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BMW R NINE T PURE (2017-on) Review

Published: 18 January 2019

Updated: 18 January 2019

The Pure is a charming motorcycle

The R nineT Pure in action

The Pure is a charming motorcycle

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

If you can live without the rev-counter, BMW’s R nineT Pure offers lots of fun in a quirky, genuinely-retro package. While BMW say the bike is built for modifiers, many owners will be happy just as it is.

It’s a credible machine at a sensible price and has all of the nice touches you’d expect with a BMW. Stripped-back, raw and quite aggressive. It’s a blast to ride, and sounds fabulous, but this attitude won’t appeal to everyone.

The BMW R nineT Pure

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The bike shares its chassis with the R nineT Racer, Scrambler and Urban G/S, which has a frame with a slightly kicked-out headstock to accommodate the Scrambler’s 19in front wheel and a simplified rear subframe design.

The riding experience is typical R nineT – a nimble, accurate chassis combined with a friendly motor and more than enough performance to make this is a credible motorcycle.

The handling is pretty playful, too. The chassis is virtually identical to the Racer’s, but the taller, wider bars impart more leverage, making the bike feel more nimble.

Riding the BMW R nineT Pure

The downgraded suspension does its job well and even though the forks are a little soft there’s plenty of feel. On standard settings the rear can feel a little bit uncontrolled, but the rebound-adjustable shock should have the range to dial this out.

The chassis doesn’t tax your brain, but gives you confidence to push hard enough to have fun and the lack of quirks and foibles mean that it will be a great bike for new riders, too.

To be honest, it offers everything the more expensive R nineT does when it comes to dynamics and is a more convincing retro bike too – for many the superbike-style suspension and brakes of the more-expensive R nineT jar against its design brief.

The Metzeler Z8 Roadtecs that this bike came with were beyond reproach, even in our terrible test conditions. But the Pure is happiest when it comes to relaxed cruising in the sun.

With its straight-backed riding position, visibility is good and gives the chance to just sit back and enjoy the view. It is also an excellent urban bike with great natural balance.

Through the slippery town streets of a wet Spanish resort, the bike felt just as sure-footed as it did in the Andalusian mountains.

Engine 4 out of 5

The R nineT’s 1170cc, 108bhp Boxer twin is as lively as it is torquey and has a playful kick at the top-end that encourages you to ride faster than the retro looks suggest.

Before you know it, you’re chasing that imaginary red line. We say imaginary because of course the Pure doesn’t have the rev-counter, or the gear indicator you get on the Racer or the top R nineT.

And to be honest, you do miss it – even though the motor is flexible enough that it doesn’t matter too much which gear you’re in.

From the moment the boxer fires into life though you can’t help but love the Pure’s attitude. It’s loud, raw and where rivals like the Honda CB1100EX cosset you on your ride, the Pure grabs you by the scruff of the neck and drags you along whether or not you are in the mood for a fight.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

Although it may lack the toys of some of its stable mates, the Pure is beautifully engineered, styled and put together. Unsurprisingly, owners of the standard R nineT offer nothing but four and five stars for reliability, however offer warnings about expensive BMW parts, should something go wrong.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

Compared to the big-money £12,220 R nineT, it has a 43mm non-adjustable right way-up fork rather than the S1000RR-derived Sachs inverted items of the more expensive bike.

It also has axial-mount Brembo brakes rather than radial calipers, and a steel, rather than aluminium, fuel tank. There’s also a single clock, with no rev counter.

As well as being easy to modify, the fact that the bike has very cheap PCP deals means the Pure is a bargain entry into R nineT ownership. Its only real problem is its Racer brother. If you can stand the riding position, the Racer is sexier, better equipped and just £800 more.

Equipment 3 out of 5

As standard the Pure comes with very little in terms of equipment, missing a rev counter, rider aids and upside down forks. The idea of this being that it's the perfect 'blank canvas' for riders to create their ultimate custom R nineTs.

Usually running cast ally wheels, our test bike came with spoked wheels (£330), traction control (£330) and LED indicators (£100). The spoked wheel option suits the bike, even though it means you have to run tubed tyres.

The R nineT Pure gets a single clock and no rev counter

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2017
Year discontinued -
New price £9,990
Used price £7,500 to £11,800
Warranty term Two years
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost £400
Max power 108 bhp
Max torque 86 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 44 mpg
Tank range 145 miles
Engine size 1170cc
Engine type Air/oil-cooled, DOHC, four- stroke
Frame type Steel tube
Fuel capacity 17 litres
Seat height 805mm
Bike weight 219kg
Front suspension 43mm right-way-up forks, non-adjustable.
Rear suspension Monoshock rear, adjustable for preload and rebound
Front brake 2x320mm discs with Brembo four-pot axial-mount calipers
Rear brake 265mm disc with two-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70x17
Rear tyre size 180/55x17

History & Versions

Model history

  • 2014: The original R nineT is launched. It's a no nonsense, upright roadster capable of tackling sweeping bends and carrying an impressive turn of speed from its air-cooled 110bhp 1170cc boxer-twin engine. Riders get ABS as standard and no other rider modes.

Other versions

  • R nineT Racer: Again using much of the same equipment as the rest of the R nineT family, the machine offers plenty of characterful poke from its boxer twin motor alongside a set of sleek café racer plastics that instantly take you back to the 1970s.
  • R nineT Urban G/S: Little more than a re-styled R nineT Scrambler, the Urban G/S oozes urban spirit and charm. With the same chassis and wheels as the Scrambler, it handles exactly the same as its donor bike, with far more agility than you would expect from this genre.
  • R nineT Scrambler: Often unfairly cast off as nothing more than a BMW styling exercise, think of the Scrambler as a great looking lightweight version of the GS that is pleasingly lacking in the fussy electronics that the latest water-cooled model is so adorned with. 

Read the full history of the BMW R nineT range today.

Owners' Reviews

2 owners have reviewed their BMW R NINE T PURE (2017-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 PURE (2017-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.5 out of 5
Equipment 3.5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great all round and fun bike

22 September 2019 by Woody

Wonderful in all respects.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Great fun. Continental touring needed stops coinciding with fuel refills (150 miles approx).
5 out of 5
Very flexible. Lack of rev counter no issue because bike pulls well in almost any gear.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Some slight rusting after 2 years and 8500
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
2nd year (12000 mile) cost
4 out of 5
Buying experience

Dealer demonstrater - £9750 paid in 2017

4 out of 5

A very rewarding bike, sometimes less is more

16 February 2019 by Steve B

The Pure is rewarding, fun, sounds good and I look forward to my next ride every day. It does get uncomfortable after an hour or so and has tubed tyres, though.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
The brakes and handling are good and the bike is very manoeuvrable. The ride quality could be better.
5 out of 5
I love the engine characteristics, which make the bike easy to live with and torquey with plenty of real world low down power.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
The bike is very well built and finished to a high standard. It has never let me down.
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
Great value because it is the best, most rewarding bike I've owned.
3 out of 5
The heated grips are good but there's no fuel gauge, nor a tyre pressure monitor.
Buying experience

Bought from BMW and it was a very pleasant experience.

Photo Gallery

  • The R nineT Pure in action
  • The bike gets a single head lamp unit
  • The BMW R nineT Pure
  • The Pure gets a single clock unit
  • The bike is shaft driven
  • Cornering on the BMW R nineT Pure
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