The nostalgia filled, boxer engine, modern classic..
There’s something special about the R nine T, you can tell just looking at it. You’re instantly transported to your youth, riding round with your mates on bikes that are now called “Classic” and filled with nostalgia from better days..
Although, being 21 years old, there’s nothing nostalgic about BMW’s R nine T for me, you’re still filled with the sense that there’s something different about this one.
Admittedly, I’ve never been drawn to the boxer engine, they seemed big, heavy and impractical, I knew they were reliable, but I never keep a bike for long so it didn’t seem to matter too much to me that they can cover hundreds of thousands of miles with proper care and maintenance
As always, I’m never the one to turn the opportunity of riding a different bike down, so my time with it began.
Sitting on the bike, engine running while being talked through some of the controls, half of me listening, the other half revving the thing like an excited child
The first thing I noticed was the little wiggle, when you give it a rev, the bike does a little wiggle to the left,interesting but intrusive.
Just looking at is, you can tell a lot of time and effort went into the design, it captures the essence of retro styling, but has all of the modern features you want for every day riding
The display is clean and simple, the left hand side displaying the speed in MPH and KPH and the right hand side displaying the revs and gear indicator
The tech on the bike is minimal, keeping to its Heritage roots. The bike only having BMW’s ASC (Automatic Stability Control) and ABS which you can disable if you wanted.
The instrument cluster and display can also consist of;
-Trip 1 & 2 as well as reserve
-Time & Date
-Next service interval
This display is neat and easy to use, with the push of a button on the left hand switch gear to change your selection, helping with the minimalist aesthetics of the bike
Available as an optional extra are BMW’s own heated grips, control for this along the top of the right hand switch gear and the display shown on the right hand screen
The suspension feels firm, but right.
It’s easy to throw around a bend without worrying about a thing thanks to the stability control.
The upside down forks give it a more modern edge with its very impressive handling around every type of bend and corner, where as the single sided swing arm oozes more retro styling to me.
The bike also has plenty of power with a claimed 108BHP and 116nm of torque at only 6,000RPM from BMW. It happily holds, and happily exceeds motorway type speeds with ease, with a plenty of wind hitting you, as you’d expect from this style of bike
The brakes are everything you’ve come to expect from BMW, the radial mounted Brembo calipers paired with 320mm twin discs up front give it more than enough stopping power to bring you back to safety when need be.
They give plenty of feel, helping you continuously improve your braking abilities and inspiring further confidence whether you’re a newcomer to two wheels, or back on the scene after a break for the sunny Sunday ride outs and everyone in between.
The low seat height and comfortable bars were great for me and I didn’t have to hang off the thing to reach the floor! An uncommon occurrence..
The appearance is another thing all together, with there being such a huge range of customisation available as well as different models and options.
The model here in the photos is the R nine T sport, but there are many others available;
-R nine T & Sport
-R nine T Pure & Pure Sport – Even more basic
-R nine T Scrambler & Scrambler Sport – Scrambler appearance
-R nine T Racer & Racer Sport – Cafe Racer styling
-R nine T Urban G/S & Urban G/S Sport – Rugged and capable syling
With further customisation available on each and every model, I don’t think anyone could say there’s not one that suits them
As well as the difference in models, you’ve got options such as 3 different Billit styling packs, you can change the tank and the weave it has, you can change the wheels, colours, add alarms, heated grips, change the exhausts, and all of this can be added and removed before the bike is even built.
There’s also a huge catalogue of aftermarket parts available for them, with Harley Davidson levels of customisations available.
It’s so easy to ride and enjoy, and no where near as bad as expected to maneuver and lean over, it really is something for everyone I think BMW have really nailed it with this modern classic, making it effortless for everyone to enjoy.
Feel free to let me know what you think in the comment box below..