After the Concept R 18 showcased at this year’s edition of the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, BMW Motorrad is now premiering the reinterpretation of the heritage motorbike concept. The R 18 /2, pronounced Slash Two, is a modern cruiser which shows the multi-faceted personality of the original R 18 concept.
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It is all about one engine, two characters. The R 18 and the R 18 /2 are so different, yet they share the same basic engine architecture. The big boxer engine now powers a modern and muscular cruiser motorbike. The same architecture deployed on the original R 18 concept bike is further conceptualized in the modern Slash Two, showing just how stylishly versatile design can be.
Edgar Heinrich, chief designer for BMW Motorrad, describes the concept bike: “In contrast to the classic, elegant BMW Motorrad Concept R 18, the Concept R 18 /2 draws on its large boxer engine and frame to create a modern custom concept. The Concept R 18 /2 is uniquely extrovert. Elements from the past and future of BMW Motorrad merge here to create a captivating cruiser, making a powerful statement. It’s a highly emotional bike designed for active riding. At the same time, the Concept R 18 /2 reflects the range of characterizations and customer dreams that we are able to realize using the same backbone.”
The centerpiece of the design is the big 2-cylinder boxer engine, with modern dual oil-air cooling system and the 1960s-inspired styling, having a total displacement of 1,800 cubic centimeters. The cover of the boxer powerplant is colored in a warm grey shade. The BMW logos on the engine cover and the tear-drop shaped fuel tank resemble the classic emblem design of the pre-60s era with narrow font characters.
The large-sized wheels, manufactured from cast iron, remind of a dragster design, given the larger 19″ wheel at the front and the 16″ wheel at the rear. The paint finish in Candy Red Apple metallic color further accentuates the striking design of the modern Slash Two.
As well, the graphic design lines virtually extending towards the shortened rear wheel cover create the visual impression of a flowing structure and powerfully round off the whole styling architecture.
The R 18 /2 motorbike concept is the perfect demonstration of how versatile the old boxer engine design of the 30s can be and how conveniently it can reshaped in either a classic and a modern way. Bart Janssen Groesbeek, BMW Motorrad Vehicle Designer for the Big Boxer Concepts further explains:
“After the BMW Motorrad Concept R 18, our aim with the Concept R 18 /2 is to demonstrate how flexible the basic engine and suspension are as a starting point for customization, and how easy it is to authentically realize different styles. And I have to admit: we were very impressed at how it was possible to bring this boxer concept forward from the 30s via the 80s into the 2020s.”