BMW Motorrad take R 18 next level with introduction of new models

BMW Motorrad Australia will grow its big bike family with the introduction of the new Transcontinental and R 18 B variants next month. Revealed in a world premiere, the new models will bring unique style, features, character and new levels of capability.

The R 18 Transcontinental delivers grand touring capability for luxurious point-to-point cruising and boasts features such as a front fairing with high wind shield, wind deflector and flaps.

A cockpit with four analogue round instruments and 10.25-inch TFT colour display and a Marshall Gold Series Stage 2 sound system join a heated seat to ensure the rider can tour in premium comfort.

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Aesthetically, the R 18 Transcontinental also receives an additional headlamp, engine protection bars, a top case and chrome engine trim finished in silver metallic.

Its new sibling, the R 18 B, provides a focus on riding pleasure with its own distinct sense of style and character. It features a handlebar-mounted fairing for superior wind and weather protection and an elaborately manufactured double-loop tube steel frame.

The R 18 B’s cockpit integrates four analogue instruments and high definition 10.25-inch TFT colour display and a Marshall Gold Series Stage 1 sound system. Differing from the Transcontinental, the B will have a slimmer seat and lower windscreen.

It also goes without the top box and has matte black engine trimmings. Both new models are powered by BMW’s renowned two-cylinder boxer engine, developed for the original R 18, released in 2020.

Aside from its impressive appearance, the engine also links back to the traditional air-cooled boxer engines that have provided inspiring experiences since BMW Motorrad began manufacturing motorcycles in 1923.

The most powerful two-cylinder flat twin engine ever built for motorcycle series production boasts an engine capacity of 1,802cc, generating 67kW (91hp) and 158Nm, as well as formidable pulling power and sonorous sound.

The foundation of the chassis of the new R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B is a double-loop tube steel frame, with a backbone of sheet metal formed parts. The suspension elements deliberately dispense with any adjustment options.

Instead, a telescopic fork and a directly swinging-arm mounted cantilever suspension strut with travel-dependent damping and automatically adjustable spring preload ensure superior light-alloy cast wheel control and responsive suspension comfort.

The new Transcontinental and R 18 B feature a double disc brake at the front and a single disc brake at the rear, in conjunction with four-piston fixed callipers and BMW Motorrad full integral ABS.

BMW R 18 Transcontinental First Edition
BMW R 18 Transcontinental First Edition

Active cruise control, which is fitted as standard on both variants for the local market, enables relaxed gliding with distance control, without need for the rider to adjust their speed to the vehicle in front.

With the aid of radar sensors integrated into the front fairing, the motorcycle is either accelerated automatically or speed adjusted depending on the situation on the road.

ACC also ensures particularly safe cornering. Where necessary, the cornering control system automatically reduces the speed, providing the rider the appropriate speed for a comfortable and safe banking angle.

The new R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B feature a mid-mounted foot peg position for the footrests. This position behind the cylinders is not only typical of BMW, it also allows a relaxed and active riding position for the best possible control.

The Transcontinental is equipped with a seat designed for long journey comfort, with heating as standard. Its B sibling includes a slimmer two-person seat bench that befits the model’s style and riding intention. It also features a heating function.

The new R 18 Transcontinental is fitted as standard with running boards, while the new R 18 B features wider footrests. Both models feature the iconic “BERLIN BUILT” badging as well.

Each is offered with three ride modes; Rain, Roll and Rock, to provide a range of riding characteristics for different situations. The standard equipment roster also includes automatic stability control), and engine drag torque control.

All Australian models will come with reverse gear and hill start control as standard. The Marshall Gold Series Stage 1 and 2 sound systems, part of a new collaboration between Marshall and BMW, deliver crisp and powerful audio performance.

The systems feature speakers with black cover grilles and white Marshall lettering to provide a classic look, while offering up to 280 watts of total output to deliver incomparable sound quality.

The new R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B are also available in exclusive First Edition variants from launch. The special models will have special features, including classic black paintwork with white double-lining.

Additional highlights include specially designed surfaces (Chrome Package), high-grade stitching on the seat and “First Edition” badging. A host of accessories will also be available, as well as the Option 719 Galaxy Dust metallic paint finish.

BMW are expecting bike arrivals in August, with pricing from $39,310 for R 18 B and $41,675 for R 18 Transcontinental (both plus on-roads). Further information is available from your local BMW Motorrad dealer.

BMW R 18 B
BMW R 18 B
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin
Andrew Jenkin is the ride editor at Exhaust Notes Australia, founding editor of Two Wheel Addicts, a contributor at Bike Review and panel judge for Harley Davidson's Breakout Boss competition. Andrew has a love for anything on two wheels whether that be sports, naked or adventure bikes, with a guilty pleasure for cruisers.


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