BMW RnineT

BMW RnineT

BMW RnineT

I’m currently sat in the customer cafe at Ocean BMW in Plymouth after having just got back from a test ride on the RnineT.

It’s a funky looking little thing with big chunky forks, Brembo radial brakes on the front and a single sided shaft drive swing arm transmitting the power out back.

At the heart of the bike is BMW’s bulletproof boxer twin.

First impressions

When you first swing a leg over it you notice you how tiny it is and after jumping from my S1000RR you notice that your arse is a lot closer to the ground. On my S-thou I can’t get both feet flat on the ground and am instead on tip toes. With the RnineT I can get my feet comfortably flat on the ground with a pretty decent bend at the knee. This is a rare occurrence for a short arse like me!

As I thumb the starter button the RnineT bursts into life with a lazy pulsing tick over which is a million miles away from the 1000cc in line four I’m used to riding.

There’s a low level buzz through the bars & seat on tick over and as I blip the throttle you can feel the big pistons doing their thing. Anyone who’s ridden a boxer twin will know what I’m talking about.

Engaging first and away I go. Ocean BMW sits on a hill and as I turn right to head toward the main road I notice how easy it is to turn with the big wide bars.

As I approach the junction I go to apply the front brakes. I definitely pulled on the leave but that instant bite that I’m used to isn’t there, so I make a mental note that I’ll need more time to stop than the S1000RR and off I head down the A38 towards the Tamar Bridge.

RnineT has a pretty responsive motor as I gas it up to the national speed limit. Sure it doesn’t accelerate with the ultra violence of an S1000RR but it does make haste in it’s own way.
A lot of magazine journo’s call it character insinuating that only twins or triples can have personality. But I disagree because I think all bikes have character, even 1000cc inline fours. My bike is an angry lil fugger that has no problem melting your mind with acceleration that would make the Millennium Falcon look slow but it also offers you a reassuring hug with traction control & ABS just in case you forget you’re not Marc Marquez lol.

In The Twisties

Once I got onto the twisties the RnineT came into it’s own. I’ve ride the xyz from xyz dozens of times, it’s my test route if you will, on totally different bikes including R2?s, ZX-6R, F 800?s & S1000RR’s and I won’t lie the RnineT is plenty fast enough through the turns on this road. This is mainly because it has useable power with a decent chassis. I reckon this bike would be as fast as anything in the typical bumpy British A and B roads. This is because it pretty much goes where you want it to. The wide bars make steering effortless, although the riding position for me would take a little adapting to. I felt like I was riding a motor crosser as my hands and elbows were so high but this isn’t a negative of the RnineT, just something that I’m not used to.

The lazier throttle response and softer power delivery really helped with hustling it around the corners because when you twisted the throttle it wasn’t like engaging the hyper drive in the Millennium Falcon and this allowed your brain more time to process information, think and react to hazards on the road.

One thing I couldn’t get the hang of during the hour i was out on the bike was the gear change. I found i couldn’t quite get the timing right and had to use the clutch on up changes, especially from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd. Maybe that’s just me or it might be something to do with the Boxer Twin engine. Maybe someone with a GS will be able to tell me.

Conclusion

Lets cut to the chase. Would I sell my sports bike and buy the RnineT? In a word no! Not because I didn’t enjoy riding it but because it didn’t fill me with awe every time I twist the throttle, which the S1000RR does. Sure I’m never ever going to get the most out of my bike on the road, heck I’m probably never going to be able to extract 100% of it’s potential on a race track but i love the ferociousness of it. I love the way it turns, I love the way it stops and I love the way my bike looks. In comparison, and it’s really not a very fare comparison, the RnineT is a little soft and runs out of steam.

But then the RnineT isn’t about going fast. It’s about looking cool and that’s what it does, and if I had a couple of million in the bank I’d definitely put the RnineT on my bikes to taz around on.

Below are a couple of videos from my test ride. It’s a shame that the camera doesn’t pick up the exhaust as it has an awesome pop and bark on the over run. But I’d have to be patient they have sold out and there’s massive waiting list on them. So if you want one you best get ya finger out.

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

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