Heavyweight segment of the market faces assault from German marque with its two new models
Having seen these bikes at various stages of testing over the last months, the arrival of the BMW Transcontinental and R 18 B shouldn’t come as a big surprise. Either way, the two bikes signal BMW’s move into the heavyweight cruiser/touring segment, as the German marque looks to take the fight to the likes of Harley- Davidson and Indian – so it’s a pretty exciting announcement regardless.
Over and above the standard BMW R18, the heavyweight Transcontinental gains the obligatory bat-wing front fairing and high screen, and wind deflectors and flaps. The dash includes four analogue round instruments and a 10.25-inch TFT colour display, while the nose includes additional lights. A Marshall sound system is included, along with engine protection bars, panniers and a top case, heated seats, chrome trim and an engine in Silver metallic.
The R18 B features a lower screen (in keeping with the bagger style), a slimmer seat unit, a blacked-out engine and no top case. Surprisingly, as BMW has added around 50kg to the R18 B (398kg) and over 80kg to the Transcontinental (427kg), the engine of the two bikes seems relatively unchanged. The 1,802cc engine has a 107.1mm bore and 100mm stroke. The engine output is 67kW (91hp) at 4 750rpm and the maximum torque of 158Nm (116lb-ft) is available from 3,000rpm.
There’s more good news. The bikes are to be expected in retailers this September, though they won’t be cheap, with R 18 B prices starting at £21,500 and the R 18 Transcontinental at £23,300.
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