I had the pleasure of riding the eye-catching BMW R 18 at the 15thInternational Female Ride Day on the 1stof May 2021. I knew I would enjoy it but boy oh boy was I in for a treat!
Steeped in the tradition of historical BMW motorcycles in terms of technical features and design cues, the R 18 is an undeniably beautiful piece of mechanical artwork.
As my eyes greedily gobbled up my first up-close sighting of the BMW R 18, the first feature they rested upon, was the BMW R 18’s sleek chrome exhaust pipe closely followed by its strikingly large LED headlight.
Thereafter my gaze took in the epicenter of my ride for the day, the BMW R 18’s newly developed 2-cylinder boxer engine that is both intimidating and attractive at the same time. Finally, I paid attention to the big comfortable seat which I appreciated very much.
As a lady standing at 1,64m tall, the BMW R 18’s 690mm seat height gave me further confidence that I would be able to easily handle the cruiser, even though it has a wet weight of 345kg.
– Zanele McMurray
Another feature I liked about the BMW R 18 is that It has a keyless start function
– ZANELE MCMURRAY
The BMW R 18 comes standard with three ride modes – Rain, Rock, and Roll, which, depending on the terrain, greatly assist with stability control and throttle response.
Another feature I liked about the BMW R 18 is that It has a keyless start function. This takes away the panic of losing the key, which I can attest is be a big plus among female riders as we need to fit countless other things into our small bags and pockets.
When it comes to power the BMW R 18 does not disappoint. Fitted with a 4-stroke, 2-cylinder, horizontally opposed engine the cruiser holds its own in terms of speed, ride quality, stable and comfortable. Powered by its 67kW, 158Nm 1802cc engine I found myself gliding effortlessly amidst the numerous motorcycles commandeered by the hundreds of women bikers participating in the South African leg of the international ride.
As a female rider, I would recommend this beautiful beast of a bike. It is a dream to ride and if affordability isn’t an issue, I would go as far as saying this cruiser is a must-have. As gigantic as the R 18 looks it is just an adorable and playful puppy that offers an exciting yet cultivated riding experience.
That said, the only black mark I have against the BMW R 18 is the fact that it does not have a fuel gauge indicator, something I sincerely hope BMW Motorrad sees fit to add in the updated models of these otherwise impressive bikes.
Price: R 319 900-00
Thanks to BMW Motorrad Fourways for the bike loan
About Zanele McMurray Zanele
McMurray is a female motorcycle rider and mother of two teenage girls, with 15-years riding experience to her name. Her first bike was a Honda VFR 400cc and over the years she has and ridden various motorcycles including a Honda 750cc Shadow, Thunderbird 1700cc, 2 Suzuki Hayabusas, a Suzuki Boulevard 800cc, a Honda CBR 1000 and a Sukuzi B-King. Zanele is passionate about cancer awareness and has been part of cancer awareness groups such as Journey of Hope and Cancervive.