C’mon, you knew it was going to happen. How could we not put the newcomer to the ADV scene head-to-head with the long standing heavyweight from the Fatherland? Our comparison of the Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Special and BMW R 1250 GS kicks off a series of monthly two-bike tests for 2022. Look out for a new scorchin’ comparison from MO every month. Spanning the smorgasbord of genres, your favorite kooky MO characters will ride, review, and bicker about some of the spiciest meatballs on the market today. To kick things off though, America versus Germany!
The R18 Transcontinental and R18 Bagger have been getting a lot of attention lately, as BMW‘s foray into large-displacement cruiser touring segment. Getting somewhat lost, however, are BMW’s existing K1600 range, which used to be the company’s representatives in the touring category. While still part of BMW’s lineup, the six-cylinder models have not been updated since the 2017 model year, not even receiving any changes to meet Euro 5 standards that came into effect last year.
You know what they say: It’s more fun to ride a slow motorcycle fast than a fast motorcycle slow. Yet another example of conventional wisdom baloney. It’s actually more fun to ride a fast bike fast, or even a medium-fast one. I’m pretty sure that’s why they keep building faster motorcycles all the time. Heck, you could argue faster bikes are also safer, because power can get you out of trouble just as easily as it can get you into it (once you’ve learned to ride, that is). And power can launch you out of corners, instead of incentivizing you to cling to every mph when you’re diving into them the way slow bikes do when ridden in packs of MOrons. Have you seen a Moto3 race? They’re faster mid-corner than the Moto2 or MotoGP bikes.
If you’re curious what technology you might expect to see on motorcycles of the future, look no further than the cars of today. From anti-lock braking systems to traction control and variable valve timing, nearly all the tech we’re ogling over on today’s motorcycles originated on cars 20 years ago. Or more. By now the trickle-down effect of that technology is such that even your basic commuter car already incorporates it.
BMW debuted a new electric two-wheeler concept it hopes to be an urban commuter for today’s youth. Specifically, the BMW Motorrad Concept CE 02 is designed for people 16 and over who are more familiar with smart technology than motorcycles. Think more Instagram than fuel injection and more TikTok than torque curves.
Despite the best efforts of the Coronavirus Delta Variant, things are slowly starting to return to normal. Naturally, for those of us in the moto-biz, that means the manufacturers are starting to invite us to ride their newest machinery, rather than settling for a videoconference unveiling. Receiving the invitation from BMW to the R18B and R18 Transcontinental launch was enough to get my juices flowing because it’s been more than a decade since the last time I enjoyed Colorado on two wheels. When BMW sent a second email asking if I’d like to ride a bike home, I was stoked to have the opportunity to more fully test the BMW’s long-haul capability. No more work got done that day as I began to construct my route. If everything goes as planned, I’ve got 1,300 miles to build a close relationship with my borrowed steed.
Don’t look now, but the field of naked bikes slotting in just below the 1000cc mark is starting to rise – and we’re all the better for it. Maybe the OEMs have figured out that those big beasts in the upper echelons of naked bike performance are just too much for the more sensible among us. They’re too big, too fast, too powerful, with too much electronics, and too much of a price tag. For those of us still with a desire for naked bike fun, but at a slightly more moderate pace, we bring you the assembly of motorcycling you see before you.
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
Spy photographers have spotted what we assume to be the 2023 BMW R1300GS prototype undergoing testing at a facility that bears a striking resemblance to BMW’s Enduro Park Hechlingen where E-i-C Evans Brasfield attended a riding course, way back in 2013. Since this large training ground offers a wide variety of terrain to challenge a big bike, it would be an ideal facility to inconspicuously put a new adventure bike through its paces away from (most) prying eyes.