BMW R NINE T (2014 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£920|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
BMW has cleverly embraced the latest retro fashion, drawing on its 90 years of motorcycling experience, innovation and heritage, and the R nineT takes its inspiration from all those BMW road and race bikes of old. But the R nineT is more than just retro looks and fashion. The build quality is superb and the attention to detail impeccable. It goes, stops and handles as well as the best roadsters out there, thanks to its modern chassis, suspension and braking components. But there’s a lovely twist with the old-school air-cooled Boxer engine.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Beautifully engineered, beautifully styled and beautifully put together.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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…
|Engine type||Four-stroke, air-cooled DOHC, 8v boxer twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Front suspension||Sachs 46mm inverted forks, non- adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Shock, spring preload adjustable|
|Front brake||2x320mm discs. Brembo four-piston radial calipers. ABS|
|Rear brake||1x265mm disc, Brembo 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||£93|
|Annual service cost||£920|
|Used price||£7,300 - £11,500|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||110 bhp|
|Max torque||88 ft-lb|
|Top speed||140 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||145 miles|
Model history & versions
2014: Model introduced
Owners' reviews for the BMW R NINE T (2014 - on)
8 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£920|
Version: Great, but basic bike
Annual servicing cost: £3,000
Fantastic back to basic bike,
Brakes are awesome, ride can be a little hard
I have 2 bikes only ever go solo on this one
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's cheap to insure and gives 45 mpg on average, but dealer servicing is pricey.
No fuel gauge, no centre stand and no traction control is unforgivable on a bike costing this much.
Annual servicing cost: £220
Excellent quality components, torquey engine, goes, stops and handles really well but my my *rse suffered.
It would have been 5* but it is not a comfortable bike. No change from my R100RS back in '78 then.
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.
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.
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.
Goes very well. Almost powerful enough!
Frame paintwork is poor and it rusts all over. Mirrors rattle after a while as the glue fails. Handlebar switches are cheap and nasty.
BMW are expensive! Seems every part (apart from tyres) has a 50% BMW loading.
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).
Modern classic that looks fantastic and rides beautifully.
Version: Sport (silver, Akrapovic)
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.
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).
Ultra smooth, rumbly friendly with an angry growl when provoked.
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.
Gobbles fuel but not too bad overall.
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)
Version: Customised Single seat Cafe Racer in Storm Black Metallic..
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.
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.
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.
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.
OK it's not the cheapest bike on the planet, but it's well worth the money IMO.
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.
Great bike, really engaging, great presence and evocative exhaust note. A keeper.
A rest is required after 120-ish miles on the standard seat. Superb brakes.
Beautiful torquey engine, however, water cooled R1200R is much smoother.
Not cheap to buy but as it is a limited edition, it should hold its value well.
Funky clocks that twirl round and back on ignition.