BMW Motorrad USA proudly presents the 2023 BMW R 18 100 Years Edition and the BMW R nineT 100 Years Edition to commemorate 100 Years of BMW Motorrad. In keeping with the year in which BMW Motorrad was founded, each model will be limited to 1,923 units globally.
In December 1922, BMW chief designer Max Friz put the first full-scale BMW motorcycle on the drawing board. At its heart was a 494 cc, 8.5 hp, air-cooled two-cylinder, four-stroke boxer engine. The first BMW motorcycle, the R 32, was unveiled in September 1923 at the German Motor Show in Berlin. Production soon began in an area sectioned off, by a wooden fence, from the BMW aircraft engine works on the edge of the Munich’s Oberwiesenfeld airfield. Those humble beginnings of BMW motorcycle production launched an unprecedented success story that would span a century.
BMW R nineT 100 Years Edition
The design of the R nineT is shaped by 100 years of motorcycle production and by BMW Motorrad’s unwavering passion for the boxer engine. The classic roadster design recipe begins with a compact tank and an upright seating position and extends to premium materials and stylish design elements. The new R nineT 100 Years becomes an exclusive anniversary edition thanks to numerous special features. The heart is still the air/oil- cooled, 1,170 cc, 109 hp two-cylinder boxer engine. In the anniversary edition, the legendary engine is accompanied by chrome and Option 719 parts, including paint-on- chrome surfaces and exquisitely milled parts and wheels.
Paint finishes in combination with chrome surfaces also have an almost 100-year tradition in motorcycle production. Chrome surfaces, usually consisting of a copper, nickel and final chrome layer are known for their hardness and resulting high durability, very good protection against corrosion, but above all by their radiant, mirror-like shine. This made chrome a common stylistic device for designers, from the late 1920s onwards. The BMW R 75/5 with its chrome-plated tank sides and side covers, for example, is legendary within BMW Motorrad enthusiast circles. With the new BMW R nineT 100 Years and R 18 100 Years and the Classic Chrome surface finish, BMW Motorrad is reviving this incomparably beautiful and sophisticated interplay of paint and chrome.
50 years ago, the “paint on chrome” technology did not pose much of a problem for motorcycle manufacturers. At that time, the solvent-based paints combined well with chromium — significantly better than the solvent-free paints of today. Today, the 100 Year Edition models use only REACH compliant Chromium III. The chrome plating process and the preparatory work are extremely complex: In preparation, the metal tank for example, is first polished to a high gloss. The surface must be completely free of dust and scratches for further treatment. After this step, the part is immersed in various electroplating baths. Layers of copper, nickel and ultimately chromium are applied. The finished chrome-plated part is then painted in several layers; a final coat of clear coat covers the entire tank.
The metal tanks on both anniversary models feature this paint on chrome process, called Classic Chrome. On the R nineT, the tank finish combines black paint with chrome and white double-pinstriping, knee pads and a 100 Years badge. Classic Chrome is also found on the seat’s rear cover. The front wheel fender is painted in black and features white double-pinstriping. A two-tone seat in black/oxblood red rounds off the design.
Numerous black components such as fork tubes, air intake snorkels and some Option 719 components complement the look. The R nineT 100 Years includes Option 719 Classic wheels with black anodized rims, the Option 719 Billet Pack Shadow with milled cylinder head covers, front engine cover, seat holders, oil filler plug and the Option 719 Billet Pack Shadow II, consisting of adjustable hand levers and foot pegs, passenger foot pegs as well as expansion tank covers and handlebar end mirrors. The 100 Years Edition also includes an adaptive turning headlight, heated grips, cruise control and Riding Modes Pro. An anti-theft alarm system can be fitted as a dealer installed accessory.
BMW R 18 100 Years Edition
The unmistakable center piece of the R 18 100 Years is the 1,802 cc, 91 hp boxer motor, the largest displacement engine ever installed in a BMW motorcycle. Both technically and visually, the BMW R 18 borrows from famous BMW models such as the 1936 BMW R 5 and puts the focus back on the essentials of motorcycling: Purist and no- frills, with the boxer engine as the epicenter of the riding experience. The big boxer is complemented by numerous special features and details. The paint finish of the R 18 100 Years, like that of the anniversary model of the R nineT, is in Classic Chrome and thus combines black paintwork and high-gloss chrome surfaces as well as white double- pinstriping and a 100 Years badge. The paint-on-chrome Classic Chrome finish is also found on the rear fender in combination with white double-pinstriping. The front fender and the side covers are painted in black, complemented by white double-pinstriping on the front fender. The Option 719 seat is upholstered in the two-tone combination black/oxblood red and features diamond embossing.
Black is a symbolic and traditional BMW Motorrad color and also adorns the engine, transmission housing and rear axle drive. The exact designation of the color is Avus Black – a nod to the legendary 12.1-mile-long high-speed racetrack running through the Grunewald Forest, West of Berlin, where BMW Motorrad once celebrated great racing successes and where the AVUS monument with BMW Motorrad factory rider Ernst Henne still stands today. Berlin is also home to the BMW Motorrad production plant. The plant, located in Berlin-Spandau, is the lead plant for BMW Motorrad’s international motorcycle production.
The R 18 100 Years Edition is complemented by numerous Chrome design parts. The durable galvanic surface coating can be found on: The handlebar fittings, gear shift and foot brake levers, handlebar clamps, handlebar weights, mirrors, brake master cylinders, brake calipers, engine cover, cylinder head covers and intake manifold covers.
Other features of the BMW R 18 100 Years also include a chromed Akrapovič rear muffler with perforated tailpipe trim in the shape of the BMW logo. Safety and comfort are ensured by ASC Automatic Stability Control, Headlight Pro, cruise control and heated grips.
With the Heritage line R nineT and R 18 models, BMW Motorrad is paying tribute to its 100-year history and tradition, which is inextricably linked with the legendary boxer engine. Tradition and history can also be found at the BMW Motorrad production plant in Berlin – the birthplace of almost every BMW motorcycle for over 50 years. The iconic design and the unmistakable boxer engine illustrate that it’s about the roots of BMW Motorrad, about historically inspired shapes and details, about an authentic riding experience and about reducing motorbikes to the essentials. In short: The Heritage line experience is all about a unique attitude to life, shaped by the legendary boxer engine. RC