Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 30th May 2019

BMW has shown off another concept bike based around an 1800cc boxer twin engine; the third in a fairly long and drawn out process that will almost certainly see the production bike revealed later this year.

The new BMW Concept R18 was unveiled at the super-swanky and exclusive Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este event on the shores of Lake Como in northern Italy with the bike featuring the most production ready parts of the three.

The Concept R18 has shown off an all-new large capacity boxer twin which BMW will slot into a heritage-inspired cruiser range to take on the might of the likes of Harley-Davidson.

The German firm has been searching for an answer to the cruiser questions since the demise of the R1200C which never really hit the spot for BMW or cruiser fans.

BMW boss Dr Markus Schramm said: “With this dream bike, BMW Motorrad presents its own version of an emotional and authentic offer for the large cruiser segment.”

The BMW Motorrad Concept R18 shows how a 1960s boxer engine could look like today as a custom bike in combination with all the classic design icons of BMW Motorrad.

Edgar Heinrich, head of BMW Motorrad Design said: “With its clear aesthetics openly on display, the Concept R18 embodies for me what motorcycling, at its core, is really about. 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.”


It may look like an old boxer twin from the 1960s but don’t be fooled, this is an all-new motor that has been designed to appeal to riders who are used to big capacity engines from Harley-Davidson.

While BMW is keeping the exact details a secret at the moment, it’s clear this engine is almost a production version as so many of the parts could easily be ready right now.

Ignore the carburettors, those aren’t going to make it to production thanks to the latest emissions regulations so expect fuel injection on the finished bike.

BMW’s press release explains: “The big prototype boxer has been designed down to the last detail: the engine block and transmission are made of glass bead-blasted aluminium, providing an ideal stage on which to present the hand-polished aluminium components as well as the belt guard and valve covers. The engine badge bears the name of the concept bike and emphasises the overall quality.

“Another optical 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 serves to keep its engineering clearly visible. Similarly, the electronics of the concept bike are reduced to no more than starter and lights, underlining its purist design.”


The BMW Motorrad Concept R18 is the third BMW interpretation of the large-capacity boxer engine. Last December the model created by the Japanese customisers, Custom Works Zon was presented at the Yokohama Hot Rod Show, on the basis of this new prototype engine. Named ‘Departed’ it won the ’Best of Show Motorcycle’ award.

The second was the interpretation by Revival Cycles. The customisers from Austin, Texas created a spectacular bike with their ‘Revival Birdcage’ model, an ideal presentation platform for the Big Boxer.

Expect to see the production bike later in 2019 and for the finished production bike to be on sale in 2020.