2015 BMW R9T

Two wheels of unlimited fun

Ever since BMW took off the cover of its retro modern roadster in 2013, I have been looking forward to trying it out. It's happening now, due to Roshan from Abu Dhabi, who loaned us his brand new 2015 BMW R nine T for this review.

The nine T perfectly renders the idea of an everyday fun urban bike with a retro appeal perfected in raw metal. For my eyes, the execution of this idea could not have been more perfect with hand-brushed aluminium tank, retro design, modern electronics and brakes, superbike spec upside down front forks, wire spoke wheels and the prominent air-cooled boxer's barrels sticking out on either side adding to the muscular appeal.

Ola Stenegard and his team created the nine T as homage to 90 years of BMW's foray into motorcycles. This is a roadster that has been built with ease of customisation in mind. No more taking a grinding wheel to the frame to fine-tune it to your individual tastes. BMW has created a modular design where parts like the pillion seat along with the sub frame and wiring harness can be easily removed or modified to make it a single seater. They have also included a list of customisable parts that easily bolts on to the stock nine T.

The first thing you notice on board the nine T is how compact and manageable the overall size and ergonomics are. The seat height at 785 mm is low enough to comfortably reach both feet on the ground even for short riders. Instruments are a mix of analogue speedo and rev dials with a digital centre dash giving other basic information. Attention to detail and quality can be seen and felt all over the bike.

Thumb starting the 1170 cc air and oil cooled engine into life makes the bike tilt sideways slightly with the characteristic and partially addictive boxer shake. Equipped with 110 hp and 119 Nm of torque the engine pulls eagerly from low down the rev range but thins out at as the needle reaches near the redline. The gears engage positively though the spacing between 2nd and 3rd could have been optimised. The nine T can glide easily in 6th gear at 60 kph. The strong low-end torque delivered to the rear wheel through shaft drive helps it pull cleanly from there all the way up even with a pillion on board. The standard fitment Akrapovic pipes provides the music to match making even the shortest ride an event to cherish.

The brakes lack initial bite but are effective in slowing the bike down safely from any speed that is aided with the standard ABS. Riding position is up straight and most comfortable for street riding. For long distances you have to keep it below 140kph to not get tired from the windblast. You need to tighten your grip on to the tall and wide handlebars to stay on the bike to overcome the thrust of wind on your chest at high speed. The power seems adequate for most of the riding, which this bike is intended to do. Suspension is set up more to the comfortable side that helps in long rides but makes turns adventurous at times.

Even with only a couple of days riding it, I am sure the charm of the nine T will stay with me for a long time to come after I part with it. It surely is two wheels filled with unlimited fun.

Note to Editor -

Words and Photos - Govind Janardanan

Specification Sheet -

Engine

 

Type

Air/oil-cooled, four-stroke twin-cylinder boxer engine with four radial valves per cylinder

Bore x stroke

101 mm x 73 mm

Capacity

1,170 cc

Rated output

110 hp at 7,550 rpm

Max. torque

119 Nm at 6.000 rpm

Clutch

Single dry plate clutch, hydraulically operated

Gearbox

Six-speed helical gearbox

Drive

Shaft drive

Chassis / brakes

 

Front wheel location / suspension

Upside-Down telescopic fork

Rear wheel location / suspension

Cast aluminium single swing-arm with BMW Motorrad Paralever

Wheelbase

1,476 mm

Brake, front

Double disc brakes with four-piston radial brake calipers

Brake, rear

Single disc brake with double-piston floating caliper

ABS

BMW Motorrad ABS

Dimensions / weights

 

Length

2,220 mm

Width (incl. mirrors)

890 mm

Height (excl. mirrors)

1,265 mm

Seat height, unladen weight

785 mm

Dry weight

 

 

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