BMW motorrad concept R18 is 'an analogue statement in a digital age'

BMW motorrad concept R18 is 'an analogue statement in a digital age'

against the backdrop of a bustling mix of the traditional and the modern on show at the concorso d’eleganza villa d’este, BMW motorrad presents an engaging alternative. conceived as a return to the brand’s core, but with a modern twist, the BMW motorrad concept R18 focuses on maximizing a bike’s most fundamental components. ‘the biggest challenge in the design is to render everything visible,’ says bart janssen groesbeek, designer of the concept bike. ‘every part has a functional purpose.’



the BMW motorrad concept R18 is immediately recognizable as a genuine BMW. the boxer engine, cradle frame, exposed universal shaft and drop-shaped fuel tank with its black paintwork and hand-applied contrast lines interpret typical design icons of BMW motorrad classics. the frame and tank create a common line all the way from the steering head to the rear wheel hub and lend a flowing elegance to the side view, while the large spoke wheels (front 21 inch, rear 18 inch) provide a secure stance and perfectly balance the dominant power unit.



‘with its clear aesthetics openly on display, the concept R18 embodies for me what motorcycling, at its core, is really about,’ explains edgar heinrich, head of BMW motorrad design. ‘it is all about feeling instead of thinking, and not using technology for self-staging, instead giving space for imagination. this concept bike appeals to something deep down – you just want to just get on it and ride off. but when you get off it again, you don’t just put it in the garage and walk away – you turn around again and give it a final parting glance’.



the heart of the BMW motorrad concept R18 is the large, newly designed, two-cylinder 1800 cc boxer engine. the engine block and transmission are made of glass bead-blasted aluminum, while solex dual carburettors reference the brand’s construction history. another highlight is the exposed, chrome-plated universal shaft that connects the back wheel to the drive. there are no further covers anywhere on the motorcycle, which strives to keep its engineering clearly visible.



‘for me, motorcycles like the BMW motorrad concept R18 are a response to a growing need among the motorcycling community: instead of technology, the focus here is on simplification, authenticity and transparency,’ heinrich continues. ‘I observe an almost romantic yearning for real mechanical engineering. our aim with this concept bike is to address this need and turn it into an analogue statement in a digital age. we have a rich history of iconic motorcycles, and they all bear the same design characteristics. we believe that this can still work well together today with the current technology.’



    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    technology news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    501,537 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample