New 2022 BMW R18 B and R18 Transcontinental

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.

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