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bagger the better BMW R18 gets the American tourer treatment with Transcontinental and B models

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – so BMW’s new R18 Transcontinental and R18 B should be making the design team at Harley-Davidson blush like socially challenged teenagers

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BMW R18 Transcontinental

BMW R18 Transcontinental

TFT display on BMW R18 Transcontinental and B models

TFT display on BMW R18 Transcontinental and B models

BMW R18 B (bagger)

BMW R18 B (bagger)

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BMW R18 Transcontinental

When BMW launched the R18, it was the biggest boxer-engined bike it had ever made. While it was interesting from a technical point of view - a few short years ago the chassis wouldn’t have coped with an engine that big – the German competition failed to make a dent in the American brand’s market share.

Almost immediately, the custom builders got to work. All sorts of strange and wonderful machines were being built with the R18 as the base. Even our friends at Watsonian Squire built a bespoke sidecar outfit for an R18 that was big enough to fit a traditional Catholic family.

Now, two years after the original was first announced, BMW has built its own model derivatives. The ‘Big Boxer’ has now got the American tourer treatment.

Two new bikes were announced earlier this week. The first is the Transcontinental. This is the luxury two-up grand cruising tourer. It has enough comfort built into it for even the most exacting rider and even the most reluctant pillion couldn’t ask for anything else.

At a glance, this has it all. The front fairing is wide and comes with a high windshield, a wind deflector and even a set of wind flaps. This can only make it incredibly comfortable, particularly on longer trips.

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BMW R18 B (bagger)

BMW R18 B (bagger)

BMW R18 B (bagger)

While we have yet to check, we’re pretty sure that there’s a cup holder listed in the extras catalogue.

Tipping their hat to the company’s touring and design heritage, the BMW Motorrad team fitted the cockpit with four analogue round instruments and in order to facilitate all the new tech that riders of machines such as these demand, there is a nice big 26cm TFT screen.
Comfort is rounded off with a set of heated seats and the combined packing space between the top box and panniers would put a medium-sized car’s boot to shame.

The engine is finished in a silver metallic and is protected with a set of engine bars.

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TFT display on BMW R18 Transcontinental and B models

TFT display on BMW R18 Transcontinental and B models

TFT display on BMW R18 Transcontinental and B models

The sound system is what we really like. BMW has partnered with Marshall on this one. Marshall is, of course, the company that makes those iconic guitar amps and now the bike is fitted with one of its sound systems.

Now the rider can show just how edgy they are as they ride up to the parking valet at the Four Seasons in Monaco while playing their favourite tunes through the four speakers.

The Bagger is the one that, while it has a pillion seat, is really made for the younger rider, the one who rides alone.

With its black frame, black body work and matt black engine framed by silver accents, it looks like the kind of machine that we’d expect to find in Bruce Wayne’s basement.
The prices are also epic. The original is still available at €27,000, while the new B is €30,000 and the Transcontinental is €31,000. Talk to Kearys or Duffy’s about yours – call 021 500 3600 or 01-846 7756.

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