SPY SHOTS: 2020 BMW R18 cruiser breaks cover

The BMW R18 is real, and it’s likely to be launched early in 2020 as it’s been spotted out undergoing some real-world testing

BMW R-18

APART from the highly successful R nineT, BMW’s custom and cruiser offerings have always been greeted with a fairly tepid response. Bikes like the R1200C kinda marked BMW out as not being fit for the uber-cool, custom and cruiser scene.

For 2020 though, that all looks set to change ad the company look to be getting one of their most ambitious bikes to date ready for the road, the BMW R18

We saw this machine, or at least it’s concept variant, at the BMW Motorrad Days event in Garmish and we are pleasantly surprised by how faithful this version of the bike is to the original design.

Probably the most obvious change is the front wheel, which seems to have been swapped out for a much chunkier and wider item. It’s still spoked and finished with gloss black rims and spokes though, very in keeping with the overall retro vibe.

The front forks are also different from the concept, possibly to accept the new size front wheel. The bottom of the fork stanchion is a beefier design and finished in gloss black, not the polished finish of the bike we saw at Garmish.

The road-going machine has also sprouted a small centrally mounted oil-cooler that juts out beneath the engine. The unit is covered with what looks like a plastic shield to protect it from stone chips. That’d be the first part we’d swap out given the choice!

The exhaust system has also had a rework with what looks a Euro5 compliant engine, complete with under-engine catalysers. The concept features a two-into-two setup. With fishtail silencers finishing off the system. The bike we see here has a less elegant but much more Euro-regs-friendly setup. The new exhaust also seems to be lacking the classical fishtail setup of the original machine

The bike in the spy shots is also a Bagger variant of the machine, sporting panniers on either side of the bike. It’d seem obvious that the road-going bike will be available in a couple of different variants.

The new bike is likely to be officially unveiled at EICMA later this year – we’ll bring you the full details as soon as we have them.