Earlier this year, we were given the privilege to test Germany's response to the growing popularity and resurgence of scramblers in the motorcycle scene – the R nineT Scrambler. It is one of the few bikes that I really enjoyed riding in and around my home, as well as on a quick trip to San Fernando, Pampanga while the unit was with me. I even took the bike to the nearby Vermosa Motocross Track (no jumping though) for some off-roading fun.
Then, just over a month ago, things got exciting for those of us living in the south of Manila as Motor Ace Moto Mecca opened to the public. The new showroom offers enthusiasts a one-stop-shop if they're in the market for a big bike. One of the showrooms within the compound is BMW Motorrad.
Our good friend, John Neri, who also happens to be the branch manager for the BMW Motorrad showroom, generously handed us the keys of their R nineT Pure demo bike. He says that the bike contrasts from the other BMW Motorrad bikes that I have ridden so far in the sense that the R nineT Pure has the least modern gizmos typically found standard in most BMW motorcycles these days. Unlike the R nine T Scrambler that we've tested before, this one comes with a steel fuel tank, which is also nice because I was able to use my magnetic tank bag.
The R nineT Pure is under BMW's heritage lineup and draws inspiration from their roadster bikes from the '70s and the '80s. The crowning glory of the R nineT Pure is, of course, its engine. This BMW boxer engine stays true to the spirit that has pretty much remained unchanged for the last 96 years. It is an air and oil-cooled, 1,170 cc with dual overhead cams that produces 111.5 Ps (110 hp) and 116 Nm of torque powers the rear wheel. It is mated to a six-speed gearbox with the propeller as the final drive. Speaking of the propeller shaft, it is positioned on the right side of the bike – just like the BMW motorcycles of old.
As mentioned above, the R nineT Pure is designed to pay tribute to classic BMW roadsters – being raw and unadulterated. This is evident in the amazing intricate details all over the bike. As mentioned above, it has a steel fuel tank. The single, round, analog-digital instrument dial, paired with the round headlight, as well as the all-LED taillights and turn signals perfectly combine modernity to the bike's overall classic-look.
What is it like to ride?
Although the front suspension is not the same as the one on the P1.255-million R nineT Classic, it still performs well even when ridden aggressively on the corners. The dual 4-piston Brembo calipers mated to the dual 320 mm discs for the front and single dual-piston caliper mated to a 265 mm rear disk assured me that the bike will stop where I want it and when I want it. Our demo unit does come with ABS but doesn't have traction control. Personally, I like it that way.
As with other boxer engines, the R nineT Pure is torquey but still behaves in a way that people with fewer riding experience can manage. The exhaust note is, by all means, beefy and wouldn't be mistaken for another bike than one with a BMW boxer twin. While some complain about the engine heat and overheating, I had never experienced the overheating part. It even went as high as 148 °C when navigating through the heavy traffic on the way out of Manila. Not to worry as the engine has a fail-safe system that will shut the engine off automatically when enough is enough. Even with that high temperature, the engine never missed a beat and still ran smoothly.
As for the heat, well, that's another story, especially when you're stuck in traffic – the same goes with other big-displacement naked bikes. To manage the engine temp, some owners install an aftermarket fan on the oil cooler.
Overall, the R nineT pure is a pretty straightforward motorcycle. We shouldn't compare it with its technologically-infused siblings because again, this is a reincarnation of the classic BMW roadster motorcycle.
Can it be an everyday rider? Yes definitely. I'm about 5'6 and I find the 805 mm seat height just right.
How about fuel economy? This is a BMW. If you're asking for fuel economy, that means you can't afford it. Kidding aside, I managed a decent 19 kilometers per liter, city and highway combined.
The R nineT Pure is a bike with character. It is fun to ride and will always be a head-turner. If that's still not enough, tons of BMW Motorrad optional accessories are available for you to further customize the R nineT Pure. Equip it, modify it, design it – your bike, your style.