The fact that BMW has been hard at work on a production version of its big, beautiful 1,800cc boxer should come as no surprise. The retro-inspired mill has recently been part of some mouth-watering one-offs, notably the R18, and it honestly would have been a crime not to see it made available to the masses.
Recent spy shots reveal BMW’s intentions for 2020 in a cruiser that appears to share some of the aesthetic we saw on the R18, but with much more pragmatic design elements. The R 1800 will likely be unveiled officially within the next month or so, and we’re thrilled.
The images don’t reveal a lot, since they all show the machine partially covered under a tarp, possibly making the trip between photo shoot locations. But we know the chrome-accented engine was inspired by ’60s-era boxers, and is part of BMW’s larger plan to develop a line of big cruisers.
What we do see are dual disc brakes at the front, a thick set of telescoping forks, polished covers, gorgeous dual exhaust, a shaft drive, luggage options, a two-up seating arrangement, and in a few instances what appears to be the shape of a tall windscreen under the tarp. The main frame architecture looks to be similar to that used on the R18 as does the nostalgic teardrop tank.
There’s a lot to be excited about if you’re wanting the comfort of a cruiser and the curb appeal of a machine replete with heritage styling. But will it be enough to steal some market share from the likes of Harley-Davidson and Indian? Only time will tell.