Bikes > Motor

The BMW R18 is a gorgeous way to do social distancing on the road

In case you’re thinking of ditching your car and you can afford it

This makes us want to switch from four wheels to two. PHOTO FROM BMW

To say that BMW sells a lot of motorcycles these days would be simply pointing out the obvious. In the Philippines alone, BMW Motorrad moved 1,352 two-wheel rides last year, a 66% increase from the 813 units it had sold in 2018. So much for the notion that our motorbike market is a cheap one that merely caters to riders who can only afford P50,000 underbone models.

And because the motorcycle business has been exceptionally good for the German automaker, here’s a new cruiser that’s guaranteed to chalk up more sales for the company. Guys, meet the BMW R18. Described as a “supreme cruiser with historical roots,” the R18 borrows styling elements from the classic R5 of the 1930s. These include the exposed driveshaft, the double-loop tube frame, the rigid-frame rear swingarm with enclosed axle drive, and the wire-spoked wheels.

Thankfully, you cannot see us drooling all over our keyboard right now. Man, this cruiser rocks. PHOTOS FROM BMW

Powering this bike is BMW’s biggest, most powerful boxer engine yet. The distinctive-sounding 1,802cc twin-banger is good for 91hp and 158Nm. A telescopic fork with sleeves and a cantilever suspension strut with travel-dependent damping—not to mention the well-thought-out ergonomics—make it perfect for long rides. Three riding modes, “disengageable” automatic stability control, and engine drag torque control come standard. To make maneuvering safe and easier, hill-start control and reverse assist are also available.

Rounding out the list of features are twin front and single rear disc brakes, state-of-the-art LED lighting (including adaptive turning lights) and a “keyless ride” system.

We absolutely dig the retro vibe of this motorbike. PHOTOS FROM BMW

When it comes to customization, sky is the limit for R18 owners, thanks to its easily removable rear frame and simple-to-dismantle painted parts. Aside from the in-house original accessories, BMW Motorrad has partnered with world-class suppliers for endless personalization possibilities (such as Roland Sands Design for milled aluminum parts, Mustang for seats and Vance & Hines for exhaust systems).

Certain markets will also get a special R18 First Edition model. This comes with exclusive equipment in a classic black paint job with white pinstripes, a seat badge, various chrome bits, and “First Edition” chrome clasps on the side covers.

We’re sure BMW Philippines will do everything it can to bring this beauty to our shores—it’s just a question of when. Time to save up and get your checkbooks ready then.

Red Santiago

A jack of all trades, Red is passionate about cars, motorcycles and audio. He sometimes drives for a ride-hailing app company—just because he really loves driving.