Zach from Revzilla takes us on a 35-minute ride to give his thoughts on the new and beautiful BMW R 18.
Personally, I find this new bike one of the most beautiful and classically styled cruiser bikes in recent years. Unfortunately, as I learned today, sometimes you must trade comfort and ergonomics for style.
Being an 1800cc cruiser, it’s obvious that you will be riding a bike catered towards going in a straight line for long distances but I got worried after Zach mentioned the awkward seating position due to the low nature of the motorcycle. Albeit, we’re both tall dudes but if you’ve ever sat on a Harley-Davidson you will understand the importance of comfort in a motorcycle suited for cruising.
The peg scraping. Oh my lord. I cringed every time this bike went into any form of a mellow corner. This thing couldn’t turn without scraping if its life depended on it. I can’t stress this enough; BMW made a major tradeoff to take lowered styling to the nth degree as the suspension has lower travel and as a result gives the motorcycle quite a bumpy ride as noted in the video.
There are still some great features to note stemming from the mechanical components of the motorcycle though. BMW has made high-quality motorcycles for a very long time now, and it really shows in the overall performance of the engine and clutch.
Zach puts it perfectly in his own words, “The problem with the R 18 in my mind, is Harley-Davidson is leaning on all that heritage and history that they have of building bikes like that – building big cruisers – and I guess I just don’t see it with the R 18. It feels like a beautiful well-engineered homage to a heritage that doesn’t exist and I guess I don’t know why it’s a thing, even though I think its well-executed and rides nicely…”