BMW’s R18 cruiser is undoubtedly one of the closest things to a rolling work of art you could buy from a motorcycle manufacturer. Granted, cruisers are among the most polarizing segments in the world of two wheels, with heavy stereotypes surrounding them. BMW’s take on the classic cruiser seeks to change things a bit, and lean towards the finer things in life, as against the rugged, bad boy appeal of other cruiser manufacturers.
The feather on BMW’s Heritage cap, the R18 is a modern day interpretation of BMW’s long history of producing boxer-powered two-wheelers. It sports the Bavarian company’s biggest production boxer twin to date, and is styled after the likes of the classic BMW R5. Given that it’s a cruiser, and it’s part of BMW Heritage lineup, the R18 has certainly caught the attention of the custom scene. We’ve seen dozens of custom R18s, from mildly modified ones to bikes that have completely been redesigned from the ground up.
Those looking to adjust the bike’s ergos with new handlebars are in luck, too, as Wunderlich, one of the best-known BMW aftermarket specialists, has released three new handlebars for the R18. The bar selection for the R18 varies greatly across the three options, and each one drastically alters the ergonomics and aesthetics of the heavyweight cruiser. For those looking to give the R18 a splash of American freedom, Wunderlich is offering tall Ape-Hanger style bars which have the rider's hands raised practically to eye level.
On the other end of the spectrum, Wunderlich’s Drag Bar gives the R18 a uniquely sporty feel, and will have the rider reaching slightly forward for the controls in a mildly tucked position. When paired with the bike’s low seat and relaxed foot controls, it’ll make for a rather odd riding position, to say the least. The Drag Bar is essentially a flat, wide handlebar that sits lower than stock. It does, however, clean up the front end very nicely.
Last but not least, the most neutrally styled bar comes in the form of Wunderlich’s Beach Bar. Ideal for touring and general-purpose riding, it features a moderate rise and back sweep, allowing the ride to retain a relatively upright seating position, as well as good leverage on the bars—something you’d definitely want on a bike this hefty. The three new handlebars are all available for order on Wunderlich’s website. The Ape-Hanger retails for 460 Euros($496 USD), while the Drag Bar and Beach Bar both go for 409 Euros ($442 USD) a piece.