BMW Motorrad Concept R18 charms Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este

BMW Motorrad Concept R18 will make its world debut at 2019 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este

BMW Motorrad took the wraps off the gorgeous R18 cruiser motorcycle concept. The company has said that the motorcycle will also go into production as early as next year.

against the backdrop of a bustling mix of the traditional and the modern on show at the concorso d’eleganza villa d’este, BMW motorrad presents an engaging alternative. conceived as a return to the brand’s core, but with a modern twist, the BMW motorrad concept R18 focuses on maximizing a bike’s most fundamental components. ‘the biggest challenge in the design is to render everything visible,’ says bart janssen groesbeek, designer of the concept bike. ‘every part has a functional purpose.’

the BMW motorrad concept R18 is immediately recognizable as a genuine BMW. the boxer engine, cradle frame, exposed universal shaft and drop-shaped fuel tank with its black paintwork and hand-applied contrast lines interpret typical design icons of BMW motorrad classics. the frame and tank create a common line all the way from the steering head to the rear wheel hub and lend a flowing elegance to the side view, while the large spoke wheels (front 21 inch, rear 18 inch) provide a secure stance and perfectly balance the dominant power unit.

‘with its clear aesthetics openly on display, the concept R18 embodies for me what motorcycling, at its core, is really about,’ explains edgar heinrich, head of BMW motorrad design. ‘it is all about feeling instead of thinking, and not using technology for self-staging, instead giving space for imagination. this concept bike appeals to something deep down – you just want to just get on it and ride off. but when you get off it again, you don’t just put it in the garage and walk away – you turn around again and give it a final parting glance’.

the heart of the BMW motorrad concept R18 is the large, newly designed, two-cylinder 1800 cc boxer engine. the engine block and transmission are made of glass bead-blasted aluminum, while solex dual carburettors reference the brand’s construction history. another highlight is the exposed, chrome-plated universal shaft that connects the back wheel to the drive. there are no further covers anywhere on the motorcycle, which strives to keep its engineering clearly visible.

‘for me, motorcycles like the BMW motorrad concept R18 are a response to a growing need among the motorcycling community: instead of technology, the focus here is on simplification, authenticity and transparency,’ heinrich continues. ‘I observe an almost romantic yearning for real mechanical engineering. our aim with this concept bike is to address this need and turn it into an analogue statement in a digital age. we have a rich history of iconic motorcycles, and they all bear the same design characteristics. we believe that this can still work well together today with the current technology.’