BMW Motorrad has announced details on the 2024 BMW R 18 Roctane, the fifth member of the R 18 family and a bike the company calls “a cruiser, a bagger, and everything in between.”
The Roctane joins the R 18, R 18 Classic, R 18 B, and R 18 Transcontinental but borrows styling cues from other past BMW models, such as the 1936 BMW R 5, where the iconic air/oil-cooled Boxer engine is the epicenter of the “streamliner” design. Other key design features drawn from the past include the double-loop frame, exposed drive shaft, and rigid-style rear.
What Makes the BMW R 18 Roctane Rock?
The heart of the new BMW R 18 Roctane is the 1,802cc “Big Boxer” opposed Twin, mated to a 6-speed transmission and a single-plate dry slipper clutch and a nickel-plated driveshaft.
When we put the 2021 BMW R 18 on Jett Tuning’s dyno, it sent 80 horsepower at 4,500 rpm and 109 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheel at 2,900 rpm.
The new R 18 Roctane can be equipped with optional Reverse Assist and Hill Start Control, and the bike comes standard with keyless start and the same three ride modes R 18 riders are familiar with: Rain, Roll, and Rock, with distinct throttle maps and settings for Automatic Stability Control and Engine Drag Control in each mode.
The R 18 Roctane stands apart from its siblings with a blacked-out engine and drivetrain and a Dark Chrome exhaust system. The larger 21-inch front and 18-inch rear alloy wheels, combined with the mid-rise, black-coated handlebar give the Roctane what BMW calls “a more purposeful look.”
The 3.5-inch-wide front wheel is shod with a 120/70 B21 tire, while a 180/55 B18 tire wraps around the 5.5-inch rear wheel. The 21-inch front wheel extends the trail to 7.3 inches on the R 18 Roctane (vs. 5.9 inches on the standard R 18) for better straight-line stability.
Braking comes from 4-piston fixed calipers biting dual 300mm discs up front and a single 300mm disc in the rear, and BMW Motorrad Integral ABS is standard. The R 18 Roctane has a 49mm telescopic fork and a central rear shock with travel-dependent damping and adjustable spring preload, providing the same 4.7-inch/3.5-inch front/rear travel as the R 18.
Also inspired by the 1936 BMW R 5 – and almost all BMW motorcycles until the early 1970s – the R 18 Roctane’s round instrument cluster is integrated into the metal LED headlight housing and includes information such as engine rpm, gear indicator, status inquiry, and trip computer details. An adaptive headlight is still optional and works by activating separate LED elements in the main headlight depending on the lean angle.
The R 18 Roctane features a slim two-level seat that tapers towards the rear, with rear passenger straps, and is equipped with footboards and a heel-toe shifter. The 28.3-inch seat height puts the R 18 Roctane an inch higher than the standard R 18 but right about on par with the R 18 B.
The R 18 Roctane is also equipped with body-color painted saddlebags with integrated LED taillights. They offer 27 liters of storage capacity on each side and optional removable liners are available. The “filler stripes” that cover the space between the bags and the bike can be selected from the available accessories. The original BMW Motorrad Accessories range also offers soft luggage options such as the rear bag or frame bag made of waxed canvas with leather trim.
The bike has a 4.2-gal fuel tank and a claimed wet weight of 825 lb.
The 2024 BMW R 18 Roctane will come in Black Storm Metallic, Mineral Grey Metallic Matte, and Manhattan Metallic Matte starting at $18,695. It’s expected to launch in the third quarter of 2023, but Rider will be heading to Germany in late May for a first ride, so we’ll share our impressions soon.