Heritage High: The new BMW R18 Classic trains its guns against American chrome

Posted On : 26-10-2020


Just six months down the line since the BMW R18 made its debut, the Bavarian bike maker has elevated the heritage quotient on its first cruiser motorcycle with the launch of the BMW R18 Classic.


Retaining the engine from the R18, the big boxer 1802cc twin imparts 91 hp and 157 Nm of propelling force to the 365 kgs motorcycle. Enhancements on the new BMW R18 Classic are purely aesthetic with a list of touring equipment.
A tall windscreen to shield the rider from windy blasts, cushy two-up seating, and footboards offering comfortable ergonomics. Chrome-wrapped auxiliary LED lights for added illumination, soft saddlebags offering 15.5 liters of storage space, and a rounded straight exhaust unit against the R18’s fishtail unit for a rumbling aural treat.


The new R18 Classic also features the iconic double-striped decals on the teardrop-shaped fuel tank around the classic BMW emblem. As for the rest, the BMW R18 Classic clones the specifications chart except that the touring bits have increased its weight by 20 kgs. Also, with the new exhaust unit, the R18 Classic is louder on the decibel meter. The exposed drive-shaft is an absolute eye-candy!


Both wired wheels on the Classic are 16 inches as compared to the 19-16 setup on the R18 shod with 130/90 and 180/65 section tires. The front suspension is a similar 49mm telescopic fork, and a central strut shock at the rear offers 4.7 inches and 3.5 inches of travel. The braking system comprises of integrated ABS-equipped 4 pot calipers grabbing the 300mm twin discs at the front and a similar-sized single disc at the rear.


Electronic assists read three ride modes- Rain, Rock and Roll mated to the Automatic Stability Control and Engine Torque Drag control system. Though cruise control offered as a standard feature, hill-start control and a reverse assist function are on the options list.  


Reeking of the classic genre, the new BMW offers performance similar to its competitors- for instance, the Harley Davidson Electra Glide Standard. However, the BMW makes for a unique proposition with its engine and the heritage styling around it. While most of its opponents seem to derive from a conventional cruiser template, the R18 Classic breaks the mold in terms of the overall design theme- riding position included.

The official launch has been slated for February 2021 with prices kept under wraps. With the base model BMW R18 retailing at US$ 17,495 (approx. SGD 24,000)- the 2021 R18 Classic with all the extra should see a substantial increment in pricing.


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