It’s Just A Really Nice, Plain ol’ Bike Begging For Customization

The Bayerische Motoren Werke has been busy expanding its R nineT family, and MY2017 saw the addition of the “Pure” model. At a glance, the Pure is exactly that; a roadster-style model reduced to its absolute essential form with nothing in the way of what you might call superfluous contaminants. BMW’s Boxer-Twin provides the power with both standard and optional safety equipment that’ll help you keep it dirty-side down. The factory brushed up the aesthetics as well with two new finishes from Beemer’s Spezial division that really make the sparse sheet metal pop visually.

  • 2017 - 2019 BMW R nineT Pure
  • Year:
    2017- 2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Flat twin
  • Displacement:
    1170 cc
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    9995
  • Price:

BMW R nineT Pure Design

2017 - 2019 BMW R nineT Pure
- image 822125
The BMW logo in the headlight glass has roots going back almost 100 years. That kind of historical detail really adds to the curb appeal to the people in the know.

Spartan looks are the hallmark of the aptly-named Pure. It starts out bright and early with a minimal front fender riding between blackout fork sliders that also make a connection to the custom culture. That achromatic treatment touches on the frame, drivetrain, rims and the round cyclops headlight can, plus a few more places to keep the bling-factor low, but that’s alright. It’s not really a flashy ego-machine at the end of the day.

It’s such a simple thing, but the BMW logo in the headlight glass has roots going back almost 100 years, and that kind of historical detail really adds to the curb appeal to the people in the know. A single analog clock displays the speed with an LCD screen to cover the other pertinent metrics with a handful of idiot-lights set in the black background to round out the instrumentation and keep the control area as clean as the rest of the machine.

The bars mount directly to the top triple clamp to pull the rider forward over the 4.5-gallon fuel tank into an aggressive sport-riding pose that almost edges into café racer territory, just without the associated fairings. Beemer has another variant already dedicated to that particular sub-genre, the Racer.

Compound curves in the large tank give it quite a bit of character with a pair of dimples up front to give the fork tubes some relief and widen the steering arc. Deep knee pockets follow wide shoulders that steer the slipstream around the pilot’s legs and leave room for you to throw around some body English, plus they create a wane that meets a narrow seat and frame to give you thighs a break when you deploy your training wheels. That’s important since the 31.7-inch standard seat height may tax some of the shorter inseam lengths, but the factory takes pity on the vertically-challenged with a 31.3-inch custom seat and a 30.5-inch “Low” seat.

An old-school, bench-style seat carries the merest suggestion of a shoulder between pilot and pillion with a set of subframe-mount, flip-up footpegs and a grabstrap to finish out the passenger’s gear. An LED lightbar serves as the taillight with standoff-style blinkers and an extended mudguard/plateholder to complete the gear in the rear.

The blackout engine area rocks a few bright spots with a model-specific logo stamped into the ram-air inlets and a satin-finish rocker-box cover. Simple, yet tasteful.

BMW R nineT Pure Chassis

2017 - 2019 BMW R nineT Pure
- image 822131
Built with customization in mine, the modular steel frame runs with a revised suspension geometry and a bolted-up, three-section architecture that makes it easy to mix, match and modify to suit.

Beemer built the R nineT family with customization in mind, and to that end, the modular steel frame runs with a revised suspension geometry and a bolted-up, three-section architecture that makes it easy to mix, match and modify to suit.

Tracking stability and a neutral cornering response come courtesy of the 58.8-inch wheelbase, 26.6-degree rake angle, and 4.1 inches of trail. Symmetrical 17-inch rims round out the rolling chassis with a cast construction and blackout finish that ties in nicely with the rest of the paint scheme. The hoops are “ZR” rated, so that should tell you all you need to know about the designed performance envelope, and they run with a 120/70 up front followed by an 180/55 out back.

BMW uses telescopic-hydraulic forks up front rather than its peculiar and distinctive Telelever system, and the stems are pure-D vanilla with a 4.9 inch range of travel. Out back, a cast-aluminum, single-side swingarm relies on a central spring-strut delivers adjustable preload and rebound damping with 4.7 inches of travel.

The anchors are significant with dual, 320 mm discs and a pair of four-bore calipers to bite them up front, and out back, a 265 mm disc and twin-piston caliper takes care of business. ABS comes stock to help you get the most out of the brakes, but that’s the extent of the electronic fandanglery on the stock machine.

Frame: Three-section frame consisting of one front and two rear sections, load-bearing engine-gearbox unit, removeable pillion frame for single rider use
Front suspension/ Travel: Telescopic forks, Ø 43 mm/4.9” (125 mm)
Rear suspension/ Travel: Cast aluminum single-sided swing arm with BMW Paralever; central spring strut, spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable (continuously variable) at handwheel, rebound damping adjustable/ 4.7” (120 mm)
Rake: 26.6°
Trail: 4.1” (105 mm)
Wheels: Cast aluminum wheels
Rim, front: 3.50 x 17"
Rim, rear: 5.50 x 17”
Tire, front: 120/70 ZR 17
Tire, rear: 180/55 ZR 17
Brake, front: Dual 320 mm floating disc brakes, 4-piston calipers
Brake, rear: Single 265 mm disc brake, dual-piston floating caliper
ABS: BMW Motorrad ABS

BMW R nineT Pure Drivetrain

2017 - 2019 BMW R nineT Pure
- image 821900
This engine leaves the fandanglery on the top shelf for the most part, but if you fancy a traction-control system, Beemer offers its Automatic Stability Control as an option.

Beemer powers the thing with its signature Boxer-Twin plant that has roots going all the way back to the 1920s. It’s air cooled, so there is no unsightly radiator to mar its clean-and-classy looks, though the factory did throw on an oil-cooler to protect the engine’s lifeblood.

The Pure features a counter-balancer that mitigates the rocking couple associated with the 180-out firing order, so that pleasant, even engine note feels as good as it sounds. Bore and stroke measure out at 101 mm and 73 mm, respectively, to give the mill a total displacement of 1,170 cc and a relatively warm 12-to-1 compression ratio.

Electronic fuel injection and a triple-action catalytic converter helps the engine meet its Euro-4 obligations and deliver 44 miles per gallon of top-hook pump champagne. What does this get you? Well, the factory claims 110 ponies at 7,750 rpm backed up by 86 pound-feet of torque that top out at six grand.

Power flows through a dry, hydraulically-actuated standard clutch and six-speed, helical-cut gearbox before it heads to the rear wheel via a shaft-type final drive. As usual, Beemer uses the single-side swingarm as a housing for the shaft in a move that protects the final drive and visually cleans up the drivetrain. Oh, and if you’re old-school and worried about the old shaft-jacking effect, that’s been relegated to the history books where it belongs, and should be considered a non-issue nowadays.

This engine leaves the fandanglery on the top shelf for the most part, but if you fancy a traction-control system, Beemer offers its Automatic Stability Control as an option. Once the power filters through all of the above, you can expect to get at least 125 mph out of it, adjusted for weight, altitude, ambient air temp, etc.

Engine: Air/oil-cooled, 4-stroke flat twin engine with balance shaft, four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshaft, wet sump lubrication
Bore x Stroke: 101 mm x 73 mm
Displacement: 1,170 cc
Rated output: 110 hp (81 kW) @ 7,750 rpm
Max. torque: 86 lb-ft (116 Nm) @ 6,000 rpm
Compression ratio: 12.0:1
Mixture control / engine management: Electronic fuel injection
Emission control: Controlled 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-4
Clutch: Single dry plate clutch, hydraulically operated
Gearbox: Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox with helical cut gears
Secondary drive: Shaft drive 2.91:1

BMW R nineT Pure Pricing

2017 - 2019 BMW R nineT Pure
- image 822124
The least expensive of the R nineT line, MSRP starts at $10k.

The base price for the Catalano Grey sits at $9,995. You can opt for the Spezial paint packages such as the sharp-as-a-tack Black Storm Metallic/Aurum (yellow) or Black Storm Metallic/Light White for another five Benjamins. The ASC is reasonable at $400, and of course, you can spring for the $250 heated grips and all sorts of other goodies from the accessories catalog.

Standard Features: ABS, Adjustable Rear Shock Absorber Rebound, Adjustable Rear Suspension, Spring Preload, Cast Aluminum Wheels, Disc Brakes, LED Tail Light, Modular Frame Concept, Power Socket, Smoked Grey Turn Signal Lenses. Speedometer, Steel Fuel Tank, Steering Damper, Two Section Dual Seat
Colors: Catalano Grey, Option 719 Black Storm Metallic/Aurum, Option 719 Black Storm Metallic/Light White
Price: $9,995

BMW R nineT Pure Competitors

2019 Triumph Speed Twin
- image 809569
2017 - 2019 BMW R nineT Pure
- image 821922
If your budget is tight and right at the $10k mark, the Beemer will give you a bit more bike for your buck.

Maybe it’s because of the aerial Battle of Britain, but it always feels right to pit a Brit against BMW, so with that in mind, I go to Triumph for its new Speed Twin. The “ST” draws on equally deep roots to deliver a classic look on an equally clean machine.

Blackout treatment makes the same connection to the old-school custom culture, as do the round headlight, twin analog clocks, knee-dent teardrop tank and bench seat. It’s liquid-cooled, so there is a radiator to contend with, but the aforementioned blackout all but swallows it up so that it’s fairly inconspicuous. At least the engine rocks some cooling fins to preserve the illusion even while they radiate heat from the heads to the atmosphere.

Said engine displaces 1,200 cc in a parallel-twin layout that generates 96 ponies and 82.6 pounds o’ grunt to fall just a skosh short of the BMW’s Boxer, but honestly, that difference probably won’t even be a blip on the old heinie-dyno. I’ll tell you what will register with most folks is the $12,100 price tag. Yeah, it comes with ABS as well, but if your budget is tight and right at the $10k mark, the Beemer will give you a bit more bike for your buck.

He Said

“I have nothing but respect for German engineering, and an appreciation for pragmatic design philosophies, so the Pure hits all the right high notes as far as I’m concerned. Retro is in, and I can see this design performing well in the market, especially with that all-important 18-35 year age bracket everybody is (necessarily) scrambling to rope in. Oh, and let me just say; the black and yellow paint job is freakin’ pure-D awesomesauce, I don’t care if it is more expensive.”

She Said

My wire and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “This R nineT really begs for customization. It’s a basic bike — rwu forks, a single instrument clock, steel tank – and the rider position is comfortable, though the seat is a bit hard. It would be nice as a commuter since it has plenty more to give even at interstate speeds. The Pure is the stripped-down version of the R nineT family, but it really doesn’t lose any rideability as a result. It’s just a really nice, plain ol’ bike.”

BMW R nineT Pure Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Air/oil-cooled, 4-stroke flat twin engine with balance shaft, four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshaft, wet sump lubrication
Bore x Stroke: 101 mm x 73 mm
Displacement: 1,170 cc
Rated output: 110 hp (81 kW) @ 7,750 rpm
Max. torque: 86 lb-ft (116 Nm) @ 6,000 rpm
Compression ratio: 12.0:1
Mixture control / engine management: Electronic fuel injection
Emission control: Controlled 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-4
Clutch: Single dry plate clutch, hydraulically operated
Gearbox: Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox with helical cut gears
Secondary drive: Shaft drive 2.91:1
Chassis:
Frame: Three-section frame consisting of one front and two rear sections, load-bearing engine-gearbox unit, removeable pillion frame for single rider use
Front suspension/ Travel: Telescopic forks, Ø 43 mm/4.9” (125 mm)
Rear suspension/ Travel: Cast aluminum single-sided swing arm with BMW Paralever; central spring strut, spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable (continuously variable) at handwheel, rebound damping adjustable/ 4.7” (120 mm)
Rake: 26.6°
Trail: 4.1” (105 mm)
Wheels: Cast aluminum wheels
Rim, front: 3.50 x 17"
Rim, rear: 5.50 x 17”
Tire, front: 120/70 ZR 17
Tire, rear: 180/55 ZR 17
Brake, front: Dual 320 mm floating disc brakes, 4-piston calipers
Brake, rear: Single 265 mm disc brake, dual-piston floating caliper
ABS: BMW Motorrad ABS
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 82.9” (2,105 mm)
Width (incl. Mirrors): 35.4” (900 mm)
Height (incl. Mirrors): 48.8” (1,240 mm)
Wheelbase: 58.8” (1,493 mm)
Seat height, unladen weight: Standard Seat: 31.7", Custom Front Seat: 31.3", Low Seat: 30.5"
Inner leg curve, unladen weight: Standard Seat: 70.3", Custom Front Seat: 69.9", Low Seat: 68.1"
Unladen weight, road ready, fully fueled: 483 lbs (219 kg)
Permitted total weight: 948 lbs (430 kg)
Payload (with standard equipment): 465 lbs (211 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 4.5 gal (17 l)
Fuel consumption: 44 mpg (WMTC)
Fuel type: Premium Unleaded
Reserve: Approx. 1 gal (3.5 l)
Top speed: 125+ mph
Electrical System:
Alternator: Three-phase alternator 720 W 
Battery: 12 V / 14 Ah, maintenance-free
Details:
Standard Features: ABS, Adjustable Rear Shock Absorber Rebound, Adjustable Rear Suspension, Spring Preload, Cast Aluminum Wheels, Disc Brakes, LED Tail Light, Modular Frame Concept, Power Socket, Smoked Grey Turn Signal Lenses. Speedometer, Steel Fuel Tank, Steering Damper, Two Section Dual Seat
Colors: Catalano Grey, Option 719 Black Storm Metallic/Aurum, Option 719 Black Storm Metallic/Light White
Price: $9,995

Further Reading

Triumph Speed Twin

2019 Triumph Speed Twin
- image 809551

See our review of the Triumph Speed Twin.

BMW R nineT Racer

2017 - 2018 BMW R nineT Racer
- image 789344

See our review of the BMW R nineT Racer.

BMW Motorrad

ALLYN IMAGES - DO NOT DELETE
- image 789359

Read more BMW news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: bmwmotorcycles.com, triumphmotorcycles.com

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