There’s a lot to talk about on BMW’s latest addition to the cruiser segment, but the massive 1,802cc, air- and oil-cooled engine that powers the R18 is its crown jewel. This engine is the largest ‘boxer’ engine (which means it’s got horizontally-opposed cylinders like you’d find in Porsches) manufactured by BMW Motorrad. The 1.8-litre unit produces 91hp at 4,750rpm and 158Nm of torque at 3,000rpm – these figures aren’t that high considering the engine’s size. Another mechanical aspect that really sets this BMW apart is the use of an exposed drive shaft; this is similar to the old BMW cruisers from which the R18 draws inspiration.
BMW is also offering a wide range of customisation options that tweak the bike’s design to suit individual tastes. This includes custom-made seats, exhausts, side panels, and even a handlebar, giving you the opportunity to transform this motorcycle as per your liking. There’s an optional larger 21-inch front wheel, along with optional alloy wheels available that replace the standard wire-spoke wheels. Most, if not all of these customisation options are expected to be available in Nepal as well.
The R18 has three riding modes – Rain, Roll and Rock; a fun take on the usual Rain, Road and Sport. In addition, there's switchable automatic stability control (ASC) and engine drag torque control or MSR. The latter prevents rear-wheel slip under hard acceleration or aggressive downshifts. BMW also offers a reverse gear driven by an electric motor. This will probably come in handy, since the R18 tips the scales at a solid 345kg.
Like we mentioned above, BMW will offer the R18 in two trims – Standard and First Edition. The First Edition gets extra chrome elements, a Blackstorm metallic paint shade, and a seat badge with a 'First Edition' clasp on the chrome cover. It also includes some more intricate additions like a tank emblem with copper letterings, copper screws, a pair of gloves, as well as a screwdriver to fix the emblem on the tank. Additionally, the First Edition will also feature hill-start assist, heated grips and cornering headlights.
At the moment, it isn’t clear how aggressively BMW plans to price these bikes. The challenges of the pandemic have led Triumph to price the Street Triple R quite aggressively, and it will be interesting to see if BMW Motorrad takes a similar direction in Nepal. Stay tune with us for more auto news in Nepal.