Introducing the 2025 BMW R20 Concept: A Game-Changer in Their Cruiser Lineup

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BMW R20 Concept

BMW unveiled this stunning new concept bike that really does mark a potential change in direction for their cruiser lineup.

You see, up to now their R 18 has been more focused on the traditional easygoing touring vibe with classic looks and plenty of heft, but this, the R 20 looks leaner, meaner, sportier, and it should have more power, as you may have guessed from the name.

But is it really possible to just convert a cruise liner into a speedboat and can it really go up against some of the already brilliant performance cruisers on the market like the Triumph Rocket three, or the Ducati DL V four or even the Harley breakout, we’ll go over everything that we know about it so far to find out.

Chassis :

Now, the first indication that it’s a much more performance orientated machine than the regular R 18 comes from all the chassis changes that make it look like a bike that’s really built to handle. BMW R20 Concept

So instead of that super long stance with the raked up fork and the big 19 inch front wheel and a squat, little 16 at the rear for that custom cruiser look this, the R 20 rolls on 17 inches front and rear, and it’s significantly shorter, which really should quicken up the handling.

In fact, they do give some specs on this. So the wheel base is 1,550 millimeters and the steering head angle is 62.5 degrees.

So that’s a lot shorter than the 1,731 millimeter wheel base of the standard R 18 and also much steeper than the 57.3 degrees steering angle Cs expect a lot more agility and flick ability and also that smaller front wheel is gonna help a lot with that too.

Now, front and rear, you’ve also got top spec only black line suspension, which is a big step up from the more basic fork and shock with the traditional look that you’ll get on the R 18. BMW R20 Concept

And what this is, you know, it is a prototype, so you might not get something so bling on a final production version.

It’s still a big indication that this is gonna be a much more sporty bike breaks look pretty flipping beefy two, they’re from ISR with a properly massive six pot radially mounted front caliper.

And they say that’s gonna help with really quite quick deceleration for what is realistically gonna be still a fairly weighty bike.

I mean it is slimmed down a little bit, but fully fueled the R 18, even in the most stripped back standard version is 345 kilograms weight.

So even if they do pair this one back still further, realistically, I think you’re still looking at the best part of 300 kilograms.

Paralever :

Now, one of the most interesting features on this bike has to be the new swing arm, which does still take a bit of inspiration from the R 18 with that open drive shaft, which I think looks really cool, but it’s modernized a bit and enhanced with their signature Paralever design, which in this case is made apart from steel and apart from aluminum.

Now the general idea for anyone who’s not familiar with a Paralever swing arm is that it eliminates the effects of shaft jacking easy, and that is where the backend of the bike jacks up under acceleration, which maybe wasn’t a particularly big problem for the R 18 with it being so long and relatively chilled out, but look for a shorter and presumably more powerful incarnation.

The par leaver might well be a necessity for a more pleasant ride.

In fact, in BMW’s own words, in their press release, they say the kinematics are designed so that the drive torque is completely balanced.

I think also there is a side benefit. They’ve ended up with something that looks absolutely fantastic at the back end of this bike. BMW R20 Concept

You’ve got some nice technical detail on shows, some nice machining as well.

And so I think that’s gonna help distinguish it visually as well as the big boxer twin from the other power cruisers on the market, especially with that open shaft that I really do like.

Engine :

Anyway, what about this engine then? Well, obviously it’s derived from the big boxer, the engine they currently use in all their R 18 variants and as if 1,803 ccs of capacity wasn’t already enough and more than probably most cars now out on the road, they’ve found the way to boost this one still further.

So this comes in at 2000 cc, which of course leads to the R 20 name.

Now assume they’ve increased the Both achieve this and they also say there are new cylinder head covers, a new belt cover and a new oil cooler, which is more hidden away up top and to me looks a lot neater.

In fact on the R 18, I can’t help but feel that it’s probably a bit of a nightmare to keep clean down there behind the front wheel. BMW R20 Concept

And so perhaps this one would be better from a practical perspective too.

Now they have said this is just a prototype and you can tell that anyway from the air intakes and the two into two exahust system, which are pretty much open and wouldn’t get anywhere near passing current day homologation requirements.

But still with that extra capacity you’d be expecting at least a bit of a step up in performance from the current R 18.

In fact, those bikes really do get a low end torkey tune with just 91 horsepower made at 4,750 RPM, which doesn’t sound like much for a 1.8 liter engine, but that’s because the real shove is in the torque with the 158 newton meters made down at 3000 RPM, which really is very low.

And the R 18 there is a proper gutsy stump pulling field to the engine and it’s ideal really for that low and lazy power delivery that really does suit some of these big cruiser and tourist style bikes.

The flip side though is that it does rev out pretty quickly and that might not feel as appropriate for more of a power cruiser. BMW R20 Concept

And so hopefully this one gets a bit more top end, I guess boring it out could make the dimensions a little bit more conducive to some extra revs.

Now for context, the Rocket three in the new 2024 storm edition makes a ridiculous 180 horsepower peak at 7,000 RPM.

And so that means they’d need to almost double the current power of the R 18 to get anywhere near it.

And then there’s 225 newton meters of peak torque on tap down at 4,000 RPM.

That’s more than any other production motorcycle, and that’s because it’s got more capacity than any other production motorcycle at almost two and a half liters.

A ridiculous bike The inline triple is just an absolute beast and it basically feels like the character of something like a speed triple but with twice the grunt.

Now the Ducati Diavel V four, which is another bike that you could say is part of the Power Cruiser segment, well that gets a much smaller engine.

It’s about half the size of the rocket three, and so it makes far less torque and it makes them at higher revs. So 126 newton meters at 7,500 RPM.

But thing is being a V four being a bit smaller in capacity as well, it revs much more freely and so it makes a fairly competitive 168 horsepower a per 10,750 RPM.

Plus You’ve gotta consider that it’s a much more slender bike than the Rocket three at 223 kilograms un fueled. BMW R20 Concept

And so ultimately if you wind it up, the superior power to weight ratio means it’s actually the quicker of the too In a drag race, something like the Harley breakout 1 1 7 though is probably a much more achievable target for BMW.

This bike makes a peak power figure of 102 horses at 5,020 RPM and their peak torque figure of 168 newton meters at three and a half thousand RPM isn’t a million miles off either, so I’d be much more expecting the two liter big boxer engine to be in this sort of ballpark and that’d be like a 10% enhancement ish over the R 18, which is, you know, proportionate to the increase in capacity.

Tech :

Now the other area in which the Triumph and the Ducati Excel versus the current R eighteens and a lot of the Harley cruisers as well would be with their sort of technology packages.

They’re basically on a par with most other modern sporty bikes and you’ve got a TFT display on each through, which you can manage a whole suite of riding modes and rider raids and you get connectivity features and all the good stuff like that.

the R 20 concept, it’s sporting the mini TFT display, which was recently unveiled as an accessory fit for their R 12 middleweight cruiser and the R 1290 retro naked.

So a little bit more modern and techy than the current R 18.

And I really did like this small dash accessory, especially for about 120 quid of an upgrade. BMW R20 Concept

It’s really clear, easy to read, nicely laid out to make, you know, good use of the small amount of space.

And also it helps the bike to look a bit custom and clean in the cockpit.

If this bike does become a production model, I’d expect similar capabilities and features as well and I’d expect a big hike versus the R 18 In terms of rider aids and modes.

Styling :

we have to have a bit of a word on the styling though, because while I am a bit indifferent to the R 18, you know, it looks okay if not brilliant, but you know, for me they’ve absolutely smashed this one.

It’s a brilliant looking bike, clean, muscular, nicely engineered, and I think it looked right at home on a stand at a top tier custom motorcycle show.

The other thing as well is that I like that they’ve made some pretty bold choices too.

You’ve got the hot pink fuel tank, the taillights integrated into the seat there, and perhaps most of all the disc wheel at the rear with the big fat 200 mil section rear tire on it. BMW R20 Concept

And then also a more traditional spokes wheel at the front. So a bit mismatched, but I think it gives it even more of that custom look.

The only thing I will say is perhaps don’t, you know, hold your breath for something that looks exactly like this in dealers in a year or two’s time because the original concept of the R 18 looked crazy good as well.

And then I think after that some people were a little bit disappointed with the final production version because it just didn’t have quite the same pizazz.

Things like the fishtail Exel system on the concept looked really cool.

And then of course, because it had to be emissions compliant, the production version was just a bit more bulky and just didn’t look as clean and custom style.

And for me, I wouldn’t necessarily say that’s BMW’s fault.

Clearly, all of these homologation requirements are gonna mean that a potential production R 20 will look tamer and more cluttered with all the required bits and bobs, the indicators, the mirrors, the license plates, all that stuff.

I’m still hoping that a real R 20 would be a great looking bike because it still has this stunning prototype as a starting point. BMW R20 Concept

Price :

So if they do get something to market, well, what can you expect to pay for something of this nature? Well, a Rocket three now starts at 23,195 pounds for the most basic R model, a Ducati Diavel V four starts at 23,595 and a Harley breakout 117 in the UK is 24,795 pounds. BMW R20 Concept

So I guess bad news for anyone who’s hoping to snap up a bargain.

And so the low 20,000 pounds looks like the bare minimum and BMWs do generally creep up quite quickly when you start delving into the accessories catalog.

Thing is though, realistically, this is always gonna be a sort of halo product, something that has a bit of exclusivity and pride of ownership and those things in the motorcycle business and probably outside of it as well, rarely ever come cheap.

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