BMW Teases Another R18 Big Boxer Concept, Includes Most Detailed Engine Shots Yet

BMW R18 /2 slash two concept cruiser
BMW has announced its second “concept” bike based on the upcoming 1800cc Big Boxer engine, the R18 /2. Images courtesy BMW Motorrad.

BMW is marching steadily toward its promised cruiser, anticipated sometime in 2020, with the news of its latest concept bike based around the new 1,800cc “Big Boxer” opposed twin. Buried in a press release for a new Concept R18 /2 (pronounced “slash two”) were photos showing the design and production of the /2, including the most detailed shots to date of the new engine, clearly functional and roadworthy.

First, the bike. The Concept R18 /2 appears to be a classic cruiser in design, with modern flowing lines, a small headlight cowl and a slightly bobbed rear fender. Wheels are cast, 19 inches up front and 16 at the rear, with Brembo brakes and a gorgeous Candy Apple Red paint on the bodywork.

BMW R18 /2 slash two concept cruiser
The Concept R18 /2 has a hidden rear mono shock for a classic hardtail look.

The 1,800cc air/oil-cooled boxer engine used in the /2 has a classic BMW 1960s aesthetic, finished in matte gray and black. The massive cylinders protrude past the ends of the handlebar, and dual air intakes funnel under the rider’s thighs to the airbox beneath the front of the seat. To the rear of that is a hidden single shock absorber to maintain the classic hardtail look.

We’re not quite sure why BMW wants to try breaking into the American cruiser market, given lackluster sales in the segment (and its own ill-fated R 1200 C attempt in the late ’90s/early oughts). Hopefully plans include a bagger as well…but in any case, we’re excited to see and hear more about this new R18 Big Boxer engine, clearly headed for production in the near future.

Keep scrolling for more images….

BMW R18 /2 slash two concept cruiser
BMW Concept R18 /2 cruiser, based around the 1800cc “Big Boxer” opposed twin.
BMW R18 /2 slash two concept cruiser
Massive cylinders with cooling fins protrude beyond the ends of the handlebar.
BMW R18 /2 slash two concept cruiser
We do love the Candy Apple Red paint used on the Concept R18 /2.
BMW R18 /2 slash two concept cruiser
Driveshaft is on the right side, brake disc with big Brembo caliper is on the left.
BMW R18 /2 slash two concept cruiser
Oil cooler is placed unobtrusively at the lower leading edge of the engine, between the frame downtubes.


  1. “We’re not quite sure why BMW wants to try breaking into the American cruiser market, given lackluster sales in the segment…”

    My thoughts exactly. Only thing I can come up with is that it’s a warning shot across Harley’s bow: “If you’re gonna play in our sandbox (upcoming Pan America 1250 ADV bike), we’re gonna play in yours.” Other than that… beats me what this bike is for.

  2. meine liebe,

    So much effort to produce a Low Rider S, with the heartbeat of a sewing machine. Now you weirdo architect techie types, don’t be a haters, admit that imitation is the highest form of flattery.

  3. I like it, great styling, much like the older Yamaha Warrior. Comes down to price and reliability. Depending on price, If I wanted a hooligan bike most likely buy the king of hooligan muscle bikes, the V-Max. Only trouble with the V max I owned is that it was so fun I just knew I was going to start knowing the local deputies on a first name basis.

    The Beemer muscle bike looks great, however it needs stylish and functional guards for those massive jugs. Just saying, first time is falls over it shouldn’t cost $1,500 just for a rocker cover. The other issue is if the final drive will be beefy enough to handle the torque as the miles rack up. BMW has never been renowned for strong trouble free final drives.

    Stop with any hate mail, I am just playing devils advocate, saying what most of us are thinking. Beautiful bike. Much like a good woman, you know if the bike is right when walking away, you just have to turn and give it another look.

  4. How quickly the mighty have fallen.
    Concept one has all the hallmarks of a classic. Concept two has all the hallmarks of a Harley.

  5. My R1200RT only lasted 6 K miles before it was piston slapping , i.e. engine damaged , caused by predetonation from the engine computer that would not read the 2 knock sensors , brand new ! BMW 3 year warranty meant NOTHING to BMW as far as honoring the warranty . after 2 1/2 years of BMW stonewalling me to fix it , 4 service documentations on same problems , I had to go to a Federal court lemon law case & won engine & computer cost to get back some money I threw away , buying a BMW ! Will NEVER buy ANYTHING BMW again ! They can’t be trusted , BMW , or their stealer , as the Federal Court caught THEM lying about me !

    • You are clearly a anomaly. Most r1200RT owners get thousand of trouble-free miles out of their bikes. Exceptions always occur. My Beemer, a 2015 model, has been absolutely glitch-free thus far. I think it’s a great brand. I also think Goldwings are awesome, and I also love Moto Guzzis, and think the Suzuki V Stroms are amazing bikes, as well as the Yamaha line. I’ve owned them all. All of these makers make quality machines; all of them also will have a rare occasion of somebody like you who becomes bummed out due to your negative experience. Just like automobile ownership. This is a passionate arena, for sure, that brings out a lot of emotion when it comes to ownership. So, as you say: Don’t buy another BMW. Not a crisis. BMW will survive without you. Buy another brand. That is your right. Nobody here will care what you do. GLTY.

  6. First I’ve never owned a BMW (Honda’s, Kawasaki’s and Indian), always appreciated but never owned a Harley. First motorcycle with a windscreen, saddlebags and removable backrest is my current ride – Indian Chief Vintage. I ride 10 – 20,000 kms a year currently, hope to do more. The Concept R18 like the Indian Vintage has all the nostalgia markers that drives new discovery from buyers who were not there way back when. Those are the drivers (like me) that will break ranks and purchase this type of motorcycle and make it their own. Newer riders and the bobber/cruiser crowd – will likely be swayed by nostaligia and the lure of the oooh’s and awww’s this bike will inspire every single time you take it out of the garage. Performance and reliability are important – those “beemer” riders I know swear by their machines – can’t imagine BMW would be any different today than way back when.
    While I can strip down the Indian (to achieve the cruiser look) in a matter of minutes, I’d have to add some things to the BMW for some of my travels as even if I trailered (which to date I never have – its the ride not the destination) it I’d want some storage for overnight rides.
    My opinion is that the Concept R18 will fly off the floors of the dealerships if the right marketing approach is taken and if the price point is competitive – remember this segment of the motorcycle market has a fair bit of visual history and competition.

  7. Matthew Forsberg, Ledyard Ct. A long time reader of your fine publication which I read every word every month, thank you Matthew Forsberg, Ledyard Ct. A long time reader of your fine publication which I read every word every month, thank you

    In 2015 I bought a new BMW RT in Connecticut, one year later the dealer I purchased from installed a new set of tires and bent the front rim and said nothing. Within 200 miles the bike started shaking because wheel weights had fallen off. I called the shop to let them know what was going on and asked if I could take it to another dealer and have it fixed without charge, as I was traveling 400 miles away by then. They said “No” bring it back here. I did, they told me I hit something! I know I did NOT! That was July 2016, they would not budge, “You hit something”. I then took the bike to a dealer in another state for service and asked if they would please check out the front wheel. They concluded the damage was done while changing the tire and wrote it up for me. The original dealer still would not budge, BMW told me I had to work it out with them?? I called the owner of the 3 stores where I bought the bike and he believed me, picked the bike up and returned a week later with a new wheel but never said sorry or admitted any wrongdoing. The ordeal took 4 months, I have never returned to the first dealer and probably never will. I still use the dealer in the other state but I’m not happy with the service and will never buy another BMW. There is more to this story.

  8. Interesting that this BMW Concept bike has become a BMW haters forum – lol! I have only owned 2 BMW’s, both inline 4’s, both great bikes, and have had great service with the dealer I go to. As with anything, the bikes, dealers, service, etc., all follow a ‘Bell Curve’. At any rate, the bike sure has ‘the look’, and I don’t really think BMW cares too much if they make a mint selling them or not. Personally, I like it more than the old R1200C that they came out with back in the day.

  9. I’m a bit concerned about how much heat is going to blow back on my legs? I owned a Ducati 1199r that cooked my hemorrhoids to the point of added pain and burned ass cheeks. Not good for summer riding. I now have my first adventure bike. A BMW f850 gs. Only trouble is, at only 5’10” I can’t reach the ground. Toes only. Not giving me a warm feeling. Not sure what to do. A lower seat? The stock seat is pretty with red trim. The lower seat is plain black. Ugly.

    • wont bore y’all , but will agree on some of these franchizeez—Bmw could improve there!!! The r18 did get my pulse ,may indulge myself when properly introduced.

  10. whats gone wrong, they have shown us a spot on bike then changed it. no spokes no retro look simply built something that now looks like all the other attempts. the slick black first showing looked the dogs, this red thing well sorry but its lost it before it hits the streets. i had my eyes on the r18 but this shows BMW can not build what they promised. BMW had the world looking at this bike now its just another not as good as the concept bike. shame on you BMW

  11. I’ve ridden almost every brand of bike out there. Owned 6 BMWs over the years. (All Japanese brands too) All things mechanical break regardless of country of origin. Every brand builds lemons unfortunately. I’m not here to defend Beemers though I will. I’ve had over 150k trouble free miles on them. The R18 is not for me but it excites me that BMW is pushing the envelope.

    Using a bent wheel damaged by a service tech to bash a brand is asinine IMHO. Name one brand that doesn’t have some known mechanical problem….. there’s not one. I’m just happy to live in this age of so many bike types available to consumers. YMMV

    Ride safe and look out for blue haired women in big cars!

  12. I own a 1999 r1200c. Best bike I ever owned. 21 years old and she looks brand new. Trust me. Bmw is capable of making a cruiser which can beat the traditional brands. I get compliments everywhere I go. I cannot wait for this bike!

  13. The opposing cylinders and how wide they sit, makes the rider sit in a sport bike posture….. thought this was a cruiser….. forward controls (ya right), the dam engine is in the way!! I don’t see it selling at all….. especially as the market is way down.
    On a personal note, I’d probably never buy a BMW anyways, the cost of maintenance and ownership is way too expensive, very limited dealerships and not very reliable.

  14. There is a reason why there are so many brands and types of bikes. There are that many types of people looking for what they want. If it doesn’t line up with what you want, to bad. It’s the same with cars, pistols, rifles , tennis rackets, baseball bats, wet suits, not enough room to go on. Free nation buy what you want as a free person, and don’t worry about people who think they should tell what to ride, what color to like, etc. I think it’s a nice looking bike, I also like shaft drive. I also like what Indian offers, I like my sons Road glide Harley, but above all I will buy what I want, when I want.

  15. I’ve heard the lack of dealers and reliability issues. They just opened a new dealer close. Love the R18. Lose the cheap looking Guppy muffler. Like the custom rear fender and spokes. Wanna see if they can retune to straight pipes. Didn’t see a catalytic converters so Mebbe can do. (I know warranty will be blown.) Not to go far on cause the seating looks cramped. Just tool around. My 2017 HD Ultra Limited Had to have its 107 engine replaced at 400 miles ( factory production screwup with an oil o-ring). But it’s the most comfortable tourer ever owned. Love the open drive shaft. Reminds me of bike I just sold with open primary (and Magnacharger blower with Eddlebrock nitrous for dummies—oops bragging again). This looks like a hard tail (soft tail). I know it’s stupid but I’m getting too old to not buy something stupid.

  16. I never understand why a manufacturer would locate an oil cooler where there will be road grit and stones flung into it from the front tire – or am I missing something!?


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