By Dennis Chung
BMW introduced a second version of its R18 cruiser, a touring model dubbed the R18 Classic, featuring a large windscreen, passenger seating, saddlebags, electronic cruise control, additional LED lighting and a 16-inch front wheel.
Like the R18 cruiser, the Classic is heavily influenced by the original 1936 BMW R5, with the Boxer engine showcased within a double-loop steel tube frame. In his review of the R18, Evans commended BMW for its attention to detail and authentic heritage, even if he disliked the lack of suspension travel and cramped foot position. The R18 Classic doesn’t veer too far from these positives or negatives, even with the mid-mount footpegs replaced with footboards (standard in the U.S. but optional in other markets).
Most of the R18’s elements are present on the R18 Classic. The big 1802cc OHV Boxer remains a focal point and its claimed output of 91 hp at 4750 rpm and 117 lb-ft. at 3000 rpm are the same as for the R18 (our own dyno testing produced 82.3 hp and 102.9 lb-ft.) The R18’s bulbous fishtail exhausts were replaced with straight pipes, ensuring enough clearance for the two removable four-gallon saddlebags.
The R18 Classic’s windshield is also removable, fitting at the top of the fork tube and connecting at the bottom with brackets. The windshield is connected to a bar which carries additional lighting.
The seat on the Classic is thicker and flatter than on the R18, and its 28-inch height is 0.8 inches higher as a result. The R18 Classic’s passenger seat is removable for those riding solo.
Up front, the R18 Classic uses a smaller 3.00×16″ wire-spoke wheel fitted with a 130/90 tire compared to the R18’s 3.5×19″ wheel and 120/70 tire. Both models share the same 5.0×16 rear wheel with a 180/65 …read more
Source:: 2021 BMW R18 Classic First Look