The BMW R 18 Cruiser Goes Transcontinental Touring for 2022

Last year saw BMW return to the cruiser segment with a heritage-heavy Harley-Davidson rival, the R 18. However, the motorcycle world changes just as quickly as the automotive one, and BMW’s competition hasn’t stayed stagnant. Indian redesigned the Chief, for example, and Harley-Davidson launched the totally-new Sportster S. So, for 2022, BMW is expanding its cruiser offerings with two new R 18 trims: the Transcontinental and the B.

The R 18 Transcontinental and B join the BMW R 18 lineup for 2022

A black-and-chrome 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental (left) and R 18 B in the desert
2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental (left) and R 18 B | BMW
Spec2022 BMW R 18BMW R 18 Classic2022 BMW R 18 BBMW R 18 Transcontinental
EngineAir/oil-cooled 1802cc boxer-twin with shaft driveAir/oil-cooled 1802cc boxer-twin with shaft driveAir/oil-cooled 1802cc boxer-twin with shaft driveAir/oil-cooled 1802cc boxer-twin with shaft drive
Power91 hp91 hp91 hp91 hp
Torque116 lb-ft116 lb-ft116 lb-ft116 lb-ft
TransmissionSix-speed manualSix-speed manualSix-speed manualSix-speed manual
Curb weight761 lbs805 lbs877 lbs942 lbs
Seat height27.2″28″28.35″29.1″
Front suspension travel4.7”4.7”4.7”4.7”
Rear suspension travel3.5″3.5″4.7″4.7″
Fuel capacity4.23 gal4.2 gal6.3 gal6.3 gal

Initially, the BMW R 18 was only available in base and First Edition trim. Shortly afterward, though, BMW added the Classic trim. This is a more touring-focused R 18, RideApart says, and features a windscreen, saddlebags, floorboards, a pillion seat, and cruise control. And for 2022, the BMW R 18 is going even further into bagger territory with the R 18 Transcontinental and R 18 B trims.

Mechanically, the 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental and B are virtually identical to the base and Classic trims. However, in addition to slightly more rear travel, the Transcontinental and B have shorter wheelbases and more steeply-raked forks, Cycle World reports. Plus, these new trims’ rear suspension automatically adjusts its preload based on the load, RevZilla notes. And like the Classic, they have standard cruise control.

What makes the Transcontinental and B different from the other trims?

The side 3/4 view of a black-and-chrome 2022 BMW R 18 B
2022 BMW R 18 B side 3/4 | BMW

Where the 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental and B truly differ from the base and Classic trims are their additional features. Besides the rear suspension, both the Transcontinental and B have standard hard-sided luggage and large handlebar-mounted wind fairings. Appropriate, given that the ‘B’ in ‘R 18 B’ stands for ‘bagger.’ Plus, the larger gas tank has built-in phone storage.

In addition, while the R 18 and R 18 Classic only have one dial, the Transcontinental and B have four gauges: speedometer, tachometer, fuel gauge, and temperature gauge. The latter two trims also come standard with a 10.25” TFT display with app-connected navigation, extra LED lighting, and a Marshall sound system. The standard system has two speakers, but the optional Gold Series Stage 1 and 2 have four and six, respectively. Plus, a 180-watt amplifier and two case-mounted subwoofers.

The handlebars and TFT dash of the 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental
2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental handlebars and dash | BMW

On top of that, the 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental and B have standard rear-wheel-slip control. And, taking a page from the Ducati Multistrada V4’s book, optional adaptive cruise control. That’s right, BMW’s cruiser has an optional driver-assistance feature. Finally,

While the 2022 BMW R 18 B fits the bagger mold, the Transcontinental is the longer-distance touring model. Like the B, the Transcontinental has a two-person seat; however, it’s wider and has standard heating elements. Also, the Transcontinental has floorboards, while the B has footpegs (albeit larger than the base ones, Cycle World notes). Plus, the R 18 Transcontinental has a larger fairing that also features adjustable ventilation.

How much is a 2022 BMW R 18?

The base 2022 BMW R 18 starts at $17,495; the Classic is $2000 more. Meanwhile, the R 18 B starts at $21,495 and the Transcontinental at $24,995.

But are the extra features on the touring models worth the upcharge? In terms of money, yes. For one, the base R 18 doesn’t offer optional hard saddlebags or an audio system. And outfitting the base model as closely as possible to the B trim costs roughly the same as buying the latter anyway.

That being said, if you don’t plan on doing long-distance riding, upgrading to the B or Transcontinental isn’t strictly necessary. However, for those looking to hit the highway on their BMW cruisers, the new trims are worth a test ride.

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