BMW's R18 pays tribute to the brand's motoring history

   
Published May 28, 2019 1:42 a.m. ET
BMW Motorrad Concept R18. (BMW Group / AFP)

BMW Motorrad brought a showy concept motorcycle to this year's Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Italy -- a bike inspired by the company's iconic history to draw the audience's attention from the plethora of four-wheel models on display to those with just two. The R18 concept rolls together BMW Motorrad's classic models with today's motoring technology.

To open the 2019 Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Italy, an event dedicated to showcasing classic vehicles on both two and four wheels, BMW Motorrad debuted a classically-styled yet contemporarily-designed concept motorcycle that has been created to appeal to your senses.

The company describes the R18 as demonstrating "how a forward projection of a 1960s boxer engine could look like today as a purist custom bike in combination with all the classic design icons of BMW Motorrad design." All components are visible -- the boxer engine, the cradle frame, the universal shaft, that fuel tank; the design, according to BMW, is honest and shares similar contours and proportions as the classic R5 while still answering today's technological transportation needs.

The 1800cc, two-cylinder boxer engine is related to that used in Motorrad bikes during the 1960s but with bigger displacement and modern air and oil cooling. The leather seat has also been inspired by the 1950s classics, though it's been reinterpreted and is allegedly more comfortable.

Each of these details give the R18 a vintage yet modern character that has been built for 2019 and beyond. According to Chris Paukert who was in Italy during the reveal, officials said that a production version of the concept will debut next year.

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