Posted by: nativeiowan | April 24, 2014

Motorcycle Review: 2014 BMW R 9 T

I am writing this with the intention of posting onto Carpy’s CB Cafe site, thus, I write in public voice, addressing the owner of the site, Mr. Steve Carpenter…

I’m looking for Carpy’s thoughts on this bike. There is a lot good about it but, and I get ahead of myself, there is some bad.

“Carpy” and I share a lot of similar philosophies when it comes to 2-wheels. I really dig his work and have talked bikes and riding with Carpy and know we’re in agreement as per what it means to call ourselves “Cafe Racers”.

The Story:

I recently swapped a lovely but heavy BMW R1200RT SE …DSCF8909 copy

 

for a 90th anniversary BMW R Nine T …r9tt copy

http://blog.motorcycle.com/2013/10/16/manufacturers/bmw/2014-bmw-r-ninet-celebrates-90-years-bmw-motorrad/

Though a cool, cool bike it is always a bit suss when yet another manufacturer tenders its version of a retro-cafe-racer. I am very much into BMW bikes noting that Carpy and I once agreed they were the “dependable” machines of the old days,before the Japanese 2-wheeled invasion.

I heard of the R9T last year and was told I’d have to wait until March 2014 to see one. I read reviews (good and bad) and contacted the 2 big BMW dealers here putting my name down for a test ride. I even tried getting a sneak preview in the LA BMW shops in March, but no go.

About a month ago my “local’ dealer told me they had a demo model I could ride. I grabbed my helmet n a jacket and drove straight over. And I was impressed. Though not what I call a “cafe-ride” it was a nice bike. Light n fast and balanced, well-balanced, and easy to sit.

So I did a deal to swap my never-used big full-dress tourer for the “NINET”.

I picked mine up last eve and now have 200ks, maybe 2.5 hours in its saddle. And my initial assumption remains… a nice bike but no cafe racer.

The handle bars are too high. I can’t drop my elbows down to my knees. The front foot pegs are too far forward and the back pegs are too high to use as reverse highway pegs. Noting that I can and will make some changes to modify the above referenced dislikes. I’ll make this work but it is not a cafe-racer.

I do like the balance of the bike. It is well powered by a 108hp standard Bmmrr engine. It has a huge tank, 20 litres (something I bemoan about my well used Thruxton whose range is minimal at best), and the ABS brakes are double brembos on front and a decent (which I never use) single disc brake on the rear.

So good speed and good, good braking capabilities.

The R 9 T is a killer bike that rides nice and gets heaps of head-turning attention. It fits nicely in my collection which records the history 2-wheeled speed… the history of man pushing that 2-wheeled envelope… from the 1952 Triumph T Bird, (where it really started in my opinion) to the 1957 Triton, to the 1972 Triumph X-75, to the 2013 Bimota 3D TESI, to the 2013 Thruxton and, now, the 2014 NINET.

Funny ending here is I got a call from the dealer in Brisbane today. Asked if I was interested in a ride on a NINET. I had to tell him I’d just picked mine up and was very pleased with it. Made me smile.

Love that 2-wheeld VRRROOOOMM…

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