By Dirck Edge
After rolling out several “concepts”, including the latest one last week in Italy (pictured), it is clear now that BMW is on course to introduce an 1,800cc boxer twin-powered cruiser as a production model.
The big boxer lump has been given a name by BMW … the R18. Reports indicate the bore and stroke is 107mm x 100mm – slightly oversquare, which might indicate the bike will rev a bit higher than some of its cruiser competition. This latest “Concept R18” showcases what are likely production frame and components, such as brake calipers, but the styling represents the efforts of Unique Custom Cycles of Sweden.
Nevertheless, BMW heritage shines through with the exposed driveshaft and iconic fuel tank shape and paint. But why would BMW enter the cruiser segment, when sales seem to be declining (and Harley-Davidson is diversifying with non-cruiser models)?
The answer to that question can be found in a quote from Timo Resch, vice president sales and marketing for BMW Motorrad:
“It has been a long-term strategic decision that if we want to continue the success story of BMW Motorrad, which has been for the last several years quite positive, at some point we have to look also at the cruiser segment. It has had a bit of a reduction, but it is still by far the biggest segment of the premium motorcycle world. We see that as an opportunity and chance for us.
Source: Motorcycle Daily