BMW Motorrad charted into unknown territory with the R18 and as we all know, it turned out to be achingly beautiful. The R18’s platform also spawned another variant called the R18 Classic last year. Ever since then, it was being reported that the Bavarian bikemaker will soon add a more touring-focused variant to the R18’s lineup dubbed as the Transcontinental. BMW, sticking true to the rumours and leaked information has now unveiled a touring and a bagger version of its R18, fittingly called the Transcontinental and the B, respectively.
The most visible difference is their huge windscreens upfront. Out of the two new variants, it is the Transcontinental that makes do with a larger windscreen, given its touring intentions.
On the other hand, the Bagger’s windscreen is slightly raked to provide a more emotional experience to the rider. Both the motorcycles also benefit from side-mounted hard-case panniers at both ends while the Transcontinental also gains an additional top box. It was being assumed that the Transcontinental will feature the radar-powered system from Bosch which made its debut on the 2021 BMW R 1250 RT.
The radar system deployed in the BMW R1250RT is claimed to be able to pick up target vehicles that are over 100 metres down the road, matching the vehicle’s speed between 18 and 99mph. It has now been confirmed that both versions of the bike also feature Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC) and Active Cruise Control (ACC) as standard.
As for instrumentation, round analogue gauges display all the necessary information in a similar fashion to the typical American cruisers. Additionally, they also get a 10.25-inch TFT screen. A key standard fitment in both the motorcycles is the Marshall-sourced two-way speaker system while Gold Series Stage 1 and Stage 2 audio systems are optional. The Transcontinental also gets heated seats, an engine guard and wind deflectors, all as standard.
The engine has remained in the same state of tune. This is the biggest boxer that BMW has ever offered — by over half a litre — and it’s still air-cooled. The performance figures are quite impressive though as the massive boxer engine is good for 91 hp and a whopping 157 nm of torque. Such performance on tap is definitely required to get something going that weighs this much!
The two R18 models also share the same braking system, with dual axially-mounted four-piston calipers and 300 mm discs up front, and a single 300 mm disc at the rear. An integral anti-lock braking system comes standard, with the hand lever activating both front and rear brakes.