Not only is the nineT quick in a straight line, it handles too, and particularly loves hunkering down into fast, sweeping corners. It’s not the fastest-steering bike in the world, but it’s extremely stable on its side. The front-end feel is superb, thanks to the S1000RR forks, non-adjustable but set-up perfectly. It begs you to let go of the brakes and run into corners just that little bit faster. It’s unflappable in a straight line and ground clearance is excellent.
There’s no water-cooling, ride by wire or fussy riding modes or traction control. Instead you get a simple 1170cc, 110bhp engine, endowed with a lovely long spread of power, packed with torque and a top end so strong that, with your chest right on the tank and head buried behind the clocks, it’ll top 135mph. The R nineT’s deep, rumbling voice matches its looks. It burbles through town, pops and bangs on the overrun and bellows at high speed through its twin megaphone silencers.
Beautifully engineered, beautifully styled and beautifully put together.
The only problem now is: can BMW make enough to go round?
In keeping with the nineT’s retro feel, you get ABS and that’s it. Even heated grips are a dealer-fit accessory and black is the only colour…