Billed as a “bike in its original, natural form,” the concept was designed by Bart Janssen Groesbeek and is a throwback to the early days of motorcycles.
As a result, the bike is largely devoid of covers and this allows the components to shine. Speaking of the latter, the R18 has a black cradle frame, a drop-shaped fuel tank and an exposed universal shaft.
The heart of the bike is a new 1800cc two-cylinder boxer engine which the company says is “reminiscent of the flat twin engines that BMW Motorrad used to build up until the end of the 1960s – but with a considerably bigger displacement and modern air/oil cooling.” BMW didn’t mention performance specifications, but said the engine block and transmission are made from glass bead-blasted aluminum which meshes nicely with hand-polished aluminum components such as the belt guard and valve covers. The engine has also been equipped with Solex dual carburetors which are similar to those used on the BMW 2002.
Other notable features include a black leather seat and an LED headlight with a U-shaped cover for an old school look. Designers also installed 18- and 21-inch wire wheels which are wrapped in Metzeler tires. In keeping with the retro theme, the bike is devoid of electronics other than the starter and lighting units.
The R18 was envisioned as an “emotional and authentic” large cruiser and BMW Motorrad Design boss Edgar Heinrich said “This concept bike appeals to something deep down – you just want to just get on it and ride off.”