The new BMW R 18 | Big Boxer or Bonkers Bagger

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BMW have just announced a brace of new R 18 models, and they’re as whopping as ever. The R 18 Transcontinental and the R 18 B… B is for Bagger. They are calling the Transcontinental a ‘Grand American Tourer’ and the B, well, a ‘Bagger’.

Both models come with BMW’s big fat 1,802cc twin cylinder boxer engine which makes 91hp at 4,750rpm. But we all know an engine like that isn’t about peak power, it’s about torque; of which it makes more than 150Nm between 2,000rpm and 4,000rpm. Absolute tractor of a thing.

It’s got a very traditional double-loop tube steel frame and also fairly traditional, non-adjustable suspension.

Cruise control is standard, and Adaptive Cruise Control with the radar sensors speed matching, is available, but you’ve got to pay extra. In fact there are quite a few optional extras with both models. You can have a reversing aid, hill-start control, a stereo with Marshall speakers (on the Transcontinental), and then there are, of course, a raft of ‘Option 719’ bits and pieces you can throw at your R 18 to really make it yours.

Both new BMW R 18 models come with a nice big 10.25” TFT screen as well as four more classic looking dials. There are three riding modes, as well as Automatic Stability Control, Motor Slip Regulation and, of course, our old friend ABS. Heated grips are standard, as is keyless ignition, and LED lights.

So what’s the difference between the Transcontinental and the ‘B’ then?

Well BMW say the Transcontinental is the ideal bike for travelling long distances on. It’s front fairing has a high windscreen and ‘wind deflector flaps’, whatever they are. It’s got a heated seat, engine guards and a 24litre fuel tank.

The Bagger, they say, “is a ‘riders machine’ that delivers emotional pleasure and ideal for cool touring and cruising” – their words, not mine. You don’t get the top box on the ‘B’, and it comes with a lower windscreen, a thinner seat and a matt black engine.

All that tech and all that torque comes at a bit of a price though. Prices for the BMW R 18 B start at £21,500 and for the R 18 Transcontinental, start at £23,300. But hey, you can’t put a price on style, can you? According to BMW, they should start appearing in dealers in about September 2021. So what do you think? Are the new BMW R 18 models a bit of you? Or are they not your bag(ger)? Sorry… I’ll get my coat.

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