BMW's Probably Building That 2.0-Liter Boxer Engined Cafe Racer

1 month, 3 weeks ago - 31 May 2024, rideapart
BMW's Probably Building That 2.0-Liter Boxer Engined Cafe Racer
They need to figure out the airbox, cats, muffler, and indicators. And that’s about it.

Late last week, BMW pulled the covers off its R 20 concept at Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este and I was left drooling, as the gorgeous cafe racer-style motorcycle was finished in a pink hue and powered by a ludicrously large 2,000cc boxer engine. 

Yes, you read that right, BMW's latest motorcycle has the same displacement as a Subaru WRX. 

But even in concept form, the R 20 looked pretty production-ready to these old eyes. Every part had an air of finality to it, though that could've just been chalked up to BMW being BMW. Even so, the R 20 as a production motorcycle made sense, especially considering the R 18 has been around for a bit.

But that isn't the path BMW's necessarily running with. 

Though BMW didn't confirm, confirm production just yet, according to BMW Motorrad's CEO Markus Flasch, the R 20 is pretty freakin' close to confirmed and production-ready. 

"We're going to do an experiment," says Flasch about the conceit behind the R 20, adding, "If the reaction is positive, we're going to put it into production. Because nobody asked for the bike. There's not a segment we're trying to get into or a competitor we're trying to attack or whatever. It's just a gut feeling of what we think is cool."

It is cool.

And based on how many of you clicked on RideApart's story over the long Memorial Day weekend, a time when y'all should've been enjoying the great outdoors, a dope BBQ, or an air show, I think it's probably a certainty that BMW saw a positive reaction to the R 20 concept. I know I'd personally like one in my garage. 

But Flasch went further, stoking the fires as to how soon we could theoretically see the R 20 on the streets. 

"We try to make everything as close [to production] as possible. We got really, let's say 'air under our wings,' now," Flasch says about the R 20's initial reaction, adding, "There is an existing engine that we will [have to] upgrade, but the rest of the bike is new. It's mechanics, so there's no rocket science to it. But it needs some proper industrialization and it will take some years. Not next year, not next year."

Asked whether there's a way to keep the production bike as minimal as the concept, Flasch tells us, "This is what will take some years [laughs]. I believe there is a way and what I can promise is that we will not hide or cover anything. What we want to do on this bike is to make it as obviously mechanically crafted as it can be."

Flasch then tells RideApart, "It's not going to be a limited run. We are thinking about an additional production model. Not to replace [the R 18], but an additional model." So R 18 lovers, you'll still be catered to. 

And there you have it. Apparently, in the coming years, we're getting this glorious motorcycle in all its 2.0-liter boxer-engine awesomeness. Obviously, there's no price yet, nor specs outside the Big Boxer engine and general look. A lot can change in the coming years and through the governmental standards BMW has to play within. 

But, God, I hope they keep the pink colorway. 

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