BMW R18 models comment - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
    Richard230's Avatar
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    Yesterday I attended the "open house" event (which continues today) at the BMW dealership. EuroCycle Sonoma, in Sonoma, California. The BMWNA truck would be there and would be offering test rides of their new models. So I on my RS and my daughter on her Triumph Bonneville, rode up to the event to check it out. I was planning on test riding the new 1250RS, one of the R9T models and maybe an F750GS. No such luck.

    When I arrived I saw a big semi-truck with R18 pictures painted on its side and rows of R18 bikes lined up in the street. There were more R18 models on display in the shop, around the outside of the building and lined up in the middle of their driveway. If you wanted to test ride a BMW motorcycle it was going to be on an R18 pig or nothing at all. I saw one or two people riding around on an R18, but it was unclear if they were visitors or part of the NA staff. Later in the day, things got so bad that members of the shop's staff were going around to the people cooling their heels, practically begging for them to come ride one of the R18 models that had been hauled to Northern California all the way from New Jersey. Neither I nor my daughter took them up on the offer. And I didn't see anyone else do so, either.

    So my question is: Is anyone actually buying the R18 or is it a complete sales dud that NA convinced the BMW factory to build and now has egg on their face because no one wants them?

    Photos of the event are attached.
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    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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  4. #2
    MGD109's Avatar
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    I'm struggling to see the appeal myself, but given the opportunity I would have taken one out for a ride just to see what it was like.
    In the Garage 2013 BMW F800 GT,1994 BMW R80 RT,1986 BMW R80 GS,1999 Yamaha SR125
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    Enjoy the ride 

  5. #3
    Lag's Avatar
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    I wonder where BMW got the idea that folks would enjoy a huge underpowered hunk, not like there isn't a few such beasts roaming around,,. Looks like Triumph has made a similar bet with Rocket three,,. Seen one in the Triumph dealer yesterday and O. M. G.,,2,458 cc (150.0 cu in) water-cooled dual overhead camshaft inline three-cylinder,, 648lbs dry,,. Could they be trying to appeal to HD's market?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    For me, they could save the metals, alloys and resins for more Tigers, GS's mid sized tour bikes, all of which are sold out everywhere around here, could probable make two or three out of one of these ?

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  8. #4
    Richard230's Avatar
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    At least the Triumph Monster is kind of unique, especially if you appreciate tractor engines. But the R18 weighs something like 850 pounds. Now that is some serious road-hugging weight. I didn't go for a test ride because I was worried about throwing out my back when I tried to lever it off of the side stand.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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    Even if I wanted one (which I certainly do not) at 5’8” & 160 lbs I would be afraid of dropping it every time I rode it.
    “Get out and don’t come back until you’ve redeemed yourselves”
    Sister Mary Stigmata 

  11. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard230 View Post
    At least the Triumph Monster is kind of unique, especially if you appreciate tractor engines. But the R18 weighs something like 850 pounds. Now that is some serious road-hugging weight. I didn't go for a test ride because I was worried about throwing out my back when I tried to lever it off of the side stand.
    Several years back, I had to do a tire change in Rapid City, SD. While I was waiting to get my 470 lb GT back, I sat on some of the HDs in the showroom. When I hefted the first one of those off the side-stand, I think my eyes were close to popping out of my head. "Wow! And you do this all day?" That weight alone killed me from ever wanting one of the big HDs. It sounds like the R18 is even heavier.

    If they are going to appeal to the HD crowd with these R18s, they are missing out on the amount of chrome that many people are drawn to. The large jugs are great, but the entire side of the engine looks to be gray. I think it is called "Blah Gray". It has a lot of appeal to Navy types.


    I've saved myself a lot of time, dollars and mental energy by being satisfied with what I have.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

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    Is it possible that BMW makes misteaks? Surely not. Even the R1200C was a fantastic and overwhelming success that quickly found its niche in markets across the world because it was a timely response to a need for opposed-twin cruisers.

    Oops. My browser's sarcasm plugin was on. Sorry.
    My spoon is too big. 

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    Daboo's Avatar
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    I'm waiting on the "adventure" model to come out with a beak. Gotta have a beak.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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    Quote Originally Posted by scf View Post
    Even if I wanted one (which I certainly do not) at 5’8” & 160 lbs I would be afraid of dropping it every time I rode it.
    It's not that bad on the base/classic model. Seat and COG is low and it even has electric reverse. I'm 5 4" (in shoes) and 150lbs so I had some trepidation when that's all the dealer had as loaners when my F900R was in for service. Seems a concerted effort to push it. One of my worries was being able to work the kickstand given my inseam challenges so I sat on it first to make sure before I accepted the loaner offer. I think I'm more concerned at stop lights on my F900R as I cannot flat foot.

    Having said above, I could see getting in some awkward situations with that size and weight. It was fun to ride as a lark and the 'Rock' mode hauls a$$. No way I'd own one. I had an R1200C (much lighter, nimbler) which I enjoyed but gravitated towards std/sportier rides over time. Ground clearance is limited (plan entry speed accordingly) and the ergos would be weird for anyone with above avg. inseam with those jugs limiting what you can do with your legs.

    It's so different from the typical BMW ride that I don't get the push to a typical Beemer rider. Perhaps as a 2nd bike and eye candy?
    2020 F900R Blue 

  18. #10
    Lag's Avatar
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    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,,.

    "Ryan from F9" is a highly regarded You-tuber, he is an accomplished rider and a well know bike reviewer who uses an interesting combination of Physics/Science along with his degree in Literature to present a highly viewed You Tube content on all things motorcycle,,. During a recent interview with Hi side/Low side he said that this R-18 was a standout & a pcs of art,,. Quite a surprise I thought for a guy whos roots are Dirt and ADV riding,,!!

  19. #11
    Lag's Avatar
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    Speaking of dealers and bike availability,,.

    The BMW dealers had a 1250GS and a 785GS 40th on the floor plus a couple of 900's, but pretty sparse with plenty of showroom,,.
    Also
    The Triumph dealer had tons of bikes, used and new, including a 2022 900GT Pro model I will take for ride when we get the right weather,,.

    How's the inventory in your areas,,, any improvement's?

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    They had several at the Barber Vintage Festival, interesting to look at but so big and heavy. Saw a road test comparing it to a HD and the HD won handily which surprised the testers. Think they missed the target, good if you want to put around and look nice but….

    Parts of the styling look good and parts don’t. Of course that is just my thoughts.

    Triumph had one of the Tiger Sport 660s there. It certainly caught my attention, small and light with descent power.

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    I think BMW missed the point of the cruiser segment. It's not that there is a significant market for cruiser styled bikes per se; there is a market for Harley-Davidson cruisers. The metric cruisers from the Japanese manufacturers have never taken off and neither will a BMW cruiser. Harley has brainwashed the people inclined to buy a cruiser that if it doesn't have an H-D nameplate and 'sound', it's an unworthy imposter. Sure, they will sell a few of them, but I think their calculation that they'll sell more than they need to to break even on the tooling - not to mention the marketing costs - will be woefully misguided.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    I'm waiting on the "adventure" model to come out with a beak. Gotta have a beak.

    Chris
    Don't hold your breath
    Sundog 

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  26. #15
    Daboo's Avatar
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    So I'm looking at the front cover of Road Runner magazine is this picture of the R18 and riders last night, and this caught my eye.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    In the winter, you'll never have cold feet. But in the summer???!!!

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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  27. #16
    Richard230's Avatar
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    Toasty! Looks like a good place to cook your hot dogs when you come to the end of your day's travels. Another R18 feature.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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  29. #17
    Daboo's Avatar
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    Didn't you ruin a pair of boots with the heat from your R1200RS?

    Chris
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  30. #18
    Richard230's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    Didn't you ruin a pair of boots with the heat from your R1200RS?

    Chris
    Not my RS. The soles melted off of my boots while riding my 2000 R1100R in 100 degree weather on the I-5 freeway.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

  31. #19
    Daboo's Avatar
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    I was reading the review in Road Runner today and came away...unimpressed. The list of features reads like all the other bikes on the market today. Ride modes. Nice looking display. Large fenders. Oh, and it should stay on the road in gusty winds at over 800 lbs. Almost 900 lbs.

    What will they come up with next to stand out from the crowd? A DVD screen for the pillion passenger to watch while going down the concrete slab? Air conditioning? Doors?

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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    John 14:6 

  32. #20
    Richard230's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    I was reading the review in Road Runner today and came away...unimpressed. The list of features reads like all the other bikes on the market today. Ride modes. Nice looking display. Large fenders. Oh, and it should stay on the road in gusty winds at over 800 lbs. Almost 900 lbs.

    What will they come up with next to stand out from the crowd? A DVD screen for the pillion passenger to watch while going down the concrete slab? Air conditioning? Doors?

    Chris
    How about that expensive faux-leather passenger strap shown in a photo in my original post? Now there is a high-tech solution to a passenger grab handle.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior. 

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  34. #21
    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    I noticed there seems to be a fair number of the R18's sitting on the dealer floors. I was offered a test ride and declined. I haven't set on one yet either. I did however get a stiffy and bought a Bumble Bee 40th anniversary F750GS. Got the yellow crash bars and a set of yellow cases from Harbor Freight to spiffy things up.
    It goes like a goosed goose and I wangled 70 mpg coming back over Hwy 2, Angeles Crest from the 15 freeway. The stock seat was a butt buster so I got a Sargent seat and a MRA Vario windscreen. I got the Outback Motortek bag mounts with the gas can holder add on.
    So BMW can keep it's retro turd and I'll enjoy the electronic gadgetry of the F750GS. Loving the cruise control, fer sur!

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  36. #22
    Daboo's Avatar
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    I stopped by the local dealer on my way home after getting my eye checkup. As notacop said, there were a fair number of R18s on the dealer floor. I sat on one of them and was surprised by two things. One, that as short as I am, I could flat-foot the bike. It's low. Second, that there wasn't a comfortable place on the seat. I don't know who they designed the bike for, but nothing would work. Third, getting it off the sidestand was relatively easy. And fourth...those jugs are huge! And lastly, it is air-cooled.

    I mentioned how hot that would be on the feet and legs, and the salesman said no one had mentioned it to him. I didn't ask him if anyone had taken the bike out, or if they did, how long of a ride they'd taken.

    The only bike that tugged at my heartstrings was this white F800GT sitting out in the parking lot. It'll be awhile before I step foot in the dealership again. They have nothing to offer me that is appealing.

    I wish them well, but the parking lot was empty. There were no customers there at all.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6 

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  38. #23
    BoxerBits's Avatar
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    Agree the seat height is very low but being a "low rider" that's to be expected.

    Can't say that heat from the cylinders being any worse than any other boxer to be honest. Given the lack of tupperware and that's it's probably not going to be used at high RPM too often, no worse than any RT boxer on a summer's day.

    It's a long old bike though.



    Sent from my moto g(8) power lite using Tapatalk

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    May be a good sidecar tractor if people still do that sort of thing.
    But might be better off with 2 more wheels and a convertible top.
    “Get out and don’t come back until you’ve redeemed yourselves”
    Sister Mary Stigmata 

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