It may look like a hopped up version of your grandma’s vacuum cleaner, but it’s in fact BMW Motorrad’s new ‘Big Boxer’ engine built for a group of nostalgia-themed concept motorcycles.
Debuting last year in the concept custom R18 Departed, the twin cylinder engine puts out 91hp and 116lbs of torque making it the most powerful BMW boxer engine they’ve ever made. The engine will find its way into a production bike in 2020.
3 Concept Bikes
The 1800cc twin has appeared in the frames of four one off custom and concept bikes since its introduction. The R18 Departed was a partnership with the Japanese custom builders Custom Works Zon.
Revival Cycles also built a birdcage bobber around the engine. BMW has used it in both the Concept R18 and Concept R18/2, both of which debuted recently.
2 Heritage Engine
The air and oil cooled engine with the big slab middle is a throwback to early BMW ‘airhead’ engine designs dating back to the 1930s. Those engines were featured in the brand’s R5 and R51 motorcycles. They featured a distinct horizontally opposed boxer layout. This design meant shorter pushrods and less mass in movement, providing stability at high speeds.
1 Production Ready
The R18 and R18/2 concept bikes seem to hint at a future production model for the German brand. Both bikes share the Big Boxer engine married to a six speed sequential transmission that delivers its power to the rear wheel via a drive shaft instead of a chain. The R18 is more of a naked bobber look while the R18/2 has a sportier look. There’s no word on when or if either bike will hit showrooms.