BMW Presents The Concept R18/2 – A Custom Performance Cruiser

Earlier this year, BMW unveiled the Concept R18. Centered around the 1800cc air/oil-cooled boxer Twin, the surrounding bodywork was very historically-inspired, producing a themed motorcycle that would look right at home in the 1930s as it does today. Fast forward to EICMA 2019 and BMW has followed that up with its second concept – the R18/2. Stylistically opposite from the Concept R18, the big 1800cc boxer is still in the middle, but everything around it is BMW’s interpretation of performance cruiser.

Small handlebars offset the long, swooping lines of the R18/2, and the Candy Apple Red metallic paint draws up images of the custom cruiser scene from decades gone by. Aesthetic pieces like the peanut tank and 19-inch front/16-inch rear wheels contribute to the dragster look, but modern touches like the Brembo brakes and Hattech stainless steel exhaust bring the bike back to the present.

BMW says the R18/2 concept showcases the versatility of the big boxer platform, which hints at the fact even more custom creations are on the horizon. Ultimately, of course, we’ll wait and see when the big boxer will make its way into a series of production models. See BMW’s full press release below.

Begin press release:


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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