Motorrad brings updated R nineT and new R 18 Classic tourer down under

QUARTER one of 2021 is going to be huge for BMW Motorrad, with the arrival of an updated lineup of the awesome R nineT, along with the launch of the much hyped R 18 Classic, the touring version of its new R 18 cruiser.

The revised R nineT, which first launched in 2013 and made an immediate statement with its combination of classic motorcycle design and modern technology, will receive a raft of changes for 2021, including technical and visual fine tuning for its boxer engine.

Its peak power output is now 80kW (109hp), while maximum torque now sits at 116Nm. Newly designed cylinder heads provide a more harmonious transition from the outer to the inner cooling fins as well.

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Updated throttle valve parts and cylinder head covers give the bike even greater aesthetic appeal, while a new turbulence system inside the cylinder heads swirls the mixture to ensure even better and cleaner combustion and increased torque.

A more full-bodied power and torque curve – especially in the range between 4000 and 6000rpm – ensures pulling power levels are now tangibly better than those of the predecessor.

The new R nineT models now feature ABS Pro in combination with DBC (Dynamic Brake Control) across the lineup, for increased safety when braking. Standard features also include a new shock absorber with travel-dependent damping (WAD).

Rain and Road riding modes are also now included as standard. A newly designed instrument cluster features the BMW logo, as well as indicator lights that are invisible when not illuminated.

The new R nineT also has a headlamp and white indicator lights featuring LED technology. A USB charging socket also complements the range of standard equipment. Riding modes change across the board as well.

Dyna mode can now be added on the R nineT and R nineT Pure, with Dirt mode on the R nineT Scrambler and R nineT Urban G/S. Dynamic traction control and engine drag torque control is also available.

The Comfort Package, comprising Riding Modes Pro, cruise control and heated handlebar grips, will be standard on Australian-delivered R nineT and Urban G/S, and optional for the R nineT Pure and R nineT Scrambler.

The turning light and the rear silencer design option are new to the range as well. The traditional Option 719 package offers particularly exclusive and high-quality options for customisation of the R nineT to suit owners’ personal tastes.

This exclusive range of parts now includes elements such as unique wheels, milled parts packages and a rear conversion with short rear end and number plate holder behind the rear wheel, as well as a rear end in tracker style (Tracker rear end).

The enhancements for the R nineT model family are rounded off with new standard and optional paint finishes, with the Urban G/S to be offered exclusively in Australia in the ‘Edition 40 Years GS’ scheme.

Around the same time as the new R nineT lands in Australia, so will the R 18 Classic, the second variant of BMW Motorrad’s first-ever cruiser, the standard R 18 version of which goes on sale in local dealerships this week.

The new model variant, which launched globally overnight, borrows from famous models such as the BMW R 5.

Classic design is merged with contemporary technology in the R 18 Classic and standard R 18 to create a compelling overall concept for enthusiasts, with the centre piece of both variants a newly developed two-cylinder boxer engine – known as the Big Boxer.

Its impressive appearance and technology reflect a continuation of the traditional air-cooled boxer engines that have offered an inspiring riding experience for more than seven decades, back to when BMW Motorrad began production in 1923.

The most powerful two-cylinder boxer engine ever used in motorcycle series production has a displacement of 1,802cc, with peak output of 67kW (91hp), and more than 150Nm of torque. It combines this elemental pulling power with a full, sonorous sound.

A double-loop steel tube frame is at the heart of the new R 18 Classic’s suspension. Its design perpetuates a longstanding BMW Motorrad tradition; a rear swinging arm – sporting a comparable design to the R5 – surrounds the rear axle transmission.

It features bolted connections, dispensing with electronic adjustment options, with a telescopic fork and directly mounted central suspension strut with travel-dependent damping and adjustable spring preload ensuring superior wheel control and comfort.

As with the legendary BMW R 5, the tubes of the telescopic fork are encased in fork sleeves. The fork tube diameter is 49mm, while the suspension travel is 120mm at the front and 90mm at the rear.

The new BMW R 18 Classic and R 18 are decelerated by a twin disc brake at the front and a single disc brake at the rear in conjunction with four-piston fixed calipers. The wire-spoked wheels ensure a stylish appearance.

In keeping with the BMW Motorrad philosophy, the new BMW R 18 Classic and R 18 feature laid-back positioning of the footrests. This classic placement behind the cylinders is not only typical of BMW; it also enables a relaxed and active riding position.

The new R 18 Classic and R 18 offer three standard riding modes; Rain, Roll and Rock, to adapt to individual rider preferences. Standard trim also includes disengageable automatic stability control for a higher level of rider safet.

In addition, the new R 18 Classic and R 18 are equipped as standard with engine drag torque control, with reverse assist and hill start control optional extras.

The functional and stylistic elements such as the double-loop frame, pear-drop tank, open-running universal shaft and the double-lined paintwork are reminiscent of the legendary boxer dating back to 1936.

The classic bodywork features of the R 18 Classic and R 18 are also fashioned from metal – as befits an authentic classic. The rigid-frame concept of the R 5 is transported into the modern age in visual terms too.

The new R 18 variants will be offered worldwide as an exclusive R 18 Classic First Edition and R 18 First Edition right from launch, with a standard model reserved additionally for certain markets.

It combines the R 18 look with exclusive equipment features in a classic black finish with white double-lined paintwork. Other highlights include numerous chrome surfaces, a seat badge and a ‘First Edition’ chrome clasp on the side covers.

Both models are fitted with an easily removable rear frame and a simple-to-dismantle painted part set. Carefully conceived interface points for the hydraulic lines of the brake, clutch and cable harness allow problem-free installation of higher or lower handlebars too.

In addition, the visible valve covers and the belt cover are designed in such a way that they are located outside the oil chamber, making them simple to change.

For the market launch of the new R 18 Classic and R 18, two different design collections of milled aluminium parts are available, created in collaboration with Roland Sands Design and known as ‘Machined’ and -2-Tone-Black’.

BMW Motorrad is collaborating not just with Roland Sands Design, but also several well-known suppliers for its accessories and customising program, incluing Mustang Seat and Vance & Hines.

Detailed final specifications, along with pricing, will be provided closer to the official launch of the 2021 BMW R nineT and 2021 BMW R 18 Classic.

2021 BMW R 18 Classic
2021 BMW R 18 Classic
News Desk
News Desk
The News Desk is the hub of Exhaust Notes Australia. It's from here that our team of writers journalists and photographers bring you the latest happenings from the world of motoring.


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