The original BMW Lo Rider prototype hit like a bombshell at the Milan motorcycle fair in 2008. BMW showed not just a unique roadster, but artists’ sketches of a large range of factory accessories which could be used to completely transform and personalize the motorcycle. It was a hit with BMW fans as well as those who previously had no interest in the Bavarian brand. After Harley-Davidson claimed the name, it was rechristened the BMW Custom Concept.
For five years riders have waited in vain for BMW to build it, and today it’s finally a reality. The BMW R nineT, or just nineT for short, has the appearance of a classic roadster but features modern technology. It was designed from the outset to accept custom accessories. This includes genuine BMW Motorrad accessories as well those from aftermarket suppliers.
A special tubular concept frame was developed. It uses the engine as a stressed member with a front section carrying the steering head (which supports an upside-down fork from the S1000RR instead of the usual BMW Telelever) and a rear section supporting the seats. A removable pillion frame allows the motorcycle to be customized as a solo bike with aluminum tail cone to match giving it a café racer style. The housing for the rear axle drive even includes three mounting points for a license plate and light bracket on one side.
BMW says the swing arm design allows the use of ultra-wide 6″ by 17″ wheel at the rear. BMW’s wire spoke wheels are standard with black anodized rims, black stainless hubs and stainless steel spokes. Beefy four-piston monoblock calipers fed with steel-braided brake lines grab 12.6 inch (320mm) rotors with standard ABS, of course.
The nineT will be the last BMW model to feature the previous generation’s air/oil-cooled 1,170cc flat twin boxer engine producing 110 hp at 7,750 rpm and 88 lb-ft or torque at 6,000 rpm. Exhaust from it exits through stacked twin silencers. But this can be customized as well with BMW offering a titanium Akrapović exhaust and either a long or short connecting pipe for either a high or low mounting.
The nineT comes in classic black paintwork with contrasting silver and metallic highlights. BMW Motorrad lettering adorns many of the aluminum parts including a model plate riveted to the steering head to remind you this a bike celebrating 90 years of BMW Motorrad. There’s even a BMW roundel logo on the center bulb cover for the round headlight.
Availability and price were not released but we’ll have additional details in the Winter 2013 BMW Motorcycle Magazine. Be sure to check out our complete BMW nineT gallery and you can read BMW original press release below:
BMW R nineT – the essence of 90 thrilling years of BMW Motorrad.
The BMW R nineT, which has been created to mark “90 years of BMW Motorrad,” radiates purism and power in undisguised form. It skilfully blends the boxer engine’s rugged character and the design traits of various motorcycle eras with cutting-edge technology and a modular concept that offers the rider maximum scope for personalisation. Strictly reduced to the essentials, the BMW R nineT – or just nineT for short – is made all the more alluring by its hand-built feel and strong emotional appeal.
The classic roadster bike is built to cater to the many motorcycle enthusiasts who yearn for unadulterated, stress-free riding pleasure. When it came to developing the design of the nineT in particular, terms such as “puristic simplicity,” “emotion” and “authentic, traditional materials” were also high on the list of priorities. Styling cues from old-school motorcycle manufacture are thus united with the very latest drive and chassis components on the nineT to produce a sensational motorcycle that is just as adept at cruising along serenely as it is at powering down country roads.
Powered by a classic boxer engine.
Like the first ever BMW motorcycle from 1923 – the legendary BMW R32 – the new BMW R nineT is driven by the classic flat twin boxer engine with its punchy response from standstill. This construction principle has been synonymous with unmistakable design, abundant torque delivery and inimitable acoustics for 90 years now. The nineT employs the 1,170 cc air/oil-cooled boxer unit. It produces 81 kW (110 hp) at 7,750 rpm and musters up a maximum torque of 119 Nm (88 lb-ft) at 6,000 rpm.
Conceived for maximum customization.
The nineT pools together the genes from 90 years of BMW Motorrad and its unique concept has been designed to keep customisation fans happy. During each stage of the puristic roadster’s development, the focus was very much placed on enabling riders to tailor it to their personal preferences in a variety of ways. The choice of modifications ranges from BMW Motorrad genuine accessories to custom-made add-on or accessory parts from specialist customizers, making it possible to create a truly unique machine.
The high scope for customization offered by the nineT is down in no small part to its special frame concept. The tubular steel spaceframe that was specially developed for the nineT incorporates the boxer engine as a load-bearing element. The frame’s basic construction consists of a front frame section with integral steering head and a rear section with swingarm mounting.
The removable pillion frame allows the nineT to carry a passenger or to be set up for just a solo rider, when it cuts a truly stylish figure. Together with the aluminum tail cover available as a special accessory, this injects the nineT with a striking solo character that is reminiscent of the early café racers.
Exhaust positioned on left with twin silencers and personalisation options.
The exhaust system that runs down the left-hand side with two silencers placed one above the other is fully in keeping with the concept of a classic sporty roadster. There is room for customisation here too, courtesy of the BMW Motorrad accessory range. Adding a real touch of technical finesse to the nineT, for instance, is the Akrapović unit made of titanium. By fitting a short or long connecting pipe, the silencer can furthermore be mounted in either a lowered or a raised position, radically altering the appearance and character of the nineT.
Traditional chassis design combined with high-performance technology.
The telelever usually fitted on the boxer models from BMW Motorrad has been replaced on the BMW R nineT by an upside-down telescopic fork borrowed from the S1000RR superbike, resulting in a distinctly classic look paired with absolutely top-class engineering. The rear suspension employs the paralever single-sided swingarm in conjunction with a central spring strut.
The housing for the rear axle drive includes three mounting points that can be used to attach a bracket for positioning the licence plate and light unit on one side, for instance. What’s more, the swingarm on the nineT is designed in such a way that a 17-inch wheel with a width of 6 inches can be fitted instead of the standard 5.5-inch-wide version and submitted for individual approval if applicable.
Designed as an out-and-out roadster, the nineT follows in the tire tracks of role models from the past by featuring wire-spoke wheels with black anodised alloy, non-flanged rims, black aluminum hubs and stainless steel spokes. Radial 4-piston monoblock brake callipers work in unison with floating 320 millimeter [12.6 inch] brake discs and BMW Motorrad ABS to provide sure stopping power.
Pared-down design and hand-built feel.
One of the overriding design objectives was to reduce the bodywork as far as possible in order to achieve a puristic look. The attention to detail that consistently infused the work of the designers and engineers on the nineT is a further attribute that shines through over and over again.
The sides of the 18-liter [4.75 gallon] aluminum tank have been painstakingly brushed by hand and then coated. The aluminum plate with embossed nineT lettering on the right above the air intake duct is likewise befitting of the bike’s hand-built feel.
The surfaces of many forged aluminum parts, including the yokes and the handlebar clamp bracket with BMW Motorrad lettering, have been glass bead-blasted and then given a natural anodized finish. The circular headlamp with the BMW emblem in the center of the bulb cover pays homage to various role models from 90 years of BMW Motorrad.
A classic Black storm metallic paint finish with contrasting silver and metallic highlights was chosen to match the character of the nineT.
Specially designed electrical system to allow plenty of scope for customization.
The bike’s electrical system has been specially configured for greater technical flexibility, thereby facilitating the installation of alternative electrical components, such as headlights or turn indicators.
Highlights of the new BMW R nineT:
- Puristic design.
- Hand-built feel of the workmanship.
- Air/oil-cooled twin-cylinder boxer engine with a displacement of 1,170 cc. Output 81 kW (110 hp) at 7,750 rpm, maximum torque 119 Nm (88 lb-ft) at 6,000 rpm.
- Ideally suited to customization.
- Modular frame concept with removable pillion frame and frame end-piece.
- Classic wheel suspension concept using high-quality upside-down telescopic fork at the front and paralever at the rear.
- Exhaust system with two silencers on the left-hand side, with variation options.
- Traditional wire-spoke wheels with black rims and hubs.
- Radial 4-piston monoblock brake callipers, steel-braided brake lines and floating 320 mm brake discs.
- Model plate riveted onto steering head in classic BMW Motorrad style.
- Bespoke range of special accessories made to BMW Motorrad’s customary high standards of quality.