BMW have just modernised their Boxer engine with ShiftCam technology, and the Munich based company is already spreading rumours about another new Boxer. And this in an unusual way: They left a prototype of the R18 to CW Zon as the basis for a custom bike.
One could think that the noble tinkerers of Custom Works ZON had grabbed a BMW boxer engine from the 1930s as drive for their new bike called Departed: slim engine housing, carburetor, pushrods above the cylinder and a lavishly ribbed cylinder head cover. But the two-cylinder is supposed to be a prototype of the all-new R18 boxer.
The twin-cylinder is much more voluminous than its ancestors. The abbreviation R18 can be read as an indication of a displacement of around 1800 cubic centimetres. The air cooling, which can be seen on the ribbing of the cylinders, is supported by an oil cooling system. BMW does not yet want to reveal further details.
In any case, in cooperation with Custom Works ZON, BMW has chosen an unusual way to draw attention to the new engine. On behalf of the motorcycle manufacturer, the Japanese customizers have built a fancy bike around the Boxer prototype. In doing so, they skilfully took up the historical tradition lines and developed a design language with the help of driven aluminium parts that evokes associations with the design of the 30ies. The alternator cover (or whatever the elaborately designed hood hides) could pass smoothly as the snout of a 30s sedan.
The boxer is surrounded by an elaborate tubular trellis frame. A trapezoidal fork guides works as suspension for the 22 inch front wheel, the 26 inch rear wheel is guided by a single-sided swing arm.
It remains to be seen exactly how BMW will solve the final drive in a potential future series production of the new Boxer. Only that the power transmission to the rear wheel is to take place via cardan shaft is obvious. Also the exact form of the fuel system is still unclear. CW Zon has decided on carburettor technology with 40 Millimeter Dell’Ortos, a solution that could not be realized in series production.
Even if there are currently more questions than answers about the new BMW Boxer R18, the Japanese-Bavarian cooperation shown at the Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show is a nice appetizer that whets the appetite for the engine.