Despite their heritage looks, the R nineT models never fail to impress when it comes to handling and the Urban G/S retains this trait. With the same chassis and wheels as the Scrambler, it comes as no surprise it handles identically and that means loads of grins and more angle and corner speed than you would rightly expect from such a bike. And all backed up with brakes that are also thoroughly modern in their performance levels and have ABS as standard. The seat is a touch hard and the cowl pretty ineffective, so it’s a short hop bike rather than a serious mile-muncher like the modern GS.
The boxer motor suits the G/S’s attitude perfectly, as you would image seeing as that is what has always powered a G/S (or GS) model! It has bags of grunt as well as a really raucous exhaust note and spirited attitude that is quite unexpected on a modern BMW. It’s not the smoothest, and lurches when you blip the throttle due to the torque reaction, but these traits only add to the bike’s character.
The build quality on the whole R nineT range is beautiful with a high attention to detail, as you would expect on a bike with a price tag north of £10,000. The boxer’s reliability record is proven and so there is nothing to worry about mechanically – even the residual values are generally very high!
With a price tag of £10,550 for the basic model, the higher specification X seems quite good value considering all the extras you are getting for the added £635. They certainly aren’t the cheapest scrambler style retro bikes, but they go a long way to justifying their price tags through build quality and lovely attention to detail.
The whole point of the R nineT range is stripped back with a lack of electronics and as such the Urban G/S is fairly basic with only ABS as standard. The X model adds spoke wheels and a choice of on or off-road tyres as well as a chrome exhaust, LED indicators and heated grips for £11,185. ASC traction control is an optional extra.