A touring version of the BMW R18 cruiser has been spotted by spy photographers, sporting a fork-mounted windscreen and leather saddlebags. A potential competitor to the Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic, this touring model joins the cruiser and fairing-mounted bagger versions we uncovered in design filings in late February.
The pie, everyone agrees, is shrinking, and nobody can agree on how to bake a new one. Many, if not most industry people seem to have concluded millennials are just cell phone-addicted slackers, though slackers is not the word many of them use in private conversation. What it’s all about now, then, is conquest sales, and when the Germans start talking conquest, people listen. One way to conquer is by lowering prices, which would seem to suggest the slackification could be a money-related issue, wouldn’t it? I can’t remember the last time BMW admitted to taking aim at a specific competitor, but for the new F 900 XR in our lead image, it’s the Yamaha Tracer 900. For the barer-boned F 900 R, it’s the Kawasaki Z900 – both rich targets and great bargains.
While we continue to wait on the slow drip of official news on BMW‘s 1800cc cruisers, we’ve gotten our mitts on design filings for what appears to be the production models of the R18 in cruiser and bagger form. [UPDATE: BMW announced the R18 production model will be revealed on April 3. The announcement suggests just a single bike, a cruiser, will be revealed. No word on when we can expect the bagger version.]
Part one and two of BMW R NineT Racer were filmed on location at Buttonwillow Raceway in the scorching heat of a summertime Mojave Desert. Now for part three, Boxer Team America heads Northeast to SLC and the high elevation of Utah Motorsports Campus (formerly known as Miller Motorsports Park for those of us that have been around for a while) with two new team members to participate in another AHRMA National.
I’ve been reviewing BMW’s flat-Twin boxer powered bikes since I started testing motorcycles in the late ’80s and have burbled around on historic versions too, dating back to a beater ’64 R60/S my now ex-husband gave me to ride (quite possibly because it was less traceable then cyanide). Through it all, the boxer, with its punch-punch rhythm and unique seesaw jig always felt like an old friend, no matter the sprinkling of magic German engineering dust, or the ambition of the motorcycle BMW built around it.
We were expecting BMW to debut its new “Big Boxer” cruisers at EICMA but were left disappointed with yet another concept model. We don’t have anything against concepts, really, but the R18/2 shown at EICMA was already the fourth to incorporate the new engine, and despite the spy photos that have popped up, it seems like BMW’s new cruisers just aren’t quite ready for full production yet.
Earlier this year, BMW unveiled the Concept R18. Centered around the 1800cc air/oil-cooled boxer Twin, the surrounding bodywork was very historically-inspired, producing a themed motorcycle that would look right at home in the 1930s as it does today. Fast forward to EICMA 2019 and BMW has followed that up with its second concept – the R18/2. Stylistically opposite from the Concept R18, the big 1800cc boxer is still in the middle, but everything around it is BMW’s interpretation of performance cruiser.
Newly released filings from the California Air Resources Board confirm the BMW S1000XR is getting updates for 2020, likely including the ShiftCam variable-valve timing system added on the new S1000RR. Those looking for similar updates to the S1000R may be disappointed, however, as CARB documents suggest the naked bike is not getting the same updates.
Brazil’s intellectual property office has published a design registration for what appears to be a BMW F800R replacement equipped with the F850GS’ parallel-Twin engine. The leaked design was originally spotted by Motor1 Brazil, which published a few of the diagrams from the filing, but we’ve dug up the complete set in higher resolution of what we’ll assume will be called the 2020 BMW F850R.
BMW has made no secret about plans to produce a new 1800cc cruiser. The company has confirmed as much, and commissioned several concept models built around the massive boxer engine. Heck, BMW France is already taking orders, based only on the R18 Concept BMW showed off in May at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
Part one of BMW R NineT Racer: Getting the Boxer in Shape for Battle focused on assembling a two-rider team made up of retired road racer/team owner and BMW dealership owner Gary Orr. Rider number two was MO videographer/veteran of exactly one road race in 2014 – Your’s Truly. Additional technical, logistical, and financial support was provided from Osh Minelian and Mike Ngo. Osh owns Oshmo Motorworks – a BMW service and hop-up shop. Mike is the man with a dream of reviving a spec Boxer series in America and all around Boxer fanboy.
Last fall, BMW introduced a line of upgrades and accessories for the S1000RR, under the company’s M performance brand. BMW may be planning to expand that concept with a line of high performance M models, as the company has filed trademark applications for M 1000 RR, M 1000 XR and M 1300 GS.