Cruising and touring in excavator style: the new BMW R 18 Roctane

MOBILITY/MOTORBIKES: Cruising and touring in excavator style: the new BMW R 18 Roctane

The new BMW R 18 Roctane as the fifth member of the R 18 family – cruising and touring in custom bagger style.

The new R 18 Roctane joins the R 18, R 18 Classic, R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental as the fifth member of the R 18 family. Once again, it follows the history and tradition of BMW Motorrad and combines state-of-the-art motorbike technology with the design and charm of times gone by.

The new BMW R 18 Roctane also borrows technically and visually from famous BMW models such as the BMW R 5 and puts the focus back on the essentials of the motorbike: purist, no-frills technology and the boxer engine as the epicentre of riding pleasure. In addition, classic design and clear, but contemporary technology merge into a fascinating overall concept that inspires with a unique emotional riding experience and skilfully staged design language with rear section in the so-called „streamlining design“.

The most powerful BMW boxer engine of all time with high torque in black metallic matt finish and with black high-gloss covers as well as exhaust system and star nuts in dark chrome.

The heart of the new BMW R 18 Roctane is the well-known two-cylinder boxer engine, the „Big Boxer“. Not only with its impressive appearance, but also in technical terms, the engine on the new R 18 Roctane, finished in Avus Black metallic matt and with black high-gloss covers, takes up where the traditional air-cooled boxer engines left off, providing an exhilarating riding experience for more than seven decades since the start of BMW Motorrad production in 1923. The largest two-cylinder boxer engine ever used in motorbike series production has a displacement of 1 802 cm3. Power output is 67 kW (91 hp) at 4 750 min-1. From 2 000 to 4 000 min-1, more than 150 Nm of torque are available at any time, and the original pulling power goes hand in hand with a rich sound. The black engine is perfectly matched by the dark chrome exhaust system and the star nuts.


Double-loop tubular steel frame and rear swingarm with enclosed axle drive in rigid frame look.

At the heart of the chassis of the new R 18 Roctane is a double-loop tubular steel frame. Its design is a continuation of the long BMW Motorrad tradition of this type of frame construction. The particularly high manufacturing quality and attention to detail is also evident in barely noticeable details such as the welded joints between steel tubes and cast or forged parts. Like the legendary BMW R 5, the rear swingarm, which is manufactured according to a similar pattern, encloses the rear axle gearbox in true style using screw connections.

Telescopic fork with fork tubes, cantilever suspension strut as well as alloy wheels with 21 inch front and 18 inch rear as well as disc brakes.

The suspension elements of the new BMW R 18 Roctane deliberately dispense with electronic adjustment options. Instead, a telescopic fork and a directly linked central spring strut with travel-dependent damping and adjustable spring preload ensure superior wheel control and responsive suspension comfort. As on the legendary BMW R 5, the stanchions of the telescopic fork are covered with fork sleeves. The stanchion tube diameter is 49 mm, the spring travel is 120 mm at the front and 90 mm at the rear. The new BMW R 18 Roctane is braked by a double disc brake at the front and a single disc brake at the rear in conjunction with four-piston fixed calipers. The alloy wheels ensure a stylish appearance. At the front they measure 3.5 x 21″ and are fitted with 120/70 B 21 tyres. At the rear they measure 5.5 x 18″ and are fitted with 180/55 B 18 tyres.

Harmonious ergonomics with step seat, footboards, gearshift paddles and high handlebars.

In keeping with the BMW Motorrad philosophy, the new BMW R 18 Roctane features a casual, so-called „mid-mounted footpeg“ position for the footrests. This classic position behind the cylinders is not only typical of BMW, but also enables a relaxed and rider-friendly riding position for the best possible vehicle control. For this purpose, the R 18 Roctane has a slim stepped seat that tapers towards the rear with pillion straps for two people and is equipped with footboards in conjunction with a gearshift rocker. The high handlebars, coated in black, ensure an upright and relaxed seating position.

Panniers painted in the respective vehicle colour and windshield as original BMW Motorrad accessories. Three attractive colour schemes.

The new R 18 Roctane is ideally equipped for cool cruising and touring thanks to panniers painted in the vehicle colour. The cases each offer 27 litres of luggage volume. For longer tours, the new R 18 Roctane can be equipped with a windshield with additional headlights and suspended indicator lights from the Original BMW Motorrad Accessories range. The new R 18 Roctane is painted black as standard. The colours mineral grey metallic matt and Manhattan metallic matt are available as optional extras.

Three driving modes plus ASC and MSR for a high level of driving pleasure and safety as standard. Reversing aid, Hillstart Control and heated grips as optional extras ex works.

To adapt to the individual wishes of the driver, the new R 18 Roctane also offers the three driving modes „Rain“, „Roll“ and „Rock“ as standard, which is unusual in this segment. Another standard feature is the ASC (Automatic Stability Control, can be switched off), which ensures a high level of driving safety. In addition, the new R 18 Roctane is equipped with engine drag torque control (MSR) as standard. Among other options, a reversing aid enables comfortable manoeuvring and the Hill Start Control function makes hill starts easy. Warm hands on cold days are ensured by the heated grips, which are also available as an optional extra from the factory.

The new R 18 Roctane: The „big boxer“ with rigid frame look, modern technology and authentic materials staged in custom bagger style. Headlights with integrated, classically designed round instrument.

The R 18 Roctane skilfully reinterprets the iconic shapes of bygone times in custom bagger style, and in many details a purist design lives on that was primarily shaped by classics such as the BMW R 5. Functional and style-defining elements such as the double-loop frame, the drop tank or the open-running propshaft are reminiscent of the legendary boxer from 1936, and the classic bodywork of the R 18 Roctane such as the tank, mudguards or headlight housings are made of metal – just as befits an authentic classic. The chassis is an equally apt reminiscence of the legendary R 5. Together with the twin-sided swingarm and a suspension strut in cantilever arrangement, it was possible to transfer the rigid frame concept of the R 5 visually perfectly into the modern era.

Wherever the eye wanders, lovingly designed technology is evident in the details. This is also true of the headlight with its integrated, classically designed round instrument. The legendary BMW R 5 from 1936 and from then on almost all BMW motorbikes until the early 1970s featured this characteristic combination. The new BMW R 18 Roctane now revives this tradition – with state-of-the-art technology but contemporary design. The „BERLIN BUILT“ lettering on the dial documents its origin: the new R 18 Roctane is also manufactured at the BMW Motorrad plant in Berlin-Spandau.

Conversion-friendly architecture as a prerequisite for easy customising and optimal individualisation.

Like the entire R 18 family, the new R 18 Roctane offers a very rebuild-friendly architecture, which was already a focus in the early conception phases of the basic design of the vehicle. In addition, the valve covers (cylinder head covers) and the hero chest (engine housing cover) are designed in such a way that they sit outside the oil chamber and are therefore very easy to change.

The features of the BMW R 18 Roctane:

Iconic style through modern technology and authentic materials.
Largest BMW boxer engine of all time with 1 802 cm3 displacement.
Output 67 kW (91 hp) at 4 750 min-1, max. torque 158 Nm at 3 000 min-1.
Over 150 Nm available at any time from 2 000 to 4 000 min-1.
Open-running cardan drive based on the classic model.
Exhaust system and star nuts in dark chrome.
Elaborately manufactured double-loop tubular steel frame.
Rear swinging arm with enclosed axle drive in rigid frame look.
Telescopic fork with fork tubes and cantilever shock absorber with travel-dependent damping.
Harmonious ergonomics with high handlebars for relaxed riding and optimum control.
Front and rear disc brakes and cast alloy wheels in 21 inch front and 18 inch rear.
Side cover with emblem.
Headlamp housing with integrated classic round instrument.
State-of-the-art LED lighting technology interpreted in a classic way.
Adaptive Headlights for even better road illumination when cornering as an optional extra ex-works.
Keyless Ride for convenient function activation by radio (ignition on/off).
Manual steering lock / lock on right-hand steering tube.
Case lock cylinder by hand.
Three driving modes plus ASC and MSR as standard.
Reversing aid for comfortable manoeuvring and Hill Start Control for easy hill starts as factory options.
Heated grips, DWA, RDC and 35 kW version as factory options.
Extensive range of optional extras and Original BMW Motorrad accessories as well as a casual Ride & Style collection.



virtualdesignmagazine Michael Hiller


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