Rock and curler: BMW R18B and Transcontinental reviewed – Fraser Addecott

The German agency’s very good R18 retro cruiser will get a makeover, together with an superior sound system

Testing the R18B

BMW launched the R18 to normal acclaim again within the late summer time of 2020.

This minimalist, retro-model cruiser is powered by BMW’s greatest ever engine – an 1802cc pushrod, two-cylinder, 4-stroke boxer, which churns out an enormous 116 ft lb of torque at 3,000rpm and by no means falls beneath 110 ft lb.

The R18 seems incredible, has very good build and end high quality, and is a pleasure to trip.

Standard mannequin: The BMW R 18

The R18 was quickly adopted by the R18 Classic.

This added a fatter, 16in entrance wheel, a display screen, spotlights, a pillion seat and cruise management – and was clearly designed to tackle Harley’s massive cruisers in their very own again yard.

A bit particular: Fraser assessments the R 18 Classic


Joe Dick @iamjoeyphoto)

Now the vary has been additional expanded with the addition of the R18B and the Transcontinental, each of which we’re right here.

The most notable variations initially are the massive, wraparound entrance fairing and the strong bagger-model panniers – therefore the B within the title.

The Transcontinental has a prime-field and tremendous snug armchair-like backrest.

On tour – BMW R18 Transcontinental

Both bikes have the identical engine because the R18, however the body has been redesigned for extra energy, and the fork rake steepened in order that the wheelbase is definitely barely shorter.

The new bikes even have a bit of extra floor clearance, though I nonetheless discovered it fairly simple to scrape the footpegs.

The relatively cool trying open driveshaft remains to be there, though it’s a bit extra hidden away by the add-ons.

One relatively particular characteristic each fashions have is a sound system by legendary Brit agency Marshall Amplification.

Iconic – Marshall speaker

Jim Marshall started constructing amps within the early 60s after guitar clients at his household-run music retailer in London complained of not getting the tone they needed from current merchandise.

Browse greater than 19,000 new and used bikes on the market at

The first mannequin, the JTM45, constructed by Jim, son Terry and engineer Ken Bran, attracted 23 orders on its first day within the store in September 1962.

The relaxation is historical past, with demand just about exceeding provide ever since and nearly each main rock band and star making use of Marshall Stacks ever since.

Two nice names – BMW on the Marshall studio

Jim sadly handed away in 2012, however the business continues to go from energy to energy, with new traces together with audio system, headphones and drum kits underneath the Natal model title.

And now the Marshall title may be discovered on these two BMWs.

The R18B comes with the Marshall Gold Series Stage 1 set-up, with two audio system within the fairing and an 180 watt booster.

Controls and Marshall speaker

The Transcontinental has the optionally available Stage 2, which provides two audio system constructed into the backrest and two subwoofers.

The system is operated from the large 10.25in TFT display screen which sits beneath 4 conventional spherical analogue clocks within the cockpit.

Tech – cockpit with large 10.25in display screen

This contains SatNav through an app in your cellphone – which you pop right into a container on the highest of the tank the place it’s prevented from overheating by a cooling system

There are three trip modes – Rock, Roll and Rain, automated stability management, cruise management (with optionally available lively cruise management), engine brake management, a hill starter and a reverse gear.

Class – Fraser rides the BMW R18B

The latter is a boon as these bikes are considerably heavier that the usual R18.

That weight has a small impact on the efficiency of the engine and the dealing with, however each bikes are nonetheless a delight to trip.

The suspension is definitely improved as a consequence of additional journey on the rear and auto pre-load.

And the bucket-a great deal of torque on faucet making powering ahead in nearly any gear a doddle.

Both these bikes cater to one thing of a distinct segment market for big cruisers however, if a bagger’s your bag, they definitely give Harley a superb run for his or her money.

BMW R18B and Transcontinental

Engine: 1802cc twin-cylinder boxer

Max energy: 91bhp

Max torque: 116 ft lb

Colours: Black pinstripe; black; blue/silver; gold

Price: £21,500 (R18B); £23,300 (R18 TC)

Browse greater than 19,000 new and used bikes on the market at

Exit mobile version