BMW R 18 Roctane Confirmed in Homologation Filings

BMW is preparing to add a new model to its 1,802cc boxer family, receiving type approval in Switzerland for a new variant called the R 18 Roctane.

The type approval data for the Roctane shows much in common with the existing R 18 models, but with some notable differences. For one, the R 18 Roctane has an internal model code of “0N61,” while the model codes for the R 18, R 18 Classic, R 18 B, and R 18 Transcontinental all have model codes beginning with “0L.” This suggests the Roctane differs from the other models in a fairly significant way, either with a chassis update or a different form factor. The variant’s name appears to be a combination of the “R” branding and “octane,” so a more performance-focused model may be in store.

This brings to mind the Concept R 18 /2, which BMW revealed in 2019. The “Slash Two” was presented as the stylistic opposite of the retro-inspired concept that eventually became the R 18. BMW described it as “a modern, dynamic custom cruiser with a performance appeal that is somewhat rougher round the edges” We’re not too crazy about the Roctane name, but it does seem a fit for the R 18 /2.

Performance focus or not, we do know the Roctane is powered by the same 1,802cc air-cooled Boxer as the rest of the R 18 range. The homologation filing confirms the same engine code and peak performance numbers as the other models: a maximum power output of 67 kW (90 hp) at 4,750 rpm, and 116 lb-ft. at 3,000 rpm. As with the rest of the range, BMW has also gained type approval for a 35 kW (47 hp) version suitable for European A2 licenses. The filing also confirms the Roctane has the same silencer code as the Classic, B, and Transcontinental models, so we can expect the same straight pipes and not the bulbous fishtail exhaust on the regular R 18.

The Roctane’s wheel sizes (including accessory options) are the same as the other R 18 models. The type approval data makes no mention of suspension, and the braking data only confirms dual front brakes and ABS. If the Roctane is indeed more of a performance cruiser, we expect these to be different from the rest of the R 18 family.

The filings are a bit more helpful when it comes to the bike’s dimensions. The Roctane has a 67.7-inch wheelbase, putting it somewhere between the 66.7-inch wheelbase of the touring R 18s and 68.1 inches of the cruiser models. A different fork rake and trail could account for this difference.

At 103 inches long, the R 18 Roctane is about 7 inches longer than the R 18 and R 18 Classic, but 2 inches shorter than the R 18 B bagger, and 1 inch shorter than the R 18 Transcontinental. This suggests the Roctane does not have side cases or a top case of the touring models, as the luggage on the B and Transcontinental extend well past the tip of their exhausts.

The listed gross vehicle weight rating further suggests the Roctane will not have luggage. At 1,234 pounds, the Roctane has the same GVWR as the R 18 and R 18 Classic, compared to 1,389 pounds for the R 18 B and R 18 Transcontinental which have non-removable cases.

The filings include a laden weight, which is the claimed curb weight plus some ballast to represent the weight of a rider and some accessories. For the R 18 models, this typically means an extra 180-186 pounds above the claimed curb weight. The R 18 Roctane is listed at 1,009 pounds, so we estimate a curb weight of around 826 pounds. This places the Roctane as being lighter than the touring models but heavier than the cruisers. Again assuming no luggage, we surmise some of the weight difference may be due to a fairing.

Laden weight
Claimed Curb Weight
Laden Weight – Curb Weight

R 18
946 pounds
761 pounds
185 pounds

R 18 Classic
985 pounds
805 pounds
180 pounds

R 18 B
1058 pounds
877 pounds
181 pounds

R 18 Transcontinental
1127 pounds
941 pounds
186 pounds

R 18 Roctane
1009 pounds

There is no hint of when BMW may reveal the R 18 Roctane. Since withdrawing from the major trade shows, BMW has spaced its product reveals throughout the year, but the type approval documents may suggest an official announcement may come soon.

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