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Thinking about a R18 Transcontinental

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Thank everyone. I ended up taking out a 2023 TC last week for a test drive. It was great. I think it handled better than my Classic and I got it. Due to work and bad weather, today was the first day I’ve been able to take it out for a good ride. I really enjoyed it.

IMG_0864.jpeg
 
One could spend a ton of money to convert any motorcycle or scooter into a touring bike. In my mind, a true touring bike is ready for a comfortable 1000 mile ride right out of the gate. BMW makes those, but the R18 ain't one of them.

I am not disparaging the TC. It is very good at being what it is but let's be honest...it's no Gold Wing, GTL or HD Limited. It doesn't carry the same price tag as the HD either.

Speaking the of the Gold Wing, the bagger analogue is reversed. The Gold Wing bagger was a touring bike first and a bagger second. The TC was clearly a bagger first and a touring bike second.

Tour Packs can be installed on a Street Glide, but the bike is fundamentally different from the EG which is why HD carries both bikes.

I bought the TC because it is gorgeous and meticulously crafted. I enjoy the engine feel and the cool lines. I like that it's unique and I don't see myself coming and going. I'll admit that I wish I had spent more time in the saddle before plunking down the Benjamins, but I bought it and intend to meet it where it is but I'm not going to delude myself that it's as good a "touring" machine as some of the bikes I've noted or even the bike it was intended to supercede. The Victory Vision was almost perfect from the start and it took Polaris until 2023 to bring out a reasonable replacement in the Challenger Pursuit. Unfortunately, they put a $39k price tag on it as well.
 
One could spend a ton of money to convert any motorcycle or scooter into a touring bike. In my mind, a true touring bike is ready for a comfortable 1000 mile ride right out of the gate. BMW makes those, but the R18 ain't one of them.

I am not disparaging the TC. It is very good at being what it is but let's be honest...it's no Gold Wing, GTL or HD Limited. It doesn't carry the same price tag as the HD either.

Speaking the of the Gold Wing, the bagger analogue is reversed. The Gold Wing bagger was a touring bike first and a bagger second. The TC was clearly a bagger first and a touring bike second.

Tour Packs can be installed on a Street Glide, but the bike is fundamentally different from the EG which is why HD carries both bikes.

I bought the TC because it is gorgeous and meticulously crafted. I enjoy the engine feel and the cool lines. I like that it's unique and I don't see myself coming and going. I'll admit that I wish I had spent more time in the saddle before plunking down the Benjamins, but I bought it and intend to meet it where it is but I'm not going to delude myself that it's as good a "touring" machine as some of the bikes I've noted or even the bike it was intended to supercede. The Victory Vision was almost perfect from the start and it took Polaris until 2023 to bring out a reasonable replacement in the Challenger Pursuit. Unfortunately, they put a $39k price tag on it as well.

I don't understand what is your point of keep repeating TC not being a "Touring" bike? Are you trying to emphasize what category an R18TC should be listed as or simply are you saying a TC is not capable to make such long trips in comfort and style like a Goldwing or some HD models.

I would like to know what is a "True Touring Bike" in your opinion?
Because I don't know if you ever attended a Goldwing club Touring events. Let's talk about this TOURING ICON called GL1800

If you did attend a National gathering event of Goldwing owners like Wing Ding you'd witness that 99% of the GL1800 are NOT kept as they came out of the dealership floor. Simply because 99% GL1800 riders complain from the seats not being comfortable after a fcouple of hours of riding or rider position becomes more comfortable with the addition of a backrest that factory does not included etc. etc.
2018/19/20 model owners complain saddlebag capacities being not sufficient.
New GL1800 comes with a tank capacity of 5.5US Gal. vs TC comes 6.3 Gal...
Both GL1800 and R18TC offers GPS, ABS, 3 Hard cases, Stereo systems etc. etc. plus TC comes with an active Cruise Control too. SoI am still wondering where's the difference and who decided that "1000 mile in comfort right out of the gate" standard because as far as I experienced in my 48 yrs of riding, no bike ever met that category.

Also a bike soooo comfortable for a 5'8" 155lbs rider at a 1000 mile ride may not be equally comfortable for a 6'2" and 250lbs rider even after 100 miles.
So, each to their own I guess...

Ride safe buddy...
 
Thank everyone. I ended up taking out a 2023 TC last week for a test drive. It was great. I think it handled better than my Classic and I got it. Due to work and bad weather, today was the first day I’ve been able to take it out for a good ride. I really enjoyed it.

View attachment 11040
To be honest I normally do not like this type of bikes when they are especially black but DAAAANG, this thing looks like a masterpiece design of MichelAngelo!!
 
One could spend a ton of money to convert any motorcycle or scooter into a touring bike. In my mind, a true touring bike is ready for a comfortable 1000 mile ride right out of the gate. BMW makes those, but the R18 ain't one of them.

I am not disparaging the TC. It is very good at being what it is but let's be honest...it's no Gold Wing, GTL or HD Limited. It doesn't carry the same price tag as the HD either.

Speaking the of the Gold Wing, the bagger analogue is reversed. The Gold Wing bagger was a touring bike first and a bagger second. The TC was clearly a bagger first and a touring bike second.

Tour Packs can be installed on a Street Glide, but the bike is fundamentally different from the EG which is why HD carries both bikes.

I bought the TC because it is gorgeous and meticulously crafted. I enjoy the engine feel and the cool lines. I like that it's unique and I don't see myself coming and going. I'll admit that I wish I had spent more time in the saddle before plunking down the Benjamins, but I bought it and intend to meet it where it is but I'm not going to delude myself that it's as good a "touring" machine as some of the bikes I've noted or even the bike it was intended to supercede. The Victory Vision was almost perfect from the start and it took Polaris until 2023 to bring out a reasonable replacement in the Challenger Pursuit. Unfortunately, they put a $39k price tag on it as well.
Never going to happen.... My VW Touareg TDI, even with premium leather seats, adjustable in and out and up and down steering wheel , AC, cruise control, adaptive headlights, and every other ding dong, contraption or GPS device, isn't comfortable after 1000 miles. Nor is it for me on a commercial jet, or my RV-12 airplane. Some of you guys are absolute gluttons for punishment during travel. I don't see myself ever doing an Iron Butt, let alone 500 miles in a day. I can't speak for seat comfort, but the suspension on the R 18 B I took for an extended test ride was one of the very best quality rides I've ever been on. Absolutely puts my Sport Glide to shame, even with both of them set up for the same amount of travel, front and rear. Suspension is nice, but nothing, to me, for the $ spent, matches a custom seat with backrests. With real leather. Not so kosher in rain, and high maintenance, but gives the best support to my lower back.
 
Never going to happen.... My VW Touareg TDI, even with premium leather seats, adjustable in and out and up and down steering wheel , AC, cruise control, adaptive headlights, and every other ding dong, contraption or GPS device, isn't comfortable after 1000 miles. Nor is it for me on a commercial jet, or my RV-12 airplane. Some of you guys are absolute gluttons for punishment during travel. I don't see myself ever doing an Iron Butt, let alone 500 miles in a day. I can't speak for seat comfort, but the suspension on the R 18 B I took for an extended test ride was one of the very best quality rides I've ever been on. Absolutely puts my Sport Glide to shame, even with both of them set up for the same amount of travel, front and rear. Suspension is nice, but nothing, to me, for the $ spent, matches a custom seat with backrests. With real leather. Not so kosher in rain, and high maintenance, but gives the best support to my lower back.
P-Rind,

If you don't mind sharing, what seat and backrest are you running on your bike?

Mike
 
If touring is important to you, the K1600GTL (not the Grand America) is the two up touring machine to have...it's vastly superior.
It’s not vastly superior, it’s just a different bike.

I sold my 21 TC and bought a 22 GTL. I wanted nimbler handling in the twisties and more luggage capacity for touring. The TC’s luggage capacity was just barely enough for my wife and I over a weekend trip. The K16’s engine is IMO, is the best engine in a motorcycle.

But… the K16 has no character. It’s so smooth it just lulls you to sleep on those highway drones. For long rides both myself and my wife were more comfortable on the TC. Of all the bikes I’ve had, my wife felt the TC was the most comfortable bike she’s been on. When you’re riding the TC you know you’re riding a motorcycle - it just oozes character.
I’m 6’1”, 250 lbs and the TC just fit me better. I actually kinda regret selling the TC now, and may eventually sell the GTL and get another TC.
 
P-Rind,

If you don't mind sharing, what seat and backrest are you running on your bike?

Mike
I've been so tempted to get a R18 B, but at 6' 5", the low seating arrangement, the mid controls, the awkwardness of the toe shifter and the rear brake, the inability to have any option for forward controls, the dismal functioning of that huge piece of hardware screen without GPS from your smart phone, the inability of my Samsung S21ultra to fit inside... has left me stuck with my HD Sport Glide with a HD top box, for light touring only. Seat on my bike is a Saddlemen Explorer with back rest. Backrest helps a lot, but 2 hours or 150 200 miles and it kind of ceases to be fun, at cruising speeds of 45 to 55 mph. The mini bat fairing at 70 mph for touring, would not be fun, at all. Really pulls a lot harder on my neck muscles with the airflow around my helmet. No way around it, being 6' 5" makes it no fun. I do think the R 18 B, could make a good cruiser for me, on shorter rides. But I already got a bike with forward pegs that does that. Duplicity. Don't want the weight of the TC, I am getting up there in years at 65. Seen too many people buy them, then want to flip them. BMW R 18's don't seem to be holding their value well at all, and the dealerships are offering such good incentives, hard for the used market to compete against new. The question remains, can you afford to own a R 18, once out of warranty, or would you even want to, with the pricing of their parts, if something breaks, or needs repair. The two most comfortable seats I've ridden on have been La Pera and Corbin brands. You do need to go to the Corbin facility with your bike, if you really want the best, custom fit, in California. But it will be right, for you, only you.
 
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Never going to happen.... My VW Touareg TDI, even with premium leather seats, adjustable in and out and up and down steering wheel , AC, cruise control, adaptive headlights, and every other ding dong, contraption or GPS device, isn't comfortable after 1000 miles. Nor is it for me on a commercial jet, or my RV-12 airplane. Some of you guys are absolute gluttons for punishment during travel. I don't see myself ever doing an Iron Butt, let alone 500 miles in a day. I can't speak for seat comfort, but the suspension on the R 18 B I took for an extended test ride was one of the very best quality rides I've ever been on. Absolutely puts my Sport Glide to shame, even with both of them set up for the same amount of travel, front and rear. Suspension is nice, but nothing, to me, for the $ spent, matches a custom seat with backrests. With real leather. Not so kosher in rain, and high maintenance, but gives the best support to my lower back.
Actually has happened...the Victory Vision is a rolling lazy boy. I've often gotten off after very long rides wondering what the big deal about an iron butt is. The only reason to stop is gas or food.

It's definitely taken some time to warm up to the TC. It handles much better than the Vic, but has less storage and rides much stiffer. The Vic soaks up frost heaves like they don't exist but can wallow in curves. The TC wind management is very good...I thought I would miss having a power windshield but I don't.

The TC advantages over the Vic are fit and finish, transmission refinement, handling and technology.

The disadvantages compared to the Vic are storage, rider comfort, clutch engagement and technology.

I would say the BMW boxer engine and clutch seems much less refined than the Vic Freedom 106, but that mechanical cacophony the boxer produces is actually endearing. It's part of the heritage experience.

I also had a 2012 VW Touareg TDI...it was a fantastic car that I wish I had never parted with!
 
Actually has happened...the Victory Vision is a rolling lazy boy. I've often gotten off after very long rides wondering what the big deal about an iron butt is. The only reason to stop is gas or food.

It's definitely taken some time to warm up to the TC. It handles much better than the Vic, but has less storage and rides much stiffer. The Vic soaks up frost heaves like they don't exist but can wallow in curves. The TC wind management is very good...I thought I would miss having a power windshield but I don't.

The TC advantages over the Vic are fit and finish, transmission refinement, handling and technology.

The disadvantages compared to the Vic are storage, rider comfort, clutch engagement and technology.

I would say the BMW boxer engine and clutch seems much less refined than the Vic Freedom 106, but that mechanical cacophony the boxer produces is actually endearing. It's part of the heritage experience.

I also had a 2012 VW Touareg TDI...it was a fantastic car that I wish I had never parted with!
Whenever I see a Victory Vision, I think of a 1920's era art-deco vehicle style. Decadent with swooping gentle curves, they are certainly hard to miss ;).

victory-vision.jpeg b518000a2412ece959984fd437c46dfe.jpg
The vehicle is a 1938 Hispano Suiza Dubonnet Xenia, picture from https://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/04/08/spirit-tomorrow-gorgeous-cars-art-deco-era-2/ where there are more art deco examples to see.

I am a diehard Beemer/Bimmer fan but I can also appreciate other makes/models for their beauty. I know the R18 TC is a fully-capable touring motorcycle, but that doesn't also mean other bikes aren't as well.

Mike
 
Having ridden my TC just shy of 4,000 miles in ten days with three of those days not riding more than 100 miles combined due to weather I can say that my biggest “complaint” with the touring capabilities of the TC is the shortage of adequate storage. For such a massive bike the side bags and trunk have limited space packing lightly for ten days solo. I tent camp along the way though so keep that in mind. All of my camp gear is lightweight and compact backpacking gear. With speakers in the bag lids and the speakers in the trunk I find myself wishing for more storage. Any other touring “ shortcomings” are more easily “fixed” based in personal preference and body composition. I rode home from Theodore Roosevelt National Park to Gresham Oregon in one sitting in relative comfort with factory handlebars, factory tall seat, and factory windshield. Only comfort addition are the engine guard foot rests and a bag strapped to the passenger seat that came in handy as a backrest. If a TC without speakers in the side bags and the trunk was an option that is what I would have purchased. I am not particular to one brand. I shopped all of the competition and honestly the R18 was the last bike on my list of considerations. It was apparent at first ride, feel and look that BMW craftsmanship was different. Nothing feels cheap. I especially was impressed by the quality of construction on the luggage. Not flimsy at all with robust latches albeit slightly smaller capacity than I’d prefer. For the money it was hands down the best bike for my hard earned dollars. In my opinion.
 
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Having ridden my TC just shy of 4,000 miles in ten days with three of those days not riding more than 100 miles combined due to weather I can say that my biggest “complaint” with the touring capabilities of the TC is the shortage of adequate storage. For such a massive bike the side bags and trunk have limited space packing lightly for ten days solo. I tent camp along the way though so keep that in mind. All of my camp gear is lightweight and compact backpacking gear. With speakers in the bag lids and the speakers in the trunk I find myself wishing for more storage. Any other touring “ shortcomings” are more easily “fixed” based in personal preference and body composition. I rode home from Theodore Roosevelt National Park to Gresham Oregon in one sitting in relative comfort with factory handlebars, factory tall seat, and factory windshield. Only comfort addition are the engine guard foot rests and a bag strapped to the passenger seat that came in handy as a backrest. If a TC without speakers in the side bags and the trunk was an option that what I would have purchased.
Although few and far between, I have seen a few R 18 B's without speakers in the bags. You'd have to add back all the other stuff on a TransContinental to a Bagger to get the space, although I think a stout rack on the back and a sissy bar would allow more storage options with aftermarket waterproof touring bags.
 
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! ;)
This is spot on.

Just a little thing to add.

I own a 22 Bagger but I rented a 23 TC for a long weekend down in Miami, put about 500 miles on the TC and I have just about 4k on the bagger.

I liked the TC so much, I'm turning my bagger into one. Plus side to that, there's a lot more black to the bagger than the TC, which I prefer.

23 does have the Tele services but it's gimmicky because it relies on the connected app. I'm pretty sure TPMS is standard here in the US because its a safety feature.

Good luck!
 
Thank everyone. I ended up taking out a 2023 TC last week for a test drive. It was great. I think it handled better than my Classic and I got it. Due to work and bad weather, today was the first day I’ve been able to take it out for a good ride. I really enjoyed it.

View attachment 11040
Should of read page 2... lol

Nice ride
 
Having ridden my TC just shy of 4,000 miles in ten days with three of those days not riding more than 100 miles combined due to weather I can say that my biggest “complaint” with the touring capabilities of the TC is the shortage of adequate storage. For such a massive bike the side bags and trunk have limited space packing lightly for ten days solo. I tent camp along the way though so keep that in mind. All of my camp gear is lightweight and compact backpacking gear. With speakers in the bag lids and the speakers in the trunk I find myself wishing for more storage. Any other touring “ shortcomings” are more easily “fixed” based in personal preference and body composition. I rode home from Theodore Roosevelt National Park to Gresham Oregon in one sitting in relative comfort with factory handlebars, factory tall seat, and factory windshield. Only comfort addition are the engine guard foot rests and a bag strapped to the passenger seat that came in handy as a backrest. If a TC without speakers in the side bags and the trunk was an option that is what I would have purchased. I am not particular to one brand. I shopped all of the competition and honestly the R18 was the last bike on my list of considerations. It was apparent at first ride, feel and look that BMW craftsmanship was different. Nothing feels cheap. I especially was impressed by the quality of construction on the luggage. Not flimsy at all with robust latches albeit slightly smaller capacity than I’d prefer. For the money it was hands down the best bike for my hard earned dollars. In my opinion.
Concur with you, particularly about luggage capacity taken up by a sound system that, while I appreciate it, I do not need. When I purchased the TC I told the dealer I wish there were an option to delete the speaker system.

I've found external bags work well when solo, but when traveling 2-up we need to be very conservative in our packing.

Of course I'm also spoiled by the pack-mule capabilities of my GS.
 
Concur with you, particularly about luggage capacity taken up by a sound system that, while I appreciate it, I do not need. When I purchased the TC I told the dealer I wish there were an option to delete the speaker system.

I've found external bags work well when solo, but when traveling 2-up we need to be very conservative in our packing.

Of course I'm also spoiled by the pack-mule capabilities of my GS.
You could probably order the case lids w/out the Speaker option and replace the lids; or perhaps, remove the speaker and support bracket and fabricate some sort of filler plate to replace the speaker in order to keep water and what not out?

I imagine water will easily pass through the existing speaker grill.
 
You could probably order the case lids w/out the Speaker option and replace the lids; or perhaps, remove the speaker and support bracket and fabricate some sort of filler plate to replace the speaker in order to keep water and what not out?

I imagine water will easily pass through the existing speaker grill.
I've considered doing this but not yet ready for that particular project. I think the topcase would be the most difficult but I haven't studied it in detail. I do, fortunately, have a wee bit of experience with keeping water out of the people-space.

Perhaps during this winter I'll re-visit it as next summer we're considering a 2-up PA-to-CA round trip.
 
I've considered doing this but not yet ready for that particular project. I think the topcase would be the most difficult but I haven't studied it in detail. I do, fortunately, have a wee bit of experience with keeping water out of the people-space.

Perhaps during this winter I'll re-visit it as next summer we're considering a 2-up PA-to-CA round trip.
You could probably purchase the ROCTANE case lid and or the entire case set; the Model B did have an option which didn't have the rear speakers within the rear cases. Removing the speaker and the mounting bracket is probably the most economical approach.
 
I love my TC. However, there are a couple of things that are somewhat bothersome to me. First, there is no small storage on the bike. No place to put gloves or other small things like you have on competitive models. Additionally, the factory and Option 719 seats did nothing for me. I ended up buying a Corbin and LOVE it. Since the Corbin, I can ride all day long without having butt/back issues at all (I'm 61). Superslabbing at about 80+ mph can be a little bothersome with engineered in vibration. Lastly, dreaded Connected App stability can sometimes be absolutely ridiculous. It works consistently when I don't need it and about half of the time when I do. Maddening! Upgrades have improved it but the problems persist. Stability on this bike is absolutely world class. I often tell people that I can set the cruise at 70 Mph and cross my arms with no problems. I don't recommend it but the bike is stable enough to handle it with no problem.
 

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