BMW R nineT: The Ultimate Retro?

Oct 23, 2013 View Comments by

BMW R nineT: The Ultimate Retro?NineT, get it? Ok, so the name isn’t the cleverest way to commemorate a 90th anniversary, but the R nineT itself certainly looks to be. In RoadRUNNER’s Sept/Oct ‘13 issue we reported on BMW’s Concept 90 collaboration with Roland Sands, a bike that, while certainly interesting, had limited practicality and zero chance of production. Enter the R nineT. Gone is the bright orange paint and café racer fairing and in their place a truly unique motorcycle that promises to be an exciting roadster.

The heart of the new bimmer is BMW’s venerable 1,170cc air/oil cooled boxer twin producing 110 horsepower and 88 pound feet of torque. (Not going with the new water-cooled version is an interesting choice.) The power flows through a six-speed constant mesh gearbox and shaft drive to the rear wheel. The single-sided aluminum swing arm is suspended from BMW’s paralever, center spring strut and the rear suspension is adjustable for both pre-load and damping. Out front, the more conventional upside-down fork set up is borrowed from the S 1000 RR superbike.

Braking hardware is also very impressive with dual 320mm discs out front squeezed by radial four-piston, monoblock calipers while a single 265mm disc and dual-piston caliper slows the rear wheel. ABS is standard.

The entire package weighs 489 pounds with a full tank of gas. With specs like these, the R nineT should be far and away the best performing classically styled motorcycle on the market. BMW envisions the R nineT as a platform for customization, much like many vintage R-series bikes have become. Just when you thought the “classic styling meets modern performance” thing had been played out, BMW comes out with a bike like this. What do you think? Do they have a winner on their hands?



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