With the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este as a backdrop, BMW unveiled its third concept bike showcasing the new 1800cc R18 boxer engine. The BMW Motorrad Concept R18 is the first completely in-house design following the Departed concept by Custom Works Zon and the Birdcage by Revival Cycles.
The Concept R1’s proportions are reminiscent of the R5. The tank and the frame form a straight line from the steering head to the rear hub.
Lead designer Bart Janssen Groesbeek drew elements from classic BMW models such as the R5, R50 and R60. BMW describes the design as “a forward projection of a 1960s boxer engine could look like today as a purist custom bike in combination with all the classic design icons of BMW Motorrad design.”
Elements such as the cradle frame, exposed shaft drive, drop-shaped fuel tank draw from BMW’s heritage. The large wire-spoke wheels (21-inch up front, 18 rear) are shod in tires from Metzeler, BMW’s historic tire supplier.
Of course, the highlight of all three concepts is BMW’s new air-cooled R18 Boxer engine. The massive 1800cc engine was designed from the ground up to look like BMW’s boxer from the ’60s, just a lot bigger. The engine block and transmission cases are made of bead-blasted aluminum, creating a contrast to the polished aluminum elements like the valve covers and the pushrods.
The Concept R18 is carburetted in another nod to history, this time drawing on BMW’s automobile heritage, using Solex dual carbs similar to those used in the ’70s-era BMW 2002. The concept is devoid of any electronics, …read more