2022 BMW R18 Transcontinental and R18 Bagger First Look

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Audio system powered by Marshall Amplification

BMW added two new models to its “Big Boxer” heritage line with the 2022 R18 B bagger and R18 Transcontinental touring model. They join the R18 and R18 Classic in BMW’s lineup of models powered by the 1802cc Boxer engine. Pricing starts at $21,945 for the R18 B and $24,995 for the R18 Transcontinental

The Transcontinental and B share much in common, including the large handlebar-mounted fairing, 10.25-inch TFT color display, color-matched side cases and a sound system from Marshall Amplification. The R18 B has a short windscreen, a slimmer seat and matt black metallic engine and trim. The Transcontinental comes with a top case/passenger backrest, heated seats, a tall windscreen, fairing lowers, additional lighting, engine guards, chrome trim and a Silver metallic engine.

Like the 2020 R18 cruiser, both the R18 B and Transcontinental will be offered in an exclusive First Edition paint scheme in black with white striping inspired by the 1936 BMW R5.

Since they are designed for long-distance travel, the R18 B and Transcontinental are equipped with 6.3 gallon fuel tanks, compared to the 4.2-gallon tank on the R18 cruiser. To accommodate the larger gas tank, BMW modified the double-loop tube frame for the touring models. The chassis geometry was adapted accordingly to support two people and a full load of luggage, with the rake angle decreased to 27.3° from 32.7° and the wheelbase shortened to 66.7 inches from 68.1 inches.

The engine is the same 1802cc air/oil-cooled Boxer with four pushrod-actuated valves per cylinder. BMW claims a maximum output of 91 hp at 4750 rpm. Peak torque is a claimed 116 lb-ft. of torque at 3000 rpm, with BMW claiming 110.6 lb-ft. on tap from 2000 to 4000 rpm. The engine redlines at 5750 rpm and idles at just 950 rpm.

The engine is mated to a six-speed constant mesh transmission and a single-plate anti-hopping dry clutch. BMW offers a reverse gear as an optional extra, which may be a good idea to help move the sheer mass of the two bikes (a claimed 877 pounds for the R 18 B and 941 pounds for the R18 Transcontinental). Like the R18 and R18 Classic, the touring and bagger models have an exposed drive shaft.

Up front, the R18 Transcontinental and R18 B are equipped with sleeved 49mm telescopic forks. The rear suspension is a concealed central cantilever strut with travel-dependent damping and automatic load compensation. The rear suspension uses a servomotor-actuated hydraulic unit and data from a height sensor to automatically adjust spring preload. Both front and rear suspension offer 4.7 inches of travel.

The 19-inch front wheel is equipped with dual 300mm discs and four-piston fixed calipers. The 16-inch rear wheel is matched with a single disc brake. BMW Motorrad Full Integral ABS comes standard, with either the hand and foot levers activating both brakes together, with the system automatically distributes the brake force between the front and rear.

Both models come standard with BMW’s Dynamic Cruise Control which maintains the preset speed when moving downhill. An Active Cruise Control system is an available option, using radar sensors integrated in the fairing to adjust the speed to maintain a safe distance from traffic in front. Electronically-controlled engine drag torque (i.e. traction control) comes standard.

Mid-mount footrests (a necessity, as the large cylinders prohibit forward controls), rear-angled handlebars and low seat height (28.3 inches for the R18 B and 29.1 inches for the Transcontinental) create a relaxed riding position for long distance touring. The Transcontinental comes standard with running boards, but they are available as an optional accessory for the R18 B. Hill Start Control is also available as an ex-works option.

The aforementioned standard Marshall sound system includes two 25-watt speakers integrated in the front fairing. The audio system includes FM/AM radio, with SiriusXM Satellite radio available as an option. The system comes with five different equalizer profiles, four for the loudspeakers and a fifth for helmet-mounted audio.

BMW also offers two upgraded audio systems. The Marshall Gold Series Stage 1 adds a 90-watt subwoofer to each side case plus a 180 watt amplifier. The R18 Transcontinental can be fitted with a Stage 2 system which adds another pair of 25-watt speakers to the top case.

The side cases offer 7.1 gallons of storage (the optional speakers take up 0.1 gallons) while the Transcontinental’s topcase holds 12.7 gallons (or 12.4 gallons with the Marshall Gold Series Stage 2’s additional speakers).

BMW offers a number of upgrades from its Option 719 customization program, including an AERO package with cylinder head covers, front cover and intake snorkel covers in sheet aluminum with a brushed clear anodized finish. There’s also an Option 719 Galaxy Dust metallic/Titanium Silver metallic paint option with an iridescent finish that shifts from violet to turquoise blue.

Both the 2022 BMW R18 B and R18 Transcontinental will arrive in U.S. showrooms in August.


BMW R 18 B

R 18 Transcontinental

Engine TypeAir/oil-cooled 2-cylinder 4-stroke Boxer, OHV with four valves per cylinder
Bore x stroke107.1mm x 100mm
Output91 hp at 4750 rpm (claimed)
Torque116 lb-ft. at 3000 rpm (claimed)
Compression / fuel9.6:1 / premium unleaded
Engine controlBMS-O
Emission controlClosed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, EU5
Alternator660 W
Battery12V/26Ah maintenance-free
HeadlightLED low beam (with adaptive turning light with swivel module)
ClutchHydraulically activated single-plate dry clutch
GearboxConstant-mesh 6-speed gearbox
DriveUniversal shaft
FrameSteel double-loop tube frame with backbone made of sheet metal formed parts
Front SuspensionTelescopic fork, stanchion Ø 49 mm, 4.7 inches of travel
Rear SuspensionCantilever strut, 4.7 inches of travel
Trail7.2 inches
Wheelbase66.7 inches
Front BrakeDouble disc brake Ø 300 mm
Rear BrakeSingle-disc brake Ø 300 mm
ABSBMW Motorrad Full Integral ABS
Front Wheel3.5 x 19″ light alloy cast wheel
Rear Wheel5.0 x 16″ light alloy cast wheel
Front Tire120/70 R 19 or B 19
Rear Tire180/65 B 16
Tank Capacity6.3 gallons
Total Length100.8 inches103.9 inches
Width40.9 inches
Height55.1 inches55.9 inches
Seat Height28.3 inches29.1 inches
Unladen Curb Weight877 pounds (claimed)941 pounds (claimed)

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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2 of 56 comments
  • Shak Shak on Jul 31, 2021

    These are not going to sell well, the dentist pirates already do BMW’s Monday through Friday... the Hog let’s them forget about that boring bilateral malocclusion life.

  • Imtoomuch Imtoomuch on Aug 02, 2021

    The elephant in the room is that they made a Harley with a worse engine configuration. I guess you'll at least have build in shin guards and crash bars in the form of cylinder heads.