BMW R nineT Review

BMW R nineT Review

The very first of the Heritage range that BMW Motorrad introduced in 2014 now spanning 5 models including the new BMW R 18 introduced in 2020. The BMW R nineT is the flagship of the original 1170cc boxer retro range which today consists of it, along with the Scrambler, the Pure and the Urban G/S. 

It previously included the Racer, used in the successful European BoxerCup race series and also for a limited time the R nineT /5 which, still available in some markets such as the USA, was developed for the 50 year anniversary and as an homage to the legendary /5 series from the late 60s and early 70s. 

BMW R nineT MY20

So the original R nineT with its powerful air-cooled, two-cylinder 1170cc boxer engine with 110 hp of output for a highly dynamic power delivery, even at low speeds, is still a favourite. On city or country roads, every journey is a buzz. The standard inclusions of BMW Motorrad ABS and ASC (Automatic Stability Control) give it a modern feel and allow you to enjoy safely bring the unmistakable dynamic riding characteristics to the road. The upside-down forks are compression and rebound adjustable to suit your riding style, a feature not available on the alternate variants.

Comfortable, capable and loads of character, the biggest smiles come from just the right amount of crackle and pop the standard Akrapovic slip-on emits as you come back through the gears using some engine breaking as you line up the next corner before twisting the throttle and feel the full 116 Nm as it winds out to 6,000 rpm. 

BMW R nineT Akrapovic slip-on
Smiles come from just the right amount of crackle and pop the standard Akrapovic slip-on

Great feeling hydraulic clutch the engine is an air / oil cooled flat twin ‘Boxer’ 4-stroke with two camshafts and four radially aligned valves per cylinder and central counterbalanced shaft. The peek 81 kW (110 HP) is achieved just over 7,500 rpm. No assistance required with the claw-shifted six-speed transmission with helical-cut splines with final drive delivered via a cast aluminium single-sided swing-arm with BMW Motorrad Paralever. Rear suspension is a central spring strut with spring pre-load hydraulically and steplessly adjustable via hand-wheel. 

One of the pleasurable parts and appeal of this bike is the simplicity. Apart from the ABS and ASC, there’s little that can be compared to the technically advanced S 1000 RR amongst other BMW models. Planned, this is also why the R nineT is a model of choice for the growing custom community. 

Stock standard it’s a joy to behold, ride and maintain.

That said, every biker is unique. So BMW say… “why not every bike?” BMW Motorrad provides you with numerous of ways to customise whether it’s a factory ordered premium milled parts set or an Original BMW Motorrad accessories. Then there’s a huge array of aftermarket parts and accessories options and/or customisers to help you create your own unique version of this super cool motorcycle. 

Depending on your market, the R nineT comes standard with 2 up seating. Optionally, you can purchase a single seat setup from BMW or there are 3rd party solutions. Either way in less than 10 minutes you can transform the bike into a single seater. See the images below for examples of the standard 805mm seat and optional genuine Aluminium tail hump cover.

There are some we’ll know designers and builders in the market now that have done their own exquisite versions of this bike, some of which we’ll call out here and you can read more about in our Custom BMW Motorcycles section or you can see some inspiration by following our Pinterest feed.

Of the 30 BMW Motorcycle models and multiple variants, this has alway been a personal and crowd favourite. Ride and enjoy it straight out of the box or let your imagination run wild with possibilities; We love the BMW R nineT.

Notable Custom BMW Motorcycles, inspiration and bikes of interest:

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