2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental Check: A 3130-Mile Texas Tour


Final-minute preparations have been shortly authorised for a seat-of-the-pants journey to Austin from Tehachapi, Calif., to attend the Cardano Neighborhood Occasion at Consensus 2022, the place crypto and blockchain techies throughout the globe collect to debate all issues of this fast-growing business. I needed to be part of it, and that required an acceptable journey—my Euro dual-sport bike with knobbies wasn’t going to get the job performed. The BMW R 18 Transcontinental touring bike, loaded with facilities and the most recent expertise options anticipated in at present’s luxurious vehicles, bought the nod.It might be a six-day journey with the primary leg devoted to creating it to Austin ASAP, which meant no time to discover. The shortest route concerned Interstate 10 and using throughout the desert throughout one of many hottest weeks of the yr.It began at 5 p.m. on a Monday night—by way of the wind generators behind Mojave, by way of Palmdale and choosing up Interstate 10 in San Bernardino, using the BMW R 18 Transcontinental previous Palm Springs for a keep in Blythe on the Colorado River, which marks the California/Arizona border.I arrived in Blythe at 9:30 p.m. to flee the blistering daytime desert warmth. The Transcon’s lighting is incredible at evening. The decrease driving lights gentle up a superb portion of the street instantly forward, whereas the headlights focus within the distance, whereas not blinding the drivers forward—head-on or of their rearview mirrors.The subsequent stayover can be Fort Stockton, Texas—over 800 miles away. Nothing is thrilling about I-10 by way of Phoenix, Tucson, and El Paso, so it was all about staying on the throttle and within the seat.2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental Texas Tour Test: PriceIn Texas, the velocity limits are 70, 75, and 80 mph, together with semi-trucks. I didn’t need to get handed by them, so the strain was on to maintain up velocity, whereas additionally dodging discarded tire treads and roadkill. It required my full give attention to what would possibly lay forward, so my first two nights into late hours at nighttime have been nerve-wracking.From Ft. Stockton, it’s a simple six hours to my vacation spot close to the Texas state Capitol. However let’s backtrack a bit.My journey began on Monday morning. Selecting up the 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental at BMW’s fleet middle within the South Bay space of Los Angeles didn’t begin off easily—like I used to be being given indicators to not go on the journey. Dangerous luck bought me there two hours late, and I wanted to get out of city to keep away from combating stop-and-go visitors on a really giant machine that was new to me.For me, the larger the bike, the steeper the training curve and extra ability required to barter my manner out of crowded metropolitan Los Angeles, and the close to half-ton BMW demanded it.The very first thing I discover concerning the R 18 Transcontinental is lifting it up off the kickstand. I felt its weight immediately. I’m 6-foot, 180 kilos, and have 40 years of using expertise, and my first thought was it is a Huge Man’s bike. I wrestled getting it pointed in the appropriate path, out of the fleet middle driveway, and towards the notoriously busy San Diego Freeway.Pushing the beginning button of the 1802cc Huge Boxer, you’re feeling the gyration of these two big-inch jugs shifting forwards and backwards. It’s nothing like a V-twin sensation, the place the vibration is according to the body. The R 18 requires your legs as sturdy outriggers. The low 29.1-inch seat top helps with this, and at stops seeking exhausting floor.I’ve ridden the taller GS bikes of smaller displacement and all the time had hassle with the boxer heads as intrusive. Nonetheless, the Transcontinental is stretched farther between seat and engine. The house between the cylinders and floorboards initially feels a bit too tight to slide a boot into the heel-toe shifter and brake levers.Ultimately, it turns into a naturally discovered motion. I’d nonetheless attempt to shift up with my boot between the floorboard and entrance rocker shifter from behavior, ignoring the handy heel shifter. You could study these easy steps shortly in busy large metropolis visitors.2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental Texas Tour Test: For SaleTaking off is less complicated, with a clean but balanced surge ahead and up by way of the gears. An excessive amount of throttle and the electronics step in to handle the torque. The Huge Boxer produces 91 horsepower and 117 ft-lbs of torque, so there may be loads of pull on faucet.Approaching stops and shifting with stop-and-go visitors is the problem. The low-slung weight helps, however the side-to-side engine gyration at idle can spook at occasions.Luckily, I succeeded. I bought dwelling in time to load up per week’s value of clothes and mount my Samsung cellphone to the handlebar, giving me the wanted hours to make my tight schedule.After a pair days of gasoline stops and rehydration, you get the boldness wanted to journey the 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental; 1600 miles into my journey, I felt I had it down.After a Tuesday evening in Fort Stockton, took I-10 east earlier than peeling off on eastbound U.S. Route 190, which options rolling hills, oil fields, and inexperienced timber by way of the historic cities of Eldorado and Llano.The typical vary between gasoline stops is round 200 miles, with an early low gasoline warning arriving when dropping beneath a quarter-tank. I prefer to take it to fumes, and as soon as I did, out of curiosity. I bought nervous that I’d be waving individuals down for a shot of gasoline, so I ended to seek for the closest gasoline places. Google Maps informed me to backtrack a bit.Getting off interstates in Texas is extremely advised. I seen an antelope-type animal crossing at a secure distance, and the roadside plants is groomed very large to assist put together to dodge the wildlife. Texas work vans are all outfitted with grille guards.I arrived in Austin in time for a nap, bathe, and Uber journey to the Palmer Occasions Middle, overlooking the gorgeous cityscape of high-rises and Austin’s Colorado River. After an evening’s sleep, it was one other three days on the 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental to return dwelling—this time with much less strain.I loaded the trunk with clothes and faster entry to sunblock, eyeglasses, and water. The identical field shops the helmet for in a single day safety. The ample trunk and exhausting, double-lined plastic aspect circumstances are mechanically locked from the appropriate handlebar management buttons, or the distant management—no must fiddle with keys.Additionally positioned in these circumstances is the rear Marshall speaker system. Even when they went to 11, you continue to wouldn’t hear your music recognizably at 50+ mph. I assumed that’s what road using was all about—wind by way of my hair, er, helmet, and the music of my life.My route alternative out of Austin prevented I-10 altogether. It took me to Flagstaff, the place I used to be met with monsoon rains and temps that dipped within the 60s on rain-drenched I-40.The day started from Austin on U.S Route 290 westbound. It took the Transcontinental and me by way of Fredericksburg, northwest on U.S. Route 87 to Midland, and crossing into New Mexico for an evening in Roswell.2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental Texas Tour Test: PriceThe subsequent day included pictures at historic stops in Lincoln, Capitan, and across the White Sands Missile Vary. It continued by way of Pie City, then into Arizona to Present Low, and heading north to Interstate 40 for the journey dwelling.I prevented the excessive temps on this scorching warmth wave with route planning and evening using—I by no means noticed temperatures over 101 levels. I wore a mud bike helmet with a peak to guard my eyes—the windscreen made this potential. I wore sun shades and stored sunblock on my cheeks, nostril, neck, and wrists. My high-collar button shirt supplied most movement and solar safety. Driving denims and slip-on boots accomplished my wardrobe. I used to be set to expertise 116-degree climate in Needles, Calif., however I arrived from Kingman earlier than dawn.Given the excessive temperatures, I used to be pleasantly stunned that warmth on the shins by no means proved annoying. Airflow from deflectors retains air directed by way of the deep fins of the air-/oil-cooled heads and off your physique.A fantastic function in trendy vehicles is the ahead automobile sensing whereas in cruise management, and it was important for this journey on the 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental. While you attain the rear of a automobile you’re approaching, it slows the bike to maintain you at a secure distance from the automobile forward. Hit the throttle to move when wanted and drop again to your set velocity.2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental Texas Tour Test: Los Angeles to AustinI hardly ever use cruise management alone autos to keep away from surprises, however BMW’s radar expertise makes lengthy drives safer. You neglect you’re locked in till it slows you down, prompting you to contemplate overtaking. Lengthy straight runs on the Transcon demanded cruise management, because the perform relieves your throttle hand from the fixed battle to maintain a clean velocity and a agency grip.The Transcontinental is gorgeous and splendid trying in Manhattan Metallic Matte with simply the correct quantity of chrome, besides the place you want it least—on prime of the gasoline tank cap cowl of the 6.3-gallon tank. It makes an important solar reflector focused at your eyes. I’d spray that with a rattle can of flat black.The windshield can get a little bit distorted close to the sting. At occasions, it displayed the colours of a prism—my sun shades could have been the issue. The mirrors could possibly be a little bit bigger. I needed to lean ahead for wider viewing.The digital dashboard stored me knowledgeable with gasoline vary, journey mileage, time, and never rather more. The efficiency mode was stored in Rock your complete journey. Roll was not wanted, and I forgot about Rain when on the occasions I ought to have invoked it.2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental Test: California to TexasBMW has a proprietary energy jack that I didn’t have, so I couldn’t energy my Garmin Tread GPS. The BMW navigation system was going to require extra time to study. For this journey, my cellphone did the navigating.I fiddled with settings and eventually bought to listening to music as I moved nearer to dwelling. I had spent my time studying the extra necessary options and features first with my tight schedule.Braking is the same old—twin entrance discs and a single rear. Fortunately, no scares have been skilled requiring any exhausting binding2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental Long-Distance TouringI had a couple of shut calls alongside the best way. I got here inside a foot of a chair lounging between lanes on I-40, simply west of Flagstaff, in heavy visitors and on moist pavement. Earlier, whereas I used to be nonetheless in my very own city, I dodged a automotive turning unexpectedly whereas I used to be twiddling with controls. Plus, I used to be continually scanning for shed tire retreads in excessive temps and roads with heavy truck use.Bear in mind my mentions of indicators urging me to not take the journey? They continued every day. A hearse was parked subsequent to me at a gasoline station, and I swear it was the identical one which crossed my path earlier.Nonetheless, I made the 3130-mile journey dwelling and secure with only a slight case of monkey butt. The seat is nice, although I’d add a little bit of cushion throughout the cheeks. Because of the protection options of the 2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental, I received’t be needing that hearse simply but.Images by Damon Powell2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental SpecsENGINE

  • Kind: Opposed twin
  • Displacement: 1802cc
  • Bore x stroke: 107.1 x 100mm
  • Most energy: 91 horsepower @ 4750 rpm
  • Most torque: 116 ft-lbs @ 3000 rpm
    Most velocity: 111 mph (99 mph totally loaded)
  • Compression ratio: 9.6:1
  • Valvetrain: Pushrod-actuated OHV w/ two camshafts; 4 vpc
  • Cooling: Air and oil
  • Transmission: 6-speed (w/ optionally available reverse)
  • Clutch: Single-disc dry w/ slipper perform
  • Closing drive: Shaft


  • Body: Metal-tube double-loop
  • Entrance suspension; journey: Non-adjustable 49mm fork; 4.7 inches
  • Rear suspension; journey: Cantilevered spring-preload adjustable shock; 4.7 inches
  • Wheels: Forged aluminum
  • Entrance wheel: 19 x 3.5
  • Rear wheel: 16 x 5.0
  • Tires: Bridgestone Battlecruise H50
  • Entrance tire: 120/70 x 19
  • Rear tire: 180/65 x 16
  • Entrance brake: 300mm discs w/ 4-piston calipers
  • Rear brake: 300mm disc w/ 4-piston caliper
  • ABS: BMW Motorrad Full Integral


  • Wheelbase: 66.7 inches
  • Rake: 27.3 levels
  • Path: 7.2 inches
  • Seat top: 29.1 inches
  • Gasoline capability: 6.3 gallons
  • Curb weight: 941 kilos


  • Black Storm Metallic
  • Manhattan Metallic Matte (+$500)
  • Choice 719 Galaxy Mud Metallic/Titanium Silver 2 Metallic (+$2400)
  • First Version (included in First Version Bundle)

2022 BMW R 18 Transcontinental Costs: $24,995 base MSRP. As examined w/ Choose ($950) and Premium ($3225) Packages, plus Manhattan Metallic Matte paint ($500): $29,670 MSRP    



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