BMW R NINE T (2014 - on) Review

Highlights

  • Best handling of BMW retros
  • 1200cc boxer twin is excellent
  • Updated for 2021

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Annual servicing cost: £510
Power: 108 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.7 in / 805 mm)
Weight: Medium (490 lbs / 222 kg)

Prices

New £13,150
Used £7,300 - £13,000

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
5 out of 5 (5/5)

Before the BMW R nine T came along, choosing a traditionally styled bike meant accepting old-school performance and ride quality to go with the retro styling. BMW changed all that. This is the bike that set the standard for modern large-capacity retros. 

The R nine T has looks and details inspired by the R32 of 1923 (90 years before it was released, hence its commemorative name) and their old race bikes, but with performance, handling and manners that are entirely modern. This means the R nine T is fast and flexible, super-stable and inspires massive confidence in corners, as well as looking great reflected in shop windows.

It’s also a premium device. The air-and oil-cooled opposed twin engine is fit and proven, the chassis features high-quality suspension (including forks from the S1000RR superbike) and brakes, and impressive details include an alloy fuel tank, deep paint and twin pipes. Reliability is good, plus there’s an array of desirable optional extras and the promise of strong residual values.

Since this original BMW R nine T was launched, we've since ridden all other styles of the bike: R nine T Pure, R nine T Scrambler, R nine T Urban G/S.

BMW R nine T updated for 2021

BMW R nine T being ridden very quickly

For 2021 the R nineT gets Euro5 engine tweaks, more rider aids and minor styling changes. It’s still a wonderfully joyful creation that mixes Germanic retro style, detailing and build quality with scintillating performance, boxer character, crisp handling and big grins. Changes to the 2021 model won’t be enough to get current owners rushing to dealers to upgrade, but they do add a little extra sparkle. It’s now slightly more urgent on the throttle, electronics come with a thicker safety blanket and the suspension has more control.

Of course, you can get your old school kicks for a lot less, but for the ultimate in retro indulgence the Beemer still rocks.

Once you've been through this review and our owners' reviews, you may want to join an online community to meet likeminded folk. We'd suggest the BMW NineT Forum.

What did we think at the original BMW R nine T launch back in 2014? Watch the video below to find out more:

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
5 out of 5 (5/5)

There have been several other variants since the R nine T arrived (including the entry-level Pure, head-down Racer and retro-trail Urban G/S), but the original family-topping model has the greatest chassis quality.

The Sachs lamppost-scale 45mm upside-down forks and well-damped rear shock give a ride that’s a great balance of comfort and control, and plenty of feel; forks were fixed on early bikes but have preload, rebound and compression adjustment on newer models.

The low-slung chassis doesn’t have the quickest steering; however, the handling has a neutral feel and gives masses of confidence – the R nineT seems to pull itself down into corners and feels brilliant over on its side, urging you to carry plenty of old-fashioned corner speed. Oodles of ground clearance, too.

A side view of the BMW R nineT

Despite the quality of the standard bike some owners find the front forks are a little too softly sprung and the rear a tad harsh – so if you’re looking at a preloved bike check to see if it’s been tampered with.

Modifying the standard unadjustable forks with a revalve or different internals can make the front end feel even better, while some rear shocks get swapped for an upgraded part – units from Öhlins and Wilbers are common, though there are options to suit most budgets. Nobody bothers trying to improve on the mighty ABS-equipped brakes.

It’s a good riding position that balances attitude and quite sportily located feet with control and comfort. The seat’s quite thin though, being one of the few universal criticisms of the R nine T by owners. Most upgrade their perch, either with BMW’s own Custom accessory version or an aftermarket part – the one from Sargent is widely recommended (it’s around £300, though).

BMW R nine T facelift in 2021 - how does it ride?

BMW R nine T cornering at speed with pegs down

There are no big changes to the chassis. It has the same tubular steel frame, fully adjustable S1000RR-style forks and chainless Paralever back end, but the rear shock has more damping towards the end of its stroke for improved control under hard load. There’s also a handwheel adjuster for rear preload. Improvements to handling are minimal, but it still rides beautifully and has a lust for corners that belies its retro looks. It still gently rocks and pitches as the engine and shaft drive do their things, but it’s stable and Brembos are a riot of hissing power and feel.

Its upright riding position remains on the relaxed side of sporty with wide, perfectly set bars and generous amounts of legroom. It still leans over a long way on its side stand, but that’s about its only quirk.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

It’s the 1170cc air-and-oil-cooled boxer engine that was used in the R1200 models. Though it’s the 'old' twin this doesn’t mean second-rate performance: it belches out instant grunt throughout the rev range, striding forward at low revs, romping through the midrange and delivers a boisterous top-end rush that’ll push the R nineT through the air at 135mph.

With no faffy riding modes or other distractions it’s a direct and engaging power unit. Sounds great too. The boxer’s twin pipes rumble when you pootle, bellow on a wide-open throttle and pop on the overrun.

The BMW R nineT makes a great noise

It’s also a reliable engine. If you’re looking at a used bike then there are a few things to inspect, though: make sure there’s no slip or drag from the clutch as replacement is a costly affair that involves loads of disassembly, look for hints of exhaust smoke, and ensure the six-speed gearbox behaves itself.

Also make sure a tight-arse owner hasn’t missed any of the expensive services (oil and brake fluid every 6000 miles; oil, valve clearance check, new drive shaft oil, air filter and plugs at 12,000).

BMW R nine T updated for 2021

BMW have kept the R nineT’s classic 1170cc flat twin alive, kicking and marching to the beat of the Euro5 drum, without having to resort to water cooling. Cylinder heads have revised-shaped combustion chambers for a bigger, more efficient bang, cylinder head covers have new cooling fins and throttle valve components are tweaked. Peak power is down a bhp to 108bhp but arrives 500rpm sooner, torque stays at same 86lb-ft and there’s more oomph between 4000rpm to 6000rpm. It’s a tiny improvement, but there was never a lack of instant, hard-edged grunt in the first place. Still sounds mean, too.

The ’21 machine also gets ride-by-wire, traction control and two riding modes. It’s debatable whether it needs its rider aids, as even on wet roads the BMW has so much grip and poise the TC never makes an appearance. The twin’s power delivery is so friendly there’s little point switching from ‘Road’ to its softer ‘Rain’ mode either. It also has cornering ABS and a system (first seen on the R1250GS) that cuts the power during an emergency stop to prevent you accidently braking against the throttle.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
5 out of 5 (5/5)

If the new price looks steep given the R nine T’s lo-fi specification, it’s because you’re paying for quality engineering, classy parts and proper finishes. Not many bikes have forged aluminium brackets locating the front mudguard. Some BMWs put a question mark over the brand’s premium reputation, but the retro isn’t one of them.

Though most of the finish is excellent, the frame paint is bit thin and can wear through – and make sure it’s not caused rust on a secondhand bike. Exhaust collectors will look grubby after winter use, and you should shake the mirrors to see if they rattle as the glue dries out inside.

There have been a few recalls. Most affected just the early 2014 bikes, recalled for loose swingarm pivot pin bolts that needed Loctite and re-torqueing, and some suffered a faulty ignition switch. There have also been a few weepy master cylinders.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
5 out of 5 (5/5)

You’ll get around 44 miles to a gallon on average. This means 120 miles or so until the low fuel light comes on, and an overall range of 145 miles. Insurance is group 13 – that’s the same group as rivals like Ducati’s Scrambler and Honda’s steadier CB1100 EX, but a group higher than the perky Triumph Speed Twin.

At £12,745 (2020 pricing) the R nineT is the most expensive bike in BMW’s Heritage line-up, and significantly pricier than rivals – the equally-engaging Triumph Speed Twin is two grand cheaper and Honda’s sportiest retro, the CB1100 RS, is only £9999.

The Beemer represents good value, though: the boxer has perhaps the highest sense of quality, residual values are solid, and it’s one of the few bikes where any accessories boost value.

How does the BMW R nine T Sport get on against some of its closest rivals? Watch the video below to find out:

Priced at £13,150, the rest of the range was priced accordingly: the base £11,395 R nineT Pure, £11,515 Scrambler and £11,950 Urban G/S (and £13,965 40th anniversary version). The Racer is disappears from the line-up.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

Part of the whole old-school R nine T thing is stripped-back simplicity and pure riding sensations. Your money goes on lovingly manufactured parts, fine finishes, and a rear subframe that can be whipped off for a sawn-down single-seat look, rather than superficial trinkets.

The only electronic gubbins on the original bike in 2014 was ABS, and even now ASC (automatic stability control, like a basic traction system) is an optional extra. Fancy heated grips? Open your wallet

There is an onboard computer for some additional info on the old-style twin dials, though, and new R nineTs come fitted with Datatool Stealth S5 security. And BMW offer a bewildering range of official accessories should you want to adorn the bike with milled aluminium this, adjustable that or carbon the other.

BMW R nine T accessories updated in 2021

2021 BMW R nine T clocks

BMW have left the R nine T’s clean and minimalist styling alone, but it now has LED headlights, white LED indicators, tweaks to the analogue speedo and tacho, which still have multi-function LCD displays embedded within and a USB charger. It’s still luxuriously finished and detailed, which goes a long way to justifying its lofty price tag.

Specs

Engine size 1170cc
Engine type air-cooled, 8v flat twin
Frame type Steel tube trellis
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 805mm
Bike weight 222kg
Front suspension 46mm forks, adj. pre-load, rebound, compression
Rear suspension monoshock, adjustable preload and rebound
Front brake 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston calipers. ABS
Rear brake 265mm disc with two-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 120/70ZR17
Rear tyre size 180/55ZR17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 44 mpg
Annual road tax £101
Annual service cost £510
New price £13,150
Used price £7,300 - £13,000
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage

Top speed & performance

Max power 108 bhp
Max torque 86 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 145 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2014: R nineT introduced as a new model. 1170cc opposed-twin engine, 110bhp, unadjustable S1000RR-derived forks, 18-litre tank, 222kg. Black paint is the only option. Planned as a commemorative limited-edition model to celebrate 90 years since the first BMW bike, but its success means it not only stays in the line-up but spawns a complete range of Heritage models based around the same platform.
  • 2017: The ‘kombi’ R1200R instruments of are replaced with neater twin dials carrying digital inlays. Front forks are made fully adjustable, new black finish on the spokes, engine and chassis, and two special paint schemes are offered: ‘Blackstorm metallic/Vintage’ with hand-painted yellow blob and number 21 on the tank, and ‘Blueplanet metallic/Aluminum’ with dark blue paint and gold trims over the brushed aluminium tank.
  • 2021: Updated model with Euro5 engine tweaks, more midrange grunt, revised rear shock, cornering ABS, two riding modes, LED headlights and indicators, USB charger and revised clock graphics.

Other versions

There are several other R nineT models to choose from, all with cast wheels and lower-spec suspension, finishes and fittings. The Pure is the entry-level version; the Scrambler features semi-knobbly tyres and higher pipes for a retro desert sled feel; the Urban G/S is styled as a homage to the original R80 G/S giant trailie; and the Racer has a half-fairing and torturous 1970s-superbike riding position. The latter model went off sale in 2021. 

Owners' reviews for the BMW R NINE T (2014 - on)

21 owners have reviewed their BMW R NINE T (2014 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your BMW R NINE T (2014 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Engine: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.6 out of 5 (4.6/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Equipment: 3.9 out of 5 (3.9/5)
Annual servicing cost: £510
5 out of 5 Now the R9T I wanted....
06 June 2022 by John

Year: 2021

Annual servicing cost: £250

A brilliant every day bike. I have owned a number of BMW motorbikes including the R9T pure and R9T. I've also owned R1200 and 1250 LCs (R, RT and GS) as well as S1000R. The 2021 Euro 5 R9T is a joyful step forward with the change in the behaviour of the engine. It is now free revving and provides smiles like I used to get from the S1000R. I prefer the boxer and a proper clutch over the wooden clutch and gear shift pro on the S1000R, although very much a fantastic bike. I like the torquey drive from the air-cooled R9T. Being 5'8" the R9T is much easier to live with and I can get both feet down. Handling is very good and there are tons of accessories to personalise the bike. I've already started spending money on it.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The ride quality is good and I'm happy that it is firm rather than soft. I may add 20mm bar risers to lift the riding position slightly. I've done this before on previous R9Ts but the 2021 version seems to fit me better. I can drive 150 miles before needing a break but that is about as far as the tank will go anyway. I do like the addition of cruise control with the 2021 model. The bike handles very well and the CoG, as you would expect with the boxer, is low.

Engine 5 out of 5

With the 2021 model definitely a 5. The engine has always been torquey but is now free revving. It is noticeably different to the previous models in my experience. I prefer drive over high revs.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

I've never had any problems with any of my BMs and the build quality of the R9T is very high.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

BMWs are not really any more expensive to run than any other major manufacturer in my experience. I've owned Triumphs, Hondas, Kawasakis, Suzukis and Ducatis. Service intervals are good and the consumption of consumables reasonable.

Equipment 5 out of 5

It's a proper motorbike. In the real world it does so much very well. Having now decided to no longer run touring bikes I really like the addition of cruise control. Heated grips are standard. Maybe the folks in Berlin could develop a touring version with more protection and a heated seat. As for accessories fill your boots. A standard R9T is a well built stylish motorcycle however it also a platform for a huge amount of personalisation/customisation. Beware - trickle charging is an issue. The DIN socket is no longer provided. The replacement USB does not allow charging. Wunderlich has created a solution for, at the time of writing, £44. It's a DIN socket that sits near the USB and is an easy instal. I have a tracker and they do drain the battery if the bike is not used regularly. Oh, and the battery itself is in a stupid place, so look after it.

Buying experience: I bought from my favourite Motorrad dealer. Easy.

4 out of 5 love marred by frame rust issues
16 May 2022 by smog

Year: 2015

I love this bike, after 40 years of motorcycling I don't think I will be buying another (unless I wreck it, in which case I probably won't be allowed to anyway!)

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Generally a comfortable ride, although something about the angle of the handlebars makes my wrists ache eventually. Saddle height suits me fine, as a not very long legged guy. A little on the heavy side and not as easy to flick about as lighter bikes I've owned but manageable.

Engine 5 out of 5

Goes as fast as I am comfortable going, accelerates well at most speeds.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

Overall, the bike has been fantastic, the only replacement parts being a battery, probably due to me not riding it enough in the winter, and brake pads, which seemed to wear out incredibly quickly, given that I ride pretty carefully and rarely resort to heavy braking. However, there is one flaw, and that is the extraordinarily poor quality of the paint on the frame. I have owned the bike since new, and when not in use it is garaged, yet the rear subframe started to go spotty in under 3 years; indeed, I own several bikes over 60 years old that have less rust on them. I really expected much, much better from BMW.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Main dealer servicing charges are enough to make a grown man whimper.

Equipment 4 out of 5

If you want to carry any luggage, tough! Generally speaking it's just whatever fits in your pockets. I did buy the optional holdall that fits on the saddle behind you, but it's that or a pillion. Also would have liked a slightly larger tank; practical range seems to be about 165 miles

Buying experience: Bought from a main dealer, so exemplary, although they've since closed, meaning the nearest dealer now is about 50 miles away

5 out of 5 Tractor with a Turbo
16 January 2022 by Nik

Version: Urban GS

Year: 2019

I bought this to sit alongside my 1200GS, I wanted something smaller, simpler and fun to ride and the R9T delivered that in spades. It has huge character, looks awesome and performs brilliantly. It's faster than I expected and sounds incredible. The suspension is a bit harsh but I don't think its as bad as many people have suggested (maybe its been improved since the earlier bikes). If you want a back-to-basics feeling bike but with modern safety and reliability then this is an excellent choice. It always attracts interest when I stop to fuel up.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Brakes and handing are excellent, I would avoid Karoo 3 tyres though, they made the steering feel heavy and want to run wide. Suspension is a little harsh, it could be better and more adjustable at this price level. Seat is ok for shorter (sub 300km) rides but gets a bit tiring after that. The throttle is very direct and coupled with the huge engine braking of the boxer it takes a little while to tune the right wrist, but it doesn't take long.

Engine 5 out of 5

Its like a tractor with a turbo, it's one of the best sounding motors out there and has so much character. really punchy from low down and then pulls hard all the way to the limiter. It has the proper "Boxer Rock" that is now missing on the water cooled bikes.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Quality is as you would expect from BMW Motorrad, excellent. The bike has a really solid feel to it. No issues at all with mine so far.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Servicing on these bikes is not costly a they are so easy to work on, this minimises labour costs. I service it myself so only pay for the parts which aren't any more expensive than other makes. Not cheap to buy but these things hold their value really well here in New Zealand.

Equipment 4 out of 5

ABS, Traction Control, Heated Grips, pretty much all you need on a simple bike. Adjustable forks would be a nice addition.

5 out of 5 It's all about the engine
26 December 2021 by Molly

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £350

Looks and finish. The bike looks amazing and the finish is absolutely top notch.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Stops on the proverbial sixpence. You need to spend a little time setting the suspension up to suit you. I'm 5'2" and nine stone nuffin and found it a bit hard to start with. But perfect now.

Engine 5 out of 5

Yep, it's all about the engine. It may be an old design but it's so full of character. It's probably fair to say that I think the bike was designed around the engine. Superb.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Totally faultless reliability and the highest quality.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Yep if you own a Beemer you are going to get higher bills.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Would have got a FIVE if it had a fuel gauge.

Buying experience: Dealer. M&P in Swansea. Special mention to Chris Davies. The were very, very good. It's great to find a company that really looks after you pre and post sales.

4 out of 5 Bm fun
12 December 2021 by Steve Spriggs

Year: 2016

I’ve had all of the Superbikes. This bike is the only bike you need. Good performance, it steers and stops. Paintwork very poor

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Paintwork poor

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5 The Stunning R NINE T Racer
12 December 2021 by Steven Everest

Version: Racer

Year: 2017

Annual servicing cost: £245

It's a future classic and even when I'm to old and stiff to ride it, I'll be able to hang it on the wall and just stare at the details and beauty of its engineering. Its a real stunner and genuine crowd puller. I would recommend it to anyone, but there aren't many left!

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Feels and sounds great, the riding position is extreme, but not to the detriment of the experience. I'm 52 and have ridden well over 2hrs continously on several occasions, the shortest of breaks are enough before getting back to riding

Engine 5 out of 5

The boxer engine is brilliant, characterful and torquey. Apart from my initial rides getting used to changing down into a lower gear and feeling a little slide! I'd say its a peach and once mastered a real diamond

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Build quality is superb and the looks stop traffic

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

As with any premium bike, the running costs and services will always be at the higher end of the scale, but it comes with the choice. Bikes are brought with the heart, aided by the wallet

Equipment 5 out of 5

It's just such a unique looking bike, from every angle; Beautiful. The tires are standard metzeler tyres, they feel good on my local twisties. I've saw the MCN YouTube review on this model by Matt wildee he mentioned the power 5 Michelins, so they may be the next tire purchase

Buying experience: Brought from a dealer who was happy to send picture and video. Also spoke via video. The bike was 3 yrs old with only 385 miles on it. So it was a bargain at 7450. He even delivered for free. I live 60 miles from the shop.

4 out of 5 Great bike
03 December 2021 by Graham

Year: 2017

Great fun to ride down tight country roads, spec is excellent and still looks good after four years. Great compromise for a classic bike.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5

Just what I need- great mid range

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Build quality is excellent

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Local specialist carries out the service - BMW costs are prohibitive

Equipment 4 out of 5

No added extras - just a plain, old fashioned motorbike without riding modes

Buying experience: BMW dealer …not good, felt like they were doing me a favour by letting me buy from them. Wouldn’t recommend or go there again.

5 out of 5
03 December 2021 by MarcusR

Year: 2021

Great ride, and has a great feel both dynamically and viscerally

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

The build quality is outstanding

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

The 2021 model has all the features I wanted, with the riding aides, heated grips etc

Buying experience: Very good

4 out of 5 Great looks, character and performance
03 October 2021 by Mex

Year: 2015

Annual servicing cost: £30

Great engine character. Plenty of low down grunt, sounds amazing and looks pretty good. Downside- the seat is hard/ uncomfortable on distance and the clutch lever can be heavy in traffic.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Brakes are really good , although the back seems a little sharp at first of the abs is intrusive at the back. Up front great feel and stopping power. Front forks suit my weight fine (11stone). On a commute I get 55 mpg but that drops to about 49 -50 scratching. I found the rear shock at first a bit bone shaking but now with 17000 on the clock it’s way better. I have no problem running circles around many sports bikes.I use it everyday with a Kreiga tail pack and plan some mini tours.

Engine 5 out of 5

Love the low down grunt, sound- popping on overrun. Low down weight of boxer helps handling. Easy to service.At first it used oil which was annoying but once over 12000 this has reduced dramatically.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

I ACF 50’d mine and used it year round. It has stood up well to corrosion. It’s just the crime spikes that let the 2015 model down they soon go off.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I do all my own servicing- valve clearance is super easy and I have had to just pay for consumerables.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Doesn’t have much. You can plug your phone in. It doesn’t have a fuel gauge… it has abs. It does need ride modes as the engine and fuelling is spot on.

Buying experience: Private buy had it since 2400 miles now has 17000 - had it for 3 years.

5 out of 5 I Must Be Crazy!
03 July 2021 by Flip

Version: Black Storm with All The Bling!

Year: 2021

So...bought it as my first clutch bike after riding the BMW 650cc scooter for two summers (which I happened to buy sight-unseen at age 58, and having never been on a bike before). I’m not a good subject to analyze the R9T because I really don’t have anything to compare it to. I just call it my Crazy Train. I kept my scooter for 2-up easy riding (I call it my Gravy Train). Who buys a 1200cc muscle-bike as their first clutch bike?

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

I’m proof this bike CAN be a first bike for new riders. Gotta say though, I’m glad I was able to get the basic riding skills learned on my scooter first. Trying to hop on this after never been on ANY kind of bike could be hazardous to your health. LOVE the ride tho - it leans so much better and easier than even my scooter - which I thought was a great leaner.

Engine 5 out of 5

It sounds like a WW1 fighter plane :)

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Just breaking it in and trying to keep it below 3k RPMs for the first 600 miles.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

BMW does mean Bring Massive Wallet?

Equipment 5 out of 5

I got all the Bling - both Billet packs - and it looks amazing. So glad I got the 2021 and have the LED lights too!

Buying experience: Stellar! BMW Motorcycles of Cleveland are the best!

4 out of 5 I miss my 9T
06 February 2021 by Jeremy

Year: 2014

+ve character, it’s freedom on two wheels; -ve suspension is appalling I owned the bike since launch in 2014 and sold it in 2020. I had added the heated grips, high Akrapovic and titanium down pipes, fly screen and bar end mirrors which made it feel all the more special. But, the single best improvement was having a rear Nitron shock fitted and the front forks serviced with heavier oil. The air gap on each fork was different. If you buy this bike, have the suspension done before anything else. Otherwise buy a gum shield and stop every hour for a brew.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

Again, the suspension is poor.

Engine 5 out of 5

Bags of grunt and character

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Mine suffered zero corrosion. It was heavily treated with ACF50.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 1 out of 5

Er, there isn’t any.

Buying experience: From Bahnstormer Alton. They are brilliant.

3 out of 5
23 January 2021 by kenneth wiltshire

Year: 2014

Annual servicing cost: £1

lots of problems from day one

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 1 out of 5

p poor .performance in and out of dealers many times crap dealer.took it to another dealer they sorted it out in minuets.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
5 out of 5 A keeper
20 August 2020 by john naunton

Year: 2016

Character

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5

character

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

So far so good

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5

Basic bike, but that is it's appeal

Buying experience: Excellent- Reiten Motorrad-really enthusiastic and professional

4 out of 5 Great, but basic bike
04 April 2020 by Wayne Dilworth

Version: Great, but basic bike

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £3,000

Fantastic back to basic bike,

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Brakes are awesome, ride can be a little hard

Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

I have 2 bikes only ever go solo on this one

Equipment 4 out of 5

There isn't any but that is why you buy it

Buying experience: Dealers are great, back up, 3 year warrantee 3 year breakdown cover

5 out of 5 One to keep!
04 May 2019 by Philip Cooper

Year: 2016

Don't let its retro roadster looks fool you into thinking its a big softy, its not! It's easily a match for my mate's KTM SMC 690 and my son's Triumph Street Triple in the bumpy twisty B-roads and has a lovely turn of speed when the roads open up. Handling and braking are right up there with the best handling and the engine grunt ensures that you just clear off out of bends.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

It's very stiff and set up more like a sports bike, which I like. It does not wallow and weave when I'm out scratching at insane speeds. But the trade off is a hard ride everywhere at more sensible speeds. The brakes are light and offer monster power, effectively wiping tons of speed off when I'm approaching bends too fast! The rear is powerful too, with lots of instant feel but you're in no danger of locking up as the ABS cuts in.

Engine 5 out of 5

This is why I bought this bike, and I'm not disappointed, it's awesome. It has grunt everywhere in any gear. It just responds immediately when I open the throttle. The engine keeps on building power as the revs rise and there's a real rush up to the rev limiter. It just looks so good too. How BMW got away with the sound it makes I don't know, but it sounds beautiful snd is the loudest bike I have experienced on its standard exhaust system, which I wont be upgrading as it sounds and looks fabulous.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

I have only done 1600 miles so far, so it's too early to assess reliability although I've had no issues. The build quality and finish are of a high standard.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

It's cheap to insure and gives 45 mpg on average, but dealer servicing is pricey.

Equipment 2 out of 5

No fuel gauge, no centre stand and no traction control is unforgivable on a bike costing this much.

4 out of 5 A really great bike but ooh! my *rse!
26 January 2019 by Cynical Dodgyknees

Year: 2015

Annual servicing cost: £220

Excellent quality components, torquey engine, goes, stops and handles really well but my my *rse suffered.

Ride quality & brakes 3 out of 5

It would have been 5* but it is not a comfortable bike. No change from my R100RS back in '78 then.

Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5

Basic features standard, heated grips £330 extra. Clocks almost unreadable at night. Metzeler Roadtec's a delight. Fitted optional handlebar risers. Waste of time. Wunderlich handlebar fairing aftermarket fit was pricey but really good and completed the R90S-style retro look.

Buying experience: BMW Motorrad at Northampton was a mixed bag. Service department excellent, Sales depended on who you got.

4 out of 5 Won't be selling this one any time soon
08 October 2018 by Nick Pettefar

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £250

I love it and ride it everywhere including touring, scratching and commuting. Tubed tyres are a nightmare when you get a puncture.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Need to stop every hundred miles or so to have a cup of tea. Brakes are great, best I've ever had I think. Suspension is a bit hard and could do with being improved. Seat is OK-ish. I added an IKEA sheepskin and it was much better.

Engine 4 out of 5

Goes very well. Almost powerful enough!

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Frame paintwork is poor and it rusts all over. Mirrors rattle after a while as the glue fails. Handlebar switches are cheap and nasty.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

BMW are expensive! Seems every part (apart from tyres) has a 50% BMW loading.

Equipment 4 out of 5

ABS - first time for me and it hasn't intruded much at all. Sadly doesn't have a fuel gauge which is poor. No centre-stand which is really bad! I've added lots to it - Givi Airflo screen, Givi topbox, Wunderlich hand shields, Krauser panniers, engine bars, horns, spots, etc.

Buying experience: Almost new from Joe Duffy BMW in Dublin. Was OK although the salesman was difficult with the tax disc. I paid too much of course (Expensive Ireland + BMW dealer).

5 out of 5
26 February 2017 by Bri

Year: 2015

Modern classic that looks fantastic and rides beautifully.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 Friendly Bear
27 September 2016 by Token

Version: Sport (silver, Akrapovic)

Year: 2016

Annual servicing cost: £200

Perfect weekend bike. One of the best looking production bikes along with Thruxton R. Easy to customise, sounds amazing, tons of personality, ultra smooth power. Not too aggressive when ridden calmly which works well in the city.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Wonderful, seamless power delivery. Great ergonomics and low to the ground. Brakes are massive and work very well. Awesome suspension and fairly cushy standard seat(s).

Engine 5 out of 5

Ultra smooth, rumbly friendly with an angry growl when provoked.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

A fantastic piece of kit. Only minus is the gauges which are plasticky and laughable compared to Thruxton R. R Nine Scrambler gauge is nicer.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Gobbles fuel but not too bad overall.

Equipment 5 out of 5

The Sport option comes with great sounding Akrapovic can, but the standard silencer (also Akrapovic) sound amazing as well. Sport also comes with the hump which is easily swapped out for pillion seat. Heated grips always welcome. Would have loved the full electronics package even if it "goes against the integrity of the bike". Looking forward to swap bits from the Scrambler and other upcoming R Nine T models.

Buying experience: BMW were super helpful, test ride great. Very responsive. (London)

5 out of 5 A keeper
11 May 2016 by Nick

Version: Customised Single seat Cafe Racer in Storm Black Metallic..

Year: 2016

This bike just fixes a grin on your face and collects crowds wherever it is parked. The wiring for the lights is seperate from the main harness and converts to fully LED lighting with no problems. Great base for customization and you rarely see 2 identical 9Ts ... at least not where I live. Loads of aftermarket components and massive scope for personalisation. I'd recommend it to anyone as a commuter or a weekend fun bike, not so hot for long-distance touring.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

The ride is a bit hard and the seat is unforgiving, but that's what I expected. It's no long distance tourer so regular coffee stops are required. I have done 3-400 mile days on it and was tired at the end, but that was all over curvy alpine 'B' roads which are its bread and butter. This bike is most at home on A and B roads... had a few emergency stops from relatively high speeds (cars pulling out) the brakes are strong and reassuring.

Engine 5 out of 5

Strong engine with thumping torque .... great fun and a truly wonderful exhaust note. Very strong engine braking so a blip on the throttle when downshifting becomes habit and is rewarded by a beautiful exhaust note. Pops and bangs on over-run which I personally love. Very forgiving and easy to ride.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Beautifully put together, runs flawlessly unless, like me, you accidentally cable-tie the Navigation system harness to the throttle cable and prevent the throttle closing properly. Stupidity is not covered under warranty.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

OK it's not the cheapest bike on the planet, but it's well worth the money IMO.

Equipment 5 out of 5

ABS, heated grips, an alarm and different tank colours. That's pretty much it from the factory. A tail mod is necessary as the OEM tail looks awful, fortunately there are oodles of aftermarket options available. Love that the passenger sub-frame can be completely removed making the bike a single-seater... the whole rear end is modular and bolted together so it can be customised very easily and offers multiple configurations.

Buying experience: It's BMW .... prep, handover etc. flawless.

5 out of 5 Ahhh! - Nine T.
18 August 2015 by miyumiyu21

Year: 2015

Great bike, really engaging, great presence and evocative exhaust note. A keeper.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

A rest is required after 120-ish miles on the standard seat. Superb brakes.

Engine 5 out of 5

Beautiful torquey engine, however, water cooled R1200R is much smoother.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Not cheap to buy but as it is a limited edition, it should hold its value well.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Funky clocks that twirl round and back on ignition.

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