2023 BMW R NineT 100 Years and R 18 100 Years Editions First Look

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

A hundred years of BMW Motorrad

BMW Motorrad is commemorating its 100th anniversary with the release of Special Heritage editions of the R nineT and R18. BMW will produce 1,923 units of each model, recognizing the debut of the brand’s first motorcycle, the R 32, in September 1923 at the German Motor Show in Berlin.

Both models come with a number of chrome and Option 719 parts, including some milled pieces and several paint-on-chrome surfaces. The use of chrome recognizes its historical use in motorcycles, particularly from the 1920s and onwards.

The R18 and R nineT 100 Year editions with the R 32, BMW’s first motorcycle.

The painted chrome elements actually posed a new challenge that BMW didn’t face in the past with classic models like the R 75/5, because of changes in paint technology. In the past, manufacturers used solvent-based paints which worked well with chromium, but modern solvent-free paints are more finicky.

For the 100 Year editions, BMW had to use a REACH regulation-compliant Chromium III process that requires the metal surface to be polished to a high gloss and be free of dust and scratches. The parts then had to be immersed in various electroplating baths to add layers of copper, nickel, and chromium. Paint can then be added in several layers, with a final clear coat added at the end.

For the U.S., the 2023 BMW R 18 100 Years is priced at $18,990, plus a $895 destination fee. The R nineT 100 Years is priced at $19,995 plus a $695 destination fee. Both models will be available in the first quarter of 2023.

2023 BMW R nineT 100 Years

The R nineT 100 Years edition features a chrome tank with black paint and white double pinstriping, plus a two-tone black/oxblood red seat. The chrome parts are paired with black components such as the fork tubes, air intakes and Option 719 Classic black anodized rims.

The milled cylinder head covers, front engine cover, seat holder, and oil filler plug are from the Option 719 Billet Pack Shadow collection while the adjustable hand levers, pegs, expansion tank covers and bar-end mirrors are from the Billet Pack Shadow II collection.

The R nineT 100 Years edition comes standard with an adaptive cornering headlight, heated grips, cruise control, and Riding Modes Pro. An anti-theft alarm is available as an optional accessory.

2023 BMW R 18 100 Years

The R 18 100 Years edition comes in a similar chrome and black look with double white pin-striping. The seat is also two-toned black and oxblood red, but is embossed with a diamond pattern. BMW calls the black color “Avus Black,” named for a 12.1-mile long high speed race track west of Berlin.

Breaking up the black look is a number of chrome parts including the hand and foot levers, handlebar clamps, handlebar weights, mirrors, brake master cylinders, brake calipers, engine cover, cylinder head covers, and intake manifold covers.

The R 18 100 Years also comes with a chromed Akrapovič exhaust with a perforated tailpipe trim shaped like the BMW logo.

Standard features include Automatic Stability Control, Headlight Pro, cruise control and heated grips. Floorboards and an anti-theft system are available as dealer installed accessories.

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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 19 comments
  • Craig Hoffman Craig Hoffman on Dec 17, 2022

    It is funny how a trivial detail like the BMW roundel in the R 18's exhaust tip attracts undue attention to me, but that detail is indicative of exactly why BMW should probably cut their losses and give up on this machine in the US market. BMW simply doesn't "get it" when it comes to large premium cruisers. In fairness, the R nineT is an interesting bike. Dunno if I would go so far as to say I like it, but I don't hate it, so that's progress.

    Thank goodness BMW has interesting and cutting edge bikes in their other sport and touring oriented lines.

  • Stuki Moi Stuki Moi on Dec 17, 2022

    I find both these bikes absolutely gorgeous. But I do have soft spot for the look of the Boxers. Less so for the heads getting in the way of my Roadcrafter's, comically large but still, knee pads.

    Seeing how simultaneously "traditional" and just "right" these two bikes look next to eachother; just reinforces that Harley NEEDs to start adding R9T "class" bikes to their lineup. Done right, there is no way it should offend Harley's more "R18 minded" existing customers. Instead simply providing them with an alternative for trips where the big bike is just too big. Doubly so now, that technology allows even "traditional" bikes to have all the power anyone could want on the street.