I BOUGHT A BMW R Nine T! Hi guys and welcome back to the channel! Today we are taking a look at pretty much my dream bike. In this video I will go over why I think this is the best modern retro bike and why I wanted it so much. I will also talk about the riding experience and future plans. So, stick around and enjoy this beauty with me!
We’ll start with a little bit of history; I’ll keep this very brief. To celebrate the 90-year anniversary, BMW decided to release a ‘limited run’ bike that would celebrate their heritage and the end of an era using up the remaining engines. That was supposed to be it, but what they didn’t realize is that people absolutely fell in love with these bikes and they have, maybe, un-intentionally, re-ignited the retro styling and the passion for BMW bikes in a lot of riders. Since then, they have released many different versions of the R Nine T, but I went for the original black and silver BMW R Nine T which I would consider to be the top of the range. I love the color schemes on the other versions, but I wanted all of the best this model offers to get the full experience.
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Why I got it:
So, why did I go for the BMW R Nine T? You might think that I bought this bike purely because it is a BMW and while that would be a reasonable assumption judging by my car history, there are a few good reasons other than the brand to get this motorcycle. The first and most important for me was the way it looks. This bike is absolutely beautiful in my eyes and I have loved the design ever since I saw one for the first time. I adore the boxer stance and how it makes the bike look old school and muscular and classic. The heritage can be seen all the way back and I think that’s really cool.
Of course, you can’t buy a bike on design alone, so I test drove one and I found out that there is something very enjoyable about this bike, it has a very sincere mechanical heart and soul. It has all those things that you’d want in a retro bike. As I put in the title, it’s perfectly unrefined and I fell in love with THAT. I’m sure a lot of this has been actually engineered into it, but it feels just so right, especially when you are sitting at a stop light and you can feel the rumble between your legs and the twisting torque from the engine when you give it some revs. It’s glorious.
Other than the superb design and the amazing engineering, this bike has a great value retention. I have been monitoring prices over the last 2 years and they have remained pretty much the same. That fills me with confidence that in a few years, I can trade it for something different without a huge lose.
Now, why did I get this specific one? Well, I wanted the original R Nine T, not the Pure or the Scrambler and it also had ONLY 1200 miles on it. The bike was for sale by owner only 15 minutes from my house with full-service history from BMW where it got a new battery and oil change as well as all of the recalls done by the dealer.
So, what are the specs? If you’re not familiar with the bike, you basically got half a Porsche or Subaru motor between your legs as it’s an old school air-cooled horizontally opposing twin cylinder 1170CC, 110 horsepower and 75lb ft of torque engine. A version of this engine used to be in most BMW R bikes for quite a long time and has always been popular and recently, very reliable. The power delivery is very linear and smooth, so the bike pulls with confidence at almost any rev range. As most modern bikes, this comes standard with ABS, but it also comes with huge double floating discs and 4 piston calipers on the front and a 2-piston caliper set up in the back. It also features a fully adjustable upside-down telescopic fork that’s only available on the original R Nine T. My bike has no options as far as I can tell and that isn’t really a problem for me, I only wish the previous owner checked the heated grips options when buying it new.
You can of course read all of the specs online, but what does it translate to when you ride? Well, I want to start this by saying that I have only been riding for a year and I have very limited experience with other bikes. The bike I have spent the most amount of time riding was my old-school Honda CB360 that has been converted to a café racer/brat bike. So, that means my experience and opinions aren’t really based on other bikes, it’s more of a feeling I get from this as my first modern motorcycle.
Weighting in at almost 500 pounds with all of the fluids, my fear was that this thick and heavy girl will be hard to handle for a novice like me, but all the weight is down low, so the center of gravity is low also. It’s kind to the newer riders despite the girth. It actually feels somewhat lightweight and handling has never been a problem for me all.
I also really enjoy this relaxing, but engaging upright riding position with the shoulders wide and plenty of visibility and comfort on longer rides. The grips are large and wide apart, creating a large area for the wind to catch you, but somehow the wind has not been an issue for me, at least at normal/legal speeds. I’ve learned to sit slightly back at higher speeds and lean down to make my shoulders not as wide. So, I do not wish for a windshield or a wind deflector like some people have noted on forums. I was worried about this quite a bit when buying this bike, but it just adds to the experience.
One of my favorites while riding the BMW R Nine T is how confident it is on the road and how it makes me feel like a good rider, the brakes are simply incredible and feel like a super bike with lots of stopping power and adjustability based on your liking. I love the torque-y engine and how you can feel the vibration when you rev it up from idle. That torque and power doesn’t seem to stop and it just keeps pulling and pulling very confidently through the rev range and when you let off the throttle, the pop and bangs make me smile like a kid every single time!
There are a few things that I don’t love as much on the bike and the first one has to be the comfort of the saddle. I think it looks great and I wouldn’t want it to be thick, but after riding for a couple of hours it gets slightly uncomfortable and my butt and thigh area was starting to go a little numb.
What I also didn’t expect was the driveshaft and transmission clunk when shifting, but I’ve learned that this is normal on all BMW boxer, dry clutch and drive shaft motorcycles and have gotten used to it by now. It’s very mechanical feeling so it adds to the experience. I also had to get used to the limited steering lock that pulls you further into a corner at low speeds that made me uncomfortable at first. It also seems to have a wider turning circle than I would expect.
A lot of people rush to modify cars and bikes shortly after getting them, but I actually prefer to drive or ride my vehicles for a while before doing so. I’m still learning about the suspension preload and different adjustments you can make on this bike as far as the suspension. Not to mention you can change how the clutch and brakes feel and how aggressive they are. There are still many knobs to explore and get ‘just right’. (show small clips of these as b-roll). I will be looking for alternative mirrors as they are large and pretty ugly, but I think that should be an easy swap. I also would like to put a brighter and whiter LED in the headlight and tuck in the back light and license plate cluster. It sticks out too much in my opinion and can look much better. The last item on my to do list so far is to do the exhaust mod to make it a little bit louder. What are your thoughts? What would you modify or change on this bike or would you leave it as is and just ride? Let me know down in the comments.
In conclusion, this is a modern classic blend that’s comfortable enough to be a daily driver with amazing craftsmanship. It’s all the things that are good about the old bikes, without any of the bad. Well, that’s all I have for you guys today, like, comment subscribe and I’ll see you in the next one.