BMW R18 vs Harley Davidson Fat Boy 114 Anniversary vs Indian Chief Dark Horse: Image Comparison
We compare BMW’s biggest cruiser with two other iconic cruisers
BMW has launched the R18 cruiser globally. It is the largest capacity motorcycle in the German bikemaker's portfolio and marks BMW's return to cruisers after a gap of 16 years. We compare the old-school styled cruiser to two iconic full-size cruisers -- Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114 Anniversary and Indian Chief Dark Horse. Here's a closer look via a series of detailed images.
Note: Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 107 image used for representation
BMW calls the R18 a heritage cruiser. It is inspired by the 1936 BMW R5. The German bikemaker has done well to keep the styling similar to the vintage motorcycle. The result is an old-school motorcycle with modern underpinnings.
The Harley Davidson Fat Boy is another iconic cruiser but with a more recent past, 1990 to be precise. Its iconic stature comes from sci-fi movie Terminator where Arnold is seen piloting one. In its current generation, the Fat Boy carries the same lines as the first-gen model and features the same design elements like solid cast wheels, large fork tubes, large headlamp and stacked chrome exhaust pipes.
The Indian Chief Dark Horse is another motorcycle that pays homage to an iconic motorcycle -- the 1922 Indian Chief. The Dark Horse nomenclature comes courtesy of the all-black colour scheme. The Dark Horse is a long, low slung motorcycle with old school design elements like covered wheels and a single saddle seat.
One of the most striking aspects of the BMW R18's design besides the huge motor has to be the unique fishtail exhausts.
The previous generation Fat Boy was instantly recognisable by its large chrome headlamp. It's the same case with the current model except it gets LED lighting and a lot more chrome.
A signature for all full-size Indian cruisers is the Indian mascot which also lights up in the dark. Like the vintage Indian Chief, the current model too gets full-sized covered mudguards.
The BMW R 18 gets a large single pod analogue instrument console with a digital insert. It shows the speed, odometer and gear position. It gets three ride modes: Rain, Roll and Rock, as well as Automatic Stability Control, Engine Drag Control, Reverse Assist and Hill Start Control.
The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy gets a large circular instrument console mounted atop the fuel tank. It also features an analogue speedometer with a digital inset that shows the tachometer, odometer, trip meter, fuel gauge, distance to empty and even rpm. The fuel cap on the left side is a dummy one. You fill fuel from the filler located on the right side of the fuel tank.
We are not so fond of the Chief Dark Horse's new instrument console layout as the previous one came with a vintage-looking yellow dial. Similar to the Fat Boy, the tank-mounted large circular dial consists of an analogue speedometer with a digital inset that shows the tachometer, odometer, trip meter, gear position, range and real time fuel economy. It gets three ride modes -- Tour, Standard and Sport.
The R18 gets a huge 1802cc Boxer motor, the largest the German bikemaker has ever built. It has 901cc twin cylinders rotating in opposing directions and sending 19.1PS and 158Nm of torque to the rear wheel via a shaft drive. It delivers 150Nm from just 2000rom onwards so there's hefty dose of performance from the get go.
The Fat Boy is available with two motors -- a 1750cc '107' and a 1870cc '114' Milwaukee Eight V-twin motor. The larger 114 delivers a hefty 156Nm of torque that is delivered to a fat 240-section wheel via a chain drive.
The Indian Chief Dark Horse gets an equally humongous air-cooled motor. Its 1811cc Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin motor delivers 151Nm of torque to the rear wheel via a belt drive. The torque output might be lowest in this bunch but remains impressive nevertheless.
The BMW R18's double-cradle frame might look like a hardtail but German engineers have managed to cleverly hide a monoshock underneath the seat. Even the telescopic forks get old-school covers and the result is a solid-looking front end. It features spoked wheels for the retro look but gets modern braking equipment in the form of dual discs upfront and a single rear disc with dual-channel ABS. Like other full-size cruisers, the R18's weight crosses the 300kg barrier, 345kg to be precise.
The Fat Boy gets the revised Softail frame that is lighter and more rigid. Suspension setup comprises telescopic forks and a monoshock. Braking is via a large single front disc and a rear disc with dual-channel ABS. Its kerb weight is 322kg.
The Indian Chief Dark Horse gets conventional telescopic forks but is the only one on this list to get an air-adjustable monoshock. To adjust preload, you use an air-pump included in the tool kit. Braking is via twin disc brakes upfront and a single disc at the back with dual-channel ABS. The Indian Chief Dark Horse weighs 348kg which is on par with the other two motorcycles here.
The BMW R18 is expected to launch in India. When it does, it will take the CBU route and cost around Rs 24 lakh (ex-showroom).
The Harley-Davidson Fat Boy 114 Anniversary is available in India at Rs 20.04 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). It comes to India via the CBU route.
The Indian Chief Dark Horse costs Rs 20.2 lakh (ex-showroom) in India. Like the other two motorcycles here, the Indian too takes the CBU route to get here.