Is the BMW R 18 Classic currently the coolest touring bike out there?

By: AdvWisdom
Title: Is the BMW R 18 Classic currently the coolest touring bike out there?
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Published Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2021 10:10:38 +0000

If it’s an adventure for you to drive a big, soul-touching cruiser down a sun-drenched motorway, the BMW R 18 Classic might be the touring version of the bike for you.

The first time I saw one in person was at the ABR festival in June. The glitzy chrome and sleek styling stood out between the rugged, trail-ready adventure bikes on either side, but the small crowd that gathered suggested I wasn’t the only rider who fancied his leg swinging over this inviting saddle.

And why not? Here at ABR we have long believed that there is no one set definition of adventure. Instead, it begins and ends in the gray matter between your ears and that’s why we’re always on the lookout for touring bikes that can take you on two wheels, whether on the road or off it. The BMW R 18 Classic can do this with a lot of style and character.

So what is there to know about this tour-ready cruiser?

BMW’s largest boxer engine

The R 18 Classic is powered by the largest BMW boxer engine to date, with a massive 1,802 cubic centimeters of displacement. Relaxed cruising is the order of the day here. The chrome-plated engine produces a whopping 158 Nm of torque at 3,000 rpm and 91 hp, lots of grunts to pull you, a pillion passenger and your camping equipment over the Alpine passes in summer.

Aside from its beating heart, the obvious appeal of the Classic lies in this look. The detachable touring windshield, detachable 15.5 liter pannier and pillion seat give the BMW a classic tour-ready look that’s ready to take on a long, sun-drenched American highway.

The chunky 16-inch front wheel, faux hardtail frame (there’s a hidden rear suspension to ensure a comfortable ride on the asphalt) and shiny chrome trim further add to a look that is guaranteed to turn heads and onlookers attract everywhere you park.

Despite the styling, the R 18 Classic is also well equipped with modern electronic driving aids. You get traction control, ABS, engine brake control, cruise control and three driving modes to curb the throttle response (rock, roll and rain) as standard, while electric reverse gear and hill start control are available as optional extras.

Of course, BMW has not gone to OTT for electronics, but is concentrating its efforts on the production of a premium cruiser that can certainly be classified as soul-moving.

Prices start at £ 18,990 and there is even one 0% effective annual interest rate on the motorcycle at the moment and places it among its competitors from Indian, Moto Guzzi and Harley-Davidson. You can find out more about the R 18 Classic at BMW website today.

And if the R 18 Classic is not quite to your taste: BMW recently announced two new models, the R 18 Transcontinental and the R 18 B, which also look damn cool. Keep an eye on the ABR website for the next several weeks to check out each of them.

See more photos of the R 18 Classic below