BMW Unveils 2014 R nineT Roadster

October 16, 2013
Bryan Harley
Bryan Harley
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Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it's chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to 'Merican, he rides 'em all.

BMW introduced its highly anticipated Boxer-powered roadster today in Berlin, Germany, the 2014 BMW R nineT a tribute to 90 years of BMW Motorrad technology. The project has been in the works for quite some time, BMW teasing the public with its prototype Lo Rider Concept back in November of 2008. The production model is a brash bike that’s been pared down so the beauty of the Boxer engine isn’t hidden behind a bunch of bodywork. The suspended engine serves as a stressed member of the frame, cut-outs in the tank contribute to its sporty disposition, as do its stacked dual cans, while spoked wheels speak to its heritage side.

“The nineT pools together the genes from 90 years of BMW Motorrad and its unique concept has been designed to keep customization fans happy,” stated BMW press.

At the core of the project is an 1170cc air/oil cooled Boxer engine with a 101mm bore and 73mm stroke. Considering the motorcycle is supposed to “carry the brand values from 90 years of BMW Motorrad ingrained in it,” sourcing a flat twin Boxer that has helped define BMW’s motorcycle division was only fitting. The engines valves are arranged radially in the combustion chamber and timing is controlled by chain-driven double overhead camshafts (DOHC) in each cylinder. The valves are “actuated by cam followers of a very lightweight design, making them ideal for high revving, while lightweight hemispherical shims are used for valve clearance compensation,” said BMW Motorrad. The engine design is lauded for delivering healthy doses of torque while emitting an unmistakable exhaust note. Power numbers are claimed to be 110 hp @ 7750 rpm and peak torque of 88 lb-ft @ 6000 rpm.

Getting the bike in motion will be the responsibility of a six-speed gearbox. The secondary transmission ratio of the pinion and ring gear has been shortened in hopes of achieving optimum acceleration and smooth shifts. BMW’s signature cardan shaft final drive will spool up the rear wheel.

The 2014 BMW R nineT features a new modular, tubular steel spaceframe with the Boxer engine serving as a stressed member. It is composed of two primary sections, the front containing an integrated steering head while a rear main frame connects to the swingarm. There’s also a frame end-piece and pillion frame that are bolted together. The pillion frame can be removed fairly easily as eight screws hold it in place if you’re looking to ride solo. In that case, slide on the optional aluminum tail cover and you’ve got a sporty café racer look.

The usual BMW Telelever front end has been replaced by an inverted fork borrowed from the S1000RR superbike. The upside-down fork has gold-anodized outer tubes. Suspension on the rear of the nineT sorts a paralever single-sided swingarm teamed to a central hydraulically adjustable spring strut.

Braking duties are provided by radial four-piston monobloc calipers paired to floating 320mm discs. ABS is standard. Steel-braided brake lines should provide quick response and great feel at the lever. The rear is anchored by a single 265mm disc with a twin-piston floating caliper. Its stainless steel spoke wheels are flanked by black anodized alloy, non-flanged rims. Black aluminum hubs tie into its black paint, engine and frame. The nineT will run a 120/70 ZR 17 tire on the front and a 180/55 ZR 17 patch of rubber at the rear.

Stacked stainless steel dual pipes are responsible for bellowing out the Boxer’s trademark exhaust note. In addition to the two silencers mounted in the exhaust, it has an “acoustic valve operated by means of an electric servomotor and opening and closing cables to deliver the exceptionally sonorous Boxer soundtrack.” A titanium Akrapovic aftermarket pipe is already available.

Because making the BMW R nineT your own is highly emphasized in press announcing its launch, it has deliberately been stripped down to leave room for customization. This includes having three mounting points on the rear axle drive for a custom-style side-mounted license plate and light. Its swingarm has been designed to accommodate a fatter tire than the 5.5-inch-wide stock tire. BMW even separated the engine and vehicle wiring harnesses to make it easier to swap out items like headlights or indicators. They also made it so riders can roll out with the removable aluminum tail cover intact for bombing around solo, or you can take it off to reveal a small pillion pad for a more passenger-friendly look.

The 2014 nineT comes in Black Storm metallic paint with silver and metallic highlights while its frame and engine are black and anodized. The sides of its aluminum tank have been brushed by hand, then coated to show off the grain of the strokes. Other selling points include a forged aluminum yoke and handlebar clamp bracket that have been glass bead-blasted and naturally anodized, as has the aluminum seat mount and adjustment knob for the shock absorber. Price and availability are not yet known.

Highlights of the new BMW R nineT:
Puristic design.
Hand-built feel of the workmanship.
Air/oil-cooled twin-cylinder boxer engine with a displacement of 1170 cc. Output 81 kW (110 hp) at 7750 rpm, maximum torque 119 Nm (88 lb-ft) at 6000 rpm.
Ideally suited to customization.
Modular frame concept with removable pillion frame and frame end-piece.
Classic wheel suspension concept using high-quality upside-down telescopic fork at the front and paralever at the rear.
Exhaust system with two silencers on the left-hand side, with variation options.
Traditional wire-spoke wheels with black rims and hubs.
Radial 4-piston monobloc brake calipers, steel-braided brake lines and floating 320 mm brake discs.
Model plate riveted onto steering head in classic BMW Motorrad-style.
Bespoke range of special accessories made to BMW Motorrad’s customary high standards of quality.

2014 BMW R nineT Specs:
Engine: 1170cc Air/oil-cooled Twin-Cylinder Boxer
Bore/Stroke: 101mm X 73mm
Compression Ratio: 12.0:1
Valve Actuation: DOHC
Valves per Cylinder: Four
Emission Control: Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter
Clutch: Hydraulically actuated dry clutch
Gearbox: Constant-mesh 6-speed gearbox
Final Drive: Cardan Shaft
Transmission Ratio: 2.91
Frame: Tubular steel bridge frame, engine self-supporting
Suspension – Front: Upside-down telescopic fork 
                        Rear: BMW Paralever w/ central strut
Spring travel (front and rear): 120mm/120mm (4.72 in.)
Wheelbase: 58.1 in.
Steering Head Angle: 64.5-degrees
Brakes – Front: Hydraulically actuated twin 320mm discs 
                Rear: Single 265mm disc
ABS standard
Wheels – Wire-spokes Front: 3.5” X 17” 
                                        Rear: 5.5” X 17
Tires – Front: 120/70 ZR17
             Rear: 180/55 ZR17
Total Length: 87.4 in.
Seat Height: 30.9 in.
Fuel Tank: 4.75 gallons
Weight: 489 lbs.