Out of the Box – BMW R NineT Racer
Out of the box, off the shelf, ready-made…customs? Sure it’s an oxymoron, but boy they’re getting good at it. The big motorcycle manufacturers are all cashing in on the custom scene with their “Classic/Heritage” models. Triumph have nailed it with their Bobber and now BMW Motorrad adds a 70’s inspired ‘Racer’ to their lineup to prove that modern motorcycles can be cool too!
It started out as a motorcycle that allowed owners to perform simple customization, but now the R nineT is available in a range of different styles. Along with the base model R9T, BMW customers can now choose from an R9T Scrambler, Pure, Urban GS or the all-new Racer.
As BMW Motorrad put it, the R9T Racer is “Style in the fast lane.” It’s a fitting statement for this new version of the R nineT that shares identical performance figures to its predecessor, but that doesn’t mean it’s slow. With 110 bhp on tap, the R nineT is no show pony. The bikes air-cooled 1170cc boxer twin has been getting great reviews since it first appeared back in 2014 (including a review from yours truly for Tank Moto magazine) and the bikes got all the performance tech you’d expect from the Bavarians.
Instead of actual performance improvements, the R9T Racer adds speedy styling. Taking design cues from 70s motorsport BMW have created what is essentially a body kit for their R9T. The fuel tank remains the same as you’ll find on the other models, but there’s a custom wasp’s tail rear end that negates passenger capability. Up front, a beautifully retro half fairing surrounds the forks and headlight with a clear perspex windshield and tightly packed instrument cluster.
To match its race styled bodywork the riding position of the R9T Racer has also been revised. Clever clip on style handlebars have been mounted into a unique top clamp design that maximises the use of space and minimises clutter. The seat height has been reduced to bring the rider closer to the tank and rear set foot pegs lower the knees for comfort and raise the feet for corner clearance.
Although performance remains the same under the sleek new bodywork there have been a few changes to the Racer’s geometry. The bike’s frame uses a 4 part design with one front section and 3 rear. The overall wheelbase is 4mm longer and the forks are 43mm telescopic items as opposed to the 46mm USD forks found on the standard version. BMW also states that the bikes 2-into-1 exhaust was inspired by the Cafe Racer movement, but a reverse megaphone would have been a nice touch.
As with the other R9T variants, the Racer still offers owners plenty of opportunity for custom tweaks including a BMW aftermarket pillion passenger kit, alternative tanks, spoked wheels, suspension kits and performance mufflers. The Racer is available in one colourway of white with M racing livery but I’d be surprised if there wasn’t a black version planned for the future. Despite the additional bodywork the Racer tips the scales 2kg lighter than the standard. Pricing is yet to be released, but my guess is that for this much additional style you’ll be spending a few extra dollars.
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