Unique Bikes: Roctane + Market News

By: Guy Allen, Photography by: UC Files

BMW's R 18 Bagger takes the boxer deep into cruiser world

Unique Bikes: Roctane + Market News
BMW's R 18 Bagger

For an engine format the parent company seriously considered killing off around four decades ago, the boxer twin has proved incredibly resilient.

Of course it’s powered the premium GS adventure tourer series,  which by all accounts is the serious money-maker for the Motorrad divison. However, getting into the world of cruisers has been a somwhat more rocky ride.

The big R 18 series (yes, that’s an 1802cc) engine has addressed that issue to a large extent, though we suspect sales haven’t quite met the company’s expectations.

The thing is, the German brand generally hasn’t been perceived as a serious competitor for the all-conquering Harley-Davidson in cruiser world, and to a lesser extent Indian Motorcycles.

However, we reckon the Roctane goes a long way towards challenging that perception. After a week or so on the demo bike, we reckon H-D might have reason to look over their proverbial shoulder.

Of the variants we’ve ridden, the Roctane is the one that looks and feels like it well and truly belongs in the heavy cruiser world, without any need for apology.

Let’s have a look at what comes in the tin. 


There’s a very conventional twin-loop steel frame with a 49mm fork and single shock on the dual side rear swingarm. Note there’s no Telever or Paralever or any other trademark Bimmer stuff.

The fuel-injected engine claims 67kW (91hp) at 4750rpm and 158Nm peak torque, at an admirably low 3000rpm.

That lot is fed through a dry clutch, six-speed manual tansmission and shaft final drive.

As a package, it weighs in at a hefty 374kg wet, which is pulled up by four-piston disc brakes all-round with ABS. Fuel capacity is good at 20lt.

What it adds up to is a moderately quick bike for the class, with a nice broad low-and mid-range delivery. 


Suspension and braking performance is good, while it’s a stable and a slowish steerer, thanks in part to the long wheelbase. 

The quality of finish seems good and reliabilty shouldn’t be an issue, particularly with a five-year unlimited kay warranty.

Pricing starts at $30,250 on the road and we reckon it stacks up as a viable and stylish alternative in this market. AllMoto.com 


A 1975 Honda CB400-Four recently picked up big bike money via a USA Bring a Trailer auction in the USA. Though it wasn’t in concours condition, it fetched a pretty solid AU$21,150.

That means the pricing was getting into CB750-Four territory.

honda cb400f.jpg

Restoring one would cost about the same as a K2 and later 750, though it’s a much lighter package and would, like big brother, make a very use-able classic. It’s easy to see the appeal in a well-preserved if not perfect survivor.

What it has over the 750 is that wonderful sinuous set of four-into-one headers. AllMoto.com 

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