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BMW Unveils the R nineT: The Retro Standard You Have Been Waiting For? (With Video)



If you take a minute, you will realize this is a big deal. After the staid German manufacturer collaborated with Roland Sands recently on a controversial, naked custom, we wondered aloud what this meant. Frankly, we didn’t care for the look of the Roland Sands’ bike, but this production model knocks us out.

The BMW R nineT represents a simple, no frills standard-style motorcycle with plenty of modern performance … yet, it is loaded with heritage, principally derived from the air-cooled Boxer engine. Think about the following contrast.  Honda’s CB1100, which pays homage to numerous air-cooled Hondas of the past, weighs 540 pounds and makes a claimed 86 horsepower and 68 foot/pounds of torque. This new BMW, on the other hand, might be the retro-ripper of your dreams. It is 51 pounds lighter than the Honda, makes 110 hp, and has 88 foot/pounds of torque! All that power and torque at street RPM levels.

A modern six-speed gearbox and shaft drive is combined with some very serious brakes, including dual 320 mm front rotors gripped by four-piston radial calipers. ABS is standard.

BMW is emphasizing the new R nineT as the perfect starting point for customization, and has designed the bike to receive simple bolt-on replacement parts. Several customizers undoubtedly have this bike already, and BMW has several parts in-house which can be bolted to the R nineT, including optional seat units and exhaust, among others. Below is the BMW announcement, a very-well produced video, and full specs. You can also visit the web page set up by BMW.


BMW R nineT. Pure Riding.

Motorcycling has always been a passionate lifestyle. For the past 90 years BMW Motorrad has been ensuring that this remains the same in the future, too. For those who like it pure and original, BMW Motorrad has now developed the perfect machine: the BMW R nineT. A motorcycle featuring purist design and numerous ways of customizing it.

BMW R nineT: Pure Authenticity.

Riding a motorcycle and feeling free. The BMW R nineT combines this feeling with a casually cool look which, in spite of all the details, is unmistakably a member of the BMW family. Further criteria such as ride feel, design and sound lay the foundation for an independent, authentic lifestyle.


BMW R nineT: Pure Customizing

The BMW R nineT is powered by an air/oil-cooled 2-cylinder 4-stroke flat twin engine. The instruments consisting of speedometer and tachometer harken back to historical times and emphasize the essential and minimalist visual appeal of the motorcycle. The BMW R nineT is equipped with an upside down fork at the front and with the BMW Motorrad Paralever at the rear. However, the nineT does not only stand out due to its pure design. The nineT offers great options for individualization. No customizing wish is left unfilled. For example there is the removable rear frame, enough space for 6 inch rims and many other options. Even though the BMW R nineT offers so many modification opportunities it remains a real BMW motorcycle from a technical point of view. Standard-fitted ABS ensures highest-degree safety for the nineT, too.

BMW R nineT. Pure Lifestyle.

Pure passion, pure design, pure riding pleasure. This is what makes the BMW R nineT so essential for the classic enthusiast. Modify, ride, have fun. The nineT leaves nothing to be desired with regard to customization. Design your motorcycle, design your life. One name, one purist lifestyle:
BMW R nineT.

Type Air/oil-cooled flat twin (‘Boxer’) 4-stroke engine, two camshafts and four radially aligned valves per cylinder, central balancer shaft
Bore x stroke 101 mm x 73 mm
Capacity 1,170 ccm
Rated output 81 kW (110 hp) at 7,550 rpm
Max. torque 88 lb/ft (119 Nm) at 6,000 rpm
Compression ratio 12.0 : 1
Mixture control / engine management Electronic intake pipe injection
Emission control Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-3
Performance / fuel consumption
Maximum speed over 125 mph
Fuel consumption per 100 km at constant 90 km/h 52 mpg at a constant 56 mph (4.5 l)
Fuel consumption per 100 km at constant 120 km/h
Fuel type Premium Unleaded
Electrical system
Alternator three-phase alternator 600 W
Battery 12 V / 14 Ah, maintenance-free
Power transmission
Clutch Single dry plate clutch, hydraulically operated
Gearbox Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox with helical gear teeth
Drive Shaft drive
Chassis / brakes
Frame four-section frame consisting of one front and three rear sections, load-bearing engine-gearbox unit, removable pillion frame for single ride use
Front wheel location / suspension Upside-Down telescopic fork with 46 mm diameter
Rear wheel location / suspension Cast aluminium single-sided swing arm with BMW Motorrad Paralever; central spring strut, spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable (continuously variable) at handwheel, rebound damping adjustable
Suspension travel front / rear 4.7 inches / 4.7 inches (120 mm / 120 mm)
Wheelbase 58.1 inches (1,476 mm)
Castor 4.04 inches (102.5 mm)
Steering head angle 64,5 °
Wheels Spoke wheels
Rim, front 3.50 x 17″
Rim, rear 5.50 x 17″
Tyres, front 120/70 ZR 17
Tyres, rear 180/55 ZR 17
Brake, front Dual disc brake, floating brake discs, diameter 320 mm, four-piston radial calipers
Brake, rear Single disc brake, diameter 265 mm, double-piston floating caliper
ABS BMW Motorrad ABS
Dimensions / weights
Length 87.4 inches (2,220 mm)
Width (incl. mirrors) 35.0 inches (890 mm)
Height (excl. mirrors) 59.8 inches (1,265 mm)
Seat height, unladen weight 30.9 inches Standard
Inner leg curve, unladen weight 69.3 inches Standard
Unladen weight, road ready, fully fuelled 1) 489 lbs (222 kg)
Dry weight
Permitted total weight 948 lbs (430 kg)
Payload (with standard equipment) 459 lbs (208 kg)
Usable tank volume 4.8 gal (18 liters)
Reserve approx. 0.8 gal
  • Technical data relate to the unladen weight (DIN)
  • 1) According to guideline 93/93/EWG with all fluids, fuelled with at least 90% of usable tank volume







  1. Charles says:

    BMW seem to be desperate to cash in on the retro/custom factor for which they now realise (albeit quite late) is a whorthy market to appeal to. This is a well thought out concept by bmw. Build a bike which will have the custom/retro factor with bolt on parts, both supplied by bmw directly & (I bet bmw hope that) other custom parts companies too – something I would imagine BMW would be happy with (for added ‘street cred’). A bike that therefore provides for the average punter, one to make them feel like they are in with the hip custom bike/cafe racer crowd, despite the bike being mostly factory, with a few distinguishing optional pieces. The process of allowing the owner to modify the bike to his/her own liking (and easily) encourages the rider to become emotionally invested with the bike, rather than it being purely a machine as such to go riding on. It encourages the enjoyment of riding blended with the pleasure of asthetic bike pleasure and satisfaction.

    Aesthetically though it is not that far removed from a Moto Guzzi (modern version), representing a big, heavy, rock solid, seemingly beast-like hulk of a bike, that likely oozes with plenty of torque and low down pulling power. It has a certain ample post-apocalyptical styling elements too which has a certain attraction, but Ibelieve that niche is best served by motorcycles that are at least somewhat off-road capable. While it is a step BMW had to take to have some attempt at a now significant portion of customers swaying to retro-influenced bikes, it falls short for me personally as it still seems too bulky, heavy and not stripped back enough to the essence of a race bike or even custom for that matter. I’ll admit that I’m significantly biased however, in that I am an owner of older bikes and that I carry an unhealthy obsession with british racing bikes more than anything else.

    Will the bmw give the board executives the new market sales figures they are longing for – such as those of triumph’s parallel twins? Not likely to be honest. The triumphs have a much more direct link with their heritage, both aesthetically and mechanically and are more of a ‘classic that happens to be modern’ rather than something that is ‘modern attempting to be classic’.

    The marketing is sleek, up to date and is a very solid attempt to play with the heart strings of the neo easy rider appeal & essence, but it’s not enough for me personally. p.s. what was wrong with the Roland Sands concept, that would at least sell much better & was way more exciting. Just my 2c!

  2. Thomas says:

    This is BMW’s interpretation/answer to the long standing Moto Guzzi Griso
    Guy’s check the spec. sheets numbers — almost idendical !

    But the Griso rules in my opinion. By look and authenticity.


  3. todd says:

    I’m waiting for the next James Bond movie with this in it sounding like an inline-four.

  4. Stuki Moi says:

    Like all boxers, those protruding cylinders mandate a seating position too far back. You’re basically riding on the rear axle.

    Then, there’s the albatross like handlebar, which is even more pointless on a bike with thins much torso lean, than it is on the GS.

    Combine the two, and you’re basically riding around looking like someone halfway between playing airplane and performing wide grip pushups, while collecting upper back aches between the shoulder blades stretching your outside arm in a vain effort to get it to where it needs to be for a full lock turn.

    Not having ridden the thing, I probably should shut up, but I spent enough painful time on an ergonomically seemingly mid 00s Rockster, to have some pretty strong suspicions about how this one will turn out.

    The R1100/R1200 S models, by leaning and draping the rider’s upper body over the big boxer engine, and being equipped with handlebars whose width were not measured in meters, were genuinely comfortable ergonomically; while the tourers manage to achieve comfort by trading in their handlebars for tillers; but this in between layout is simply the worst of all worlds.

    At least according to this subjective, opinionated old fart.

  5. Monstrosity says:

    I’ve owned two R1200R’s. One I purchased in 2010, and currently a R1200R “90 Jahre” which I purchased after a very short stint on a K1300S (hated that bike – always broke down). I love the R. That being said, before anyone talks smack about the CB1100, they should first ride one. It is an awesome bike. Canididly, it feels lighter than the R. As far as the RNineT, I’m probably going to purchase it. I use to have a Ducati Sport Classic GT, which I loved, but gave up because of that damn gas tank issue. The RNineT looks like it has similar ergonomics to the Duc SC, but with a high gloss aluminum tank. True, the R1200R is more practical than the RNineT, but sometimes you just want something a little more sporty.

  6. Cowpieapex says:

    I think BMW may have sussed the zeitgeist. I see more custom one off Beemers all the time. Those old airheads always did have that elemental mechanical soul which distinguishes the legendary machines of my youth.It may be time to resurrect that old 72 LWB 750 at the back of the barn.
    Now, will the bolt-on posers break rank and go for the teutonic alternative?
    BTW to my eye there’s a little Confederate Hellcat in that underseat trim on the nineT.

  7. John says:

    I like this bike. I can see me buying one to ride awhile and then customize. LTW and low for around town runs. A good companion to my K1200RS. I will be interested to see the sticker price.

  8. Boris says:

    It looks a little lumpy. I wouldn’t really call it “retro” (a term that really just denotes a normal-looking or standard motorcycle)… there’s still too much exoskeleton. However, it is less insect-looking than most modern sportbikes.

    When is the stupid “naked bike” fad going to be over??

  9. ABQ says:

    retro? If I want retro I will just keep my 2000 R1150. If you want retro, get a used one cheap.

    • Montana says:

      If you want a genuine, reliable retro, get an airhead.
      If you need an unpretentious, state-of-the-art standard, get a Yamaha FZ-09.
      But if you must impersonate a hairy, tire-smoking, tattoed bad-ass, you need a Harley.
      The R9T won’t score any more points in Sturgis than a metric cruiser.

  10. Ryan says:

    I’ve watched and watched this video over and over and am totally perplexed by the bike and what’s going on. Straight off this is just my humble opinion, not jealousy or envy, the guys at El Solitario etc, Roland Sands deserve everything they have they have worked so hard for their reputations and recognition ! But why do I find myself liking the bikes they turned up on far more than the new Beemer ? Isn’t a café racer something you build yourself, a bike you know intimately because you’ve fixed it time and again, added parts to it etc etc. I know not everyone can turn a spanner to a bike but then not everyone can afford what no doubt BMW will be asking for the R90ninety t or whatever it’s called. It looked so out of place with all the beat up Davida helmets and old Belstaff gear. Well done to all the guys in the video for being chosen to collaborate but I would have thought it was completely against what most of them thought about custom bikes and what they are about. Sorry for the rant but I think I’ll let the new Beemer pass me by !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Provologna says:

    First and current thinking is this is the most desirable all-street bike I’ve come across. Owned about 75 bikes.

    Man, if my ship comes in I know what street bike will be parked in this garage.

    Wonder how difficult will it be to fit my Rifle Superbike Fairing (NOS, never mounted, still original gray primer).

    Six speed liquid cooled R1200R, with looks to kill….damn! Earlier thought the Evo Cafe Bikes were better, but wrong, this is the real deal right here men! Step up and ride your dream Beemer.

    The name sucks, but I’ll adapt.

    How depressing that Honda’s CB1100 is such a turd vs. this bike.

    • VLJ says:

      Just curious, but what is it about this bike that you find so compelling compared to, say, the R1200R Classic, which is essentially the exact same bike other than for the Telelever front end, the centerstand, proper passenger accommodations, and the option for BMW’s hard luggage.

      Mechanically, the two bikes are nearly identical. The R nineT’s radial brakes and conventional forks are the only real changes. Aesthetically, they still don’t differ all that much. Different forks/exhaust can/seat/tail light…that’s about it. We’re hardly talking a night and day difference here.

      • 70's Kid says:

        The guy has owned 75 bikes. It’s a flavor-of-the-day kind of thing.

      • mickey says:

        IMO the R 1200R looks a lot better than this bike, and like VLJ says you can put bags on it and a passenger. There is no performance advantage to the Nine T. Maybe Im too old to understand since I haven’t had a pony tail in 40 years and am not all tatted up.

        BTW I love my turd CB 1100

        • VLJ says:

          Fwiw, to this day I have yet to read a single negative review of the CB1100. Oh, sure, I’ve read online comments from people who rip the bike for being slow and heavy, but those comments are never from actual CB1100 owners or full-time reviewers.

          Point being, the CB1100 may have hit its target better than just about any Japanese offering in recent memory, with the FZ-09 being the only other bike in the running.

          Allowing for what the bike is intended to be, here are the only two changes I would make to the CB1100: 1. Five-gallon gas tank. That bike is too comfortable for the 160-mile limit imposed by its 3.9-gallon tank. 2. Six-speed tranny. The one consistent criticism I have read is that the bike is a bit too buzzy at highway speeds, which, with its otherwise high comfort factor, begs for the simple fix of a sixth gear overdrive.

          • paul says:

            The CB1100 has way more appeal to me… but that is just my opinion. A simple and handsome design, timeless really.

        • Doug Miller says:

          Honda is showing it’s Super Bol D Or in a few weeks. It is a 1300 with fairing similar to the Bandit 1200. Has a red/white/blue paint job. Heck of a nice looking retro.

      • Jo says:

        Completely agree with VLJ… and with Mickey: I wanted to see the new version of the R1200R (namely now the ” NineT” before I purchase one of them. Point is, there aren’t radical differences in the look and in the principle, and although the NineT is marketed as a “customizable” bike, it is less versatile than the R1200R (the NineT is inferior in terms of rider and passenger seat, and in terms of luggage options).
        The R1200R Classic looks just as “retro” (and just as good), and it is more polyvalent.
        Plus I really can’t identify myself to the old hairy-rocker-cafe-racer kind of style from the NineT’s commercial video.
        For me the choice won’t be as hard as I thought.

    • Doc says:

      And you base the turd comment on what?

      • Provologna says:

        The CB1100 and this BMW are both 4v air/oil cooled. BMW is +10% displacement.

        How does Honda justify having two more cylinders and so much less power and torque? From an engineering point of view, that’s a turd right there. Honda engineering? Sheesh!

        Also: Honda +50 lbs greater weight, and a chain final drive instead of the BMW’s shaft? How does that add up?

        I looked at the R1200R. How anyone can think that is not a styling nightmare vs. this bike is beyond me.

        BTW, I put over 100k miles on several of my bikes, and many tens of thousands of miles on others. I loved my 00 R1150GS. For several years I practically never drove the cage unless the wife was with me or I had to pick something up that didn’t fit on the bike. I rode to work in storms so bad the wind and rain pushed my bike one full lane over at the north tower on the GG Bridge. I’ve ridden in snow drifts 20′ feet high from Reno to Sacramento.

        Once I was on my bike and had to transport a couple new high end audio components to my home 50 miles away. A friend of mine taped them with a tape gun to my chest and back. What a site that must have been.

        On one Marin County road I got to know well, a very fast club racer crashed hard trying to keep up with me on a bike with 30% less power and 100 lbs heavier.

        I have a lot of fun on my mountain bicycle now. But if I was to buy another large street bike, this NineT is it.

        • 70's Kid says:

          I don’t often exaggerate, but when I do, I exaggerate on Motorcycle Daily. Stay modest my friends.

          • Provologna says:

            Re. the snow drift. Drove with my wife in the cage from Sonoma County to Reno to buy a used R75RT. Yeah, it was late fall, but I’m dumb and how many times have I actually seen snow?

            We drive up and the weather is fine. I get the bike. Now it’s late so we spend the night at some hotel. Sleep like a baby. I open up the hotel door and stare in utter disbelief at the weather, wind blowing the trees, temperature 35 degrees colder than the day before.

            I-80 was barely open the snow was so thick. Wife followed me the whole way with flashers on praying I would not crash. I remember one stop where I drank hot chocolate in the car with the heater on full blast. Her face was white she was so terrified. If I parked the bike I would have lost it in the snow. It was get home to the garage or crash, no other choice.

            Did I mention the rear tire was bald?

            IMO my likelihood of crashing would have risen exponentially on any other brand of bike other than the roundel.

            I know some tell nightmares about BMW service issues. If I didn’t own 75 bikes it was fairly close. I stopped counting around 45 and owned many more. Except for possibly my 83 Vision 550R with full fairing and leg vents (hot engine air or cool outside air) my favorite was the R1150GS. The R75RT was nice too but the rear main seal leak wasn’t.

        • VLJ says:

          A styling nightmare? They’re practically the same design. The differences are almost insignificant. Mechanically, those few differences basically are insignificant. In terms of function, the R1200R is clearly superior.

        • mickey says:

          So to sum it up, the beemer with + 10 % displacement, weighing 50 pounds less, and costing half again as much as the CB, will run (according to BMW) a whopping 13 mph faster on top end than the electronically strangled CB 1100? And I’d bet the CB turns a faster 1/4 mile even if it is strangled.

          Which one is the turd again?

          • Provologna says:

            I sat on the CB1100 at the local dealer. The top heavy feel with gas sloshing back and forth in the tank was extremely distasteful. The CB’s high CG made it feel heavier than my R1150GS even though the former is about 45 lbs lighter.

            I’m curious which bike does a quicker 1/4m. I have no doubt which bike “feels” like it has more street performance (the roundel).

            Roundel price is currently unknown and unknowable. Value is always 100% subjective. Something you can’t afford has no “value” regardless its performance.

            To me, the CB1100 has some “prettiness” in a good way. Cosmetic wise this new BMW screams big, bad, German testosterone, a good thing in my book! This bike has cosmetic effect missing from H-Ds XR1200.

          • mickey says:

            Lol ok my friend, I get it, BMW is the best and can do no wrong…but please don’t make assumptions as to what I can afford. I am retired, don’t owe a penny to anyone, have 4 motorcycles in the garage all paid for, 2 newer cars and a truck, all paid for, and a wife that says if you want it, go get it. I paid more to ride in Europe for nine days than what this new BMW costs ( btw I rented a BMW R1200R..nice bike), and I take 3 or 4 motorcycle trips a year.

            I buy what I like and if I had liked the BMW better than the CB 1100 I would have bought one.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            The CB1100 doesn’t have a chance of turning a faster quarter mile. Sorry, but I had to say it. The BMW is going to get there sooner by a half second at least and be carrying an addition 10mph or so.

          • VLJ says:

            The R1200R’s top speed isn’t all that much, but it will run away from the CB1100 almost anywhere on the tach, and certainly from 4,000 rpm on up. Besides having twenty more hp and a lot lower wet weight (even with shaft drive and a much larger fuel tank), it also has a lot more torque.

            1/4 mile, terminal velocity, top speed, roll-ons, you name it, the BMW easily covers the Honda.

            And you know what? Who cares? Those types of criteria are not what the CB1100 is all about. The BMW is a sporting standard that’s designed to accelerate, brake and corner at a fairly high level. The Honda is not. It’s a traditional UJM that’s designed to offer a comfortable ride with sufficient performance, highlighted by gorgeous classic styling.

            The two bikes are clearly not aiming for the same target.

            That being said, I doubt there is a soul on earth, including any and all CB1100 owners, who would complain if their steed sported twenty more hp, fifteen more lbs of torque, and fifty fewer pounds. These things would simply expand the enjoyment envelope, increasing the CB’s market.

          • mickey says:

            Yea I was talking crazy there about the CB outrunning the 1200R but The point is the CB 1200 is not the turd my Beemer loving friend thinks it is. He should try riding one and then give his opinion. Whereas he just like to throw out slurs, I have actually spent a week and a half riding the one, and bought the other. Happy as a clam I am.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            The CB1100 is a fantastic bike for what it is. However, there is a faction (myself included) that had a rowdier image for what we were hoping the bike would be – a minimalist bike more akin to an updated Bandit 1200 than a 4-cylinder cruiser. We didn’t get it, and some of us took it a little too personally for sure. This BMW offers what many of us were hoping the CB would be.

            Now Provologna: Tell Mickey you are sorry for calling his bike a “turd” and let’s put this thread to bed. 🙂

          • mickey says:

            Lol..thank you Jeremy

          • VLJ says:

            But this is such a fun thread! Why would we want to put it to bed?


  12. cptai says:

    Looks like a Guzzi Griso 🙂

  13. paul246 says:

    That video was…. corny…. really, really corny.

  14. Doug Miller says:

    One observation. I couldn’t help but notice that, once again, BMW continued it’s pattern of asymmetrical design by placing a shroud on the right lower side of the tank that doesn’t exist on the left. I wondered what could be so hideous that it need be concealed. Upon closer inspection it appears to cover a round mouthed air intake for the airbox. A functional air scoop. The shroud could easily be painted black to mute some the “girth” that previous commenters have noted. I’m fine with it. Wheels appear to be tube type. Does anyone know if they are or not?

  15. Wendy says:

    No saddlebags, can’t be a BMW. 😀

  16. Doug Miller says:

    The ONLY thing I don’t like about this bike is the name. R Nine T. What does that even mean!? I get the inference but…it’s not a nine. T makes no sense. How about R1170SC (strassen cafe) I love this bike and know that it is desirable, otherwise Moto Guzzi would not have copied it…several years before it came out! I have been looking for a bike to put an S type 1/4 fairing on. Thought it would be my 904 Triumph. Now I’m thinking maybe a Nine T. Wow that’s a funky name.

  17. Motorhead says:

    Love the front view! But a lot of “daylight” through the side view would be nice, like the Vincent Black Shadow. This shows a solid wall of impermeable engine and housings. Not happy. It’s a personal problem. But the specs are awesome!

  18. xlayn says:

    People at Honda are sincerely flattered by everybody mentioning them, by letting them know, that the CB1100 is present in all of your minds…
    but for the correct price on the BM I guess that can be made a hard to remember thing…

  19. Blackcayman says:

    Its got some great Modern-Retro Fusion design going on… While going through the typical imagining me owning it routine – I remember the Moto Guzzi Griso.

  20. stinkywheels says:

    Great bike, great video (without frantic soundtrack), decent sized tank capacity, no telever. Biggest question, price? Maybe I won’t hack up my R100CS.

  21. dino says:

    Motor… Check!
    Wheels… Check!
    Seat… Check!
    Just enough other “bits” to make a modern ‘retro’ bike… Check!

    All those other ‘bits’ help this modern rig make good power to weight, but does make it look more modern (Guzzi Griso, like someone mentioned), and eliminates the open space between the tank and engine… But I think it works.

    If you want true retro, buy a new CB1000, a Ural, or just restore an old bike for real retro. For retro feel with modern advantages… Here you go!

  22. Ziggy says:

    Sexy? Maybe.

    The chunky lines and shiny accents remind me of the broads I used to wheel out of the bar at 2 am, back in the 90s.

    A surprisingly fun and comfortable ride no doubt – retro, for sure.

  23. Don Cox says:

    My first road bike was a 1987 R80. It was black with red & white pin stripes on the tank. I added a color matched S fairing, steel braided brake lines and a Lufmiester muffler – It was true love. It is astonishing to me to see how far the culture has shifted at BMW Motorad since then. “Hip” was not even on their radar in 1987. Much later, in 1997, they tried to imitate it with the R1200c, and now they truly are hip. Holy Cow!

  24. Mr.Mike says:

    This is nice but it seems to carry a lot of visual weight that I’d rather not see on this sort of bike. For example, if you google “bmw cafe racer” you’ll see a lot of similarly styled bikes that have a cleaner, lighter look. Some light shining in between the tank and the engine, if possible, would help.

  25. Gronde says:

    Post-war, neo-classical, modern-retro Hipster? Did I leave anything out?

  26. Joel says:

    Come to daddy, you hunka burning moto-lust! We will make beautiful memories together, you and I. The CB1100 is a dog; you’re the bomb. Say you’ll be mine.

    • stinkywheels says:


    • Provologna says:

      AMEN, and AMEN!

      Oh, my…(after the tires side walls are scruffed, the tires fully warmed)…the exhilaration of the first fast, smooth, on-camber freeway on-ramp…ripping up to 90 mph, then slowing down so cages behind you can pass, watching the heads twist in the cages as they pass by, wanting a longer view of your bike, caged riders filled with envy and lust for your ride…

  27. Agent55 says:

    FiNALLY we get to see this bike! While it’s maybe a tad busy in some of the details I’m overall really impressed with it, well done BMW!

  28. harry haller says:

    Totally looks like moto guzzi griso!

  29. hipsabad says:

    is that a little steering damper i think i’m seeing? What, BMW can’t engineer away the wobble without a damper? How charmingly retro!

  30. hipsabad says:

    that video has the power to make me want to park things permanently after 4 decades riding.

  31. skybullet says:

    The clean functional look is a giant leap in the right direction. OK, it would have been MUCH better if they made it lighter with better suspension (I’m OK with the engine)but the bean counters figured this was the best/cheapest way to go. I have owned a bunch of BMW’s over the years and they just keep getting uglier. This is a good trend, I hope it succeeds.

  32. Randy says:

    I’ve owned three airheads, kind of wished I’d kept the 73 R/75/5 OWB… Owned 2 oil heads. Basically, never again.

    Even if I thought this bike looked good and didn’t kind of resent BMW in general, that suspension travel! On older BMW models the travel was on the long side and I thought that worked well on rough mountain roads. This one looks to be a chops buster.

    • Provologna says:

      Owned about 75 bikes. Unquestionably my (?) R90/6 was the most comfortable suspension, not by a small margin.

      • Randy says:

        Oops – I meant LWB.

        Those old /5’s and /6’s weren’t bad handling either, if you were a smooth rider. I was very pleasantly surprised at my first ride in the mountains on the /5.

        Last year I had to have a three level cervical fusion, so I’m a LOT more interested in having a plush suspension.

  33. Austin ZZR 1200 says:

    Shouldn’t a retro standard take regular gas? Which reminds me..did motorcycles used to take leaded gas in the days when that was the norm? Just curious.

    • Tom R says:

      If one cannot afford premium fuel, he cannot afford a motorcycle. Jeez, tires only last about one-sixth as long as those on cars.

      You don’t buy a motorcycle to save money.

    • Tim says:

      Tom, I own a BMW K1600 GTL and a couple of BMW cars, and can afford it. I have to admit, it still chaps my a$$ that I have to put higher grade gas in them. It’s the principle of the thing. I do buy the higher octane stuff, and I refuse to use gas with ethanol, but I’ll never like having to buy the higher octane stuff.

  34. Gary says:

    It needs a beak. Only a small one. A nub. Or a beakette.

  35. Tom R says:

    This looks a lot like the R1200 “Super Moto” bike that BMW made in limited numbers a couple of years back. The forks look nearly identical.

  36. Martin B says:

    I think this is aimed at those reminiscing over the 1974 R90/6, which was compared to the Kawa 900 in the day, and found to be better in the corners and with similar overtaking oomph (if not down changing).

    I only once rode a flat twin, and found it unrefined compared to my usual Jap fare, around town, but once on the open road it became a joy. It was silk smooth, had great balance and easy handling, with none of the top heavy feel of a Honda four. The stiff throttle and clutch were downsides, but I felt the potential was there for a proper redesign to get it right.

    This may be that redesign.

  37. BOSCOE says:

    Looks like it was stolen from the Ducati Diavel playbook. It’s like Elizabeth Taylor during her fat phase – you know there’s something special under the bloat. but why bother.

  38. MG3 says:

    That my friends, is a motorcycle. Pure, simple and beautiful. If they could make one like that for 10K$ I would definitely buy it. Who has the money for this anymore?

    • Ken says:

      So, if they built it in China with low-quality components for $10,000, you’d buy?
      Oh, right, then it should be $5,000 (but must be 50 pounds lighter, and with another 30hp, of course).
      Who has the money? The people who buy BMWs (their sales are not exactly faltering).

      • Dave says:

        Pondering sales leaders in the US motorcycle market is kind of like touting viewership ratings of obscure sports. The entire new motorcycle market in the US was ~452k units last year (up 2.6%). Total automotive sales in the US was 14.5 million last year.

  39. xootrx says:

    It’s all a matter of taste, once again, but I like the looks of the bike. If I were in the market for a new bike, I’d take a real close look at this one. However, I agree that it’s not my idea of retro. Most of the comments I read indicate that preferred retro BMWs are more along the lines of the R90S. Not so with me. I’m more inclined to want something pre-1970s style, like the R69.

    But I like this thing. Not much to do with it but slap on a windshield. I have all the soft luggage I need to make it travel worthy. The only exception being if those wheels are not tubeless, then forget the whole thing.

  40. richard says:

    like the bike…hate the tank..couldve done a better job to look more retro…toaster tank would look better

  41. Norm G. says:

    needs clip-ons. ohhh… and more cowbell.

  42. Cage free says:

    I read that BMW did lots of testing in Italy for this bike.. Id bet somewhere close to Mandello del Lario seeing how much it looks like my 12 Griso..

  43. Vrooom says:

    But how many Honda 1100s could you buy for one of these? At least 2, probably more.

  44. Ed Chambers says:

    Best looking beemer yet.I would have loved to see the toaster tank make a come back but still worlds better looking than anything else in their line up.

  45. Fred says:

    Wow, I’m not nearly hipster enough for the video or the bike. First bike was a used R75 /5. Would love to have something that looked like that again with a bit of modeern performance. Can’t blame BMW, they are trying to make money and many times where the market is isn’t where our personal preferences are.

  46. Jay says:

    It needs a front fender beak to round out the “Looks only a Mother Could Love” theme.

    Really. BMW should have taken a queue from it’s old 90S, like it was supposed to do.

    • goose says:

      Sadly, I think they did take their queues from the R90S. They just did a horrible job of bringing the bike into the new age.

      As several people have said, a bike that looks like an R90S but works like a modern bike would be fantastic. This ain’t that bike, it might work well but it fails the looks side of the task.

      BMW has had a number of hits lately, I guess this bike shows you can’t win ’em all.


  47. David Duarte says:

    I like it! I like the overall look, although I’d prefer a bigger headlight. I wish BMW would make a smaller, lighter version, something like the Guzzi V7, a modern version of the R75 that still looks retro. That would rock!

  48. grumpy8521 says:

    Looks good, like the tail section. I think, though, for the money I’ll just stick with my ZRX1200. Same performance as the new Beemer, 1/2 the cost. That’s just me.

  49. MGNorge says:

    To my eye I don’t see so much retro as I see BMW funk. BMW has always rolled their own when it comes to styling and this looks like a custom shop had its way. Looks are looks though, how it fits and feels would be paramount. Lastly, any enthusiasm for it may be tempered with its price.

  50. takehikes says:

    I like it but like so many of these I still dont get the huge space under the rear fender not to mention the always awkward looking license plate appendage…..nice try but I know the price will not justify it…CB1100 here I come.

  51. mk says:

    Well since no one has said it, let me say that BMW is pulling a HARLEY with this parts bin special.

    There I said it

  52. riderart says:

    If that video is the essence of BMW…… I am selling mine.

  53. Jon-Lars says:

    I see… they found a bunch of gawd-ugly old poseur Airheads with which to surround the new model, in order to prettify it in comparison.


  54. Norm G. says:

    right then, just need to lay my hands on a steib, an earles front end, and a set of dunstalls and i’m all set.

    PS: leave the rear seat cowl attached. without looks like so much docked Rottweiler.

  55. Lenz says:

    BMW has had a good look at the Guzzi Griso before committing to this bike but it looks a little bulky compared to the Griso.

    It’s not a standout performance machine but the uncluttered, back to basics approach suggests this bike has the potential to become a real benchmark model with wide usage particularly if the price is kept down.

    I like this latest offering from BMW – I’m a fan of simple elegance in design

    • hipsabad says:

      the Griso looks fine in the right photos but once in the saddle they look just as bulky what with their useless tank flangey decor

  56. Francois says:

    Best looking Roadster since the short revamp they did to the R in the nineties, I think it was, just before the 1150R came out, very similair looking.

  57. clasqm says:

    It’s a standard It’s a nice standard. Should be a blast to ride. But is it a retro?

    The point of a retro is that it references a bike from the past. The Triumph Bonneville references, well, the old Triumph Bonneville. The Guzzi V7 references the old guzzis. The Honda CB1100 is a bit more complex: its design language was taken from various CB models of the past. But you get the idea.

    But the only “retro” touch on this bike is that they’ve gone back to conventional front forks and analogue clocks. And then it stops. Does the bulbous tank remind anyone of the slim one on a R90? What classic BMW model came with a 2-into-2 exhaust exiting on the left? The rear end, with that vast gap between tyre and fender, spells “post-1990 sportbike”.

    Here’s a BMW retro done right:

    I’m not saying it’s a bad bike. If it floats your boat, buy it. But I just can’t see it as a retro.

    • Ken says:

      “But is it retro?”
      As a Bonneville owner, I couldn’t care less about “retro.” Personally, I wish the word was never coined (for “commoners” to throw around, as if they were art critics). Like my Bonnie, this is an honest machine that conforms to what I value – what someone else here described as “simple elegance.” And it looks like fun.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I also agree that it doesn’t scream “retro”. It just comes of as a functional, minimalist bike. Frankly, that is why I like all retro bikes and, like Ken, could care less whether or not the bike falls into the “retro” category. I too wish that stupid word would find its way out of common use.

      • Tom R says:

        That word and “fugly” (though I don’t think it has been is so far for this particular bike yet).

    • 70's Kid says:

      “Retro” is not the world that comes to my mind when it comes to this bike.

      “Steampunk” seems much more fitting to me, although in a good sense.

  58. VLJ says:

    Well, seeing as how I’ve had the R1100R and the current R1200R, I’m about as much of the target market for this thing as anyone could be. I’m guessing they want guys like me to go crazy for this new retro version.

    Okay, my initial impressions…

    -Overall, I like the look. It’s gawdawful with the rear seat removed, but otherwise it’s sort of Guzzi-cool. Love the BMW logo included in the headlight. Nice touch. The basic, non-Telelever forks with the radial-mounted brakes and spoke wheels look the part. The fact that those upside-down forks are non-adjustable on a $15K bike with sporting pretensions, however, is inexcusable. Not a fan of the enormous, slab-sided knee cutouts on the tank, either. I think it would look better if they hadn’t given it that contrasting silver color. Just leave it the same color as the rest of the tank, and add some retro-styled knee pads, a la the Triumph Bonneville.

    -Specs-wise, I’m a bit underwhelmed. It’s essentially identical to the current R1200C, with the only differences being a very slightly shorter wheelbase (4/5ths of an inch) and about ten fewer pounds, but then it also doesn’t offer the R1200C’s (or R’s) centerstand, which accounts for much of those missing ten lbs right there.

    The thing is, with the more powerful, partially water-cooled iteration having already debuted on the GS, it’s only a matter of time before it also shows up on the Roadster and RT. I think I’d want to wait for that motor. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like the current air-cooled 1200cc boxer isn’t already plenty powerful enough for use in a naked bike, but who wouldn’t rather have the smoother, snarlier, more powerful water pumper?

    The other thing I see (or don’t see, rather) with this new retro version is any provision for BMW’s excellent hard bags. I realize that BMW is positioning this one as the stripped down “less is more/back to basics” sportier version (well, as basic as any high $$ modern BMW could ever be), but if that’s the case then I would also want a corresponding reduction in weight to go with a corresponding increase in power and suspension sophistication.

    Instead, it would seem that all we’re getting is a sportier look. The performance will be basically identical, despite the bike’s reduced functionality. And for all of that, I’m guessing we’ll also see an even higher pricetag.

    While I have little doubt that this thing will sell very well, it doesn’t ‘wow’ me the way I was hoping it would. Bottom line, if it’s going to retain the same motor, then the rest of the bike needs to go on a serious diet. If it’s going to weigh basically the same, then it needs the more powerful water-cooled motor and higher-spec, adjustable suspenders.

    As it stands now, I think the current R1200R/C is the better bike, and almost equally good-looking.

    • Ralph says:

      There are some asthetic and technical details with using the new water pumper.

      The water pumper airbox is above the engine, the throttle bodies are on top of the cylinder head, and the exhaust exits the bottom of the cylinder head. This is not exactly asthetically pleasing if you’re trying to pay homage to the original R90.

      Also, with the airbox above the engine, the tank volume would be severely reduced, leaving far less than the 4.8g usable there now. Or, the tank would have to be made bigger, and that would be out of balance with the rest of the design.

      I’d love for this bike to have 125hp, but I see why they did what they did, and even with “only” 110hp, this 489# bike should be nice and peppy. I’d bet these forks are dumbed down S1000RR forks, so adjustability could have been included.

      Release an R spec version of the bike with fully adjustable suspension andI’d give it a good look.

      • VLJ says:

        Ralph, I don’t know about you, but looking at this thing I don’t see a whole lot of R90. What I see is an R1200 Classic with conventional forks, a split exhaust, a narrower/longer tank, a smaller headlight, radial brakes, and compromised passenger accommodations.

        Now, looking at a liquid-cooled 2013 R1200GS and comparing it to an air-cooled 2012 model, the only obvious visual difference that jumps out at me (besides the headlights) is the exhausts exiting the bottom of the cylinder heads. The small radiators are very well hidden.

        I think they could have used the new motor here, with very little compromising of the styling. Or, since the air-cooled motor is perfectly fine, they simply should have reduced the weight and given it higher-spec suspension.

        • Ralph says:

          OK, maybe R90 is a stretch, but I still think the older engines with the pipes exiting front look nicer, and I’m sure they wanted this bike to look nice. The pipes on the GSw look like ass, but I don’t mind so much because the rest of a GSw looks like ass. (Not that I wouldn’t buy one, they ride great. Just ugly). Reduced weight and better suspension increases price, and that price may exceed theor market target. Make the bike too expensive and folks may decide to buy a supersport instead.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      If it turns out to be a 15K bike, I would agree with you. I am hoping that the non-adjustable fork and older engine design is an indication that they intend to be a little more competitive with the price.

    • hipsabad says:

      best comment so far, VLJ

  59. John says:

    It’s nice to see a motorcycle that doesn’t make your eyes bleed from all the sharp edges. If I had a ton of money, I’d probably buy that, or any of the other BMW roadsters. Honda needs to do something like this with their underutilized 1300cc transverse V4 from the ST. I’m sure they’d screw it up though……

  60. Jdilpkle says:

    Designers with way too much free time on their hands in the Fatherland.
    Gag me with a spoon.

  61. goose says:

    Well, I guess everybody has an opinion. Mine this is a really ugly bike. Like somebody said, I’d take an R1200R over this thing without needing to think about.


    • goose says:

      Wow, I didn’t watch the video before I posted. Am I supposed to be impressed these pretentious morons on their god awful ugly bikes like the Beemer? “Bring one to Paris, we will work our magic”. Barf.

      It would appear I am not BMW’s target audience.


      • Azi says:

        Search for “R1200C TV ad” on YouTube for some more cringetastic BMW PR viewing.

        • goose says:


          Well, everybody has opinions. Other than the insipid lyrics and saccharin music I was pretty happy with the video until the R1200C showed up. I never cared for that bike.


      • Norm G. says:

        Q: Am I supposed to be impressed these pretentious morons?

        A: YES…! 🙂

        • hipsabad says:

          if you’re not impressed you’re not a moron like the rest of us and we will ostracize you

  62. Krisd says:

    Looks good, but those horizontal cylinders are sure to take out the knee caps of some poor unsuspecting pedestrians…….

  63. Jon-Lars says:

    The hipster is strong in those ones.

    • Yoyodyne says:

      Yeah, I thought I was gonna gag watching the video. The bike actually doesn’t look too bad, they did a better job of keeping the weight down than Honda did with the CB1100. I suspect the price will be too high ($15K or more) but if it was in the $10-$12K range I would consider it.

  64. Ted says:

    First BMW I’ve liked the look of in a long, long time.

    Guess we’ll see what the MRSP looks like, and evaluate in early 2015.

  65. red says:

    I really like a round headlight. Wish the japanese designers would bail on the angular origami headlights and come back to the simple/clean round bucket.

  66. Bob says:

    This is the best looking new BMW in years. I generally don’t like Beemers but I like this one.

  67. Rich says:

    This is a handsome bike. I love the sculptural design of the lower triple clamp – other details too. As some have said, the CB1100F is quite good-looking; however, I was stunned when I saw what its weight. I lost interest immediately.

    This may get me in the market for a new bike again.

  68. joe b says:

    currently riding a CB1000R, and liking it, I can see the attraction of this bike. creepy as it sounds, I like it, and I’ll bet the magazines will too.

  69. Cinderbob says:

    That seat looks about as comfortable as a concrete slab.

  70. denny says:

    Oh boy…. this is zeksy motorrad; me want and badly!

  71. Mike Simmons says:

    The one with a solo seat is an ugly spud! I think the CB1100 is a much classier bike, but BMW is on the right track unless they go nutz with the price.

  72. allworld says:

    Well I may be the retro standard bike some people have been waiting for, but not me.
    I like the looks to some degree, not sure what it will cost, but it sure is heavy. It will do a buck and a quarter, Wow…….. imagine a 1170cc bike that can go that fast, it not only looks retro it actually is antiquated.

    • Dirck Edge says:

      So your requirement for a retro standard is that it does more than 125mph? Have you ever ridden a naked bike more than 125mph? In the real world this BMW will out-perform most modern standards (in terms of acceleration on the street), not to mention retro bikes.

    • Bartman50 says:

      Man! Yet another squid that has bought into the hype that a motorcycles top speed is in direct corriliation to the size of the NADs of ther person who bought it. In my 40+ years ofr riding many types of motorcycles, I still can’t believe that this kind of thinking still gets instilled in many riders’ mindsets.


      • Stratkat says:

        Interest in top speed has been woven into the very DNA of men since the beginning of time!!
        You say it like it’s a bad thing!

        • Tom R says:

          Top speed is really about the most irrelevant performance statistic there is. As long as a street bike will do 120, especially a naked one, you’ll be just fine.

          BTW, standard procedure for BMW is to state a slightly conservative and vague number for top speed, as in “over 125 mph”. I had an R1200GS at a GPS-measured 134 before backing off. I felt that was fast enough.

        • Bartman50 says:

          No, the speed isn’t the issue, just the implication that one must own the fastest, or the one with the most horsepower, or the quickest around the track, etc., and that all else is by definition, a lacking or worse motorcycle. This is a naked, and if you have any experience on an unfaired motorcycle or even lacking a windscreen, 125 is more than enough speed. But as “ALLWORD” says, it’s antiquated. Pah!! Very narrow minded.

          • Stratkat says:

            of course its not the only issue but its there nevertheless. i actually own a SD and have hit 140 on it several times. sure theres no fairing its visceral, love the thing.

    • Ralph says:

      Hello allworld, please go peruse the BMW Motorrad US web site. BMW lists the top speed of all their bikes as “over 125 mph”, even the mighty S1000RR (which is capable of speeds into the high 180’s). I’d bet this little nineT would be good for the low to mid 130′, and that’s plenty fast for a naked.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      I am willing to bet it will crush every other “retro” offering by all performance measures despite its weight.

  73. Oilhead says:

    BMW Unveils the R nineT: The Germans Finally Admit To Losing The War

  74. Azi says:

    Non-adjustable conventional USD forks? That’s a first for a contemporary BMW boxer.

  75. Gary says:

    Nice looking bike. But why would anyone want to remove the rear end of the seat/subframe. If this is a new style trend I want no part of it. Looks like it tail-ended by a Chevy.

  76. Michael H says:

    I promised myself that I’d never again buy a BMW motorcycle. This bike could be a test of character.

    Okay, I thought about it and no sale. It’s the previous generation engine, transmission and final drive. It’s not all that different than an R1200R. The local dealer is still a Dodge dealer who bought a BMW franchise and has a sales team that is blissfully unaware of the details of the motorcycles they sell.

    Would it be a fun ride? Sure, on clear sunny days. Not so much when the weather isn’t perfect.

    But I am having moments of weakness.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “But I am having moments of weakness.”

      no worries, just come off the dime (or rather pfennig/groschen) and commence cash upload to the Fatherland forthwith. the power of the Roundel compels you.

  77. mickey says:

    As for BMW I’d rather have the R1200R Classic, but in truth I considered that bike before buying my Honda CB 1100. Happy with what I bought, even if it has less horsepower and chain drive. The Honda looks tons better imo.

  78. Dennis says:

    I’m in the market for a new bike and this is really impressing me.
    I can’t wait to see it in the flesh at the IMS New York show.
    I’ve never questioned BMW’s quality, only the price they want for their bikes.
    If it’s priced right, I’m going to give this a hard look.

  79. Jeremy in TX says:

    I think I want one, and I swore I would never buy another BMW. Wonder how much they are going to cost…

  80. Scotty says:

    Its the BMW Griso. 🙂

    • denny says:

      Except on Griso, you are stretched like dog.

      • hipsabad says:

        yup, stretched on the Catholic rack; a form of penance for the vain

      • Provologna says:

        Owned two MG, never again. Can you say “costly, frequent, major repair bills…and the most expensive motor vehicle parts I ever bought?” Clutch levers over $100 in the early 00s? Are you kidding me?

        Guzzi owners = masochists.

    • 70's Kid says:

      BMW Griso. No kidding. That really nails it.

      • richard says:

        not even close to a Griso….Guzzi are masters of retro style….have an 04 V11…when i think of BMW …i think of touring bikes with too many gadgets..except the 1000r. BMW are stepping up out of the’re regualar line up…good for them.

        • 70's Kid says:

          I’m only referring to the R nineT in particular, not BMWs in general. When looking at pictures of this bike and the Griso, they look far more similar to one another than either bike does to the rest of the offerings from their respective manufacturers. While I personally wouldn’t consider the purchase of either the Griso or the R nineT, I do like their styling to a certain degree and feel like they both fit into a niche fulfilled by few other bikes being offered today.

  81. Tom says:

    Where is the Bill the Cat headlight??

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