BMW Concept R 18 cruiser
Retro R 18 prototype

BMW Motorrad takes orders on R 18 cruiser

Even before a production model R 18 cruiser has rolled out of the Spandau factory gates, BMW Motorrad is taking orders and deposits on the handsome bike.

That seems to confirm that they are most definitely returning to the cruiser market after their mildly received R 1200 C back in the 1990s.

Dealers have long taken orders and deposits for limited-edition models but a recent trend is to take also orders and deposits for highly anticipated production models even before they are production models.

Indian did it with the FTR 1200 and Suzuki with the resurrected Katana.

Now BMW Motorrad is following the trend.

BMW Group Australia spokesman Nick Raman says customers are champing at the bit for the cruiser.

“Orders have been taken at a dealer level for a production equivalent of the R 18,” he says.

“The deposit amount is at the dealer’s discretion, bearing in mind pricing and specification detail have not yet been released.

“We are however very pleased with how the pre orders are tracking.”

BMW R 18 cruiser

In December 2018, a Japanese custom shop wheels out an R18 with a mysterious new BMW engine and in April 2019 a second cruiser concept with the engine was rolled out by a Texan custom shop.BMW R18 custom concept

A third BMW R 18 cruiser concept model was unveiled at the 90th the Concorso d’Eleganza show at Lake Como in Italy.

There are no details, no tech specs and not even a confirmation that it has an 1800cc boxer engine, but it does look big enough.

The biggest Beemer boxer engine yet is believed to be 1798.4cc in an over-square configuration (107 x 100mm).

Concept R18 cruiser was built for BMW Motorrad by Unique Custom Cycles of Sweden, so it’s not the final version that BMW is expected to release.BMW Concept R 18 cruiser

This is a simplistic model with minimalist design.

No doubt the Germans will give it some Bavarian hi-tech and quirky design as they did with the R nineT after Roland Sands designed the Concept 90.

Cruiser return

BMW R 1200 C R 18 cruiser
BMW R 1200 C

BMW built the R 1200 C cruiser from 1997 to 2004. It was a flop, but in recent years has become a collector and customiser favourite.

Over the years I have asked BMW executives whether they would ever return to the cruiser market and they have never said they wouldn’t.

Now it appears they are!

  1. Over 41,000 BMW R1200C were sold, but i’m not sure that qualifies as a flop? They certainly did polarise the motorcycle community with respect to interpretation of Cruisers, but at 15yo still find my 2004 model reliable and an absolute please to ride.

  2. Looks great ..personally i would like to see it in a more zundapp style frame
    give it more of a European flavour than the Harleyish tank gives..even a modern
    girder fork and ribbed fenders..But i never spend more than 7 grand on a bike anyway.

  3. My (German) neighbour bought a new R1200C in 1997 when they first came out. He’s still got it and still rides it – at 84 years old. Amazing guy.

  4. Hey, the oversqare cylinders will not make the bike wider, as the cylinders stick out sideways their width has no impact on the width of the engine. In this case a longer stroke would make a wider engine.

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