BMW RnineT cafe racer tested

By A. NACHI | 15 June 2016

The BMW R nineT is a café racer inspired machine. The retro styling on this bike is very delightful. It is a sexy looking bike which received all the oohs and aahs at every red light I stopped.

The challenge that every good looking bike has….is the performance of the bike up to par with the looks? So I took the bike to my favorite destination, Genting Highlands and found the highs and the lows of the bike. There is so much of enthusiasm in this bike the minute I thumbed the starter. The R nineT fires up with a pleasant grunty sound.


The rider’s seat has been carefully designed to give the rider the best experience. The saddle is firm and comfortable and also wide enough giving me room to move around. Ergonomics on this bike is definitely good for long distance; the handle bars and seat to peg is spot on. It was a well thought off design. Few minutes on the Karak Highway, I could feel the glorious power gradually picking up on the 1,170cc air-cooled boxer twin.
The power flow is unimpeded and linear.

While on the Karak Highway before taming the Genting Highland corners and twisties, I realised the boxer engine is most lively from 2,800 to 3,100rpm band. Meanwhile on the highland roads, the R nineT was very much at home.

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The throttle response be it on short stretches or sweeping tight corners and hairpins was simply fast.
The gear changes were smooth and instantaneous. While immersing myself in the beauty of the highland, the R nineT performed to my expectation.

The café racer was in its element, conquering the corners and turns with third and fourth gear. There were very few gear changes, and the boxer engine-powered motorcycle enters and exits the bends without breaking a sweat. On the brakes, R nineT scores an A. The rear 265mm disc has a Brembo two-piston caliper, and there is a two 320mm front disc, Brembo four-radial caliper piston. Both brakes comes with anti-lock braking system and are designed to stop the bike at any speed.

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The front end of the bike is fitted with inverted fork. On leisurely rides, the front fork seems good but needs to be further improved if you are taking on more challenging conditions on the hilly roads. Meanwhile the rear suspension does not give you the feeling that you are planted once you start pushing the bike hard. Overall upgrade is necessary if you are into fast riding.

In the city centre, R nineT cruises effortlessly. The low height of the bike and the comfortable sitting position of the bike makes the R nineT my favourite two-wheeler in the city. Smooth gearing and light clutch pull allowed me to ride through tight spaces in city traffic with little stress.

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The bike’s high torque and agility are ideal on the busy streets of Kuala Lumpur. There was a time at a traffic light on Old Klang Road where a Toyota Vios behind me took a good minute to catch up after I sped off the moment the light turned green.

Not bad eh?

The R nineT, priced at RM99,888 on-the-road without insurance, is definitely a winner in performance, styling and reliability. What else can I say?

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