A week before Harley-Davidson hastily announced its exit from India, BMW Motorrad launched its first cruiser, the R 18, in the country. Soon after, the German brand unveiled the R 18 Classic globally. Now, the tour-friendly cruiser has finally debuted in India with a price tag of Rs 24 lakh (ex-showroom) for the ‘First Edition,’ almost Rs 2 lakh more than the R 18 First Edition.
The BMW R 18 Classic ‘First Edition’ is built on the standard R 18 with slight updates to make it friendlier for long hauls. The 16-inch front wheel, big windshield with the auxiliary lights, a pillion seat, saddle bags and the slash-cut exhaust pipes are unique to the Classic.
The highlight of the bike is of course its 1802cc, air-cooled boxer-twin engine churning out 91PS and 158Nm. It also continues to use the unique exposed shaft mechanism. Also common with the R 18 are the three riding modes — Rain, Rock and Roll — along with traction control, dynamic engine braking and hill start control. Unfortunately, the India-spec bike doesn’t get the reverse mode seen on the international model.
Elements like the LED headlamp, tear drop-shaped tank and the hardtail design are straight from the R 18. Like the standard cruiser, the ‘First Edition’ variant comes with the white pinstriping, chrome elements and the ‘First Edition’ badging differentiates it from the standard variant, which has not been launched in India yet.
BMW Motorrad will be bringing in a slew of accessories with the R 18 Classic ‘First Edition,’ including milled aluminum parts, handcrafted seats and a Vance and Hines exhaust system. While it doesn’t have any direct rivals in India yet, the German cruiser is similar to the now-discontinued Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic.