Ever since BMW introduced the original R 18 in early 2020 it was clear that the Bavarians knew they had a burgeoning hit on their hands. Practically as soon as the first bike was out in the public eye, talk of a touring version and a bagger version began swirling almost immediately. If you’re an OEM, you of course need to stay ahead of the curve and be working on the next thing at all times—and BMW is no exception.
Since then, we’ve seen spy shots of both the tourer and the bagger that let us know there was more than just idle rumors rolling out of Munich. Sure enough, on July 29, 2021, BMW unveiled the R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B for touring and bagger fans to feast their eyes upon. There was a virtual presentation, as well as copious photos you’ll see in the gallery. Both models will also be making their first-ever live, in-person appearance to the public at Sturgis 2021 in August.
Both the Transcontinental and the B are powered by the 1,802cc boxer engine that outputs a claimed 91 horsepower at 4,750 rpm, as well as about 110 foot-pounds of torque at all times. While the heart is the same, it’s what each bike does with that heart that sets it apart. In other words, these two new members of the R 18 family show that it is just like any other family. Let’s take a look.
Gallery: BMW R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B
The R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B both come with handlebar-mounted fairings. The Transcontinental also gets a high windscreen, while the B gets a low version. Side cases on both come in body-color paint finish. The R 18 Transcontinental also gets a color-matched top case that holds 48 liters of stuff, or 47 if you opt for the Marshall sound system. The Transcontinental also gets body-color wind deflectors.
The Transcontinental and the B both feature a touring-friendly 24-liter fuel tank. Considering that the base R 18 fuel tank only holds about 16 liters, that’s 50 percent greater capacity. Surely that’s a thing anyone looking to put miles (or kilometers) on their new baby can appreciate.
Other stock features on both the Transcontinental and B include BMW Motorrad Full Integral ABS, Dynamic Cruise Control (Active Cruise Control is available as an option), LED lighting all around, heated grips, keyless ride, three riding modes, reverse assist, hill start control, and your choice of three colors or a First Edition colorway option. There’s also a cockpit with four gauge pods and a 10.25-inch TFT dash; with full connectivity to your smartphone, of course.
The Transcontinental also gets a few more goodies that the B does not, since it’s geared more toward touring comfort for both rider and passenger. An engine guard comes standard, as do heated seats. There’s also a continuously adjustable rocker switch in the running board of the Transcontinental.
Color choices for both the Transcontinental and B include black, the stunning 719 Galaxy Dust Metallic paint that appears to shift color depending on how the light is hitting it, and Manhattan metallic matt. The First Edition colorway, as you’ll already be familiar with from the launch of the original R 18, features black with white pinstriping and plenty of chrome accents.
What do these newest members of the R 18 family cost? In the U.S., the MSRP on the R 18 B starts at $21,945. Meanwhile, the MSRP on the R 18 Transcontinental starts at $24,995. A base R 18 is currently priced at $17,495.