BMW Confirms: New Cruiser Coming in 2020

Revival Cycles The Revival Birdcage
Revival Cycles unveiled The Revival Birdcage at the Handbuilt Show in Austin, Texas, on April 11. The custom bike was built around a new prototype “Big Boxer” engine that will eventually power a production model in 2020. Photos courtesy BMW.

Custom builder Revival Cycles unveiled “The Revival Birdcage,” a custom motorcycle based around a new prototype engine BMW calls the “Big Boxer,” at the Handbuilt Show in Austin, Texas, on April 11. The bike itself is a work of art, with a delicate-looking titanium trellis frame and wildly swooping handlebars reminiscent of a bird’s wings.

But tucked away in the press release like an afterthought was a big announcement from Motorrad: it will definitely be entering the cruiser market in the U.S., with a concept bike slated to be shown sometime in the first half of 2019 (getting pretty close to that deadline, guys) and a “series production motorcycle with the Big Boxer for the Cruiser segment in the course of 2020.”

Alan Stulberg, head of Revival Cycles, made note of the “pure physical size and aesthetic appeal” of the prototype engine. Other details noticeable in the photos are visible pushrods and cooling fins on the cylinders, with BMW confirming that the new engine will be air/oil-cooled.

Custom Works Zon The Departed
Japanese builder Custom Works Zon built the first custom bike around the new engine, unveiling it last December 2018, in Yokohama, Japan.

The Revival Birdcage is the second custom bike to be built around the new engine. Japanese builder Custom Works Zon presented “The Departed” at the Hot Rod Custom Show in Yokohama, Japan, back in December 2018. This is the first time BMW has copped to a new cruiser production model, however.

What do you think? Will it be another R 1200 C disaster? Or is BMW getting ready to blow all of our minds with R nineT levels of success? We can’t wait to find out.

Revival Cycles The Revival Birdcage
The new engine has visible pushrods and cooling fins.
Revival Cycles The Revival Birdcage
BMW hasn’t offered many details on the new engine, just that it’s “large displacement.”


  1. It’s about the rider position and floorboards. Move the cylinders out of the way. 200 mile range. Look retro. Go.

  2. I would not say the R 1200 C was a “disaster”. Just because the engine is not ridiculously large (like today’s models) does not mean it did not do a decent job.

  3. FAIL. this a try hard loser bike because after 3 miles you’d be in hell. your back will hurt, our neck will hurt, and your hands will hurt. and it looks goofy and cholo-y .

    instead don’t be a poor loser, instead buy a 2018 BMWS1000XR. you smile everytime you see it and cream everytime you ride

  4. I wouldn’t call the r1200c or cl a disaster either. I’ve owned many bikes and I love my cl, no one else around me has one. I can work on it at home without any fancy equipment, it’s a how to ride on the highway and is super smooth.
    Now if they build this engines and put it in a decent chassis with a low seat height and upright riding position and make it a top load bagger then I’ll probably be in line for one. Just have to wait and see what the prototype bike looks like. I know it will look nothing like that custom thank God. But look at that boxer engine!

  5. Here’s an hypothesis: As the vast majority of bikes become functional, safer and ergonomically correct they create an imbalance in the universe that requires giving birth to dysfunctional, unsafe and ergonomically incorrect bikes. Call it the Obama-Trump syndrome or just nature doing it’s thing, something has to explain “The Revival Birdcage” . . . and clearly, based on my wonky hypothesis – I sure can’t. What’s worse, what explains my desire to ride the thing? Surely, as a species- we’re doomed!

  6. I used to own an R1200CE back in 2000-2002. I good bike that I rode from NorCal to SoCal a few times on. The only serious problem with the bike was a seriously under powered motor. Why they “tuned” the boxer motor for a cruiser application, dropping horesepower by 20hp or so vs the 1100cc motor I’ll never understand. I have a hill I have to traverse every day for my commute and that bike couldn’t pull it in top gear and I usually had to drop down to 3rd just to maintain the legal speed limit.

    I personally would be all for an R1200C successor with a motor that can enable the bike to get out of its own way.

  7. I’ve had an R1200C for 21 years and it hasn’t been a disaster for me. It was their best selling bike in its first year, 1998. Then they stopped marketing it and sales dropped. What did they expect?

  8. At 71 yoa having owned only 6 bikes makes me something of a diletante but I have to agree with those defending the R1200C. It is a bit underpowered yet is certainly sufficient for basic transportation while being comfortable, efficient, and a joy to maintain. Those rims are a pain tho. For those wanting more it is the wrong motorcycle.

  9. I just heard BMW is introducing an 1800cc cruiser this year! I have owned my 1999 R1200C for a looong time. Most reliable, comfortable bike I have ever owned. A decent top end (nobody needs to do >105mph IMHO) and awesome low-end torque for avoiding an occasional downshift when your legs are suspended over the heads. It’s an awesome bike and still in near mint condition. Nothing like it when it came out and nothing like it since in styling. Always have people slowing down to take photos or walking around it to admire. Even have been pulled over twice by police just so they can look at the bike. Plus, what other bike has been showcased in the Guggenheim for its unique looks. To each his own; but it all depends on the rider. 🙂 Enjoy your ride, folks!


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