMW R 18 The Wal Shinya Kimura

“I also moved the footrests back about 2 inches to have more flexibility for positioning the legs,” Kimura said. “At the same time, I lowered the handlebars and changed the seat to my liking. The seat cushion was also designed by me and then handmade by Backdrop Leathers in Japan. It all added up to the very natural posture that I like.”

The semi-shell fairing houses two asymmetrically arranged headlights that almost look like eyes and, with a little imagination, give Kimura’s R 18 the appearance of a whale together with a set of teeth underneath. The color scheme and coarsely textured paintwork also match the whale theme.

BMW R 18 The Wal Shinya Kimura

“What I like best about my version of the R 18 is that I was able to change the style and seating position to my liking without destroying the excellent original functionality of the R 18,” Kimura explains. “But drastically changing the seating position and adding my own style and taste was a big challenge in my interpretation of the BMW Heritage. Besides, all these computerized systems and wiring were quite new to me, and I learned a lot.”

BMW R 18 The Wal Shinya Kimura

Facts about the BMW R 18 “The Wal”:

  • Handlebars: 8 inches narrower, 6 inches lower.
  • Fuel tank: Made longer to move the seating position rearward and gain additional fuel capacity of about 1 gallon for longer trips.
  • Seat pad designed by Kimura himself, handmade by Backdrop Leathers in Japan in bucket style for more bottom support.
  • Seat designed so that it creates a natural flow from the seat cushion and leads to the round rear light.
  • Semi-shell fairing for comfortable handling at high speed.
  • The side covers have been designed in such a way that they do not destroy the look of the original frame.
  • Special paint finish in the form of a bronze powder coating, after the components have previously been hammered to give the surface texture.
  • After Kimura had completed all the bodywork, he decided to keep the classic symbolic shape of the standard exhaust system but painted it black.
BMW R 18 The Wal Shinya Kimura

The post BMW Unveils the R 18 ‘The Wal’ by Shinya Kimura first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2022 BMW K 1600 Lineup | First Look Review

2022 BMW K 1600 B K1600B K 1600 Grand America K1600 K1600GT K1600GTL GT GTL review
BMW has updated its entire K 1600 lineup for 2022 (from left): K 1600 B, K 1600 GT, K 1600 Grand America, K 1600 GTL.

There are four models in BMW’s K 1600 lineup – the K 1600 GT sport-tourer, the K 1600 GTL luxury sport-tourer, the K 1600 B bagger, and the K 1600 Grand America. All are powered by a liquid-cooled, 1,649cc inline-Six that debuted on the 2012 BMW K 1600 GT and K 1600 GTL, which shared Rider’s 2012 Motorcycle of the Year award.

All four models have received updates for 2022, starting with revisions to the engine to meet Euro 5 regulations, including updated BMS engine control, two knock sensors, and two additional lambda probes. BMW says the six-cylinder engine still makes 160 peak horsepower, though it now arrives at 6,750 rpm, 1,000 rpm earlier than before. Peak torque has increased to 133 lb-ft, up from 129, at 5,250 rpm.

2022 BMW K 1600 B K1600B K 1600 Grand America K1600 K1600GT K1600GTL GT GTL review
The K 1600 lineup is powered by a 1,649cc inline-Six that makes 160 horsepower and 133 lb-ft of torque.

Standard equipment on all K 1600 models now includes engine drag torque control (MSR), which compares the rotational speeds of the front and rear wheels in the same way as the standard Dynamic Traction Control and thus determines the slip or traction capacity at the rear wheel, with input on lean angle from the new 6-axis IMU. The level of intervention depends on riding mode (Dynamic, Road, or Rain).

Also new on all K 1600 models is BMW Motorrad Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) “Next Generation,” with revised calibration and new automatic load level compensation. The semi-active suspension adjusts damping based on conditions based on input from front and rear sensors and the new IMU.

2022 BMW K 1600 B K1600B K 1600 Grand America K1600 review
New welcome, good-bye, and follow me home lighting is standard on all 2022 BMW K 1600 models.

Also new are “welcome,” “good-bye”, and “follow me home” light functions. When the ignition is switched on, a “welcome” light function is activated. The headlight and taillight remain on for a short time and then fade to the waiting state before the engine starts. After switching off the ignition, the front and rear lights are also automatically activated briefly for the “good-bye” function which illuminates the area around the motorcycle. After switching off the ignition, the “follow me home” function allows the rider to activate the lights by briefly pressing the high-beam headlight button to assist with maneuvering in parking spaces or opening the garage at home.

A new full LED headlight consists of nine LEDs for the low-beam headlight and eight LEDs for the high-beam headlight. The standard “adaptive headlight” function features a low-beam LED headlight which turns into the curve according to the lean angle. The cornering function now operates through a range of ± 35 degrees (up from ± 24 degrees) for better illumination. It also adjusts up or down by 2 degrees during acceleration and braking.

2022 BMW K 1600 B K1600B K 1600 Grand America K1600 K1600GT K1600GTL GT GTL review
The K 1600s get a new high-definition 10.25-inch TFT color display.

Like the R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental, the new K 1600 models features a 10.25-inch high-definition TFT color display with integrated map navigation (via the BMW Motorrad Connected app) and Bluetooth connectivity. For protection against the elements, the display is equipped with a hardened glass cover with an anti-reflective and fingerprint-resistant coating. Functions such as “My vehicle,” “Navigation,” “Radio,” “Media,” “Telephone,” and “Settings” menus can be selected via displayed tiles, and features such as cruise control, riding modes, and audio are seamlessly integrated into the display. The Multi-controller wheel is used to manage some functions.

Standard on the K 1600 GTL and K 1600 Grand America and optional on the K 1600 GT and K 1600 B is BMW’s new Audio System 2.0, with antennas now integrated into the bodywork. Whereas the previous audio system was connected to the motorcycle as a primarily independent system, Audio System 2.0 is integrated into the electrical system. Menu control and setting options as well as the unique display screens are said to make the audio experience a seamless listening experience. The system offers more customization functions as well as SiriusXM satellite radio with 1-year subscription.

2022 BMW K 1600 B K1600B K 1600 Grand America K1600 review
Option 719 “Midnight” features a the paint finish in Meteoric Dust II Metallic with a “Galaxy” theme.

The new K 1600 GT, GTL, B, and Grand America are available in three color options each: a standard color, a style variant, and Option 719. Option 719 “Midnight” is particularly noteworthy, which is only available for K 1600 B and K 1600 Grand America. The highlight of this variant is the paint finish in Meteoric Dust II Metallic with the “Galaxy” theme depicted using the water transfer printing method.

MSRP pricing begins at $22,545 for the K 1600 B, $23,895 for the K 1600 GT,

$26,895 for the K 1600 GTL, and $27,745 for the K 1600 Grand America. Motorcycles will be in dealerships starting in February 2022.

Below is a summary of colors, details, standard equipment, options, and accessories for each model. For more information or to find a BMW dealer near you, visit bmwmotorcycles.com.

2022 BMW K 1600 GT: Standard

2022 BMW K 1600 B K1600B K 1600 Grand America K1600 K1600GT K1600GTL GT GTL review
2022 BMW K 1600 GT in Black Storm Metallic
  • Black Storm Metallic body color
  • Frame in black
  • Engine in black
  • Seat in black
  • Front fender in Black Storm Metallic
  • Radiator cowls in Night Black Matte
  • Tank center cover in Black Storm Metallic
  • Slipstream deflector trim in Black Storm Metallic
  • Front brake calipers in black

2022 BMW K 1600 GT: Sport style

2022 BMW K 1600 B K1600B K 1600 Grand America K1600 K1600GT K1600GTL GT GTL review
2022 BMW K 1600 GT in Light White/Racing Blue Metallic/Racing Red
  • Light White/Racing Blue Metallic/Racing Red body color
  • Frame in black
  • Engine in black
  • Seat in black with gray piping and decorative stitching
  • Front part of the front fender in Light White
  • Radiator cowls in Night Black Matte
  • Tank center cover in Black Storm Metallic
  • Slipstream deflector trim in Black Storm Metallic
  • Gold-anodized front brake calipers

2022 BMW K 1600 GT: Option 719

2022 BMW K 1600 B K1600B K 1600 Grand America K1600 K1600GT K1600GTL GT GTL review
2022 BMW K 1600 GT in Option 719
Mineral White Metallic
  • Mineral White Metallic body color with lines
  • Frame in black
  • Engine in black
  • Seat in black (Optional Option 719 seat with diamond top-stitching in saddle brown and cloud print)
  • Front part of the front fender in Mineral White Metallic
  • Radiator cowls in Night Black Matte
  • Tank center cover in Mineral White Metallic
  • Chrome slipstream deflector trim
  • Front brake calipers in black
  • Optional Option 719 classic forged rims

2022 BMW K 1600 GTL: Standard

2022 BMW K 1600 B K1600B K 1600 Grand America K1600 K1600GT K1600GTL GT GTL review
2022 BMW K 1600 GTL in Black Storm Metallic
  • Black Storm Metallic body color
  • Frame in Monolith Metallic matte
  • Engine in platinum
  • Seat in black
  • Front fender in Black Storm Metallic
  • Engine spoiler in Monolith Metallic matte
  • Tank center cover in Black Storm Metallic
  • Slipstream deflector trim in Black Storm Metallic

2022 BMW K 1600 GTL: Exclusive style

2022 BMW K 1600 B K1600B K 1600 Grand America K1600 K1600GT K1600GTL GT GTL review
2022 BMW K 1600 GTL in Gravity Blue Metallic
  • Gravity Blue Metallic body color
  • Frame in Monolith Metallic matte
  • Engine in platinum
  • Seat in black
  • Front fender in Gravity Blue Metallic, rear part in Monolith Metallic matte
  • Engine spoiler in Monolith Metallic matte
  • Tank center cover in Black Storm Metallic
  • Chrome slipstream deflector trim
  • Chrome strips on cases

2022 BMW K 1600 GTL: Option 719

2022 BMW K 1600 B K1600B K 1600 Grand America K1600 K1600GT K1600GTL GT GTL review
2022 BMW K 1600 GTL in Option 719
Mineral White Metallic
  • Mineral White Metallic body color with lines
  • Frame in Monolith Metallic matte
  • Engine in platinum
  • Seat in black (Optional Option 719 seat with diamond top-stitching in saddle brown and cloud print)
  • Front fender in Mineral White Metallic with chrome bar, rear part in Monolith Metallic Matte
  • Engine spoiler in Monolith Metallic Matte
  • Tank center cover in Mineral White Metallic
  • Chrome slipstream deflector trim
  • Chrome strips on cases
  • Optional Option 719 classic forged rims

2022 BMW K 1600 B and K 1600 Grand America: Standard

2022 BMW K 1600 B K1600B K 1600 Grand America K1600 K1600GT K1600GTL GT GTL review
2022 BMW K 1600 Grand America in Black Storm Metallic
  • Black Storm Metallic body color
  • Frame in black
  • Engine in black
  • Seat in black
  • Front part of the front fender in Black Storm Metallic
  • Engine spoiler in Night Black Matte
  • Tank center cover in Black Storm Metallic
  • Slipstream deflector trim in Black Storm Metallic

2022 BMW K 1600 B and K 1600 Grand America: Exclusive style

2022 BMW K 1600 B K1600B K 1600 Grand America K1600 K1600GT K1600GTL GT GTL review
2022 BMW K 1600 B in Manhattan Metallic Matte
  • Manhattan Metallic Matte body color
  • Frame in black
  • Engine in black
  • Seat in black
  • Front part of the front fender in Manhattan White Metallic
  • Engine spoiler in Night Black Matte
  • Tank center cover in Black Storm Metallic
  • Slipstream deflector trim in Black Storm Metallic

2022 BMW K 1600 B and K 1600 Grand America: Option 719 “Midnight”

2022 BMW K 1600 B K1600B K 1600 Grand America K1600 review
2022 BMW K 1600 Grand America in Option 719 “Midnight” Meteoric Dust II Metallic
  • Meteoric Dust II Metallic body color with water transfer printing method
  • Frame in black
  • Engine in black
  • Option 719 seat in black with diamond top-stitching and model designation
  • Front part of the front fender in Meteoric Dust II Metallic
  • Engine spoiler in Night Black Matte
  • Tank center cover in Meteoric Dust II Metallic
  • Slipstream deflector trim in Meteoric Dust II Metallic
  • “Midnight” badge

Standard Equipment on 2022 BMW K 1600 GT, GTL, B, and Grand America

  • Black Storm Metallic paint
  • 10.25-inch TFT screen with BMW Motorrad Connected app navigation
  • Audio System 2.0 with fairing speakers (K 1600 GTL)
  • Shaft drive
  • Slipper clutch
  • Reversing aid
  • Hill Start Control Pro
  • Dynamic Engine Brake Control
  • Adjustable windscreen
  • Cast aluminum wheels
  • Duolever front suspension
  • Paralever rear suspension
  • Integral ABS with ABS Pro
  • Dynamic Traction Control
  • Dynamic ESA “Next Generation”
  • Steering stabilizer
  • Tire pressure monitor
  • 12v power socket
  • Cooled, mobile device charging compartment
  • Electronic immobilizer
  • Heated grips and seat
  • Adaptive LED headlight, LED turn signals and rear light
  • Multi-controller
  • Programable function buttons
  • Dynamic Cruise Control
  • Ride modes
  • Luggage rack
  • Centerstand
  • Comfort footrests
  • Integrated side cases in body color
  • Top case in body color (K 1600 GTL)

2022 BMW K 1600 GT: Optional equipment and accessories

  • Premium Package
  • Keyless Ride
  • Central locking system
  • Gear Shift Assist Pro
  • Anti-theft alarm
  • Audio System 2.0
  • LED fog lights
  • Engine protection bar

2022 BMW K 1600 GT: Stand-alone options

  • Style: Sport Light White/Racing Blue/Racing Red metallic
  • Option 719 Mineral White Metallic
  • Option 719 bench seat
  • Floor lighting
  • Option 719 forged classic wheels
  • Low seat (30.7-inch / 31.5-inch seat height, -1.2 inches)
  • 2022 BMW K 1600 GTL: Optional equipment and accessories
  • Premium Package
  • Keyless Ride
  • Central locking system
  • Gear Shift Assist Pro
  • Anti-theft alarm
  • LED fog lights
  • Engine protection bar

2022 BMW K 1600 GTL: Stand-alone options

  • Style: Exclusive Gravity Blue Metallic
  • Option 719 Mineral White Metallic
  • Option 719 bench seat
  • Floor lighting
  • Option 719 forged classic wheels
  • High seat (31.5-inch seat height, +2.0 inches)

2022 BMW K 1600 B: Optional equipment and accessories

  • Bagger Package
  • Keyless Ride
  • Central locking system
  • Gear Shift Assist Pro
  • Anti-theft alarm
  • LED fog lights
  • Engine protection bar
  • Center stand
  • Grand America Package
  • Grand America styling
  • Top case in body color
  • Audio System 2.0
  • Floorboards
  • High windshield
  • Keyless Ride
  • Central locking system
  • Gear Shift Assist Pro
  • Anti-theft alarm
  • LED fog lights
  • Engine protection bar
  • Centerstand

2022 BMW K 1600 B: Stand-alone options

  • Option 719 bench seat
  • Floor lighting
  • Forged handlebar
  • Option 719 forged classic wheels
  • High seat (31.5-inch seat height, +2.0 inches)

The post 2022 BMW K 1600 Lineup | First Look Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

2022 BMW R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental | Video Review

2022 BMW R18 R 18 B R18B Transcontinental Review
2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental (Photo by Kevin Wing)

We test the all-new 2022 BMW R 18 B “Bagger” and R 18 Transcontinental, two heavyweight touring cruisers powered by the 1,802cc Big Boxer that cranks out 116 lb-ft of torque at 3,000rpm. Based on the R 18 platform, they have traditional styling inspired by the 1930s-era R 5.

The R18B and R18 Transcontinental (TC) have a handlebar-mounted batwing-style fairing, a Marshall audio system, an infotainment system with a 10.25-inch TFT display, hard saddlebags, and a passenger seat. With its low windshield and slim seat, the R 18 B is suited for solo touring and boulevard cruising with the occasional passenger. Designed for two-up touring, the R 18 TC is equipped with a tall windshield, a wide seat, wind deflectors, driving lights, heated seats, highway bars, a large trunk, and a wrap-around passenger backrest.

2022 BMW R18 R 18 B R18B Transcontinental Review
2022 BMW R 18 B (Photo by Kevin Wing)

We rode both bikes at the press launch in Denver, Colorado, and then we rode 1,500 miles through five states on a R 18 Transcontinental fully loaded with a passenger and gear. See them in action in our video review.

2022 BMW R 18 / R 18 Transcontinental Specs

Base Price: $21,945 / $24,995
Price as Tested: $28,420 / $35,240
Website: bmwmotorcycles.com
Engine Type: Air/oil-cooled, longitudinal opposed flat Twin, OHV w/ 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 1,802cc (110ci)
Bore x Stroke: 107.1 x 100.0mm
Horsepower: 91 hp @ 4,750 rpm (claimed, at the crank)
Torque: 116 lb-ft @ 3,000 rpm (claimed, at the crank)
Transmission: 6-speed, hydraulically actuated single-plate dry slipper clutch
Final Drive: Shaft
Wheelbase: 66.7 in.
Rake/Trail: 27.3 degrees/7.2 in.
Seat Height: 28.3 in. / 29.1 in.
Wet Weight: 877 lbs. / 941 lbs. (base models)
Fuel Capacity: 6.3 gals.
Fuel Consumption: 42.5 mpg (R 18 Transcontinental, as tested)
Estimated Range: 268 miles (R 18 Transcontinental, as tested)

The post 2022 BMW R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental | Video Review first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com

Rider’s 2021 Motorcycle of the Year

2021 Motorcycle of the Year

Our first Motorcycle of the Year was awarded to the 1990 BMW K1, and for the past 31 years we’ve limited contenders to current model-year motorcycles that are new or significantly updated. In recent years, however, production timing and model-year designations have become more fluid.

And then there’s the economic shutdown last year caused by the pandemic, which disrupted the global supply chain for everything from toilet paper to semiconductors. Some manufacturers were forced to delay the release of certain models, while others skipped the 2021 model year altogether.

We’ve posted announcements of new/updated 2022 models as early as January of this year. And so far, we’ve ridden 2022 motorcycles from BMW, Honda, Indian, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha. To give all makes and models a fair shake during the calendar year when they are released and most relevant, eligible contenders for this year’s MOTY include any new/updated motorcycle released since last year’s award that are available for testing.

2021 Motorcycle Buyers Guide: New Street Models

2022 Motorcycle Buyers Guide: New Street Models

There were plenty of motorcycles to consider, and we’ve narrowed them down to 10 contenders and one winner. Without further ado…

THE CONTENDERS

1) BMW R 18 B/Transcontinental

2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental review
2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental (Photo by Kevin Wing)

BMW entered the traditional cruiser segment in 2021 with the standard R 18 and windshield-and-saddlebags-equipped R 18 Classic, built around the 1,802cc “Big Boxer.” The 2022 R 18 B “Bagger” and R 18 Transcontinental are touring-ready with a batwing-style fairing, infotainment system, hard saddlebags, and a passenger seat, and the TC adds a top trunk with a passenger backrest.

Read our 2022 BMW R 18 B / Transcontinental review

2) Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250/Special

2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review
2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special (Photo by Kevin Wing)

Yes, pigs – or more accurately, hogs – can fly. The Motor Company shook up the hyper-competitive ADV segment when it introduced the 2021 Pan America 1250/Special. Powered by a 150-horsepower V-Twin and fully equipped with all the latest bells and whistles, it proved itself to be highly capable on- and off-road, and the optional Adaptive Ride Height is its killer app.

Read our 2021 Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special review

3) Honda Gold Wing Tour/DCT

2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT review
2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT (Photo by Drew Ruiz)

Honda’s GL1800 won Rider’s MOTY when it debuted in 2001 and again when it was thoroughly overhauled in 2018. Updates for 2021 may seem minor, but they make all the difference when it comes to the two-up touring the Wing was designed for. The larger trunk holds more stuff, the improved passenger accommodations are appreciated, and the audio and styling updates add refinement.

Read our 2021 Honda Gold Wing Tour DCT review

4) Honda Rebel 1100/DCT

2021 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT review
2021 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT (Photo by Drew Ruiz)

The all-new Rebel 1100 is the sort of cruiser only Honda could make. It has styling like its smaller Rebel 300/500 siblings, a powerful engine adapted from the Africa Twin CRF1100L (including an optional 6-speed automatic Dual Clutch Transmission), ride modes and other electronics, well-damped suspension, good cornering clearance, modest weight, and a base price of just $9,299 (add $700 for DCT).

Read our 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT review

5) Kawasaki KLR650

2022 Kawasaki KLR650 review
2022 Kawasaki KLR650 (Photo by Drew Ruiz)

The KLR is dead, long live the KLR! After a two-year absence, Kawasaki’s legendary dual-sport returns for 2022 with fuel injection (at last!), optional ABS, and other updates aimed at improving reliability, comfort, stability, load capacity, and user-friendliness. It remains one of the best deals on two wheels with a base price of $6,699.

Read our 2022 Kawasaki KLR650 Adventure review

6) KTM 890 Adventure R

2021 KTM 890 Adventure R review
2021 KTM 890 Adventure R (Photo by Kevin Wing)

KTM’s street-oriented 790 Adventure and off-road-ready 790 Adventure R shared Rider’s 2019 MOTY. Just two years later, the folks in Mattighofen kicked it up a notch with a larger, more powerful engine from the 890 Duke R, chassis updates, and tweaks to the suspension, brakes, and electronics, all of which contribute to the 890 Adventure R’s all-terrain capability.

Read our 2021 KTM 890 Adventure R review

7) Indian Super Chief Limited

2022 Indian Super Chief Limited review
2022 Indian Super Chief Limited (Photo by Jordan Pay)

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the original Chief, Indian revamped its entire Chief lineup, with six models that strike a balance between old-school style and new-school technology. Powered by the Thunderstroke 116 V-Twin, the all-new Super Chief Limited has a quick-release windscreen, saddlebags, a two-up seat, ABS, and a Ride Command-equipped display.

Read our 2022 Indian Super Chief Limited review

8) Royal Enfield Meteor 350

2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 review
2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 (Photo by Kevin Wing)

Yes, the Meteor 350’s air-/oil-cooled Single makes just 18 horsepower and 18 lb-ft of torque. But rarely have we encountered a motorcycle that offers so much substance for so little money. In top-spec Supernova trim, the Meteor comes with ABS, turn-by-turn navigation, a two-up seat with a passenger backrest, a windshield, and a two-tone paint scheme for just $4,599.

Read our 2021 Royal Enfield Meteor 350 review

9) Suzuki Hayabusa

2022 Suzuki Hayabusa review
2022 Suzuki Hayabusa (Photo by Kevin Wing)

The former winner of the late-’90s top-speed wars got its first major update since 2008. Thanks to more grunt in the midrange, the Hayabusa’s updated 187-horsepower 1,340cc inline-Four helps it accelerate faster than ever before. Refined and reworked from nose to tail, the ’Busa has more aerodynamic bodywork, a full suite of IMU-enabled electronics, and much more.

Read our 2022 Suzuki Hayabusa review

10) Yamaha Ténéré 700

2021 Yamaha Tenere 700 review
2021 Yamaha Tenere 700 (Photo by Brian J. Nelson)

Designed to be equally capable on- and off-road, Yamaha’s middleweight adventure bike is powered by a liquid-cooled, 689cc CP2 parallel-Twin and has a durable tubular-steel frame, adjustable long-travel suspension, switchable ABS, and spoked wheels in 21-inch front/18-inch rear sizes. Contributor Arden Kysely liked the T7 so much, he bought our test bike from Yamaha.

Read our 2021 Yamaha Ténéré 700 review

And the winner is…

Yamaha Tracer 9 GT

2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT review
2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT (Photos by Joseph Agustin)

For the better part of the past decade, the adventure bike segment has been the darling of the motorcycle industry, growing while other segments have been flat or declining and siphoning off R&D resources. With some adventure bikes making 150 horsepower or more, traditional sport-tourers have been all but neglected. Stalwarts such as the Honda ST1300, Kawasaki Concours 14, and Yamaha FJR1300 haven’t been updated in years.

That’s what makes the Yamaha Tracer 9 GT such a breath of fresh air. At less than 500 pounds fully fueled, it’s much easier to handle than the 600-plus-pound S-T bikes on the market. And with a claimed 115 horsepower on tap, there are few motorcycles that will leave it behind.

2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT review

We first tested the bike that would evolve into the Tracer 9 GT when Yamaha introduced the FJ-09 for 2015. At its heart was the liquid-cooled 847cc CP3 Triple from the FZ-09 – an absolute ripper of a motor. It had an ADV-ish upright seating position and wind-blocking handguards but rolled on 17-inch wheels with sport-touring rubber, while its windscreen, centerstand, and optional 22-liter saddlebags added touring capability. The FJ-09 was light and fun to ride, but it was held back by fueling issues, poorly damped suspension, and weak brakes.

Yamaha did its homework and gave its middleweight sport-tourer an overhaul for 2019, renaming it the Tracer 900 GT in the process. Updates included better throttle response, a longer swingarm for more stability, higher-quality suspension, a new TFT color display, and a larger, one-hand-adjustable windscreen. The saddlebags were made standard as were other features, such as cruise control, heated grips, and a quickshifter.

2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT review
2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT review

Two years later, Yamaha went even further. For 2021, the new Tracer 9 GT gets the larger 890cc CP3 Triple from the MT-09, which is lighter, more fuel efficient, and more powerful. An all-new lightweight aluminum frame is made using a controlled-fill diecast process that reduces mass and increases rigidity. A new aluminum swingarm is longer and stronger, and a new steel subframe increases load capacity to 425 pounds and allows an accessory top trunk to be mounted along with the larger 30-liter saddlebags. New spinforged wheels reduce unsprung weight, and they’re shod with grippy Bridgestone Battlax T32 GT sport-touring tires.

In addition to updated throttle response modes and all-new KYB semi-active suspension, the Tracer 9 GT now has a 6-axis IMU that enables a suite of electronic rider aids adapted from the YZF-R1, including lean-angle-sensitive traction control, ABS, slide control, and lift control. It also has full LED lighting (including cornering lights) and a new dual-screen TFT display. The rider/passenger seats have been upgraded, and the rider’s ergonomics are adjustable.

2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT review

We had an opportunity to test the Tracer 9 GT just before the MOTY polls closed, and it swept the field. Thanks to steady evolution and improvement over three generations, Yamaha has demonstrated just how good a modern sport-tourer can be, especially for riders who value agility over couch-like luxury. Performance, sophistication, comfort, versatility, load/luggage capacity – the Tracer checks all the right boxes and leaves nothing on the table.

Congratulations to Yamaha for the Tracer 9 GT, Rider’s 2021 Motorcycle of the Year!

2021 Yamaha Tracer 9 GT review

The post Rider’s 2021 Motorcycle of the Year first appeared on Rider Magazine.
Source: RiderMagazine.com