Don’t tell BMW that it can’t play by American cafe racer rules. Should you make that mistake, BMW can just as easily roll in the evolutionary R NineT and then tell you to go kick rocks. The R NineT is the result of BMW’s decision to go the fully customizable route in an attempt to ingratiate itself in the growing cafe racer market. It’s a great move that was actually three years in the making. Even if you had to wait for the R NineT to arrive, it would be all worth it if the bike lives up to its considerable hype.

In a lot of ways, the R NineT is the perfect bike for riders who prefer to infuse their imprint on their bikes. It’s customizable qualities allows that to happen, essentially giving riders free reign to go nuts on their bikes with whatever new equipment they see fit. It’s the equivalent of BMW giving riders a blank canvas to work with and then telling these riders to go crazy with their customization.

That’s the biggest selling point of the R NineT, though it’s far from the only one. The bike also has the mechanicals to be a versatile road prowler. Whether it’s used for a little cruising and bruising or simply powering down country roads, the R NineT has arrived to change the face of cafe racers from here on out.

Click past the jump to read more about the BMW R NineT.

  • 2015 BMW R NineT
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Engine:
    Air oil-cooled flat twin Boxer 4-stroke engine, two camshafts and four radially aligned valves per cylinder, central balancer shaft
  • Transmission:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Energy:
    Electronic intake pipe injection
  • Displacement:
    1170 cc
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph
  • Price:


2015 BMW R NineT Exterior
- image 580910

A quick look at the BMW R NineT will show you the design inspiration of the cafe racer. It’s got an old-school aura about it, which is exactly what cafe racers are supposed to be. But BMW takes it a step further by essentially promoting the bike as a blank canvas that can be freely customized by its owners. Certain elements to the machine back up that fact, including the rear frame, the portion that holds the taillight and the license plate bracket. These components are held by simple bolts and screws, which makes it easy for them to be taken off with the ease of items in your toolbox.

That doesn’t mean that you can just strip out the R NineT’s guts and then call it a day. In
its standard configuration, the R NineT actually looks the part of an elegant machine that puts a premium on featuring clear-anodized aluminum pieces on the front fender mounts, the clamps, and the right-side air scoop. The smooth fuel tank integrates itself well into the plush and comfortable black leather seat that features contrasting white stitching.

Take a seat on the bike and you’ll come face-to-face with a T-shaped digital dash that displays vital information surrounding the bike’s performance capabilities. The digital dash is surrounded by circular analog gauges for the speed and tachometer.

Design Specifications

Length 87.4 inches (2,220 mm)
Width (incl. mirrors) 35.0 inches (890 mm)
Height (excl. mirrors) 59.8 inches (1,265 mm)
Seat height, unladen weight 30.9 inches Standard
Inner leg curve, unladen weight 69.3 inches Standard
Unladen weight, road ready, fully fuelled 489 lbs (222 kg)
Permitted total weight 948 lbs (430 kg)
Payload (with standard equipment) 459 lbs (208 kg)
Usable tank volume 4.8 gal (18 liters)
Reserve approx. 0.8 gal


2015 BMW R NineT Exterior
- image 580900

The BMW R NineT’s customizable characteristics means that it should have a frame that can be easily be reconfigured at any moment’s notice. That’s why BMW opted to use a modular frame concept with a removable pillion frame and a frame end-piece that can be used to begin the process of customization. The frame is complemented by a classic wheel suspension concept that makes use of a high-quality upside-down telescopic fork at the front and paralever at the rear.

Traditional wire-spoke wheels with their own black rims and hubs are in line with the classic and old-school appeal of the R NineT. Add the radial 4-piston monoblock brake callipers, the steel-braided brake lines, and the floating 12.6-inch brake discs and the bike is ready to go.

Frame Specifications

Frame four-section frame consisting of one front and three rear sections, load-bearing engine-gearbox unit, removable pillion frame for single ride use
Front wheel location / suspension Upside-Down telescopic fork with 46 mm diameter
Rear wheel location / suspension Cast aluminium single-sided swing arm with BMW Motorrad Paralever; central spring strut, spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable (continuously variable) at handwheel, rebound damping adjustable
Suspension travel front / rear 4.7 inches / 4.7 inches (120 mm / 120 mm)
Wheelbase 58.1 inches (1,476 mm)
Castor 4.04 inches (102.5 mm)
Steering head angle 64,5 °
Wheels Spoke wheels
Rim, front 3.50 x 17"
Rim, rear 5.50 x 17"
Tyres, front 120/70 ZR 17
Tyres, rear 180/55 ZR 17
Brake, front Dual disc brake, floating brake discs, diameter 320 mm, four-piston radial calipers
Brake, rear Single disc brake, diameter 265 mm, double-piston floating caliper
ABS BMW Motorrad ABS


2015 BMW R NineT Exterior
- image 580900

The BMW R NineT is powered by a 1,170 cc twin-cylinder boxer engine that produces 110 horsepower and 88 pound-feet of torque. The bike utilizes a six-speed transmission and the company’s own Paralever shaft drive system to send power to the rear wheel, ensuring that the bike receives crisp power even in the low ranges.

When the bike is in full blast, the R NineT is capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds to go with a top speed of over 124 mph.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine Type Air/oil-cooled flat twin (’Boxer’) 4-stroke engine, two camshafts and four radially aligned valves per cylinder, central balancer shaft
Bore x stroke 101 mm x 73 mm
Capacity 1,170 ccm
Rated output 110 hp (81 kW) at 7,550 rpm
Max. torque 88 lb-ft (119 Nm) at 6,000 rpm
Compression ratio 12.0 : 1
Mixture control / engine management Electronic intake pipe injection
Emission control Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-3
Maximum speed over 125 mph
Fuel consumption per 100 km at constant 90 km/h 52 mpg at a constant 56 mph (4.5 l)
Fuel type Premium Unleaded
Alternator three-phase alternator 600 W
Battery 12 V / 14 Ah, maintenance-free
Clutch Single dry plate clutch, hydraulically operated
Gearbox Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox with helical gear teeth
Drive Shaft drive


2015 BMW R NineT Exterior
- image 580907

BMW priced the R NineT a little steep for a new bike. But that shouldn’t be a problem for those who want the bike hard enough that they’re willing to spend $14,995. That price doesn’t come with any customizable equipment so depending on what you want to change on your bike, be prepared to spend a little more than the bike’s listed price.


2015 BMW R NineT Exterior
- image 580905

“The R nineT distributes its power to the rear wheel via BMW’s Paralever shaft drive system and through a six-speed box that provides exceptionally crisp and true shift actuation. To be honest, the way that precise throttle, easy clutch and accurate shifter are set up, it is absolute joy to rip up and down through the gears time and again. 90 years of engineering prowess shows here for sure.” ----- Double Clutch

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Motorcycle Finder: