• Welcome to the BMW R18 Forums. Member registration disables ads and allows you to post and share. Register Here.

Thinking about a R18 Transcontinental

  • <i class="fa--xf fal fa-check "><svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" role="img" aria-hidden="true" ><use href="/data/local/icons/light.svg?v=1721426549#check"></use></svg></i> Discussion starter Discussion starter Slotheadslim
  • Start date Start date

Slotheadslim

Active member
Joined
Aug 1, 2021
Messages
189
Location
Massachusetts
Bike
R18 Classic
I've had the R18 Classic since 2021. I love the looks of the bike and it always brings a smile to my face but I'm considering upgrading to a Transcontinental. BMW has some great incentives now and I am tempted to take advantage of them. I have some long standing back problems and I'd like a little more seat height for my comfort and better accomodations so that my significant other comes riding with me. I have the Mustang Weekender seat on the Classic and it's way better than the stock seat but I'm hoping the TC gives me more of what we want for comfort. Because of my back I find 1-2 hours on the Classic is about what I can take before I get some leg/back cramping as it feels like I sit too low, at least for me. I'm only 5' 9" so I don't need to stretch out a long way but I think more height would help me site more at a 90 degree angle which I think would be better. I'm not actually looking to do long distand touring, only have more comfort. The extra accessories, stereo, GPS etc. won't hurt either.

I've looked through most of the R18 TC comments here, including many from people who upgraded. It seems like most are positive. I know the bike isn't perfect (phone integration has its issues, saddlebags are smaller than other tourers etc.) but I think it will do what I want and with either .9% interest (2023 model year) or 0% interest (2022 model year) and cash back, it was a significant savings over a Harley Ultra (a separate candidate I was exploring). I haven't ridden a TC yet but I plan to contact my dealer tomorrow or sometime soon this week. I do plan to trade in the R18 Classic (yes I know the value is going to stink) but I already know the expected value.

If anyone wants to share what they think about the TC I'd love to hear it. Also I've looked for differences online between the 2022 and 2023 TC and I've been unsuccessful at finding anything definite. I'm guessing the colors changed? If anyone knows of anything significant please tell me. Two options which I think are new for 2023 are "Intelligent emergency call" and "Tele services". I think BMW may have also moved the TPM tire pressure monitor option to be part of the Premium package. There is a new 2022 and a new 2023 within reasonable distance from me and the price is working out to be almost the same even though the 2022 lists for $3,000 more (It has the Galaxy Dust Metallic color and the optional 719 seat and the 2023 is black) but there is a $3,000 discount now for new 2022 TCs. Other than being a model year newer, it's unclear to me what advantage buing a newer year bike offers me other than a different paint job? If there were there any significant design changes or fixes for 2023 it isn't obvious.

Thanks,

Tom
 
Others more knowledgeable than I will chime in on the model year differences. Personally I'm not aware of anything but the color changes.

Your research results pretty much nail it for the pros & cons of the bike. The TC ain't perfect but it's damn good and I love the bike.

I also love my R1150GS but I've done a bunch of upgrades to it over the past 20 years. As time & budget allow, the TC will get more mods & upgrades that suit me.

Your research probably turned up a few of my posts; I got nothin' to add at this point. Take it for a long ride before you buy and enjoy. Good luck with your decision!
 
TC is a "Touring" bike and even though as you mentioned it is NOT a perfect bike still it is a bike that's a lot of FUN to ride.
The biggest negativity of this class bikes is not being versatile like GS/A models or any other model ADV bike out there. But if your goal is not ride thru BDR routes then you'll be happy.
To be honest I never ride a cruiser type bike before. Only big ADV and Touring bikes like Goldwings and GSAs, RTs etc... Due to the great savings and 0% deal for 60 months etc I've got myself a Manhattan Matt one and enjoying it whenever I can hop on it... When I get off it all I can think the "not perfect" stuff on that bike but as soon as I sit on the saddle again all that thoughts fly away and I enjoy the ride.
With all that said, if I was given a choice to have only one bike for the rest of my life would a TC will be my choice? Possibly not! But for the next xx months or xx years why the heck is not?
Good luck on your hunting for a good TC and hope you find the one your heart desires and your butt enjoys sitting on it! ;)
 
Pretend like you don't like the Galaxy dust color and offer them $23k for the 2022 year.
 
Great feedback. For a different question have any of you upgraded your seat from stock? I have read about the Corbin Dual Touring Saddle on the forum. I know there is a Comfort Seat High which might be something I'd consider. I have loved my R18 Classic but I found I sat too low for my back and anything that stretches me out more might be worth it.
 
For me it was simple.

1. I wanted an R18.
2. I wanted all the bells and whistles.
Therefore, the Transcontinental was the logical choice.

Haven't regretted my choice a single bit!

Edit. It seems like a lot of posts around here are more about users lamenting choices they DIDN'T choose when they bought their R18. I'd rather overbuy at the beginning and then strip down if I ever wanted to in the future.

Cheaper that way ;).

Mike
 
For me it was simple.

1. I wanted an R18.
2. I wanted all the bells and whistles.
Therefore, the Transcontinental was the logical choice.

Haven't regretted my choice a single bit!

Edit. It seems like a lot of posts around here are more about users lamenting choices they DIDN'T choose when they bought their R18. I'd rather overbuy at the beginning and then strip down if I ever wanted to in the future.

Cheaper that way ;).

Mike
I'm the same way. It seems like most of the 2023s are coming loaded now. I'm looking forward to a test drive soon.
 
My 2022 was a fully loaded demo with 105 miles on it before I signed the dotted line. Well they 25 of those 105 miles were my test ride actually and the other 80 was the dealership owner used the bike for his commute between his home and dealership. He told me that I was the first person to demo that bike.
It was $21k + tax license. Am I happy for it? You bet... Especially 0% for 5 years with no payment first 7 months... Heck yeah!
 
Yea, I think you’ve just got to be honest with yourself about what sort of bike you want and why. The R18 is a pretty niche bike as it is (unlike the aforementioned GS that does everything well), and the TC is an even more niche version of that with a considerable amount more weight and of course comfort, weather protection and gadgets.

As fabulous as they are, a TC is probably too much for the nadgery roads where I live and prefer to ride. I wouldn’t go for one. On the long open highways of America no doubt a very different thing…..test ride and decide. Best of luck with your decision 👍
 
For me it was simple.

1. I wanted an R18.
2. I wanted all the bells and whistles.
Therefore, the Transcontinental was the logical choice.

Haven't regretted my choice a single bit!

Edit. It seems like a lot of posts around here are more about users lamenting choices they DIDN'T choose when they bought their R18. I'd rather overbuy at the beginning and then strip down if I ever wanted to in the future.

Cheaper that way ;).

Mike
I too wanted the bells & whistles... Adaptive Cruise Control, Streaming Music, Navigation, Heated Grips & Seat...

I went with the R18 B because I didn't like the following attributes of the TC:

Chrome finish handlebars
Grey color engine cover
Grey color forks
Grey color dashboard
Grey color wheels
Tall chunky seat..

Which is weird, because I like the color or shade of grey.. The Model B First Edition had a $h!t ton of chrome, flat black engine cover & black lacquer dashboard, handlebars, wheels and forks.

I bought the R18 B with the idea that I was going to add all the things that I liked about the TC:

Auxiliary Lights
Relocate the Directionals w/ Bracket
Fairing Winglets
Engine Protection Bar
Lower Leg Wind Protection
Pillion Floor Boards

See added TC attributes below:

Screenshot_20230721-081139.png
 
If I would have known my wife was going to be less angry and more into the idea of motorcycle riding, I would have probably bought a TC. Now she's gone from me upgrading to a more comfy bike for her to ride with me to getting a bike of her own.

I've created a monster of my wife and I'm probably gonna keep the Classic for a while.

I wouldn't mind the Bagger or TC for the storage alone. I'm not doing cross country trips with luggage for two, but I don't mind making grocery runs. I fear that once I pack up rain gear, I'm gonna be quite limited on space. But I'm not exactly going on multi-day, multi-hundred mile rides on a regular basis at the moment so I guess it's a kinda moot point. I'm more curious about the handling and rising differences between the std/classic and TC/B. I don't need an infotainment system or speakers with a phone mount and bluetooth in my helmet.

I do like the Roctane tho...
 
I have to disagree with some...the TC is NOT a touring bike. It's a bagger with a trunk. There is a reason Harley Davidson makes both the Street Glide and the Electra Glide.

I made the mistake of thinking the TC would be an adequate touring bike but it can't hold a candle to the touring capability of my 12 year old Victory Vision.

Like the Street Glide the TC is a beautiful rolling work of art that makes you look and feel cool. If you can get you head around that mission, it makes the shortcomings in capability easier to accept.

I was planning to sell the Vision, but have since changed that plan as I would like to make the occasional long trip in comfort. I'll save the R18 for local trips and bike night.

If touring is important to you, the K1600GTL (not the Grand America) is the two up touring machine to have...it's vastly superior.
 
Last edited:
I have to disagree with some...the TC is NOT a touring bike. It's a bagger with a trunk. There is a reason Harley Davidson makes both the Street Glide and the Electra Glide.

I made the mistake of thinking the TC would be an adequate touring bike but it can't hold a candle to the touring capability of my 12 year old Victory Vision.

Like the Street Glide the TC is a beautiful rolling work of art that makes you look and feel cool. If you can get you head around that mission, it makes the shortcomings in capability easier to accept.

I was planning to sell the Vision, but have since changed that plan as I would like to make the occasional long trip in comfort. I'll save the R18 for local trips and bike night.

If touring is important to you, the K1600GTL (not the Grand America) is the two up touring machine to have...it's vastly superior.
Well you can think TC as a touring capable bagger with a trunk. Goldwing does the same thing and the difference between a regular Goldwing and Goldwing Tour model is only the trunk (top case).
Yes TC may not be a world tourer or versatile like ADV Touring bikes but still nobody buys a TC for riding to their local Starbucks in mind.
 
I have to disagree with some...the TC is NOT a touring bike. It's a bagger with a trunk. There is a reason Harley Davidson makes both the Street Glide and the Electra Glide.

I made the mistake of thinking the TC would be an adequate touring bike but it can't hold a candle to the touring capability of my 12 year old Victory Vision.

Like the Street Glide the TC is a beautiful rolling work of art that makes you look and feel cool. If you can get you head around that mission, it makes the shortcomings in capability easier to accept.

I was planning to sell the Vision, but have since changed that plan as I would like to make the occasional long trip in comfort. I'll save the R18 for local trips and bike night.

If touring is important to you, the K1600GTL (not the Grand America) is the two up touring machine to have...it's vastly superior.
The K1600GTL IMO is so....boring, in comparison to the R18 line.

The Transcontinental IS a touring bike. I don't get how you can throw in the Street Glide and the Electra Glide as touring comparisons, but state the TC is somehow NOT a tourer. Side-by-side comparisons? Other than obvious HD - BMW differences, the Electra Glide and TC ARE cruiser tourers!

I didn't see any pics of a dressed up Street Glide, so I'm going to have to compare it to the R18 Bagger, not the Transcontinental.

2021-harley-davidson-street-glide-special-touring-urban-cruiser-motorcycle-13.jpeg
Street Glide

original.jpg
Electra Glide

2022-bmw-r-18-transcontinental-first-look-touring-motorcycle-luxury-full-dresser-10.jpg
Do I really need to say it?​

That said, the only two significant downfalls on the TC from the factory are the seat and handlebars, with the windshield being an honorable mention (i.e. windshield not being an issue for most riders).

BMW should have raked the handlebars back 5-7" further and made the standard seat comfortable by default, not a premium feature.

Otherwise, I have no issues with my Alcina! Other than BMW taking away service manuals from customers, but that's not a ding on the R18 line.

Mike
 
Gotta concur with Kheen on the K1600 - TC comparison. Different bikes, different preferences.
(Warning: gin'n'tonix make me wordy; ya'll can skip this next bit if you want)
I'd wanted a K1600 since the year they were introduced. When I could finally get to a new(er) bike purchase in 2022, the dealer had one in white, my favorite scooter color! Took it for a long-ish test ride... nice.
But I'm a guy who looks under every rock, kicks all the tires, looks in every box at the flea market... so I rode a TC. Heavy-ass bike.
I bought it.
For me the TC meets my needs much better: lower saddle; more stable on the highway, in the parking lot, and in turbulence.
And definitely more grin-inducing.
It ain't perfect for every person (or even for me) but such a bike (or car) doesn't exist. That's why we personalize them with 'upgrades'.
I haven't yet done more than 250 miles in a day on it; that will change in a few weeks when I take off on a 2000 mile or so trip. We'll see how well it meets that need.
 
I've had them (BMW) all... K1200LT, K1600GTL, R1150RT, R1200RT, R1250RT, R1200GS, R1200GSA, R1250GSA and now R18TC...
Between above models I've had few others like Honda Valkyrie Interstate, GL1800 Goldwing Tour (2 older generation '03 and '05 and 2 new generation '18 and '21)
Then there was a Yamaha Super Tenere, Honda CRF 300 Rally, Honda Shadow 1100...

They were all nice bikes but all had some very annoying flaws next to their very impressive qualities when you pick them up from the showroom floor...
Bikes do not offer adjustability range like cars do. I wish they did. Imagine how much your car seat moves forward and back and up or down or lean angle of the backrest and lumbar support etc. Your steering wheel goes forward and back and up or down too. If I could adjust my bikes seat and handlebars that much it would be 99% perfect bike but unfortunately that is not possible. Therefore "perfection" expectations on the bikes are very limited.

All in all, TC is a very good bike! Is it perfect? Simple answer is: NO! But that applies to every other bike out there...
So let's stop comparing a TC to another HD or Indian or whatever... If you have a bike and enjoying it then more power to you.
Ride safely and have fun while doing it!
That's all that matters!
 
Last edited:
Back
Top