Reset Password

Your search results
6 February 2024

BMW R18 Transcontinental – The World Is Your Oyster

If you want to make a statement, I mean really turn heads, BMW has just the thing for you. 

Introducing the BMW R18 Transcontinental. This is a luxury ‘Grand American Tourer’ style motorcycle, going up against some tough competition. Based on the R 18 platform, it has features and technology that place it at the top of the luxury motorcycle market.

Designed for long-distance touring, the beating heart of the R18 Transcontinental is a 2-cylinder, 1802cc boxer engine, generating 67 kW (91 hp) at 4750 rpm and 158 Nm torque. Over 150 Nm torque are available between 2000rpm and 4000rpm, making this a very relaxed cruiser.

BMW has crafted a very well-appointed, full-dress motorcycle with a massive list of standard features. The front fairing has a high windshield wind deflector and flaps, additional headlamps and chrome engine protection bars.

Hard panniers and a vibration-decoupled top case in body colour paint finish are standard on the Transcontinental, giving you a useful 48 litres of storage (47 litres with optional additional audio).

There’s a huge 10.25-inch TFT colour display that sits neatly in the cockpit, flanked by four analogue round instruments and a Marshall sound system with 2-way speakers integrated into the front of the fairing with Marshall detailing in the speaker covers. You can add to the audio system from the options list; Up to 4 speakers and 2 subwoofers giving you 280 watts of total output, which will certainly get you noticed.

Ride and comfort are excellent, with massive 49 mm forks up front and at the rear the suspension strut features travel-dependent damping with automatic load compensation. Suspension travel front and rear is 120 mm.

Brakes are pretty good and do a good job of stopping the R18, but you really feel the weight. 

Front Brakes are 2x 300mm discs with 4-piston fixed calipers and rear brakes are a single 300mm disc with 4-piston fixed caliper. BMW Motorrad Full Integral ABS is standard and the Active Cruise Control (ACC) also works to ensure safe cornering. Where necessary, the cornering control system automatically reduces the speed, giving the rider the right speed for a comfortable and safe lean angle.

Talking of Active Cruise Control (ACC), the R18 Transcontinental is equipped as standard with DCC electronic cruise control (Dynamic Cruise Control). You will likely be familiar with this technology in your car. “DCC automatically regulates the riding speed set by the rider. Dynamic means that the pre-selected speed is kept constant even when riding downhill. Active Cruise Control (ACC) allows relaxed gliding with distance control – without the rider having to adjust the speed to the vehicle in front. With the aid of radar sensors integrated into the front fairing, the motorcycle is either accelerated automatically to adjust the speed or the new, standard full integral braking system is applied for deceleration purposes, depending on the situation on the road.”

Ride quality is superb, this bike glides over bumps and handles surprisingly well for a grand tourer of this size. It’s very well appointed, with a long list of standard features and even more options.

One of the things you will have to be mindful of is the weight. It’s 427kg before you get on it. With me on board, it was over half a ton. Slow-speed manoeuvring with a pillion and some luggage took some planning and plenty of leg strength. It was a challenge just getting it off the side stand. 

Weaving through traffic isn’t this bike’s strong point, but what it does do very well is lap up the miles with ease and comfort.

The riding position was relaxed, feet slightly forward, but not too far because the cylinders are there. The gear change is on a rocker mechanism, meaning you can use your toe or heel to change gear. 

One particular day we loaded up the R18 Transcontinental and headed out. From the midlands, we jumped on the motorway to Nottingham, then on some ‘A’ roads across Lincolnshire to the East Coast and then North up to Grimsby and Cleethorpes. After an ice cream on the seafront, we took a leisurely ride back and after a long day on the road, neither the R18 nor us had even broken into a sweat. The R18 Transcontinental could do this all day in total comfort. Performance is adequate for a big bike and the soundtrack of that big 1802 cc flat twin is great.

We ride motorcycles because it defines who we are. It brings us a sense of freedom and lets us escape. This R18 Transcontinental may not be to everyone’s taste, but it certainly makes a statement and made every ride an event. 

If you are looking for an exclusive, luxurious, comfortable, and powerful touring motorcycle, the BMW R18 Transcontinental is a great option. It is a well-made, well-appointed motorcycle that draws on decades of BMW heritage and a long list of features that will make your long-distance rides more enjoyable.The BMW R 18 Transcontinental highlights:

24-litre fuel tank
Biggest ever BMW boxer engine with a capacity of 1802 cc
Output 67 kW (91 hp) at 4750 rpm, maximum torque 158 Nm at 3000 rpm
BMW Motorrad Full Integral ABS
ASC (Automatic Stability Control) as standard
Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC) as standard
Active Cruise Control (ACC) – cruise control with integrated distance control – option
State-of-the-art LED lighting technology, classically interpreted
Adaptive turning light with swivel module
Seat heating as standard
Heated grips as standard
Keyless Ride
Three riding modes as well as ASC and MSR as standard
Reverse assist and Hill Start Control as an option
Front Brakes 2x 300mm discs, 4-piston fixed caliper
Rear Brakes single 300mm disc, 4-piston fixed caliper
In-built Navigation
From £25,160

Category: Supercars