April 20, 2021
By Joy Burgess
In 2020, BMW launched its R 18 super-cruiser, the German firm’s take on the high-end production custom. It featured the largest-displacement boxer engine in company history, and also brought back some of BMW’s timeless design features.
Recently, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame got an R 18 on loan from Motohio, a local Euro bike dealer, and once Motohio’s owner tossed AMA Director of Operations Steve Austin the keys, Austin had to experience the fun — and the torque — this bike has to offer.
“I went from riding my mid-sized adventure bike,” Steve told us, “to a giant German cruiser in the space of five minutes. The bike has sublime details, including exposed shaft drive, old-school pinstriping and a concealed rear suspension to give the appearance of a rigid frame.”
“The enormous 1800cc (110 cubic inch) engine,” he continued, “has a very pronounced torque reaction on the throttle, just like my old 1962 BMW R69S – but times 10! Not surprising when you consider each one of the horizontally opposed cylinders measures 900cc and the engine puts out 91 hp and 117 lb-ft of torque, which was enough for me to break the rear tire loose a couple of times around town.”
The R 18 loaner is part of the lead-up to the BMW Heritage roadshow, which is being hosted at the AMA Hall of Fame on July 10 and 11 from 9 am to 5 pm. Along with a BMW Heritage display, there will be vendors, music, food and free admission to the museum.
Want to give the new BMWs a test ride yourself? The BMW roadshow will bring both R 18 and R nineT models for test rides, so here’s your chance.