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Beaut of a retro roadster from BMW

2014-03-10 12:43

HORIZON GRABBER: BMW’s 90th Anniversary retro-looking motorcycle, the NineT, should be in South African showrooms in the second half of 2014. Image: BMW


BMW unveiled the latest versions of two of its most popular models, the R1200Gs Adventure and the 2014 R1200RT, at Bavarian Motorcycles in Pretoria on February 26 2014.


Motorcycle manufacturers making retro-looking bikes is not a new marketing ploy to widen target markets and 'grow' sales but BMW has linked its special to an anniversary.

Honda, Kawasaki, et al, have been doing it for some time but tying it all in with milestone (kilometrestone) anniversary celebrations (happy 90th BMW Motorrad!) does seem a really good and thoroughly original idea. (For slower readers: nineT, ninety, geddit?)

BMW is quite happy that this new bike of motard ilk be known simply as the ‘nineT’, a nomenclature that may not roll off the tongue as yet, but it’s safe to say it’ll most likely be a successful model for them because it unashamedly blends classical, albeit naked, single-seat styling trends with top-quality and hand-built levels of finish that we’ve come to expect from this Blue Propeller People.

GOT R225 000+?

However, it will probably take some marketing to cope with the possible price. The nineT, complete with pillion seat and pillion seat cover, retails in the UK for a nice round figure - £12 500 - without any options. That's around R225 000 at the March 2014 exchange rate, not including and SA VAT or other import rip-offs.

Your decision if a motard lookalike is worth that kind of cash.

Critical instructions from the R&D office dictated "reduce bodywork as far as possible to achieve that puristic look". Talking of which, the frame is an all-new modular design and consisting four main components: main frame, rear main frame, frame end-piece and a pillion frame – all bolted together and so further customisable.

There’s a gorgeous 18-litre aluminium fuel tank fitted – hand-made, of course, with embossed nineT lettering that can be further customised with classic rubber knee-pads.

However there’s more to the BMW R nineT than just being a BMW motorcycle with an unprecedented design – to stimulate always the rider's senses and trigger powerful emotions throughnon-stop thrills, whether it’s pulling up in front of a café or simply commuting.

Adept as it is at simply cruisingor powering forward,the nineT has at its heart is a 1170cc air/oil-cooled boxer twin producing 81kW at 7750rpm and 119Nm at 6000rpm.


A closer inspection of the bike reveals an Akraprovic twin-exhaust system that runs down the left-hand side of the machine, while power is transmitted to the rear wheel via a proven six-speed gearbox and Cardan shaft drive. In keeping with the dynamic character of the nineT, the secondary transmission ratio of the pinion and ring gear has been shortened in favour of acceleration and smooth shifts.

The rider, taking the central components of engine and chassis as a base, has on the nineThas a wealth of customising options on call.

No conventional Telever front suspension for the nineT – instead, BMW has dug deep in the parts bin and come up with their superb superbike (S1000RR) upside-down teles. The rear suspension, meanwhile, employs the familiar Paralever single-sided swingarm in conjunction with a central spring strut.

True to its customising form, the nineT allows for a choice in rear-wheel width– standardis a 5.5" wire-spoked in black anodised alloy; up front there’s a 3.5" x 17"; radial four-piston monoblock brake callipers work with floating 320mm discs and BMW Motorrad ABS that’s sure to provide superb stopping power.

BMW R ‘nineT’ retro motorcycle

Motor: Flat-twin 1170cc, air/oil-cooled
Power: 81kW@7 550 rpm
Torque: 119Nm@6 000 rpm
0-100km/h: 4.5 sec (Est.)
Top Speed: 200 km/h (Est.)
Tank capacity: 18 litres
Seat height: 785 mm
Kerb weight: 222kg
Length: 2 220 mm
Brakes: (F) discs (R) disc
Final drive: Cardan shaft-drive
Price: TBA

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