BMW Updates Its R nineT And Adds The Urban G/S

The R nineT has become the platform to launch a fleet of styles for BMW Motorrad, placing the new models under the category of its ‘Heritage’ line.

Clutch and Chrome reported in early October 2016 about two such takes, Racer and Pure. An updated platform and additional model are joining the latest additions and bringing everything together, overall the line adds up to five versions. Note, the word overall was used. Some version have been released to selective markets, with many not making their way to the North American market. Yet.

Looking at the latest news on the popular R nineT, the base model has been updated and the R nineT Urban G/S added. The latter is a ‘refined roadster with boutique manufacturing character and boxer feeling in a classic enduro outfit’.

It seems BMW Motorrad loves the R nineT as much as the riding public does. One financial quarter after another the model was highlighted as a favored child. Designed as the motorcycle manufacturer’s take on the classic roadster the R nineT combined classic motorcycle design and modern technology with sophisticated craftsmanship. This can be seen with the aluminum fuel tank with brushed side surfaces, offering not only the R nineT team's fond attention to detail, but delivering a character of boutique manufacturing.

R nineT

We reviewed the R nineT last year when BMW Motorrad was still referring to the base model as a ‘cult bike’. It’s a great article to start with as it not only walks through and details the motorcycle, ‘BMW’s 'Cult Bike', the R nineT Reviewed’ looks at its short but exciting history. In its new edition, the R nineT once more features the laid-back elegance and proportions of a classic BMW roadster. From all angles, the R nineT is defined by a blend of classic and modern elements of motorcycle design style combined with high-quality surfaces.

It’s certainly a motorcycle that has many riders involuntarily whispering, ‘I want one’ to themselves.

While the instrument cluster of the R nineT previously comprised two circular instruments for speedometer and engine speed display, perfectly integrated in the classic layout, the new design now features two separate instrument casings for an even more impressive appearance.

Nothing has changed in the new edition of the R nineT in terms of its boutique manufacturing character and there are numerous details which fans will love, including the 18-litre aluminum fuel tank with elaborately brushed side surfaces as well as the aluminum trim panel featuring an embossed R nineT inscription which runs across the air intake duct on the right-hand side.


The R nineT classic character was stated with Blackstorm metallic combined with silver and metallic contrasts, the new R nineT takes this one step further by matching the black-coated components such as the frame and engine housing, the Paralever swinging arm and the housing of the rear-wheel.

Riders with some room in their wallet can opt for two individual paint finishes with boutique manufacturing character which are available for the R nineT ex works, or as optional equipment items. The special paint finish ‘Blackstorm metallic/Vintage’ underscores the boutique manufacturing character of the aluminum fuel tank in ‘Blackstorm metallic/silver’ with a yellow application bearing the start number ‘21’. The term term boutique manufacturing was mentioned earlier and is used hevily by BMW Motorrad when discussing all aspects of its R nineT range. This is proven with the latter option applied by hand, giving the bike a refined used look. The model is supplied with an aluminum hump seat and passenger pad.

The second special paint finish ‘Blueplanet metallic/Aluminum’ emphasizes the classically refined character of the R nineT with a touch of fresh style. Based on the clear-finished aluminum fuel tank with ground weld seam and aluminum hump seat, both hand-brushed, the center section of the fuel tank and hump are finished in Blueplanet metallic with a golden surround. The color Blueplanet metallic is also to be found on the front mudguard.


The range features BMW’s potent air/oil-cooled flat-twin boxer engine with a capacity of 1170 cc and an output of 81 kW (110 hp), which of course meets EU4 requirements and is combined with a 6-speed gearbox. This feeds into the 2-in-1 exhaust system which gives the model its distinctive look.

As much safety feature as a modern riding necessity, ABS comes as standard which is complimented by a 320-millimetre twin disc brake at the front. Another item quickly becoming a modern must-have, Automatic Stability Control (ASC) is available as an ex works option.

The R nineT range also enjoys high-end details such as fork bridges made of forged aluminum with a clear anodized finish, but these aren’t just for looks.

Modular frame concepts with individual scope for customizing

Modular frame concepts provide great scope for altering the appearance and character of the two BMW boxer models according to individual preference. This is seen in something as simple as adding different seats from the range of BMW Motorrad accessories.

In the R nineT, the frame comprises four components as before which are a front main frame, a rear main frame, a removable end piece and a detachable passenger frame. In the R nineT Urban G/S the frame consists of three components, a front and rear main frame with integrated end piece and a passenger frame.

The R nineT now features a fully adjustable upside-down fork and optimized suspension geometry while the R nineT Urban G/S is equipped with its suspension enduro style.

As before, a high-quality upside-down telescopic fork takes care of front wheel control in the new R nineT, though this is now designed as a fully adjustable component. With a view to even greater steering precision, directional stability and cornering neutrality, the new edition of the R nineT has also been optimized in terms of suspension geometry.

In the R nineT Urban G/S there is a conventional telescopic fork at the front while the BMW Paralever is applied in conjunction with a central spring strut at the rear, as in the R nineT.

The R nineT now has wired-spoke wheels in the dimensions 3.5 x 17 inches and 5.5 x 17 inches respectively, with tires in the sizes 120/70 ZR 17 at the front and 180/55 ZR 17. As before, radially mounted 4-piston monoblock brake calipers ensure sound, ABS-regulated deceleration in conjunction with floating brake discs.


Drifting to the R nineT Urban G/S

Adding to the character of the initial model is the new R nineT Urban G/S, quite different in style but equally classic in character. For more than 35 years, the abbreviation GS in conjunction with BMW Motorrad is been virtually synonymous with a sense of freedom and the passion for adventure on two wheels, both on-road and off-road. The R nineT Urban G/S draws on the genes of the very first and legendary BMW R 80 G/S of the year 1980, transporting them into the modern era with contemporary technology in the form of a classic enduro-style BMW motorcycle with boxer engine.

The R nineT Urban G/S is supplied with light alloy cast wheels. The large 19‑inch front wheel with 120/70 ZR 19 tire is in keeping with the typical enduro-style look of a classic bike. This is matched perfectly at the rear with a 17-inch wheel bearing a 170/60 ZR 17 tire.

The new BMW boxer can be ordered ex works with the optional extra of deep-treaded off-road tires which further enhances its classic style and also with filigree wired-spoke wheels. With 4-piston brake calipers, steel-wrapped brake lines and a brake disc diameter of 320 millimeters, a high-performance ABS brake system here again ensures effective and stable deceleration. In order to prevent the rear wheel from spinning on slippery roads, there is the option of ASC which is available ex works.

Turning to the over-used phrase of ‘old is new again’, a look at the R nineT Urban G/S reveals it to be the spitting image of its ancestor, even reproducing the color concept virtually without alteration. Just like more than 35 years ago, the fuel tank and the high-positioned front mudguard are finished in striking Lightwhite non-metallic, with a matching headlamp mask whose styling is geared entirely towards the BMW G/S style of that era. As before, the R nineT Urban G/S features fuel tank decor in two tones of blue and a two-man seat in bright red, a color combination that interprets the BMW Motorsport colors of former years. This echoing of past times is supported by a frame finished in black.


Harmoniously matching the headlamp mask, the instrument cluster consists of a speedometer designed as an analog circular instrument, indicator lamps and a two-line LCD screen. High-end details also characterize the R nineT Urban G/S. These include the numerous aluminum forged parts such as fork bridges as well as the clamp for the aluminum double-butted tubular handlebars.

According to BMW Motorrad, one interesting detail solution in terms of creating a classic enduro look is the dual-section front mudguard. The front splash guard is attached to the lower fork bridge, skillfully conveying a sense of classic enduro style. The rear splash guard is mounted just above the front wheel in conjunction with a fork stabilizer.

The R nineT is certainly growing to feature a robust family with the line offering distinctive choices for riders to choose from. When North American riders have that range of choices will be seen.

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