Check out this gorgeously retro BMW R18 | Top Gear
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Check out this gorgeously retro BMW R18

Sure, it's a bike. But it's a magnificent looking bike with a mahoosive engine

Published: 07 Apr 2020

Retro BMWs brighten up everyone's day, right? But rather than show you another delightfully restored E30 M3 or hark back once again to the M1 supercar, this is a brand new retro BMW. With too few wheels.

It's the BMW R18, and while its looks nod heavily towards the BMW R5 of the 1930s, the tech beneath is very much 2020s. There's a plethora of rider aids and riding modes and even a reverse gear, while there are heated handgrips and keyless go, too.

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But it looks proper, and it's got a big burly engine, too: a 1.8-litre two-cylinder boxer with 89bhp and 117lb ft, with both peaks served up well below 5,000rpm. This is a cruiser, not something you'll be wringing the neck of. BMW describes the R18's thing as 'relaxed riding', and as such its footpegs are mounted just behind the engine to nicely loosen your legs rather than shoving them backwards. And you might have spotted they're actually pads, rather than pegs, for extra comfort.

It's a Harley Davidson rival, basically. Prices start at £18,995, which is much money in bike world, but notably cheaper than any new BMW car, and you'd be doing well to spec a Mini below that.

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