BMW R 18 concept sidecar outfit

Watsonian have built a concept sidecar for the BMW R 18 Classic cruiser, featuring an all-new body shell and many bike-specific details.

Demand for sidecars has remained strong over the past 18 months, particularly from owners of retro and cruiser motorcycles, and Watsonian recognised that the new BMW R 18 Classic would be well suited to sidecar duties.

Its 1800cc boxer twin engine delivers over 150 Nm of torque, providing plenty of pulling power, while its twin 300mm diameter four-piston front brakes ensure there is stopping power on hand too.

Inspired by BMW’s rich heritage, the design team at Watsonian chose a new body shell that has been in development during lockdown, because its lines match those on the bike and its shape is evocative of BMW sports cars of the 1930s.

It sits on a specially-designed platform chassis, with independent suspension, and an R 18 front wheel for balance, both physical and aesthetic. In order to mount the sidecar as close the motorcycle as possible, a section of the nose was removed and a heat shield fitted, to accommodate the large cylinder protruding from the engine block.

Every Watsonian sidecar is built to order in their Cotswold factory, so customers can specify features to suit their own motorcycle. In this case, non-standard items fitted to the sidecar include;

  • Front wheel and mudguard from the R 18 Classic
  • Front and rear indicators from the R 18 Classic
  • Auxiliary LED Headlights from the R 18 Classic fitted below the sidecar’s conical nose
  • Seat upholstered in similar fabric to the R 18 saddle, with BMW badge
  • Hand-beaten aluminium heat shield riveted into sidecar body
  • Hand-painted pinstriping on the nose in the shape of the radiator grilles on 1930s BMW sports cars
  • Hand-painted pinstriping on the rear to match the rear mudguard of the bike
  • BMW roundel and polished aluminium name plate on sidecar body