The BMW R18/2 concept is here, but no production version of this platform

Ah, we thought we were going to see a production version of the BMW R18 cruiser unveiled at EICMA—and we were wrong. Instead, what we’re getting is yet another concept bike based on the massive flat twin engine.

Called the R18/2, BMW says it’s a “new interpretation of a dynamic performance cruiser” that demonstrates the versatility of the R18 platform. While the R18 concept was all retro-tastic, the R18/2 is supposed to be modern.

No doubt some Beemerphiles are going to be disappointed that they still can’t buy an R18, but while the /2 model may mean more waiting, it also shows BMW is quite keen on this platform, and we’ll see the production versions soon enough. Alas, there was no timeline given, though, so it’s all still “hurry up and wait.”

What other details we got (very little, to be sure—Brembo brake, Hattech stainless steel exhaust, 19-inch front wheel and 16-inch rear) are in the press release below.

Press release

One engine, two characters – a multitude of possibilities: The BMW Motorrad Concept Bikes R 18 and R 18 /2

With the modern BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 /2 Custom Cruiser, BMW Motorrad adds a new facet to the Heritage concept.

“Munich/Milan. The BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 – a purist, historically inspired version of the big boxer – was presented by the BMW Group at the Concorso d’Eleganza in the Villa d’Este at Lake Como in the early summer. Six months later, at the world’s biggest motorcycle show – the EICMA in Milan – BMW Motorrad now presents its second sensational concept bike based on a big boxer engine: the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 /2 (pronounced: “Slash Two”). It is the stylistic opposite of the Concept R 18: a modern, dynamic custom cruiser with a performance appeal that is somewhat rougher round the edges. As such, the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 /2 demonstrates yet another potential expression of the Heritage concept, providing an impressive example of the flexibility and wide-ranging customisation options offered by this basic architecture.
The presentation at the EICMA will take place exclusively by means of films and photographs.

“In contrast to the classic, elegant BMW Motorrad Concept R 18, the Concept R 18 /2 draws on its large boxer engine and frame to create a modern custom concept. The Concept R 18 /2 is uniquely extrovert. Elements from the past and future of BMW Motorrad merge here to create a captivating cruiser, making a powerful statement: “It’s a highly emotional bike designed for active riding. At the same time, the Concept R 18 /2 reflects the range of characterisations and customer dreams that we are able to realise using the same backbone,” explains Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad.

A performance cruiser à la BMW.
The BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 /2 celebrates the fascination of cruisers in an interpretation that is both sporty and modern. Minimalist handlebar trim together with the deep, elongated proportions promises a dynamic driving experience. The fairing, tear-drop fuel tank and seat form a flowing line that finds its perfect conclusion in the shortened rear wheel cover. All body parts are finished in Candy Apple Red metallic, an expressive red tone that highlights the flowing movement on the side. This luminous custom red with lots of depth is a real eye-catcher, changing from bright red to almost black depending on the incidence of light. Another striking feature is created by the graphic lines on the painted body parts, which extend from the side and top view of the fuel tank to the wheel cover and are visually prolonged across the seat. These give the Concept Bike a distinctive appeal.

The large boxer at the centre.
As in the Concept R 18, the centrepiece of the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 /2 is a large 2-cylinder boxer engine with 1800 cc, including modern air/oil cooling and designed in a 1960s aesthetic. The engine is finished in a warm grey tone and has a sporty look, with an integrated breast cover, valve covers in a high-gloss black finish and a black frame. The engine badge bears the name of the Concept Bike, adding a high-quality accentuation.
After “Departed” by the Japanese customizer CUSTOM WORKS ZON, “The Revival Birdcage” by Revival Cycles in Austin, Texas and the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18, the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 /2 is now the fourth interpretation of the large-volume BMW Motorrad boxer engine.

Attention to detail.
As a genuine BMW, the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 /2 not only features a boxer engine, loop frame and tear-drop fuel tank, it also has a classic and elegantly showcased universal shaft. The striking cast iron wheels with 19” at the front and 16” at the rear create an equally discreet and dynamic dragster look, authentically rounding off the bike’s overall appearance. Meanwhile features such as high-performance Brembo brake calipers and Hattech stainless steel tailpipe system reflect the close attention to detail with which the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 /2 was designed.

Multitude of possibilities.
The BMW Motorrad Concept R 18 /2 puts forward a new interpretation of a dynamic performance cruiser that not only taps into an area previously unexplored by BMW Motorrad but also demonstrates the true versatility of the “big boxer” platform. “After the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18, our aim with the Concept R 18 /2 is to demonstrate how flexible the basic engine and suspension are as a starting point for customisation, and how easy it is to authentically realise different styles. And I have to admit: we were very impressed at how it was possible to bring this boxer concept forward from the 30s via the 80s into the 2020s,” says Bart Janssen Groesbeek, BMW Motorrad Vehicle Designer for the Big Boxer Concepts.

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