The magnificent BMW RnineT – review



Stumbled on an old review

Funny what you come across when browsing the web … a review I wrote for The Bike Market web site back in 2018. When I saw the picture of the bike outside the timbered house I recognised it straight away as one of my own pictures, but it took me a short while to remember I had written the article … and yes I still have that bike.

It was a timely find  as I’ll be on that same bike later today when I take it to MW Motorcycles for its annual MoT, so I thought I’d repost here. At the time I wrote this review in 2018 I mentioned that I would be heading off to Spain and Portugal on the RnineT – which is exactly what I did you can read about that trip here (or in the link further on in the writr up)

My Experience

The magnificent BMW RnineT – review. I’ve had plenty of bikes over the years: Honda’s, Suzuki’s, Kawasaki’s, Moto Guzzi’s and so on – but until I bought the RnineT almost a year ago I had never owned a BMW.

There is no single reason for that – I’ve been biking for around 40 years or so and it’s certainly not down to any aversion of the German marque, it’s just the way things worked out. I changed to the RnineT because I was looking for a change from Japanese inline fours.

Looks

From an aesthetic point of view I think the RnineT certainly ticks the boxes as a stand out from the crowd sort of bike, and there are few occasions when I’m out on it that it doesn’t draw comments in a way that most other bikes I have had haven’t done.

The overall finish on the bike is very very good, and it’s just full l of neat touches and attention to detail from top to toe.

Comfort

The bike itself is a joy to ride, the relatively low seat height and the distance to the bars make it pretty much ideal for me and my 5’ 7” height. The seat looks like it might be uncomfortable but in fact I haven’t had any problems with it and have done a 400 mile daily ride with no problems.

Engine

In essence I suppose it’s sort of old fashioned. With its 1,170cc air cooled Boxer Twin, it’s not going to float your boat if your main concern is all about the horses – it puts out about 110bhp.

Equipment

It doesn’t have any switchable ride modes, traction control or fancy lean angle sensors. Even the info that you can flick through on the dash is about as basic as you can get but this stripped down approach is really what it’s all about.

In my opinion the bike is all the better for it, in fact I would go as far as to say it’s probably the best bike I’ve ever had.

Brakes

A decent Brembo set up makes braking easy, the clutch is light and the gear change sure. It’s a beautifully balanced bike that’s as easy to ride as it is easy on the eye.

Practicality

Of course one person’s best bike may well be another person’s bag of nails – but in my opinion, this is simply the best bike that I have had when it comes down to making a judgement based simply on the riding experience.

Sure I’ve had other bikes that offer more protection from the elements, four GSX-Rs and a Fireblade kept me out of the wind more and shifted a decent amount of water away from my legs and body.

The Kawasaki Z1000SX that I had for three years and that took me on four or five trips across western and eastern Europe would win hands down if it came to a judgement about ease of packing luggage but if it’s a judgement about the overall sensation and feel of just simply enjoying the ride, then frankly this one makes it not even a close call.

Mods

Not much really – in fact other than a Powerbronze Hugger, a Puig Screen,exhaust tips and a custom made bracket for my Garmin Sat Nav, the bike is as it was when I got it from Williams BMW in Manchester, who have proved to be a superb dealership.

It’s probably worth adding that I have the OEM heated grips, they are superb and much better than any after market grips I have added to previous bikes.

The only other thing I have added, as a temporary item, is a Givi tank lock adaptor for my small Givi tank bag. I’m off to Spain and Portugal soon for a few weeks and I have no doubt at all that the BMW will give me one of the best European riding experiences I have ever had.

With a tank range that easily makes 160 miles between fills then I should be able to avoid any drama about finding petrol when out in the sticks.

Choosing luggage was interesting – there’s plenty of options out there, I suppose it just comes down to your own personal choice of practicality, style, price etc. I opted for the Motorrad rear bag that has a moulded base and that fits well to the pillion seat.

Any Downsides?

I don’t think I have ever owned any bike ever, that throws up as much water and road grime as this bike does on damp roads.

To Sum Up

It’s not the quickest, it’s not the easiest to clean, it’s not the best for luggage options, and being a BMW then it’s fair to say it’s not the cheapest.

But as an all-round machine with a soundtrack provided by its stock twin Akrapovics then it’s as good to listen to as it is to look at.

– Tony B, 2018