The BMW R 18 Transcontinental and the R 18 B in BMW's Option 719 guise
The BMW R 18 Transcontinental and the R 18 B in BMW's Option 719 guise|BMW Motorrad
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BMW Motorrad R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B unveiled

The BMW R 18 family gets to members in form of the R 18 Transcontinental — a full dresser and the R 18 B — a bagger

Kamesh Chauhan

After many leaked images and spyshots, BMW Motorrad has finally revealed the R 18 Transcontinental and the R 18 B. The BMW R 18 Transcontinental and the R 18 B will be on public display at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally on August 6. The styling and feature sets of the motorcycles make it evident that the German manufacturer is keen to take on the traditional American cruiser and bagger market.

Design

Both the R 18 B and the Transcontinental is based on the standard BMW R 18. Both bikes get front fairing and side panniers with the Trasncontinental also getting a pillion backrest with an integrated topbox. Other features differentiate the R 18 B from the Transcontinental are that the Transcontinental is loaded with features suited for long-distance travel features including a high windshield, wind deflectors, wider seats, engine guard, and adjustable footrests. Aesthetically, the Transcontinental also gets more by way of chrome bits on the fairing, handlebars, fenders, and panniers. The Bagger, on the other hand, has minimal streamlined styling. It has a shorter windshield, slim seats, and a blacked-out theme with the engine, handlebar, fenders and fairing coated in matte black.

You will also be able to kit the bike with parts from the Option 719 catalogue. Both motorcycles will come in three colours — Black, 719 Galaxy Dust metallic option, and the Manhattan metallic matt. The R 18 B and the Transcontinental will also be available in the “First Edition” guise. This option will have black paintwork with double white lining with chrome and “First Edition” lettering stitched on the seat.

The BMW R 18 Transcontinental is the full dresser

The BMW R 18 Transcontinental is the full dresser

Engine and Chassis

The engine remains the same and has a same tune as the standard R 18 model. Both motorcycles are powered by the 1802cc twin-cylinder boxer engine producing 89.7bhp at 4750rpm and 158Nm 3000rpm of torque delivered by a shaft to the rear wheel.

Talking about the chassis, the R 18 B and Transcontinental has a double-loop tube frame which is suspended on a telescopic fork setup at the front which provides 120mm of travel and a double-sided swinging arm with cantilever suspension strut giving 90mm suspension travel. Braking duties are handled by four-piston calipers mounted on dual 300mm discs upfront and a single disc at the rear. The 24-litre fuel tank on the bikes is reminiscent of the BMW R5 of yesteryear.

Both the R 18 and the Transcontinental use the same 1802cc boxer-twin engine with the mahoosive 158Nm of torque
Both the R 18 and the Transcontinental use the same 1802cc boxer-twin engine with the mahoosive 158Nm of torqueBMW Motorrad

Electronics and Features

In terms of electronics, both the R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B will have BMW Integral ABS, which is the manufacturer’s version of combi brakes, ASC (Automatic Stability control), Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC), hill start control and three riding modes — Rain, Roll, and Rock as standard. BMW Active Cruise Control (ACC), which with the help of radar incorporated in the fairing will adjust the speed relative to the vehicle in front, will also come as standard. Also available as an option is ACC (Active Cruise Control) which uses radar sensors which is located in the front fairing to automatically adjust the speed of the bike based on the vehicles in front.

In terms of features, BMW Motorrad has partnered with Marshall for the 208W audio system with four speaker and two subwoofers installed in the BMW R 18 Transcontinental and the R 18 B. This music system can be operated by a new 10.25-inch TFT display which sits below the instrument cluster. Speaking of which the R 18 B and the Transcontinental gets four analogue dials each with a different readout. Both bikes get heated grips as standard while the Transcontinental also benefits from heated seats as standard.

All the necessary information is easily served to the rider with this comprehensive cockpit

All the necessary information is easily served to the rider with this comprehensive cockpit

Prices and availability

The R 18 B and the R 18 Transcontinental are based on the standard R 18 but bring a lot more to the table in terms of features. Therefore it is safe to assume that they will be priced a fair bit higher than the standard R 18 when launched in India. BMW Motorrad has said that worldwide sales will begin from September 2021, so we can expect that the R 18 Transcontinental and the R 18 B will come to Indian shores by the end of the year.

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