2024 BMW R12 nineT review – what makes the R12 nineT great, just like its predecessor is its quality and feelgood factor


  • R nineT turns into the R12 nineT
  • Same engine, new chassis
  • Tweaked styling

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Power: 108 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.3 in / 795 mm)
Weight: Medium (485 lbs / 220 kg)


New £14,420
Used N/A

Overall rating

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

BMW’s new £14,420 R12 nineT retro motorbike replaces the outgoing R nineT, one of MCN’s favourite big-cubed retros and an instant hit when it arrived in 2013. It’s essentially the same bike with a new name, fresh styling and an updated chassis, but its ethos remains intact. The new BMW, just like the old one, is less about performance and more about its looks and how it makes you feel. There’s no big change in the way it goes, but the devil is in the detail.

The R12 nineT’s HP2-derived engine is cleaner, but still gloriously quirky. It shakes, rocks and rolls, but oozes real-world grunt and delivers a deep, chocolatey soundtrack as you rumble along. It’s also loaded with enough performance to rip your arms off, hard on the throttle. Handling isn’t conventional with its pitching shaft drive, either, but once you’re used to the way it wiggles its hips it carves accurately through corners, with braking power that would shame some sportsbikes.

The 2024 BMW R12 nineT really looks the part

But putting performance to one side, what makes the R12 nineT great, just like its predecessor is its quality and feelgood factor. It isn’t different enough to warrant rushing out to trade in your R nineT, but if you fancy a retro that puts a huge smile on your face whenever you ride it, fast or slow, it’s the bike for you.

Watch our BMW R12 nineT video review here

Ride quality & brakes

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

Lighter, simpler and easier to produce the R12 nineT’s new tubular steel frame is now a one-piece unit, instead of two.

S1000RR-derived forks are now fully adjustable and still runs its familiar shaft drive at the back. As before the BMW sits long, low and is relatively slow steering, but there are no complaints in the handling department even when you push it hard. Once you’re used to the pitching of the shaft drive and the engine’s rock and roll it’s stable, confidence inspiring and has plenty of ground clearance. Brakes are strong and standard 17in Continental Contiroad tyres have plenty of grip. The suspension is plush and the riding position is spacious, but tall riders can look gangly on such a low-slung machine.

The 2024 BMW R12 nineT handles well and makes you feel fantastic


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

It’s still powered by a 1170cc air/oil cooled DOH flat-twin engine that can trace its roots back to the iconic 2007 HP2 Sport. It makes 108bhp, a healthy 85lb-ft and changes to the motor are limited to helping it through ever-tightening emissions regulations. BMW have successfully given it a clean bill of EU5+ health, despite the lack of liquid-cooling. There’s a new flapless exhaust system and the airbox has been moved under the seat, so gone is the visible air intake running along the bottom right side of the fuel tank. Cylinder heads are restyled and rider aids include Rain, Road and Dynamic modes, traction control and ABS. It comes with a slick up/down quick shifter for the first time, but it's an optional extra.

2024 BMW R12 nineT engine is a real highlight

This is a raw engine. You feel every power pulse, it rocks from side-to-side at tickover and makes you realise just how polished and refined BMW’s latest boxers have become. But it’s precisely the motor’s quirkiness that makes it so special, from its deep, rumbling exhaust note to its easy grunt and refined throttle manners. The vibes smooth out as the revs climb and with well over 100bhp on tap you can grab the BMW by the horns and get a serious lick on. Of its main rivals the Kawasaki Z900RS’s inline four cylinder is smoother, as is the Triumph Speed Twin’s big parallel twin, but the R12 nineT’s engine will keep you interested for longer, fast or slow.

Reliability & build quality

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

Build quality and attention to detail are exceptional and indeed our online reviews for the R nineT’s reliability are glowing. The lacquered green and exposed brushed aluminium tank finish on our test bike is exceptional and having the exhaust downpipes and collector box chrome-plated makes all the difference to its unblemished looks. There isn’t a square inch of this bike that looks unfinished or grubby. Colours for ’24 are standard black, green (£250 extra) or a sliver ‘Option 719 Aluminium for £2100 including a red frame, single seat and billet aluminium goodies.

BMW R12 nineT headlight

Value vs rivals

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

It isn’t cheap but you get what you pay for in terms of build quality, attention to detail and riding enjoyment. It’s more expensive than the £11,995 Triumph Speed Twin 1200 and excellent £11,779 Kawasaki Z900RS, in the ballpark with the £14,495 Ducati Scrambler 1100 Sport Pro and cheaper than Norton’s £16,999 Commando 961 SP.

2024 BMW R12 nineT forks and fuel tank


4 out of 5 (4/5)

There was nothing wrong with the way the old R nineT looked, but now the styling has moved on with the new R12 nineT, it might even give the original extra desirability? Visually, the biggest difference is the new R90S-inspired 16-litre fuel tank. It’s 30mm shorter and narrower at its rear, so you can get closer to the bars with less of a stretch. Side panels make an appearance for the first time for a cleaner look and as before it has two analogue/digital mix clocks. Our test bike is fitted with the optional TFT dash instead, which you’ll either love or hate on a retro like this. A new LED light is tucked tastefully under the pillion seat hump.

A new LED light is tucked tastefully under the pillion seat hump. Colours for ’24 are standard black, green (£250 extra) or a sliver ‘Option 719 Aluminium for £2100 including a red frame, single seat and billet aluminium goodies. Keyless ignition, LED lights, 12v socket and USB-C port are standard, accessories include cornering lights, heated grips, cruise control, spoked wheels, seat hump, nose fairing, an Akrapovic can…the list goes on.

2024 BMW R12 nineT screen


Engine size 1170cc
Engine type Air/oil-cooled 1170cc 8v flat twin
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Seat height 795mm
Bike weight 220kg
Front suspension 45mm USD forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension Single shock, adjustable preload and rebound damping
Front brake 310mm discs with Brembo four-piston radial calipers. Cornering ABS
Rear brake 265mm disc with twin-piston caliper. Cornering ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 55 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost -
New price £14,420
Used price -
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 108 bhp
Max torque 85 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 195 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • 2024: BMW R12 nineT launched, replacing R nineT. Same engine and overall style, but has a new chassis and bodywork.

Other versions

Based on the new R12 nineT, the R12 has a more laid-back cruiser feel and at £11,990 is cheaper too. It’s just as beautifully detailed with standard-issue keyless ignition, ABS and traction control. It has the same motor but makes 94bhp for easy A2 licence restriction. Forks are non-adjustable, steering geometry lazier and it has a lower single seat (754mm), smaller 14-litre ‘toaster’ tank, fat rear mudguard and a 16in wheel at the back, 19in up front. Riding modes are labelled ‘Rock’ or ‘Roll’…

Owners' reviews for the BMW R12 NINET (2024 - on)

1 owner has reviewed their BMW R12 NINET (2024 - 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 R12 NINET (2024 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
5 out of 5 Great looking retro bike with performance
28 May 2024 by Merv from Oz

Version: Single seat and spoke wheel options

Year: 2024

Coming off 10 years of BMW GS adventures and looking for a less intense but retro style bike. Fits the bill for me and puts a smile on my face.

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

To date haven’t given it a hard run, but brakes feel strong and good power delivery. Quick shifter is slick.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Great quality and I’ve had a few bikes over the years as a comparison.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Have to go on my previous BMWs my previous GSA 1200 and 1250 were great re running cost, so only likely comparison at this stage.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Have single seat option, so recommend the factory option exhaust arm with passenger foot peg delete. Grabbed the spoke wheels as compliments the bike.

Buying experience: Dealer purchase and happy with experience.

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