2021 BMW R-18 Review

Boog

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3-13-2021
I test rode the 2021 BMW R18 today. The base price start in the high $17K range and goes up over $20K plus. I rode the “First Edition” model that starts at $19K.

BMW has two primary R18 bikes, the more basic model and the bagger. From what the salesman tells me, the Bagger has a wind screen, fog lights, bags, and different wheels and tires. The base model runs on Bridgestone and bagger runs on Commander III skins.
Bridgestone…
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Commander III…
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The R18 has a shaft drive on the right side. I like the look of it.
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The reach to the bars is exactly where I want it to be. They put too many buttons and switches on it though. BMW Named the rider controls “Rock, Roll, and rain” Rock is the performance mode and roll is for cruising they tell me. The bright light trigger is on the far side,
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I like the odometer being where it is, very easy to look down and see it. The wind screen is not too big, but maybe it could be a tad bit bigger. The gas tank surely needs to be bigger as it comes in at a Sportster like 4.2 gallons. Still, the lines look nice and they were going for nostalgia.
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The bags are big enough for me. They will hold my lunch box nicely along with all the other things I carry like an air compressor, tire repair kits tools and so on. The lid latches down with these two fasteners and on top is two push snaps.
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The exhaust on the bagger look and sound much better to me than the fish tail design on the other bike.
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You probably want to know about the ride right? I love it! This bike is so light compared to my Rocket II and maneuvers easily around a parking lot. I was able to come to a complete stop three different times without putting my foot down, the balance is great.
The torque is instant from Idle on up. The seat of the pants feel is that is has more initial grunt that the 116 of the Indian Springfield I also rode today. The Indian will over take it a few seconds later, but the initial hit is nice on the R18.
Handling is great too in the curves. And the breaks are awesome. I did an emergency stop as I shifted into fourth gear under power and the bike stopped right away perfectly balanced with no indication of sliding.
The six speed gear box seems well sorted as well.
It does not a passenger back rest or luggage rack. It does have a back rest for the rider.

Over all, I could see myself riding this bike for many years if I were to buy one.
 

idk

Living Legend
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Another good review. I sat on one a week or so ago and was surprised that it fitted so well, it doesn't look like it would, but I didn't get to ride it. It sounds like BMW did their homework.

I will see if I can get a ride on one and compare it to my R1200C.
 

Boog

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Another good review. I sat on one a week or so ago and was surprised that it fitted so well, it doesn't look like it would, but I didn't get to ride it. It sounds like BMW did their homework.

I will see if I can get a ride on one and compare it to my R1200C.
I haven't rode the James Bond bike for many years but the R-18 is vastly different from it. It seems the R-18 sits lower to me and the maneuvering ability seems better too. That maybe due tot he front suspensions being different too.
 

Lemieuxfan

Supercharged
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Nashville, TN
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no question this is the most hyped cruiser going into 2021 my thoughts on bmw's latest. the boxer engine really too far out on the sides!! also not crazy about the exposed shaft final drive, and lastly appears the one you have has the preferred straight pipes vs that hideous fish exhaust. It is also a little overpriced
 

MIG

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no question this is the most hyped cruiser going into 2021 my thoughts on bmw's latest. the boxer engine really too far out on the sides!! also not crazy about the exposed shaft final drive, and lastly appears the one you have has the preferred straight pipes vs that hideous fish exhaust. It is also a little overpriced
I saw the exposed drive and wondered about any potential issues.
-MIG
 

Lemieuxfan

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I saw the exposed drive and wondered about any potential issues.
-MIG
agreed-not sure why you have this exposed the big draw to the shaft drive is the protection from elements/maintenance free and with this opens the door for all kinds of possible issues. The lines are very good on this bike but my main gripe is the sideview almost looks like a wing for takeoff it appears to be at least twice as wide as traditional boxer BMW engine.
 

Kojack1970

Turbocharged
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South Grafton, MA, 01560
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2016 Rocket Roadster and 2000 HD Fatboy
no question this is the most hyped cruiser going into 2021 my thoughts on bmw's latest. the boxer engine really too far out on the sides!! also not crazy about the exposed shaft final drive, and lastly appears the one you have has the preferred straight pipes vs that hideous fish exhaust. It is also a little overpriced


I agree those jugs are massive and appear to be wayyyyy out there!!! I have yet to see one in person though to really judge. I love that open shaft drive, chromed and very sexy! Very much like the air heads of days gone by.
 
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