Today we join it on the Californian coast, its new suffix lending it a west coast cruiser vibe. This is the R18 Transcontinental and R18 B, BMW’s big boxer bike reinvented as a ‘Grand American Tourer’ and a ‘Bagger.’
These are not genres the bike world shares with the car world, but think long-distance road trips—the Transcontinental aimed at a pair with luggage, the Bagger at a solo rider who wants to twist the throttle just a little more vigorously to get the first spot at the coastal burger bar. It loses a luggage case and gets a lower windscreen and slimmer seat; it’s essentially the lighter of the pair, or the RS version if you need some car parlance to keep you going.
Both use the same engine, though—the most powerful flat-two in production bikes—with 1.8 liters, 90hp, and 158Nm to play with. But with peak torque done by 4,000rpm, this is a cruiser, not a sports bike demanding to be wrung out. But then the mid-position of the footpeg should have already given that away: You sit on an R18, not sprawl yourself over it.
The kit list is long, too. A 10.25-inch touchscreen comes with an embedded sat nav while new-fangled stuff like active cruise control, hill-start assist, and a reversing helper are all options. As is a big ol’ 290W Marshall sound system with four speakers and two subwoofers.
Yep, this really is a different kind of bike. Not your cup of tea? We suspect the R18 will pop up as something else entirely in the not too distant future…
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.
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