2021 BMW R 18 Classic First Look Preview

A touring-capable version of the BMW power cruiser.

BMW nailed it on its new R 18 cruiser. The 1,802cc boxer twin-powered motorcycle is an elegant blend of nostalgia and modern technology that elicits a visceral reaction from the first sight of the machine. It’s more than just good looks though. We were pleased to find the ride is surprisingly smooth, with ample pull throughout the rev range, along with a suspension and braking package that is remarkably effective on the 790-pound machine.

A few upgrades make the R 18 platform much more touring-capable in the R 18 Classic.BMW Motorrad

But the R 18 in base trim is essentially a big, classed-up bobber. Not the best for long-range rides. BMW is hoping to entice some riders to test the touring chops of its R 18 platform with the new R 18 Classic.

BMW has a winner on its hands with the R 18 Classic.BMW Motorrad

The Classic builds off the base package and adds a removable windscreen, saddlebags, and passenger seat. There’s an additional LED headlight, which is an upgrade we’d also like to see on the standard R 18 since we felt, during our MC Commute Review, the front lighting could benefit from an output bump. Cruise control will also be a standard feature on the Classic, as well as a 16-inch front wheel (the R 18 rolls on a 19-inch front). If you move fast, you can also get your hands on a First Edition, which will have special badging at numerous points on the bike.

The R 18 Classic will be available in standard or First Edition trim.BMW Motorrad

The Classic, as well as base, R 18 will also have an extensive catalog of upgrades to choose from so riders can further personalize their rides. Two collection sets were created for the new platform by Roland Sands Design,

The R 18 Classic will start at $19,495 and a First Edition will price at $21,870.

Saddlebags included.BMW Motorrad

2021 BMW R 18 Classic Specifications

Price: $19,495/$21,870 First Edition
Engine: 1,802cc, OHC, air-/oil-cooled boxer twin; 4-valve
Bore x Stroke: 107.1 x 100.0mm
Compression Ratio: 9.6:1
Fuel Delivery: Fuel injection
Clutch: Hydraulically actuated single-disc dry clutch
Transmission/Final Drive: 6-speed/shaft
Frame: Double-cradle steel
Front Suspension: 49mm telescopic fork; 4.7-in. travel
Rear Suspension: Cantilever shock; 3.5-in. travel
Front Brakes: 4-piston fixed calipers, 300mm discs w/ Integral ABS
Rear Brake: 4-piston fixed caliper, 300mm disc w/ Integral ABS
Wheels, Front/Rear: Spoked aluminum; 16 x 3.00 in. / 16 x 5.00 in.
Tires, Front/Rear: 130/90B-16 / 180/65B-16
Seat Height: 28.0 in.
Fuel Capacity: 4.2 gal.
Claimed Dry Weight: 805 lb.
Warranty: 2 years
Available: TBD
Contact: bmwmotorcycles.com
A 16-inch front wheel differentiates this Classic from the base R 18 as well, which rolls on a 19-inch front wheel.BMW Motorrad
Take a passenger on your next journey.BMW Motorrad
The removable windshield is another upgrade.BMW Motorrad
Ride modes and all the additional tech on the R 18 will be in place on the R 18 Classic.BMW Motorrad
Additional LED lighting at the front will make a noticeable difference.BMW Motorrad
If you opt for a First Edition, expect to see lots of badges.BMW Motorrad
Built for two.BMW Motorrad
Hit the open road on one of the most dialed new cruisers we’ve seen in a long time.BMW Motorrad
Classic styling in a modern package.BMW Motorrad