BMW R 18 Roctane 2023 – Best Cruiser of the Year?

BMW Motorrad are a manufacturer who just do things the correct way. Ruthlessly good and precision on point…but do the R18s match up and does the recent R18 Roctane carry the flag for the company too.

Motorcycle cruisers and tourers have been looking for an alternative the Harley Davidson and Indian Motorcycle for some time, and whilst there are lesser pretenders on the market, none have come close to the American manufacturers concept of traditional cruising and touring bikes. That is until BMW decided to get involved when they launched the R18 in 2020.

Now the company currently produces the R18 in six different variants; R18, R18 100 Years, R18 Classic, R18 B, R18 Transcontinental and now the R18 Roctane.

People who ride the R18 are immediately flooded with a new kind of riding experience. Turn over the engine and the lateral throw is noticeable but as soon as the first gear is engaged and the clutch let out, you know you’re on a very well made motorcycle…in fact it is ridiculous how well made it is, albeit its design using the quintessential boxer engine does make it rather rotund around the waist.

BMW have produced a viable alternative to what Harley Davidson and Indian can produce…and they have done it in a completely different way. It may not appeal to everyone, but for those who take the leap, there are miles and miles of fun ahead.

The R18 Roctane for 2023 has taken the bagger concept and given it the custom touch that most will crave. Still the same underneath but the looks are sure to turn heads wherever it goes.

This from BMW Motorrad…

The R 18 Roctane is a synonym for pure nonchalance. Appearance: Bagger. Comfort: touring motorcycle. Personality: custom factory hot rod. It is driven by the powerful big boxer engine. Ride it and every country road turns into Route 66. Its style is unconventional: black and matt – that’s what joy can look like.

Bagger outline, dragster seat and mini ape-hanger demonstrate that this is not a bog-standard bike.

The iconic front with round LED headlight and 21-inch cast aluminium wheel leads the way towards the horizon. You are casually gripping the mini ape-hanger and resting your feet on the standard footboards, while the dragster seat gives you perfect support on long tours. The elongated bagger outline flows straight to the stylish rear end featuring hard-shell cases.  This bike is an eye-catcher. Unmistakable: the unique boxer sound from the striking, dark chrome rear silencer.

A bike like a statement – an uncompromising ride. It goes without saying that this bike features the largest boxer engine we offer. Generating consistently high torque, it guarantees sheer riding pleasure on long journeys. You can rely on 150 Nm between 2,000 and 4,000 rpm. At 4,750 rpm, our big boxer delivers a whopping 67 kW (91 hp). The exposed, high-gloss, nickel-plated Cardan shaft makes power transmission impressively visible.



Rated output 67 kW (91 hp) at 4,750 rpm

Emission control Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter

Type – Air/oil cooled twin-cylinder four-stroke boxer engine with two chain-driven camshafts above the crank shaft

Bore x stroke 107.1 mm x 100 mm, Capacity 1,802 cc

Max. torque 158 Nm at 3,000 rpm, Compression ratio 9.6 : 1

Mixture control – Electronic intake pipe injection / digital engine management system: BMS-O with throttle-by-wire

Exhaust emission standards EU 5

Performance / fuel consumption

Maximum speed – over 180 km/h

Fuel consumption per 100 km based on WMTC – 5.6 l

Fuel type – Super unleaded (max. 15% ethanol, E15), 95 ROZ/RON, 90 AKI

CO2 emission based on WMTC – 129 g/km

Electrical system

Alternator – Permanent magnet alternator with 600 W (nominal power)

Battery – 12 V / 26 Ah, maintenance-free

Power transmission

Clutch – Single-disc dry clutch

Gearbox – Claw-shifted 6-gear gearbox with separate transmission housing

Drive – Cardan

Chassis / brakes

Frame – Double loop steel frame with bolted beams

Rear wheel location / suspension Steel twin-sided swing arm, central spring strut

Suspension travel, front / rear 120 mm / 90 mm

Wheels Aluminium cast wheels

Brake, front Twin disc brake, diameter 300 mm, 4-piston fixed caliper

Brake, rear Single disc brake, diameter 300 mm, 4-piston fixed caliper

ABS BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (fully integral)

Dimensions / weights

Seat height at unladen weight 720 mm

Usable tank volume approx. 16 l, Reserve approx. 4 l

Permitted total weight 560 kg

Payload (with standard equipment) 181 kg

Standard equipment

  • Headlights with integrated, analogue, round dial-type speedometer
  • 21″ cast aluminium front wheel
  • LED flashing turn indicators, LED tail light and brake light
  • Dynamic Cruise Control
  • Automatic Stability Control (ASC)
  • 3 riding modes (Rock, Roll, Rain)
  • Keyless Ride
  • Top Loader side cases

Optional equipment

  • Hill Start Control (HSC)
  • Tyre pressure monitor (TPM)
  • Heated grips
  • Locking fuel filler cap
  • Headlight Pro
  • Reverser
  • Anti-theft alarm

Optional accessories

  • Various windscreens
  • Various wheel sets
  • Various seat variants
  • Chrome and black luggage rack
  • Engine protection bar
  • And much more

Colours: Black storm metallic, Mineral grey metallic matt, Manhattan metallic matt

Starting Price: £21750

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