BMW R nineT – 90 Years in the Making

10/16/2013 @ 5:04 am, by Jensen Beeler38 COMMENTS


Officially official now, BMW Motorrad has taken the wraps off its new BMW R nineT cafe racer motorcycle. Helping the German brand celebrate 90 years of building motorcycles, the nineT is an air-cooled homage to BMW’s rich motorcycling past.

Based around the iconic 1,170cc air-cooled boxer engine that BMW has employed in a number of its best selling machines, the BMW R nineT is good for 108hp and 88 lbs•ft of torque.

With styling said to be based off the legandary BMW R32 from 1923, the nineT has more traditional cafe racer lines, mated to some of BMW’s best technology.

BMW hopes that the production model R nineT will be the basis for more custom builds though, citing the company’s collaboration with Roland Sands for the BMW Concept Ninety project as one such project to use the nineT’s roots for inspiration.

Accordingly, BMW Motorrad has a litany of customization options available as official accessories, not to mention the offerings available from third-parties.

More importantly, the German OEM says that the BMW R nineT was designed with customizers in mind, and has made numerous chassis and design choices to aid in people customizing the nineT to their tastes — a decision that harkens back to the machines original “LoRider” modular motorcycle design concept.

BMW Motorrad Lists the Highlights of the BMW R nineT as the Following:

  • Puristic design.
  • Hand-built feel of the workmanship.
  • Air/oil-cooled twin-cylinder boxer engine with a displacement of 1,170 cc. Output 81 kW (110 hp) at 7,750 rpm, maximum torque 119 Nm (88 lb-ft) at 6,000 rpm.
  • Ideally suited to customisation.
  • Modular frame concept with removable pillion frame and frame end-piece.
  • Classic wheel suspension concept using high-quality upside-down telescopic fork at the front and paralever at the rear.
  • Exhaust system with two silencers on the left-hand side, with variation options.
  • Traditional wire-spoke wheels with black rims and hubs.
  • Radial 4-piston monoblock brake callipers, steel-braided brake lines and floating 320 mm brake discs.
  • Model plate riveted onto steering head in classic BMW Motorrad style.
  • Bespoke range of special accessories made to BMW Motorrad’s customary high standards of quality.













Source: BMW Mottorad


  1. TJ says:

    well, well, well.
    nice to see the conventional forks on a beemer.

  2. pooch says:

    Sweet. I like the high mounted akrapovic version , looks hotter but also get a much better look at the lovely single sided swing arm. Finally a BMW I actually liked the look of.

  3. paulus says:

    it has a ‘monster/Triumph scrambler’ mash up feel to it…. quite nice!

  4. Norm G. says:

    gold anodizing = sore thumb…?

  5. Hugo says:

    Nice bike and specs are good too (I had a R1100S which was heavier and had less HP but was still quick enough for me;) Finally a “Cafe Racer” with modern suspension.
    I never understand why the current retro bikes have to have “old suspension and handling”?
    Cafe racers were the racers of their days (modified for speed and handling, as wiki says;) when transferring that thought/idea to current times it seems a nice combination of classical looks/proportions with modern handling&suspension is the way to go.

  6. Colin Williams says:

    its a guzzi griso clone

  7. JJ says:

    If only it didn’t cost so much to maintain.

    Will the Japanese follow?

    I’ve found the style of my next bike.

  8. smiler says:

    And an engine 90 years old too. Just dropped my bike. Well Sir that will be a new cylinder head and crank case please. One thing Triumph do much better.

  9. Richard Gozinya says:

    That sure is a pretty bike. It’d be interesting to compare it with the R1200R, to really see how telelever compares with a more conventional set up.

  10. MikeG81 says:

    Nice bike.

    Too bad about the stupid name.

  11. Norm G. says:

    re: “If only it didn’t cost so much to maintain.”

    if only you knew from discipline and how to budget your money and save for the things you want/need to pay for.

  12. j.davis says:

    I’m not sure what is the point that BMW is trying to make with this bike, but at least it’s not another R1200C.

  13. Jimboecv says:

    I like it. The R1200R’s are great bikes. When I sold BMW’s I found many fans of the brand walked right past R12R’s for something with more gismos. It’s easy to find one a few years old with low miles, makes a great commuter, a ‘simple’ touring bike or a customization project, ala Monster.

  14. SoCalPhun says:

    Will this be a limited edition bike or permanent (or semi) model in their line-up?

    @JJ- learn to turn a wrench and cost won’t be an issue. I’m a longtime R-series bike owner and I’m far from rich.

  15. K1200Rider says:

    Any news on what the cost of this bike is going to be? I want one!! I hope they dont deny the US of this bike like they did with the K1300R. Also hope it is not a limited run, like the R1200s!

  16. kbasa says:

    WRT to maintenance, BMW boxers are stone simple to maintain. If you have a bit of knowledge, you can do a full tune up in about an hour, including a valve adjustment. Easy peasy. WRT to crashing the jug and cylinder off, in 40 years of riding them, I’ve never heard of that happening, even in some fairly gnarly backroad getoffs at high speed.

    That said, I’m kind of underwhelmed by its appearance and specs. I was hoping for an R12R with the full on HP2 Sport level hp.


  17. Richard Gozinya says:

    K1200Rider, it’s listed on their USA website, so I assume it’ll be available here.

  18. Damo says:

    I actually like it……I am absurdly surprised with myself, but I like it.

  19. coreyvwc says:

    Please stop comparing it to modern naked bikes and/ or a cafe racers.
    This is a roadster, it is a very large motorcycle.
    There is only one other bike it can be compared to, and that’s the Moto Guzzi Griso.

  20. dcz says:

    This r9t bike is really close to being relevant, but they have added all these over-designed silver parts that look like a design from the 1990’s.

    The video tries to be hip, but the new motorcycle does not belong with the image they try to convey by showing old bikes full of patina and personality.

    Does this bike have much personality? Does light a little fire in our hearts? OR is it just a new thing. I think its too fussy, and soft. 50 year old marketing executives will buy it and add it to their stable of authenticity.

  21. dcz says:

    Have these designers ever seen an r32 ?

    “With styling said to be based off the legandary BMW R32 from 1923, the nineT has more traditional cafe racer lines, mated to some of BMW’s best technology.”

  22. paulus says:

    the single seat/removal of the passenger idea looks cool… but it seems that if the akro exhasuts are on, then there is not a passenger option. I look forward to seeing the real deal at Eicma

  23. Motogpdr says:

    Wow,….bmw is now equal to hardly davidson and ducati ” classics”. Offerring outdated air cooled engine, overweight pigs, with spoke wheels. Well the boys in munich must be smart enough to see the profit margin in old school old technology …..must have gone to seminars put on by the boys in Milwaukee….bmw is a joke

  24. Richard Gozinya says:

    Motogpdr, those boxer engines are great for what they’re used for. Lots of torque, wide power band, reliable, good fuel economy, and ample power for the purpose. The people who own GS’s, RT’s, R’s, all seem to absolutely love them. Same with Guzzis, Triumphs and Harleys. Not every bike is designed to be a sportbike, nor should they be.

    And before you get too high and mighty about technology, remember that what’s considered cutting edge on motorcycles is already commonplace in cars. It’s been that way for a long time. Whether disk brakes, EFI, ABS, traction control, active suspensions, or whatever. Motorcycles always get it decades later than cars do. So if tech is so important to you, why ride at all?

  25. Keitih says:

    Where is the new liquid cooled (partially) boxer???

  26. Jay Stevens says:


    You wrote: “Lots of torque, wide power band, reliable, good fuel economy, and ample power for the purpose.”

    Define “reliable”. Does that include figuring out what causes the sort of random final drive and transmission problems that BMW’s seem prone to?

  27. They should have hired Bob Lutz to design it.

  28. JW says:

    I’ve been a motorcycle enthusiast for 45 years and this has been the only BMW design that I ever looked twice at. I love it,

  29. Slangbuster says:

    Would be nice to see it done in the 70’s R90s livery of Pridmore, Fisher and Mclaughlin.

  30. Norm G. says:

    re: “BMW boxers are stone simple to maintain. If you have a bit of knowledge, you can do a full tune up in about an hour, including a valve adjustment. Easy peasy.”

    careful, lest you be a victim of the consumer/human tendency to “oversimplify”.

    that was the OLD pushrod and tappet engines (air head, oil head, hex head). gotta know what you’re looking at. observe the valve covers and right side oil fill. that’s the DOHC. multiply an escalator of 2.5x – 3.5x to put yourself in “real world” should you actually need to adjust something.

    re: “I was hoping for an R12R with the full on HP2 Sport level hp.”

    again, it IS the HP2 engine. what you do with it is up to you.

  31. Norm G. says:

    re: “Any news on what the cost of this bike is going to be?”

    all the money. what’s your bank balance…? provide a routing # and they’ll do a convenient wealth transfer from YOUR bank to Deutsche Bank. mach schnell…!!!

    re: “hope it is not a limited run, like the R1200s!”

    gonna be tough. they’re making 2 different boxers now. that engine and driveline are only shared with one other model… the 12R. that being said, it’s also shared with 100’s of thousands of kit already in circulation…? so in theory it behooves them to at least keep providing support and replacement parts for these bikes same as with the 12, the 11.5, and 11. tying up production resources that could be better spent churning out margin friendly GS’s…? I dunno, is there a business case…?

  32. Aspberg says:

    90 years of motorcycling and THIS is what they come up with???

    hey, let’s take GS wheels and a GS frame, slap the forks off the S1000 on it… add some bling… Oh and we’ll stick a 1200 cc engine in it, but still call it it a 90, and then charge people up the ass for a “special edition” that lets us use up our spare parts.

    This is supposed to be a cafe racer, yet it has bars?

    For shame

  33. Gary says:

    Dear Ducati,




  34. Steve B. says:

    Everybodys a critic. If you dont like it, dont buy one. It does seem odd though, that BMW has climbed aboard the custom bike bandwagon as its leaving town. Probably have to justify all the R&D on the 4 valve Camhead that was replaced after two years production by the Waterhead.

  35. MikeD says:

    Naaah, i would still take a “bland” looking R1200R over this any day of the week.

    Function over form, any day !

  36. flumpies says:

    roland sands had the design right…this thing is atrocious

  37. Norm G. says:

    re: “It does seem odd though, that BMW has climbed aboard the custom bike bandwagon as its leaving town”

    can’t celebrate 90 years at 87 years. well I guess you could.

  38. German Pijuan says:

    Cool, but it would have been better if they just made it to look like the Lo-rider concept…