BMW r nine T Scrambler Test & Review – “Pure Appeal”

  • The BMW r nine T Scrambler is BMW Motorrad’s answer to the “scrambler revolution.”

  • It shares the same chassis and engine architecture with other r nine T’s.

  • But it is meant for light off-roading.

BMW has been steadily adding new variants to the r ninet T heritage line-up since its introduction in 2013. The BMW r nine T Scrambler was introduced in 2016, on the other hand, to offer buyers a scrambler option from other manufacturers.

The r nine T Scrambler is meant for light off-roading fun, and thereby wears a 19-inch front wheel. Customers can opt for tubeless spoked-wheels.

The bike is powered by the previous generation BMW oil-cooled, horizontally-opposed Twin “Boxer.” The engine is the common platform which the r nine T range is built around. It produces 110 bhp and a huge 116 Nm of torque.

As with all BMW Boxers, power is sent through a six-speed transmission and a Paralever-controlled driveshaft on its way to the back wheel.

The standout feature of the Scrambler among the r nine T line-up is the high-mounted dual exhaust pipe tips.

We have since tested almost every variant of the r nine T including the (base) r nine T, r nine T Racer, and r nine T Urban G/S, but this time, BMW Motorrad Malaysia extended an r nine T Scrambler for the ride to the recent Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride 2018 in Melaka.

Auto Bavaria Motorrad BMW r nine T Ride to Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride Melaka 2018

This r nine T Scrambler was extra special, by the way, as it wears the BMW Motorrad Community fuel tank. It is covered in signatures of BMW motorcycle owners. (I was extra careful with the bike, I swear.)

The ride consisted of a good mix of highway, trunk road and urban riding, giving us a good taste of the r nine T Scrambler’s capabilities and versatility.

Out on the highway, the bike drones along at 110 – 140 km/h, with a soft rumble accompanying us. However, the Akrapovic pipes on this one this one sure had plenty of bark, which sounded a lot like a group of piston-engine fighter planes when mixed with other r nine Ts.

The r nine T Scrambler doesn’t like being rushed during highway rides. Instead, it’s big torque should be put to great use to cruise and overtake other vehicles with ease. You could keep it in 6th gear all the way down to 60 km/h, and a twist of the throttle would have the bike roaring back up to speed in a hurry.

But it’s on country roads where the bike comes into its own. Here, the wave of torque accelerates you from corner to corner in a quick yet smooth fashion. It soon became addictive as the exhausts sing “the Boxer rumble” when you grab fistfuls of throttle at corner exits.

Handling is commendable although it could benefit with some more suspension tuning, as it felt a little harsh over sharp bumps. The “relaxed” chassis geometry requires you to trace graceful long arcs through corners. You can hard-flick the bike but without the chassis complaining, though. However, if blasting corners is your game, the base r nine T is the better option with its sport-oriented suspension.

BMW R nineT Review – You Have the Power

But that doesn’t mean the r nine T Scrambler is bad. The bike is made for relaxed and unrushed riding. Treating it as a sportbike is just wrong.

We rode into the Melaka city centre on a couple of occasions and we were thankful for the bike’s torque and upright sitting position. Its torque allows you to hold on to higher gears even at low speeds and that smoothens out your riding.

Characteristic of BMW’s Boxers, it was also easy to maneuver at low speeds. Those cylinders that jut out into the breeze provide low-down stability; while the crankshaft which spins longitudinally along the bike’s centre line produces its own centrifugal force to keep the bike upright even at very low speeds.

The r nine T Scrambler is as pure as it gets, being a heritage model. Apart from ABS and fuel injection, there is no ride mode or traction control. Consequently, you feel as a part of the bike instead of the feel being filtered through a gaggle-load of electronics.

The BMW r nine T Scrambler sells for RM 88,900 inclusive of SST but no on the road.


Engine type Air/Oil-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, horizontally-opposed (Boxer) Twin
Compression ratio 12.0 : 1
Bore X Stroke 101 mm X 73 mm
Displacement 1170 cc
Fuel system Electronic intake pipe injection
Maximum power 110 bhp (81 kW) @ 7550 RPM
Maximum torque 116 Nm @ 6000 RPM
Clutch Single dry plate clutch, hydraulically actuated
Gearbox Constant mesh, 6-speed, shaft drive
Front suspension 43mm telescopic forks, 125mm travel
Rear suspension Single central shock absorber adjustable for preload and rebound damping. 140mm travel
Front brakes Two 320mm floating discs, Brembo four-piston radially-mounted calipers
Rear brake Single 265 mm disc, Brembo two-piston floating caliper
ABS BMW Motorrad ABS, front and rear
Front tyre 120/70-R19
Rear tyre 170/60-R17
Frame Three-part frame consisting of one front and two rear sections; load-bearing engine and transmission; rear set frame removable for single rider
Swingarm Cast aluminium single-sided swingarm with BMW Motorrad Paralever
Trail 110.6 mm
Rake 28.5 degrees
Wheelbase 1527 mm
Seat height 850 mm
Wet weight 220 kg (Read to ride with full fuel tank)
Fuel capacity 17 litres



Wahid's lust for motorcycles was spurred on by his late-Dad's love for his Lambretta on which he courted, married his mother, and took baby Wahid riding on it. He has since worked in the motorcycle and automotive industry for many years, before taking up riding courses and testing many, many motorcycles since becoming a motojournalist. Wahid likes to see things differently. What can you say about a guy who sees a road safety message in AC/DC's "Highway to Hell."

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