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I test rode the 2021 BMW R18 today. The base price start in the high $17K range and goes up over $20K plus. I rode the “First Edition” model that starts at $19K.

BMW has two primary R18 bikes (2023 edit, they have four now), the more basic model and the bagger. From what the salesman tells me, the Bagger has a wind screen, fog lights, bags, and different wheels and tires. The base model runs on Bridgestone and bagger runs on Commander III skins.

Commander III…

The R18 has a shaft drive on the right side. I like the look of it.

The reach to the bars is exactly where I want it to be. They put too many buttons and switches on it though. BMW Named the rider controls “Rock, Roll, and rain” Rock is the performance mode and roll is for cruising they tell me. The bright light trigger is on the far side,

I like the odometer being where it is, very easy to look down and see it. The wind screen is not too big, but maybe it could be a tad bit bigger. The gas tank surely needs to be bigger as it comes in at a Sportster like 4.2 gallons. Still, the lines look nice and they were going for nostalgia.

The bags are big enough for me. They will hold my lunch box nicely along with all the other things I carry like an air compressor, tire repair kits tools and so on. The lid latches down with these two fasteners and on top is two push snaps.


The exhaust on the bagger looks and sounds much better to me than the fish tail design on the other bike.



You probably want to know about the ride right? I love it! This bike is so light compared to my Rocket III and maneuvers easily around a parking lot. I was able to come to a complete stop three different times without putting my foot down, the balance is great.
The torque is instant from Idle on up. The seat of the pants feel is that is has more initial grunt than that of the 116 of the Indian Springfield I also rode today. The Indian will overtake it a few seconds later, but the initial hit is nice on the R18.
Handling is great too in the curves. And the brakes are awesome. I did an emergency stop as I shifted into fourth gear under power and the bike stopped right away perfectly balanced with no indication of sliding.
The six-speed gear box seems well sorted as well.
It does not have a passenger back rest or luggage rack. It does have a back rest for the rider.

Overall, I could see myself riding this bike for many years if I were to buy one.


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