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.
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.
When I learned I was off to Austin last week with just a couple days notice, on a mysterious mission to see something BMW wanted to unleash on the public, somebody showed me a picture of the Custom Works Zon bike from Japan, “Departed.” When I looked at it I LOL’d oh ho ho!, and said no way is BMW building anything remotely like that. And especially no way on the Japanese custom’s oversize boxer Twin, complete with pushrod tubes. You gots to be kidding me.
German website Motorrad has published a photograph of what appears to be a BMW bagger powered by a large Boxer engine has been spotted undergoing tests on public roads. The engine is believed to be based on the prototype “R18” engine that BMW showcased in December in the one-off “Departed” concept by Japanese builder Custom Works Zon (pictured above).