The new BMW R12 and the R12 nineT – then out on the RnineT

The new BMW R12 and the R12 RnineT – then out on the RnineT


Last week my wife and I called into the Williams BMW showroom in Manchester. It wasn’t’ really a planned visit in so much as we had been elsewhere and decided we would nip down there mainly because I wanted to have a look at and see ‘in the flesh’ the new R12 and R12 nineT models.

I have an RnineT in my garage and it really is a fabulous bike. I’ve posted about it many times before. It looks good, sounds good, has terrific attention to detail and is a beauty to ride.

Mine is the original RnineT classic roadster and since it’s introduction (in 2014) quite a number of other variants have been produced and pretty much universally well received. Variants include:

  • R nineT;
  • R nineT Pure;
  • R nineT Urban G/S;
  • R nineT Racer S;
  • R nineT Sport;
  • R nineT Scrambler;
  • option 719

You can read more about the RnineT variants over at the autoevolution web site at this link



I had read one or two articles online about the new models but wasn’t really clear about the differences between the R12 and the R12 nineT. I’d also read some mixed reviews/opinions about the revised styling of the bikes when compared to the original RnineT.

As we walked into the showroom one of the sales assistants was pushing an R12 (I think one of their demo bikes) out of the showroom. First thoughts were that it looked pretty decent to be honest, and the colour was superb. Like many manufacturers names for their colours it had an odd name and in this case it’s Aventurin red metallic but both my wife and I thought the colour really suited the bike.

It’s interesting that – BMW describe the bike as a ‘laid back cruiser’ but it’s not quite what I would call a cruiser as I tend to associate cruisers (rightly or wrongly) with a foot forward style of riding which this bike doesn’t have.

Nice finish but …

The bike looked to have a good finish – I’m on my third BMW now, I’ve previously owned an F800R and currently have an  RnineT and an F900 XR and I have been really happy with the general fit and finish of the bikes.

The dash of the R12 is very different to mine – now just a singe round instrument dial, the slightly different shaped tank nods to the original tank, a different (and more comfortable) seat looks inviting and the air box has a different air-box cover and now there is no snorkel gracing the right hand side of the bike.

The mudguards are different and although I get the retro design style – I have to say I’m not a huge fan of the rear mudguard – it wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me but it sort of reminded me of the rear mudguard on an Indian Scout bobber.

But having said that I would also have to say in a contradictory way – that if I had loads of spare cash and the garage space I’d have an Indian Scout in the garage tomorrow – and yes I can hear groans from some folk at me mentioning that – maybe one day I’ll get round to writing a blog post on what bikes would be in my dream garage.

If I was picking one …








If I was picking between the R12 and the R12 nineT then it wouldn’t take me long to decide. I’d opt for the latter all day long. I thought the showroom model was absolutely beautiful in the metallic San Remo green.

Of course with so much in life, beauty is in the eye of the beholder – but it’s quite a struggle for me to see how anyone could not see the beauty in this bike.

It’s cast wheels are different to the wire spoked wheels on mine, headlight and rear light are now LED’s. Unlike my original model this bike now comes with two engine riding modes, has key-less ignition and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC). Tyres are of course tubeless – which I’d say has been quite an improvement for some time on more recent models of the RnineT, which unlike mine with it’s tubed tyres.

A lot to like

There really is such a lot to like about this bike and probably more than I could take in on a brief showroom visit – and as the San Remo green bike was between others  we were unable to get as full a view of the bike as possible.

A noticeable change

One of the first things I noticed when compared to my original RnineT – was the very different reshaped and re-sculptured seat. It’s immediately more comfortable as well. Having said that I have never found the seat on mine to be an issue, but I guess weight, height etc. have a different impact for folk on different bikes.

In fact I took a trip of several thousand miles down through Spain and Portugal a few years back on the RnineT and was more than comfortable enough. There are plenty of pictures and write ups from that trip at this link.

All in all it was nice enough trip to a good dealership – along with decent coffee and cake – who could ask for more.

Picture gallery one

Clicking on any image will open a picture gallery that can be clicked or scrolled through and you’ll find pictures of the R12 and the R12 nineT here.

On the road

The following day, although the weather wasn’t great it was good enough ot get out for a few hours. I headed off towards Cheshire and some of the back roads. Grey skies and damp roads were pretty much the order of the day, but I had an enjoyable couple of hours out and clocked up another 90 or so miles and then home in time to watch Manchester City win away at Crystal Palace – not a bad day really.

Pictures from the morning ride are in the photo’ set below.

Picture gallery two

Clicking on any image will open a picture gallery that can be clicked or scrolled through