Launch: BMW’s R nineT Scrambler is here

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The BMW R nineT (which is now called the Roadster by BMW) was the surprise hit of 2014. Using an air-cooled boxer engine, BMW created a shockingly effective retro bike that not only looked amazing, it rode like a modern bike. It has taken the Germans a few years, but at long last the R nineT is set to be joined in BMW’s retro range by the Scrambler model.

As the name suggests, BMW have taken the R nineT Roadster as a base and given it an off-road makeover, including a larger 19-inch front wheel, conventional fork and twin high-level exhaust pipes. Will the Scrambler replicate the success of the Roadster that saw BMW having to increase its production to meet demand? The initial signs are good. With a price tag of £10,530 the Scrambler is cheaper than the £11,900 Roadster, but will it have the same magic formula when it comes to the ride quality? We are currently testing the R nineT Scrambler on the roads around BMW’s home in Munich to find out…

Get the waterproofs out!

Unfortunately we’re having to battle fairly biblical weather conditions onboard BMW’s new R nineT Scrambler. Thankfully the Scrambler test bikes are fitted with the more sensible Metzeler Tourance tyres, not hte optional off-road orientated Metzeler Karoo 3 that, with their chunky tread, would be a bit scary on the road. So what do we make of the latest member of the nineT family?


Thankfully the Scrambler is not all about style, like the café racer R nineT (which is now called the Roadster) it goes pretty well too. Despite now being Euro4 compliant, the air-cooled boxer engine makes the same 108.6bhp with 85.6lb.ft of torque and has the same gearing as the Roadster, so it has more than enough poke.

The chassis is all new, with slightly lazier geometry and a 19-inch front wheel, but thankfully BMW has given the Scrambler the same wide tyres as the GS, meaning it was pretty assured despite the horrific weather. It may lack the Roadster’s inverted fork, but the Scrambler’s conventional unit does its job perfectly well, and the test bikes have ABS as standard, and the optional extra BMW ASC traction control system fitted, which also performed really well in the wet.

Like the Roadster, the Scrambler is all about the air-cooled motor and this is a bike that feels special to ride and has a lovely feel and soul about it through its vibrations and raw nature. It’s no GS as it is nowhere near that refined and lacks the sophisticated electronics, but the riding position is comfortable and the look perfect for the current trends while retaining a fair degree of practicality.

Hopefully the weather will be a little kinder to us today so we can test the handing a bit more thoroughly rather than just our waterproofs!

Full report in MCN this Wednesday July 27.

BMW R nineT Scrambler Tech Specs

Engine 1170cc air/oil-cooled flat twin (‘Boxer’) 4-stroke engine, two camshafts and four radially aligned valves per cylinder, central balancer shaft

Power 110bhp @ 7750rpm

Torque 85.5ftlb @ 6000rpm

Front suspension Telescopic 43mm fork

Rear suspension Cast aluminium single swinging arm with Paralever; central spring strut, spring preload, rebound-stage damping adjustable

Tyres front 120/70 R 19, rear 170/60 R 17

Front Brake Twin 320mm discs, 4-piston calipers

Rear Brake Single 265mm disc, 2-piston floating caliper

Seat height 820 mm

Kerb weight 220 kg

Fuel tank 17 litres


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