BMW has made no secret about plans to produce a new 1800cc cruiser. The company has confirmed as much, and commissioned several concept models built around the massive boxer engine. Heck, BMW France is already taking orders, based only on the R18 Concept BMW showed off in May at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
We’ve just received spy photographs of a couple of pre-production models, confirming some key details about BMW’s upcoming R1800 cruiser line.
The photos we received show at least two versions, but we expect the R1800 to come in cruiser, tourer and bagger iterations. Most of these pre-production bikes are covered under large blue tarps, but what we can see under the covers looks very similar to the R18 Concept.
Here’s a good look at one of the pre-production models:
And here is the R18 Concept from a similar angle:
Right away, we can see a near identical-looking engine, only a plate now reading “1800cc” instead of “R18.” The concept used a carbureted engine but we expect the production models to be fuel injected, not just to meet emissions but also for modern electronics such as engine modes and traction control. The cradle frame and drop-shaped fuel tank also look similar to the concept, which was itself a callback to the BMW R5.
We can also see some notable differences, besides the necessary street-legal items such as mirrors and turn signals. The front suspension looks similar to the concept, with the addition of reflectors, and we notice a steering damper mounted to the front of the frame directly behind the fork.
The R18 Concept featured fishtail exhaust tips to resemble the BMW R7, but the bikes in the spy photos use slash cut exhausts. The concept had a 21-inch front wheel, but the production bikes look more like 18-inchers. Interestingly, there are two types of tires visible in the spy photos. The bike with the tall windscreen is using Michelin Commander IIs and the other is shod in what looks like Bridgestone Battlecruise H50s. The bike with the windscreen also has chromed foot controls while the other has a black pedal.
BMW says the cruisers will be coming for 2020. Judging on BMW’s recent behavior, we expect the R1800C cruisers will be at EICMA in November, but will likely be announced ahead of the show.