BMW is dominating the adventure bike market, is the brand to beat when it comes to tourers, its new S1000RR looks ready to shoot to the top of the superbike pile and the S1000R is one of the world’s best nakedbikes. The Bavarian firm is even making a decent fist of its scooters and, with the C Evolution, is among the leading pioneers in the electric bike field.
But there’s one area it doesn’t compete in: the cruiser market. Ever since the demise of the slow-selling R 1200 C more than a decade ago, BMW hasn’t had a traditional-looking machine to trouble the likes of Harley-Davidson and Indian.
Company insiders have told us it is planning a new Boxer-powered cruiser but everyone’s tight-lipped on the details. Meanwhile this Japanese custom, code-named R18, has won “best in show” at a Yokohama hot rod show.
It’s powered by what BMW admits is a prototype engine and will release details about its future use “at a later point in time”. Does the R18 moniker suggest it’s 1800cc or just made in 2018. Nevertheless it clearly has pushrods and bears a close resemblance to current air-oil-cooled Boxer technology.
Neo Art Deco
BMW could also take inspiration from this creation by Florida-based Nmoto. Call the Nostalgia, it’s a limited-production, $A67,000 creation based on the current R NineT. Intended to resemble the 1934 BMW R7, a one-off prototype from the age of Art Deco that never reached production, the technology is bang up to date with all the modern features of a current BMW.