BMW’s been teasing its upcoming R18 cruiser models for months now, and has just announced it will release one of the bikes to the market in the second half of 2020. And, we now have some more specs on the bike’s engine.

The R18 will be powered by an air/oil-cooled boxer, with 107 mm bore and 100 mm stroke and 1802 cc displacement. It’s got a pushrod-activated DOHC setup. BMW’s jammed an extra bearing into the middle of the crankshaft, which is supposed to reduce vibration.

It’s not a very high-revving engine; redline comes in at 5,750 rpm. However, it makes 116.5 lb-ft of torque at 3,000 rpm; most of that torque is available in the 2000 – 4000 rpm range, where cruiser riders like to run their machines.

Max output is 91 hp at  4,750 rpm.

The R18 has a six-speed gearbox, and adding the intake in as well, the whole engine will weigh 244.3 lb.


BMW’s R18 concept heavyweight cruiser. Photo credit: BMW

For the sake of horsepower comparison, the Harley-Davidson Milwaukee Eight 107 ci engine (1753 cc) makes about 92 hp at 5,000 rpm, and the Milwauke Eight 114 ci engine (1868 cc) makes 100 hp at 5,000 rpm. Indian’s new PowerPlus engine (1769 cc) makes 122 hp at 5,500 rpm, supposedly. As far as torque numbers go, the Harley-Davidson engines make about 110 lb-ft and 119 lb-ft respectively, and the Indian Powerplus engine makes 128 ft-lb at 3,800 rpm, supposedly.

Will any of this matter to prospective R18 buyers? We’ll know more by the end of next year, when it hits the show circuits and possibly showroom floors. Already the Internet naysayers have begun to decry BMW’s new design, but at the IMS Long Beach show in late November, the BMW booth had plenty of riders lined up to ogle the R18. The real story will begin when the R18 finally makes it to dealerships.

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