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BMW R 18 Roctane ramps up the cool factor

BMW's Big Boxer gains sleek new variant - the R 18 Roctane

BMW Motorrad continues to add more variants to its R 18 cruiser with the latest model to join the fleet being the R 18 Roctane.

The fifth member of the R 18 family, which currently consists of the R 18, R 18 Classic, R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental, the Roctane is a stripped-back custom bagger with plenty of attitude.

BMW claims that the goal behind the Roctane was to take the R 18 platform in a more purist appealing direction, with no-frills technology and the boxer engine as the centrepiece of the bike. It's certainly more stripped back than the fully faired Transcontinental, but we reckon the original R 18 still holds all the purest cards, personally.

With the Roctane, what they seem to have achieved is melding some of the more appealing aspects of the R 18, Classic and Bagger into one cool-looking machine.

Rolling on black alloys measuring 21 inches in the front and 18 inches in the rear and sporting raised mini-ape style handlebars, the Roctane could be the R 18 to finally take on the established American brands in the cool-factor stakes.

Like its stablemates, the Roctane beats along to the “Big Boxer” drum with BMW’s 91hp 1802cc 2-cylinder boxer at its centre. In keeping with its muted tones theme, the Roctane gets bling in the form of Dark Chrome. If you want to tart it up with more of the shiny stuff, you can always delve into the official accessories range.

Giving the Roctane a real penchant for touring is a set of hard cases colour-matched to the bike. Offering 27 litres of luggage space each, there’s plenty of space for getting out on the open road. For longer tours, the Roctane can also be equipped with a windshield and auxiliary headlights much like the Classic along with suspended turn indicator lights from the Original BMW Motorrad Accessories range.

New Zealand BMW Motorrad distributor, Sime Darby, has confirmed the first examples of the R 18 Roctane are expected to arrive in September of 2023, with pricing yet to be confirmed. However, Sime Darby has indicated that the Roctane will be priced between the $39,990 R 18 Classic and $44,490 R 18 Bagger.


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