Concept R 18 /2 makes EICMA debut.
Second BMW Motorrad cruiser concept unveiled.
Just six months ago, BMW Motorrad took the custom scene by storm with the world premiere of the Concept R 18 at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este. Now, a second design study featuring the awe-inspiring 1800cc flat-twin engine has been successfully presented in Milan at the international EICMA motorcycle exhibition.
Concept R 18 /2 paves the way.
Simply designated ‘Concept R 18 /2’, this completely new and markedly different interpretation of a dynamic performance cruiser shows the true versatility of the ‘big-boxer’ platform and gives fans of the genre a strong suggestion of what to look forward to when a series production cruiser from BMW Motorrad enters the market in 2020.
Cruiser fans have already been enticed on several occasions over the past 12 months, not only by the Concept R 18, but also by the two fascinating custom builds from Japan and the USA that used BMW Motorrad’s big boxer engine as a base – namely CUSTOM WORKS ZON’s ‘Departed’ and Revival Cycles’ ‘Birdcage’.
Expect the unexpected.
However, no one was expecting what would follow next – direct from BMW Motorrad’s design studio in Munich and finished to perfection by Swedish builders UCC. Enter the Concept R 18 /2, a more dynamic, modern cruiser interpretation that occupies a place towards the performance end of the segment, while retaining the elegant proportions of its predecessor.
The /2 displays a more extrovert character that’s far removed from the chrome-laden, retro feel of the original Concept R 18. The latest big boxer wears its colours proudly, with deep, multi-layered paintwork contrasting with dark frame, forks, valve covers and seat.
“With the Concept R 18 and this /2 project, we wanted to show two bookends –this is completely on the other side.”
Bart Janssen Groesbeek
BMW Motorrad Design
A closer look reveals black and white cast wheels (rather than spoked) on silver rims with dimensions of 19” (front) and 16” rear. A modified R nineT Racer bikini fairing sits on top of the raked forks and triples, offering stylish protection from the elements, while high-end Brembo brakes suggest stopping power worthy of this performance cruiser.
Gone is the ‘floating‘ leather saddle from the Concept R 18, replaced with a one-and-a-half person chopper-style seat, lending the bike a more dynamic, hot-rod character. Underneath a subframe, the rear fender has been bobbed and fixed to the frame, so it appears to hug the rear wheel.
Begs to be ridden, not just admired.
Whereas the original Concept R 18 is undoubtedly a thing of beauty, its sibling is designed to show just how flexible the base engine and chassis is as a starting point for customisation, and how easy it is to break out into different styles – in this case, a contemporary dynamic softtail with the character of a customised production motorcycle, rather than the uniqueness of the Concept R 18.
“The Concept R 18 had this ‘jewel‘ quality from the past. With the /2 the character is much more achievable, like a modified production bike.”
Bart Janssen Groesbeek
BMW Motorrad Design
While the Concept R 18 took its creators deep into the brand’s past for inspiration, the /2 has more of a ’80s feel to it and has clearly been designed for higher speeds and longer distances. It’s lowered – but not nearly as low as the Concept R 18 – and the rider enjoys a more dynamic seating position, with less of a stretch to the higher bars.
The low and long proportions are traditional for the segment, with the tank and frame cradling the huge muscular engine with its black metal-finished, stainless steel valve covers. Sitting higher than the Concept R 18, the /2 exudes an attitude that is not overly aggressive, but still sporty.
As a fitting compliment to the original design strategy, the frame is shared with the Concept R 18, with no change in dimensions, angles or the distinctive flyline. The exposed shaft-drive remains, as does the classic teardrop tank. To complete the customised production look, the exhaust is made by German outfit Hattech, which has an established reputation for fabricating mufflers for classic and custom BMW bikes.
THE MANUFACTURING PROCESS
LESS ELEGANT, MORE RAW ATTITUDE
With the /2, the aim is to show the flexibility inherent in the original design concept, which allows for small changes to various body parts, without the main components (frame/tank/engine etc.) needing any degree of modification. Conceived by BMW Motorrad and hand-crafted by respected enthusiasts, the /2 definitely demonstrates this flexibility – exuding a completely different character, despite the same basic backbone. It’s a successful continuation of the story that leads us ever closer towards a genuine, series production cruiser in 2020. Until then, enjoy seeing the Concept R 18 /2 at motorcycle events across the globe.