BMW Teases R18 Bagger and Tourer In Announcing Partnership With Marshall

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

More info on R18B and R18 Transcontinental expected July 29

BMW announced a new partnership with renowned audio company Marshall Amplification, and in doing so, teased the impending launch of two new R18 variants: the R18B bagger and R18 Transcontinental tourer.

Marshall is best known for its guitar amplifiers, but in recent years, the company has ventured into producing headphones and home audio speakers. With the new partnership with BMW, it appears Marshall will be producing audio systems for motorcycles.

BMW says: “the legendary Marshall spirit and the development power of BMW Motorrad will in future be reflected in new innovative products for motorcycles and music, especially in the BMW Motorrad Heritage segment.”

That last sentence is the important clue. BMW’s Heritage segment consists of the R18 and the R NineT lines, which currently do not have a model that is set up for an audio system. We have known for a while, however, that the R18 lineup will eventually include bagger and touring variants. BMW originally filed designs for an R18 model with a large batwing fairing and hard panniers back in July 2019, well before the R18 cruiser was officially introduced.

The press release included the image above which shows a Marshall amp superimposed on part of a motorcycle with a tank similar to the R18 models, a chrome fork tube. The fork tubes on the current R18 and R18 Classic are covered in black sheaths, but the designs for the bagger show the top of the fork tubes are exposed, matching the image.

More recently, BMW received certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Air Resources Board for two R18 variants: the R18B and R18 Transcontinental. The R18B is obviously the bagger version shown in the designs, while the Transcontinental is expected to include a top case.

The design filings included a view of the R18B from the rear, which provides a good look at the infotainment system. The 10.25-inch TFT display takes center stage, but to either side, partially obscured by the handlebars, are two panels which would be logical positions for speakers from Marshall.

BMW’s press release, included below, says that the first products from its partnership with Marshall will be presented soon, with more information to come on July 29. We expect this will include details about both the R18B and R18 Transcontinental.

Begin Press Release:

BMW Motorrad and Marshall announce strategic partnership.

Riding a motorcycle while listening to music – both fit well together, as they promise deep emotional experiences and intense pleasure on two wheels. It is not for nothing that generations of artists have dedicated their songs to the experience of motorcycling. “Born to be Wild” is a notable example.

To ensure that beats and basses perfectly complement the ear while riding, BMW Motorrad has long been engaged in intensive development work on its sound systems. With its now agreed long-term partnership with world-renowned British company Marshall Amplification, the innovation and quality of BMW Motorrad sound systems are set to reach new heights.

For 60 years, Marshall, originally from Hanwell, London, now based in Bletchley, Milton Keynes (UK), have produced legendary guitar amplifiers used by the world’s best musicians. Since 2012 they have expanded their audio quality into award winning headphones and active speakers designed for music lovers.

The legendary Marshall spirit and the development power of BMW Motorrad will in future be reflected in new innovative products for motorcycles and music, especially in the BMW Motorrad Heritage segment.

BMW Motorrad will present the first new products resulting from this strategic partnership very soon. Stay tuned to find out more about this on 29 July 2021.

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the 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 12 comments
  • Ev Conger Ev Conger on Jul 27, 2021

    The engine is a work of art, I especially dig the Art Deco vents on the front cover. If I needed a sculpture to grace the lobby of my vacation home this would be it, but until I have said home the bike is useless to me. It’s a shame BMW didn’t take the engine concept amputate 800cc and squeeze it into something like a 1970’s gs frame. That formula would have enough art to be covetable and enough practicality to justify. On the other hand the engine as is might do well in a teak boat or garden tractor.

  • Doctor117 Doctor117 on Jul 30, 2021

    I'll never understand why MO commenters don't understand that an air cooled, low compression, OHV boxer twin of large displacement doesn't make supersport power. The torque from this thing is pretty amazing.

    Marshall actually makes great speakers outside of just amps (they have speakers in some of the best headphones below $500), so I bet these things sound pretty good.