2022 BMW R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental | First Look Review

2022 BMW R 18 R18 B Bagger Transcontinental review
The 2022 BMW R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental offer wind protection, luggage, infotainment, and other touring capabilities to the R 18 “Big Boxer” cruiser lineup.

When BMW unveiled the R 18 last year, a cruiser powered by a massive 1,802cc OHV air/oil-cooled 4-valve opposed Twin that’s the largest “boxer” engine the German company has ever produced, it was only a matter of time before touring versions were added to the lineup.

For 2022, BMW has announced the R 18 B “Bagger” and R 18 Transcontinental. Both are equipped with a handlebar-mounted fairing, a passenger seat, and locking hard saddlebags, and the Transcontinental adds a top trunk with an integrated passenger backrest.

Available this month, the 2022 BMW R 18 B has a base price of $21,495 and the 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental has a base price of $24,995. The standard R 18 and R 18 Classic remain in the lineup.

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RELATED: 2021 BMW R 18 First Edition | Road Test Review

2022 BMW R 18 R18 B Bagger Transcontinental review
The full lineup of 2022 BMW R 18 models.

The new R 18 B is equipped with a low windshield, a slim seat, and a matte black metallic engine finish. The R 18 Transcontinental has a taller windshield, wind deflectors, driving lights, heated seats, highway bars, and an engine finished in silver metallic.

Seat height is 28.3 inches on the R 18 B and 29.1 inches on the R 18 Transcontinental. Both have mid-mount controls, with footrests on the Bagger and rider and passenger footboards on the Transcontinental. Fuel capacity is a generous 6.3 gallons (up from 4.2 on the standard R 18).

The saddlebags offer 27 liters of storage in each side (26.5 liters with optional audio), and an additional storage compartment with charging for mobile phones is integrated into the fuel tank. The Transcontinental’s trunk holds 48 liters (47 liters with optional audio).

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2022 BMW R 18 R18 B Bagger Transcontinental review
The R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental both have a handlebar-mounted fairing with an integrated infotainment system.

BMW gave the touring versions of the R 18 a streamliner-style fairing and sculpted saddlebags that complement the lines of the standard bike. Inspired by the 1930s-era R 5, the R 18 has a double-loop frame, a gloss nickel-plated universal driveshaft, classic housing for the rear-axle gearbox, and black paintwork with optional double pinstriping. The “Big Boxer” showcases the overhead pushrod guides on top of the cylinders, while the belt cover and the cylinder head covers echo the legendary R 5 engine’s styling.

As with BMW motorcycles of the past, the fork tubes are clad with a cover extending to the slider tubes in the form of contemporary stainless-steel fork sleeves. Newly designed, rearward-curving side covers blend with the elongated lines, combining with the handlebar-mounted front trim and round mirrors to give the R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental a distinctive styling touch.

2022 BMW R 18 R18 B Bagger Transcontinental review
The R 18’s “Big Boxer” flat Twin displaces 1,802cc and makes 80 horsepower and 109 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheel.

The R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental have triple-disc brakes with BMW Motorrad Full Integral ABS. Standard equipment includes Dynamic Cruise Control, which maintains the preselected speed even when riding downhill and applies the brakes as needed to do so. Optional Active Cruise Control uses radar sensors to maintain distance from the vehicle in front even if speed changes, and it also adjusts speed during cornering.

Both models have full LED lighting, and the Adaptive Turning Light is optional. It uses a swivel function to point the low beam into corners according to banking angle, and it also adjusts according to load and ride height.

Behind the fairing are four analog gauges and a 10.25-inch TFT color display. The gauges include a speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, and a “Power Reserve” instrument adapted from the BMW Group’s Rolls-Royce Motor Cars brand. The TFT display allows a navigation map to be displayed in the instrument cluster via a smartphone and the BMW Motorrad Connected App, thus eliminating the need for any additional displays. The display can also be customized with various tiles such as My Motorcycle, Radio, Navigation, Media, Phone, and Settings. Vehicle functions such as Settings, Navigation, and Communication are operated using the Multicontroller wheel next to the left grip.

2022 BMW R 18 R18 B Bagger Transcontinental review
The R 18 Transcontinental is equipped with a 47-liter top trunk and an integrated passenger backrest.

Other features include:

  • Keyless Ride
  • Riding modes: Rain, Roll, and Rock
  • Automatic Stability Control (switchable)
  • Engine drag torque control (MSR)
  • Hill Start Control
  • Reverse assist (optional)

The new R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental are equipped with a standard sound system developed together with the British manufacturer Marshall featuring two 2-way loudspeakers, each with 25 watts output, integrated into the front fairing, black speaker grills, and white Marshall lettering.

2022 BMW R 18 R18 B Bagger Transcontinental review

Highlights of the audio system include:

  • Equalizer profiles – optimized listening profiles for a perfect audio experience
  • via the helmet: one profile (studio)
  • via loudspeakers: four profiles (bass-boost, treble-boost, voice, balanced)
  • Highly flexible sound architecture design options (treble/bass) with a very broad output spectrum (output range), even at high speeds
  • FM/AM band, HD radio and optional SiriusXM Satellite radio

The optional Marshall Gold Series Stage 1 equips the motorcycles adds a pair of 90-watt subwoofers in the front upper section of the side cases and a 180-watt amplifier.

The Marshall Gold Series Stage 2, available for the R 18 Transcontinental, includes five speakers (two in the fairing, subwoofers in the saddlebags, and a 2-way, 25-watt speaker in the front side section of the passenger backrest) and a 180-watt amplifier.

2022 BMW R 18 R18 B Bagger Transcontinental review
2022 BMW R 18 B

R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental First Editions

At market launch, the new R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental will be available in exclusive First Edition versions in addition to the standard models. These combine the classic R 18 look with equipment in exclusive paint and chrome.

Additional equipment extras include chrome components, Blackstorm metallic paint with elaborate double-pinstripes in Lightwhite echoes the bikes’ historical roots. Other highlights include special surface finishes, an embroidered seat and the inscription “First Edition” on the side cases.

First Edition features include:

  • Wheels in black, contrast milled (R 18 B)
  • Wheels in silver grey, contrast milled (R 18 Transcontinental)
  • Chrome clasps on cases with “First Edition” lettering
  • Chrome-plated handlebar fittings
  • Chrome-plated cylinder head covers and hero chest
  • Chrome-plated intake trim
  • White double pinstriping on fuel tank, fairing and trunks and cases
  • Chrome-plated brake calipers at the front (R 18 Transcontinental only)

Another component is the “First Edition” Welcome Box which is exclusively reserved for buyers of the “First Edition” and contains:

  • Box with picture of the engine on the lid
  • Historic fuel tank emblems (copper-colored lettering)
  • Historic slotted screws (copper-colored)
  • Working gloves
  • Assembly screwdriver (can also be used as a key ring)
  • “R 18 First Edition” cap
  • Leather belt with exclusive “R 18 First Edition” belt buckle
  • Book the history of BMW Motorrad
2022 BMW R 18 R18 B Bagger Transcontinental review
The R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental are available in optional Galaxy Dust metallic, an iridescent paint finish that shimmers in the spectrum from violet to turquoise blue, depending on the lighting.

As with all BMW motorcycles, the R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental will be available with an extensive range of options and accessories. We’ll get a chance to ride both bikes soon, so stay tuned for our review. To find a BMW Motorrad dealer near you, visit bmwmotorcycles.com.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Well done BMW. This heritage line-up is very eye catching and will draw in a lot of motorcyclist into BMW dealerships. While I don’t see BMW “stealing” away buyers from either Harley-Davidson or Indian, I do feel that it will keep some of their own customers loyal to the BMW brand.

  2. BMW now makes a cruiser with a batwing fairing and H-D now makes an adventure bike. What strangeness is this that there are no stereotypes.

  3. “Working gloves”. Ferraris come with these too, and are just as unlikely to ever be used. It’s a rarefied market this caters to but I assume with high margins for hopeful profitability.

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