Hot off the heels of the release of the BMW R 18 comes the R 18 Classic, an accessorized touring version of BMW’s “Big Boxer.” The 2021 BMW R 18 Classic sees the addition of a removable windshield and removable soft saddlebags (no volume listed), a small passenger pad, auxiliary lights, a 16-inch front wheel and cruise control as standard fare. In terms of touring motorcycles, BMW’s approach is the path of least resistance, albeit one competitor Harley-Davidson has executed successfully with models like the Heritage Classic and Road King. No price was listed yet, but the 2021 BMW R 18 First Edition has an MSRP of $19,870 while a 2020 Harley Heritage Classic starts at $18,999.

In order to help the R 18 appeal to the American cruiser demographic, BMW has allied itself with leading companies like Roland Sands Design, Mustang Seats, and Vance & Hines. RSD built a wicked drag bike out of the R 18 and used the opportunity to make “Machined” and “Two-Tone-Black” collections of machined aluminum parts. Mustang has a line of handmade seats lined up for the BMW R 18 while Vance & Hines has developed an aftermarket exhaust for it.

We have an inkling that this is just the tip of the iceberg for BMW’s R 18. Blechmann has shown how regal the front can look with a frame-mounted fairing and we could envision a full-blown bagger version with a Blechmann-style fairing and hard saddlebags. With the speed at which the unveiling of the R 18 Classic followed the R 18, we don’t anticipate it will take long before BMW plays its next hand.

Highlights of the new 2021 BMW R 18 Classic

(courtesy of BMW)

• Windshield (removable).

• Saddlebags (removable).

• Passenger seat (removable).

•Additional LED headlight.

•16-inch front wheel.

• Electronic Cruise Control as standard.

Common highlights of the new BMW R 18 Classic and R 18:

• Iconic style blending modern technology with authentic materials.

• Biggest ever BMW boxer engine with a capacity of 1802 cc.

• Output 91 hp at 4,750 rpm, maximum torque 158 Nm at 3,000 rpm.

• More than 150 Nm available at all times from 2,000 to 4,000 rpm.

• Open-running universal-shaft drive based on the classic role model.

• Elaborately crafted double-loop steel tube frame.

• Rear swinging arm with enclosed axle drive in rigid-frame design.

• Telescopic fork with sleeves and cantilever suspension strut featuring travel-dependent damping.

• Harmonious ergonomics for relaxed riding and optimum control.

• Disc brakes and front and rear, with wire-spoked wheels.

• State-of-the-art LED lighting technology, classically interpreted.

• Adaptive turning light for even better illumination of the road when cornering as an ex works option.

• Classically designed circular instrument with integrated display.

• Keyless Ride for convenient function activation by remote control.

• Two standard riding modes, ASC and MSR.

• Reverse assist for convenient maneuvering and Hill Start Control for easy hill starts as ex works options.

• The R 18 First Edition: exclusive look in paint and chrome.

• Extensive range of optional extras and Original BMW Motorrad Accessories as well as a cool Ride & Style Collection.