Are you a motorcycle enthusiast who craves the thrill of a powerful ride? Look no further than the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023. In this blog post, we will delve into the details of this magnificent machine, exploring its design, performance, features, and everything else you need to know before hitting the open road. Get ready to experience the ultimate blend of power, elegance, and craftsmanship.
- 1 Introduction to the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
- 2 Striking Design and Build Quality of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
- 3 Unmatched Performance on the Road of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
- 4 Handling & Suspension of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
- 5 Cutting-Edge Technology of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
- 6 Comfort and Ergonomics of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
- 7 Customization Options of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
- 8 Technical Specification of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
- 9 Pricing and Availability of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
- 10 Verdict of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
Introduction to the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
The BMW R 18 Roctane 2023 is the epitome of a classic cruiser motorcycle. It combines timeless design elements with state-of-the-art technology, creating an unforgettable riding experience. This bike is powered by a massive 1,802 cc boxer engine that delivers an impressive 91 horsepower and 116 lb-ft of torque, ensuring exceptional performance on any terrain.
BMW launched the first and rather striking version of the R 18 back in 2020. The giant retro-boxer took the biking world by surprise, as nobody was really expecting a laid-back cruiser from BMW, let alone one that boasted such impressive specs. It featured an 1802cc air-cooled motor with 116.5 ft lb of torque. But it wasn’t just about the engine; the Germans were applauded for the R 18’s design and style, which drew inspiration from their machines from the 1920s and ’30s.
Other models using the base R 18 platform soon followed. The R 18 Classic is easily identifiable by its large screen, spoked wheels, and soft luggage. Then there is the R 18 B, a bagger with hard luggage and a cut-down top fairing, complete with a huge 10.25-inch screen and a four-way sound system. The daddy of the group is the huge R 18 Transcontinental, a full dresser with hard luggage and a massive rear 48l top box, large enough to accommodate two full-face helmets.
The fifth bike to adopt the R 18 platform is the new R 18 Roctane. The Roctane stands out from the rest with its blackout finish, large 21-inch front wheel, mini-ape bars, and hard bagger luggage. In simple terms, it sits between the standard R 18 and the R 18 B (Bagger) as a cooler-looking, non-faired Bagger.
Striking Design and Build Quality of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
As soon as your eyes meet the mesmerizing BMW R 18 Roctane 2023, prepare to be entranced by its awe-inspiring and captivating design. This two-wheeled masterpiece boasts a sleek and elegant black finish, harmoniously complemented by the dazzling chrome accents that gracefully adorn its body, emanating an aura of opulence and refinement.
The striking round LED headlight, serving as an emblem of timeless beauty, further enhances the bike’s classic allure, while the exposed driveshaft pays a respectful tribute to BMW’s rich and illustrious heritage, connecting the present to the past in a seamless and harmonious manner.
The impeccable craftsmanship of the R 18 Roctane leaves no room for doubt about its exceptional build quality. Each and every component has been meticulously and painstakingly fashioned to perfection, ensuring unparalleled durability and longevity. From the sturdy and robust frame that effortlessly withstands the test of time, to the sumptuous and luxurious leather seat that provides an unparalleled level of comfort, BMW has spared no expense in creating a motorcycle that is synonymous with reliability and extravagance.
With the R 18 Roctane, BMW has masterfully combined engineering prowess with a commitment to opulence, resulting in an unparalleled riding experience that is bound to leave a lasting impression on all who have the privilege of beholding it.
Unmatched Performance on the Road of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
When it comes to performance, the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023 does not disappoint. The powerful boxer engine delivers smooth acceleration and a thrilling ride. Whether you’re cruising on the highway or navigating twisty mountain roads, this motorcycle provides ample power to conquer any challenge.
The Roctane features several riding modes that allow you to customize your experience according to your preferences. From the relaxed “Rain” mode to the exhilarating “Dynamic” mode, you can tailor the bike’s performance to suit your mood and riding conditions.
If size really does matter, then BMW wins hands down. This is the largest BMW Boxer the German factory has ever produced. When you sit on the bike, you’re consumed by heavy engineering, especially those two huge protruding cylinder heads rocking underneath you. The right cylinder is closer to the rider’s shin because it has to sit further back on the crank; each cylinder is not directly opposite, but slightly out of kilter due to the center crank. The 1802cc motor, plus gearbox and intake, weighs 110.8kg, which is just over 17 stone if you prefer. If you want to impress your mates, here’s another stat: each bore is 107.1mm in diameter, about the same as a German stein beer glass.
As you’d expect, it’s all about bottom-end torque. There’s a mammoth 116.5ft lb of torque at just 3000rpm via the beautifully finished shaft drive. Tickle the throttle between 2000rpm and 3000rpm and you’re already producing 110ftlb of torque. Peak power is almost irrelevant with so much grunt and twist and drive on tap, but for the record it’s 91 hp at 4750rpm – and it is all over and done with by 5000rpm.
When you throw a leg over the relatively low seat – it’s at 720mm compared to the standard R 18’s 690mm – the experience is dominated by that giant air-cooled motor. With your shins almost touching the cylinder heads and your feet on the footboards, there’s a charismatic rocking with every blip of the throttle.
As soon as the Roctane starts rolling, it short-shifts through the smooth six-speed gearbox all the way as you keep the revs low and ride the engine’s giant wave of torque. The Roctane comes with footboards and a heel-and-toe gearshift (the standard R 18 has pegs), which I prefer and think matches the style of the new model. I found myself changing up at 2500rpm, or 3000rpm when in a rush! Sometimes it seemed natural to let the beast chug through 30mph villages in fifth gear and not even bother down-shifting. After all, the fueling is excellent throughout, while Rain mode is more docile than a sleepy old guide dog enjoying her retirement in front of the fire.
Cruising is effortless; even at 80mph, the revs haven’t passed 3000rpm. Above 3000rpm things get a little vibey, and you can rev up to 5500rpm, where you hit a soft and undoubtedly slightly surprised rev limiter. Snappy overtakes can be accomplished with a quick handful of throttle. Going from fifth to sixth gear is a big step as top gear is intended as an overdrive for touring, so for a brisk overtake from low revs, it is preferable to tap back to fifth.
As mentioned, there’s no power increase for the Roctane, but it does feel livelier than the R 18 B and Transcontinental. That is due to the fact that the new bike is lighter than its bigger, fully loaded siblings, making it quicker to respond when you open the throttle. It’s just a shame that the exhaust doesn’t sound as fruity as it looks.
Handling & Suspension of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
As you would expect, the R 18 uses a similar base platform across the board, but the Roctane out from the rest, mainly for cosmetic reasons. Thectane runs 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear wheel combination, as opposed to the 19/16 combination on the other models, except for the Classic, which runs a 16/16 combination. The larger wheels have both advantages and disadvantages.
On the plus side, the raised ride height provides more ground clearance and changes the chassis geometry to give a sharper steering head angle. On the downside, the larger front wheel slows down the steering and, in theory, adds more weight to the wheels, resulting in more un-sprung weight. However, BMW did not disclose how much weight is added. At this point, we could delve into the details of the Roctane’s chassis geometry and dimensions, but given that this bike is laid-back and thoroughly relaxed, doing so seems pointless (although we wouldn’t be surprised if BMW produced a race version to compete in the Bagger series in America!).
All we really need to know is that the Roctane has more ground clearance than the other R 18 variants due to its large wheels. Yes, the footboards will eventually scrape, but it takes a bit more effort compared to the standard R 18. Furthermore, even when you start showering a following rider with sparks, the gargantuan boxer engine doesn’t feel like it’s being pushed to its limit; quite the opposite, in fact. Yes, you are constantly aware that you are riding a big bike, with its rocking motion and engine heat serving as regular reminders, but you don’t have to beg the front end to turn.
Obviously, it’s not a sports tourer, but it is the sharpest tool in the BMW R 18 lineup. You learn to adapt to the Roctane’s style of riding – brake early, roll in, sometimes touch down the footboards at the apex, and then unleash that huge wave of torque on the exit. Once you get used to this riding style, you can have an exciting blast that can catch other road users off guard, and I had some fantastic rides during the two-day test on the Austria/Germany border. Rider aids are limited to traction control and ABS, neither of which are lean-sensitive. One could argue that you don’t need anything more on a laid-back cruiser, especially since Rain mode already softens the power significantly in tricky conditions (and increases intervention levels of the rider aids).
When at a standstill, you can turn off the traction control and, if desired, dump the clutch off the line to get the rear wheel spinning like a dragster, thanks to the immense torque. A cold tire in the morning can easily be provoked into a smoky spin, and in wet conditions, I would recommend using Rain mode and keeping the traction control active. The front brakes are universal across the range, with twin 300mm discs, while there is another 300mm disc on the rear.
The only difference is the weight they need to stop. The Roctane weighs in at a claimed 374kg, which is heavy compared to the standard R 18 at 345kg but lightweight compared to the Transcontinental at 427kg. The brakes do their job well, considering they have to stop a combination of the Roctane’s weight and the rider’s weight, which is double that of a BMW S 1000 RR.
However, if you want to bring the R 18 to a quick stop, you will need to use all four fingers on lever of just two. The rear brake is strong and used more than on most bikes due to the relaxed riding style, footboards, and Roctane’s longbase and stability. However, at times you may feel the rear ABS in.
Cutting-Edge Technology of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
BMW has incorporated cutting-edge technology into the R 18 Roctane 2023 to enhance both safety and convenience. The bike comes equipped with a full-color TFT display that provides essential information at a glance. From speed and gear selection to fuel consumption and navigation instructions, everything you need is easily accessible.
Additionally, the Roctane features advanced rider aids such as traction control and ABS (anti-lock braking system) to ensure optimal safety on the road. These features work seamlessly in the background, allowing you to focus on enjoying the ride without worrying about unnecessary risks.
The Roctane comes standard with cruise control (which is not standard on the R 18) and ASC (Automatic Stability Control) or TC. You also get three riding modes, non-cornering ABS, and LED lights. The bike has keyless ignition, while the top-loading cases share the same key and are easy to open and fill.
Unlike some Harley ‘Bags’, which are easy to remove and carry, the Roctane’s cases are fixed, meaning you have to use an inner bag as you can’t take the solid luggage with you. Our bike had heated grips fitted, which is unusually not standard equipment for BMW. Other optional extras that most riders will want include Hill Start, TPM (tyre pressure monitoring), and reverse gear. In terms of cosmetic extras, it’s simply down to your imagination and budget.
There are various screens you can fit, you can change the seat, add luggage, crash protection, and even change the wheel sizes if you wish. The choice is seemingly endless, meaning you can make your Roctane as individual as you want, either cosmetically or by adding functional items ranging from a USB charger to a first aid kit.
Comfort and Ergonomics of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
Long rides can be exhausting if your motorcycle isn’t designed with comfort in mind. Fortunately, the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023 excels in this aspect. The bike offers a relaxed riding position with forward-mounted footpegs and wide handlebars, allowing for a natural and comfortable posture.
The plush leather seat provides ample cushioning, ensuring that you can enjoy extended rides without discomfort. The suspension setup is also tuned for comfort, absorbing bumps and imperfections on the road effortlessly.
Long-distance comfort was a minor criticism of the standard bike. I’ve covered significant distances on the standard R 18, touring the rough roads of Costa Rica, and I definitely experienced numbness in my buttocks by the end of the trip. The Roctane, on the other hand, comes with a more comfortable, softer seat than the standard R 18, and it truly makes a significant difference. On the standard bike, you can ride a few hundred miles without any issues, but on the Roctane, you can extend that to a full day in the saddle without any complaints at all.
There are arguments for and against having bodywork on a cruiser. Personally, I prefer the exposed look and feel of the R 18 and the Roctane. For me, cruising entails riding below 80mph, so I don’t require any wind protection. During this test, I did a fairly long stretch on the autobahn cruising at 75mph (with the engine running at only 2500rpm), and I didn’t experience any discomfort in any part of my body. I simply activated the (now standard) cruise control and relaxed, holding onto the mini ape bars, which I prefer over the wider standard R 18 bars.
However, if you prefer life in the fast lane, anything above 80mph becomes uncomfortable; those tall bars and lack of wind protection mean that you bear the full brunt of the windblast on your chest. It’s a good workout but not ideal for extended periods of riding. If you regularly cruise at high speeds or ride with an open-face helmet, you may prefer the Bagger, Classic, or Intercontinental models, or consider adding an optional screen. In dry conditions, I enjoyed the cooling windblast from the lack of bodywork, but that sensation was reversed in the rain. Incidentally, the protruding cylinder heads do help keep your feet relatively dry and warm in wet conditions.
The Roctane features the attractive 16-liter fuel tank of the R 18, rather than the 25-liter tank of the Bagger. I managed to achieve just over 50mpg, similar to BMW’s claim, which theoretically provides a range close to 200 miles. However, in reality, the fuel light comes on between 130 and 150 miles. On the standard R 18, you would be grateful for a break, but on the Roctane, with its more comfortable riding position due to the Ape bars and plusher seat, some riders might have preferred a longer range and larger fuel tank. Additionally, I personally prefer a fuel gauge over the Roctane’s fuel light.
Customization Options of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
BMW, a renowned brand in the motorcycle industry, acknowledges and embraces the fact that each rider possesses their own distinctiveness and preferences. As a result, they have crafted a remarkable solution for this diversity – the R 18 Roctane 2023 with a plethora of customization alternatives. With an array of choices ranging from diverse paint finishes to an extensive selection of accessories and upgrades, BMW enables you to infuse your own style and personal touch into your motorcycle.
Whether you gravitate towards a sleek and minimalist appearance or yearn for additional touring features, BMW has thoughtfully considered all possibilities. Immerse yourself in the vast assortment of options they offer and discover the means to transform your R 18 Roctane into a truly unparalleled masterpiece, tailored exclusively to you.
Technical Specification of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
|Bore x Stroke
|107.1mm x 100mm
|Air-cooled 2-cylider, 4v per cylinder
|91hp (67kW) @ 4,750rpm
|116.5lb-ft (158Nm) @ 3,000rpm
|6 speed, shaft final drive
|Average fuel consumption
|5.6l/100km 50.4mpg claimed. 53mpg tested
|Max range to empty
|ABS, Traction Control 3 rider modes
|Double cradle steel frame
|49mm conventional 120mm travel
|Front suspension adjustment
|Single rear shock 90mm travel
|Rear suspension adjustment
|300mm discs, four-piston radial caliper
|300mm disc, four-piston caliper
|Front wheel / tyre
|Rear wheel / tyre
|2615mm x 953mm
|MCIA Secured Rating
|Not yet rated
Pricing and Availability of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
The BMW R 18 Roctane 2023 comes at a premium price point, reflecting its exceptional craftsmanship and performance. Pricing may vary depending on your location and any additional customizations you choose. To get accurate pricing information and availability details, it’s best to contact your nearest BMW dealership or visit their official website.
The base BMW R 18 starts at £17,450 and the Bagger at £22,450. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the new Roctane falls somewhere in between at £21,750. One could argue that the Roctane should be priced slightly lower since it lacks the technology of the Bagger, most notably its very clever 10.25-inch clocks and sound system. However, the Roctane does offer extra cosmetic details and large wheels that resemble those found on custom bikes in LA.
When looking at the market, the obvious competition comes from Harley-Davidson, particularly their latest Sport Glide with similar fixed luggage and a laid-back riding style. The Sport Glide starts at £17,895, while the larger Road King starts at £24,595. Indian’s similarly styled Sport Chief (without bags) is priced at £19,995, making the BMW a pricier alternative to traditional American tourers. UK dealers expect to receive the bikes in mid-July.
Verdict of the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023
The BMW R 18 Roctane 2023 is a masterpiece on two wheels. Its timeless design, unmatched performance, advanced technology, and attention to detail make it a top choice for motorcycle enthusiasts who value power and elegance. Whether you’re an experienced rider or a beginner, this bike will undoubtedly provide an exhilarating experience on every ride. Embrace the roar of the engine and unleash your inner adventurer with the BMW R 18 Roctane 2023.
I think I have developed a fondness for the R 18 range, which made its debut in 2020 at the bike’s world launch. I applaud BMW for being daring and brave in terms of design and engineering, creating a modern-day cruiser with a 1920s and ’30s aesthetic. Since that first ride, I’ve ridden every iteration and even spent a week touring across Costa Rica on one, and my affection for this bike has only grown.
Now comes the latest iteration, the Roctane, and it’s the best of the bunch. I love the styling, and the bags are both practical and visually pleasing. The mini-ape bars, more comfortable seat, and cruise control contribute to significantly improved comfort compared to the standard R 18. I also prefer the naked look and feel of the Roctane over its more expensive siblings. Power and torque remain the same as its counterparts, which is more than sufficient.
With an R 18, you get a significant amount of torque with just a slight twist of the throttle, but with its larger wheels, the Roctane feels slightly sportier, if I can use that word to describe a 374kg bagger, thanks to its improved ground clearance. Lean-sensitive rider aids, particularly ABS, would be preferable, as well as more informative gauges with a proper fuel gauge instead of just a light. Additionally, a slightly larger tank range, perhaps a 20-liter fuel tank instead of 16 liters, would be appreciated given that BMW has improved long-distance comfort. I suppose the final purchasing decision will depend on the price. £21,750 isn’t cheap, but you can see the quality of the engineering: it feels and looks like a premium bike.
However, that’s just the starting price; if you add a few extras like heated grips, hill start, and reverse, as well as make some cosmetic tweaks, the price will quickly increase. With so many accessories available, I would be like a child in a candy store. But if you do choose BMW’s R 18, you will be purchasing a high-quality piece of engineering that is both beautiful and functional and in many ways surpasses its traditional American competition.
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