Skip to main content

Actually, BMW officially calls this motorcycle a concept bike. But we know: in most cases, Bavarian concepts very quickly turn into serial products from BMW Motorrad.
[Hardy Mutschler]( / BMW Classic Let us recall that four years ago the company released a hefty cruiser [R18](, larger in size than any production Harley-Davidson. Especially for it, they developed the world’s largest two-cylinder “boxer” with a volume of 1802 cubic meters, which had nothing in common with previous BMW boxers.
Hermann Koepf / BMW Motorrad This engine is a bizarre mixture of archaic and modern solutions: rod valve drive and four-valve heads, air-oil cooling, nickasil coating of the cylinders. Due to the huge working volume, the crankshaft had to be made with three bearings. And for the R20 cafe racer, the volume was increased even more – up to two liters! Of the production motorcycles, the only larger engine is on the Triumph Rocket 3 (2458 cm³). The specific characteristics of the BMW R20 remain secret for now. The base unit developed 91 hp. and torque 158 Nm.
Gudrun Muschalla / BMW AG I don’t want to get into terminological disputes, especially since “Motor” is not a motorcycle publication. But we note that the R20 combines the features of cafe racers, naked bikes and power cruisers. And yet it seems to us that he is closest to the “cafe makers”. And what to call it – decide for yourself.
[Hardy Mutschler]( / BMW Classic Although the concept bike retains the conservative duplex frame of the BMW R18, the chassis design is completely redesigned. Firstly, a sportier geometry has been chosen, and the bike is much shorter: the forks are set at an angle of 62.5° (versus 57.3°), the wheelbase is 1550 mm (-181 mm). The frame itself is welded from durable chrome-molybdenum steel pipes.
Jenny Jurnelius / BMW Motorrad The rear suspension is designed completely differently. Instead of the usual Softtail swingarm, a proprietary Paralever design is used with a pair of trailing arms – a lower one welded from steel pipes and an aluminum upper one. At the same time, the elegant chrome-plated shaft with an open cardan joint was left from the BMW R18.
Jenny Jurnelius / BMW Motorrad The wheels are 17-inch, with the front wheel being spoked and the rear wheel being cast aluminum, shod with tires of an impressive width of 160 mm. A high-quality Öhlins Blackline front fork with separate adjustment of compression and rebound stiffness is used. The brakes are from the Swedish company ISR: with a pair of six-piston radial calipers at the front and one four-piston at the rear.
Gudrun Muschalla / BMW AG The design of the motorcycle is very succinct. Aluminum parts are either polished to a high shine or anodized black. Above the hefty engine is a sculpted gas tank in bright pink. The bobber-style saddle is short, covered in leather and Alcantara, and the taillights are built right into it.
Hermann Koepf / BMW Motorrad The steering wheel is narrow, like that of a street fighter, and a rectangular virtual dashboard display is attached to it, borrowed from the production BMW R12 (this is an option for it). Pay attention to the unusual design of the headlight: the LED “eye” of the headlight is enclosed in a ring of running lights, made separately
Hermann Koepf / BMW Motorrad The huge boxer engine breathes through a pair of straight, unfiltered intake pipes; the exhaust system is just a pair of hefty megaphone pipes. If it is decided to launch the motorcycle into series, all this will need to be redone.
Jenny Jurnelius / BMW Motorrad The valve covers, front engine cover and oil cooler are also custom made for this project.
[Enes Kucevic Photography]( / BMW Motorrad Put the BMW R20 into production and it will essentially have no analogues! Yes, there are large-volume Triumph Rocket 3 with a 2.5 three-cylinder engine and a Harley-Davidson Fat Bob with a 1.8 V-twin engine – but these are still obvious cruisers, not intended for dynamic driving on winding roads.
[Hardy Mutschler]( / BMW Classic We can only compare the R20 with the Vanguard Roadster, a retro-futuristic cafe racer from the American company Vanguard Moto Inc. But this eccentric bike with a two-liter V-twin remained in a single copy. But whether a cafe racer with a huge boxer will be in demand is an open question. The BMW R18 cruiser did not achieve success in the market.
[Enes Kucevic Photography]( / BMW Motorrad

During the Villa d’Este Concours d’Elegance in Italy, the BMW motorcycle division presented a custom motorcycle R20 – a daring cafe racer with an engine from the R18 cruiser. In fact, motorcycles like these with classic BMW air-oil-cooled boxer “boxers” are the mainstream of European customization. But here the engineers and designers at BMW Motorrad created something different, taking the huge engine from a heavy cruiser as a basis and inflating its displacement to two liters. It turned out great – see for yourself by looking at our photo gallery!

Leave a Reply