BMW R nine T

  • The BMW R nine T/5 commemorates the classic BMW /5 series which made its debut in 1969.

  • It also happens to be the 50th anniversary of BMW Motorrad’s Berlin Spandau factory.

  • There are many classic touches and a badge on the bike.

The BMW R nine T/5 commemorates the classic BMW /5 series which made its debut in 1969. It also happens to be the 50th anniversary of BMW Motorrad’s Berlin Spandau factory.

As such, the R nine T/5 is finished in Lupine Blue with white pinstripes and features many other classic touches. They include silver and black finishes smattered throughout the bike, such as the chrome mirrors, exhaust manifolds and silencer.

The seat is reminiscent of the BMW /5 with white lining, grab strap and embossing. The forks are covered with rubber gaiters. The aluminium silver wheels and spokes are definitely vintage looking. The footpegs and fork brace are anodized aluminium. The black knee pads on the fuel tank is a nice classic touch, too.

The R nine T is BMW Motorrad’s modern-classic line-up hence they are modern bikes, of course. There are heated grips, instrumentation that combines classic and modern features, ABS and ASC (Stability Control) are standard.

Sure, one could take a standard R nine T Pure and build it too look exactly like the R nine T/5, but the latter comes with a commemorative badge on the tank.

  • Motosikal BMW R nine T Scrambler adalah pertaruhan BMW Motorrad dalam ‘revolusi scrambler”.
  • Ia berkongsi casis dan kejuruteraan enjin yang sama seperti model R nine T yang lain.
  • Namun begitu ianya dihasilkan untuk penunggangan ‘off-road’ yang ringan.


  • 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



  • Auto Bavaria BMW Motorrad organized a convoy for r nine T owners to the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride 2018 in Melaka.

  • Thirty riders took part in the ride.

  • There were also other fun activities besides the ride for the participants.

Auto Bavaria BMW Motorrad organized a ride to Melaka to participate in the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride 2018 (DGR) over the weekend.

Most bikers ought to know what the annual Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride advocates by now. Motorcycle convoys are held on a single day all over the world to bring awareness and raise funds for research in men’s health issues. This is why participants consisting of men and women dress up in their best attires to ride their motorcycles.

The event has grown to such gigantic proportion that it has become a permanent schedule in every biker’s calendar. In Malaysia, DGR 2018 was held in nine cities namely Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Melaka, Johor Bahru, Kota Kinabalu, Kuantan, Miri, and Sibu.

While DGR’s message is about serious health issues, that doesn’t make it less fun. In fact, Auto Bavaria BMW Motorrad has been taking part in the event for the second year running in Melaka.

The ride was specially organized for BMW r nineT owners, since the r nineT range is BMW’s heritage line-up. “BMW r nine T owners, they very unique people so we want to create a memorable experience for them where they enjoy themselves and contribute to DGR,” explained Faisal Mustafa, Motorrad Manager at Auto Bavaria.

Faisal Mustafa welcoming the participants

“The r nine T is about heritage, lifestyle and emotional motorcycling so DGR bodes well for the owners.”

We assembled at Auto Bavaria’s (AB) showroom in Glenmarie, Shah Alam on Saturday morning, 29th September 2018.

A light breakfast was served. The AB crew loaded our luggage into the support van as the participants chatted with each other over “Nasi Lemak AB” which was apparently a hit among AB customers.

A ride briefing was held afterwards. The r nineT’s assembled consisted of every variant except for the Racer. The model was designed to be customized and not one was 100% identical as the other. (Including mine which was the r nineT Scrambler with a fuel tank covered by signatures.)

We rode out onto the highway and headed south. AB’s crew also rode along on their personal bikes in support of the convoy and DGR.

Soon, it became clear that the AB crew had worked hard to plan the ride as we proceeded onto the Seremban – Port Dickson highway. The route was clear today despite being a weekend. The convoy lead even signaled the participants to ride freely, if they so wished.

We turned west toward and Ayer Kuning and Linggi as we got near Port Dickson to ride along the coast. We stopped at an old two-storey shophouse with the classic Singer signboard for a few photos, before continuing passing famous places such as Masjid Tanah.

This route had a good mix of straights and corners, covered by smooth asphalt. The village view on both flanks of the road was interesting and cool air still hangs around the trees despite the sun beating down on us.

The participants showed plenty of restraint and discipline along the way. There was no show-boating, dangerous riding, holding up traffic, etc.

We soon reached a small “kedai makan” called Anjung Santai at Pantai Puteri where we stopped for lunch. As with traditional eateries in our country, it was built in the compound of a house and family operated. If you crave Melaka’s “asam pedas,” forget about those big and crowded restaurants in town because Anjung Santai’s beats them hands down.

Anyway, we ended up eating a little too much and then worried about feeling sleepy for the rest of the way. We were pleased to learn that the eatery was just 1.8km away from Shah’s Beach Resort.


We checked in and were given plenty of free time to rest before reassembling for some fun and games.

AB had organized a “slow ride contest” in which the slowest rider wins. A G 310 R was provided as the competition vehicle. The winner recorded 30 seconds to cover the 50m path. The fun part was listening to the guys teasing their buddies who were riding.

“We wanted the riders to have fun together,” says Hasrul of AB. “The best way is to organize some fun and games. A ride is boring if we just get to a place and give everyone free and easy time. There’s camaraderie that way.”

Dinner followed soon after. AB had chosen the resort as it was some ways out of Melaka’s city centre for the sake of some peace and quiet, which was a great choice. But riding into town on Saturday night was going to be a challenge. But have no fear because AB had enlisted the assistance of the traffic police and marshals to escort us all the way to the Nonya Kitchen restaurant at Jonker Walk.

Dinner consisted of traditional Baba and Nonya cuisine. Prizes were handed over to the contest winners after dinner. We were then given free time to roam Jonker Walk or whatever activity we chose.

Some took to riding around the city for photos, some went shopping, others went to Hard Rock Melaka, while some rode back to the hotel for some well-earned rest.

We reassembled early the next day (Sunday, 30th September) for the DGR ride. The riders both men and women must’ve been truly excited about DGR as they were already dressed by 8am!

We rode to the Straits Werks Café in downtown Melaka, opposite Masjid Kampung Hulu which is one of the oldest mosques in Malaysia, for the start of DGR Melaka 2018.

As with every DGR, it appeals to all sorts of bikes and we witnessed classics, customs, sportbikes, nakeds, retros, etc. all in one place. The ride was flagged off by the Governor of Melaka.

BMW r nine T owners, regardless if they rode up with AB or otherwise, looked out for each other and started to ride in one large group of oil-head German Boxers. The collective sound of 30 air-/oil-cooled Boxers resembled that of squadrons of piston-engine fighter aircraft.

Holding DGR in Melaka presents its own unique set of challenges, the main one being the weekend traffic as out-of-towners (such as us) flood into the historic city. The roads around the historic sites will surely be packed as will the roads leading in to the city.

Therefore, DGR 2018 in Melaka was different as we ran the loop without stopping unlike the previous year and this year in other cities.

We rode from Straits Werks Café, past Stadthuys, Hard Rock Café and the entrance to Jonker Walk, down to Klebang and turned back. Done within an hour. And yet there were drivers who shoved their cars into the middle of the convoy when the police escorts weren’t in sight.

The weather was way too hot by the time we got back and the participants were definitely feeling the effect underneath their suits and vests. We adjourned quickly back to the hotel to freshen up before checking out from the resort.

AB presented another round of prizes to the owners of the best-looking r nine T and best dressed male and female DGR participants.

We rode back the way we came and stopped at Alor Gajah for lunch for the famous cucur udang near the town’s main roundabout. It was good!

The convoy participants separated from that point as a few were headed to different places, including to the DGR in Kuala Lumpur.

One last group shot

In conclusion, it was one the best rides I’ve ever had the pleasure of joining. Credit has to go to the hardworking (read: overworked) Auto Bavaria Motorrad crew who organized the ride. It has to be said that a successful ride represents only 10% while the other 90% was the work that went into organizing it.

The hardworking crew of Auto Bavaria Motorrad

“Organizing rides in Melaka is always difficult. The (traffic) jam, finding parking spots, trying to keep the convoy together, but I feel satisfied with the ride because they riders had enjoyed themselves; that’s our main objective. This ride was planned two months ahead, especially on choosing the route, marshaling and safety. I am also thankful to have a great and supportive team,” said Faisal in closing.

The ride was also made enjoyable by the r nine T owners themselves as they were a happy and fun-loving bunch. They rode and enjoyed it together as a unit. Their personalities are reflected in their choice of bike.



Artikel oleh Wahid Ooi Abdullah

  • Ulasan BWM R nine T – “You Have The Power”
  • Motosikal BMW R nineT ini dibina sebagai satu asas untuk pengkhususan.
  • Namun, motosikal BMW R nineT adalah kanvas yang lebih ‘putih’.


  • BMW rnineT Review – You Have the Power

  • The BMW R nineT is meant as a base for customizing

  • But the BMW rnineT Pure is a “whiter” canvas

I’ve loved liked rock and heavy metal music since I was in school.

“Trendy” schoolmates were more or less divided into two camps. In one corner, were the Canto-Poppers who adored Anita Mui, Leslie Cheung, Alan Tam, et al. They were easily distinguishable in their baggy Ali Baba pants and shirts.

In the other corner were the Mat Rock (rockers) who headbanged to Search, Lefthanded, BPR, Wings, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, Bon Jovi, Guns ‘N’ Roses. Their hairs were “slightly” longer (or thicker if they can’t keep it long), high-top shoes, tight shirts, and especially low-cut pants so tight they couldn’t bend their knees more than 10 degrees.

Yes, I was definitely in the second group.

Then in 1991, Nirvana released their revolutionary record: Nevermind. Rock music was suddenly turned on its head. Gone were complex arrangements and guitar solos of rock gods such, replaced by the basic, guttural, rebellious sound of grunge.

Grunge soon led to NuMetal and all other sub-genres such as Industrial Metal were born. The German band called Rammstein is the leader in Industrial Metal, popularized through their song Du Hast (You Have).

But I could never get the song. No, I’m not referring to my illiteracy of Deutsch but the whole arrangement and direction of it.

I guess I’m firmly locked into old school (like in the movie School of Rock).

BMW Motorrad have long attempted to capture a solid foothold in the retro market, not from lack of heritage since BMW Motorrad had many iconic motorcycles in past years. There were so many, in fact! The modern BMW R nineT, however, harks back to the 1973 R90S. The R90S was the bike which won the inaugural AMA Superbike Championship in 1976, ridden by Reg Pridmore.

With BMW Motorrad’s 90th anniversary looming 2013, the German firm needed a motorcycle to commemorate this important milestone, and they wanted an old-school, air/oil-cooled boxer-twin engine, housed in a roadster form.

The BMW R nineT was designed by the current BMW Motorrad Chief Designer, Ola Stenegard and his team. Stenegard had penned the basic looks of the model and then spoke to renowned motorcycle designer Roland Sands (he of RSD) to fine tune the final design.

In fact, Stenegard is a classics, customs and café racer enthusiat through and through, although he also penned the S 1000 RR.

So, the resulting BMW R nineT was not only a homage to past icons but also became a blank canvas for further customization.

However, BMW Motorrad had released the R nineT Pure some months ago and it has since been the whitest canvas for customization. (Click here for our report.)

Which begs the question: What is the R nineT we tested here?

Well, I’d personally like to call it a ol’ skool roadster with a modern twist.

It hads the lines of a classic in the tank and short seat, but it also had all modern details such as the intake snout, adjustable forks, radially mounted Brembo calipers, ABS and Paralever rear suspension set up.

From the seat, you come face-to-face with the dual analog dials set in handsome polished aluminium bezels. There is a small LCD screen at the bottom of each dial. Controls on the handlebars are minimal, consisting of just one extra INFO button besides the customary ones. There is no RIDE or POWER mode, although ABS is standard and non-switchable.

The handlebar is really wide, almost like that of the R 1200 GS, but set further ahead of the long fuel tank. The relatively short seat has a novel feature. the subframe underneath it supports it completely, while the bars attached to its bottom part from behind the swingarm pivot acts to carry the passenger’s footpegs can be fully removed. This is surely a feature for customization.

Seated firmly on the bike, the engine comes on in loud BRRAOOM! while kicking to the right as if someone had knocked into the left side of the bike. It’s the same when you rev the engine at standstill – the bike kicks to the right, courtesy of the 11170cc, Boxer-Twin “oilhead” engine’s torque. It was disconcerting at first, but it soon charmed its way in as part of the bike’s character.

Dumping the clutch had the bike taking off to the tune of the characteristic Boxer engine roar and boom of the dual megaphone-style Akrapovic exhausts. The stock exhausts are already quite loud and soulful by BMW’s standards. I always found myself grinning when I grabbed big fistfuls of throttle, just to hear them sing like Anthrax’s rhythm section. They gave the bike a distinctive and more importantly a fierce presence in traffic, surprising road users into giving you way.

Keep twisting the throttle and the 110 Bavarian horses kick out 119 Nm of torque to the ground, giving the rider’s body a full taste of what it means by heavy-metal torque. The engine kept pulling and pulling, all the way to the redline.

But the time it hits 6000 RPM, you’re doing 140km/h and you got to hold on tight as speed picks up quickly , lest it’s like being blasted off the stage by the sound system at Manowar’s concerts.

In the handling department, the R nineT is relatively agile (despite its big rake and trail, and long wheelbase) but also stable in long, high-speed corners. The beefy upside down forks are the traditional set up without BMW’s signature Telelever . That equates to feeling every signal the front tyre sends your way in terms of grip level, lean angle, road surface character, braking pressure.

The rear suspension uses BMW’s ubiquitous Paralever single-sided swingarm to tame the Boxer-Twin’s torque through the shaft. The rear shock is adjustable for preload and rebound damping but there isn’t a need to do so, as the stock settings are already well-calibrated.

The front brakes are strong and a two-fingered pull usually put too much retarding force, causing the bike to pitch forward hard. Rolling off the throttle calls up a good deal of back-torque to assist in emergency braking, too.

Combining the engine’s character and handling traits equals an experience like Ritchie Blackmore’s orgasmic guitar solo in Highway Star.

Charging through traffic was all a matter of utilizing the engine’s torque, brakes and wide handlebar. Overtaking a long row of cars was just a twist of the wrist away. Steering was just a small tap on the handlebar. Stopping was a finger pull ahead. It was like listening to Paradise City: Calm one moment, before everything bursts into exhilaration.

Besides functionality, the R nineT has already given a set of good looks. It looks beefier hence more aggressive. That, the white and blue badge and its distinctive voice had people staring at it everytime. I could only imagine how a customized R nineT would have people flocking over in droves.

So, what is the R nineT?

It’s a standard bike which rides like a naked sportbike, but charming as an old school sportbike like the R90S (how I wish I could ride one!). In musical analogy, it’s like old school rock mixed with new rock for a different experience. To be frank, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I’ve never liked Rammstein’s Du Hast. But I came to appreciate it after testing the BMW R nineT, because like the song, it has a rebellious edge. It could well be BMW’s hooligan bike. Yes, it does, even for a BMW.

Perhaps it’s best to sum up the BMW R nineT in German.

Du hast die leistung (You have the power).



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 119 Nm @ 6000 RPM
Clutch Single dry plate clutch, hydraulically actuated
Gearbox Constant mesh, 6-speed, shaft drive
Front suspension 46mm upside down fork, 120mm travel
Rear suspension Single central shock absorber adjustable for preload and rebound damping. 120mm travel
Front brakes Two 320mm floating discs, Brembo four-piston radially-mounted calipers ABS
Rear brake Single 255 mm disc, Brembo two-piston floating caliper
ABS BMW Motorrad ABS, front and rear
Front tyre 120/70-ZR17
Rear tyre 180/55-R17
Frame Four-section frame consisting of one front and three rear sections; load-bearing engine and transmission; removable pillion frame for single rider
Swingarm Cast aluminium single-sided swingarm with BMW Motorrad Paralevel
Trail 102.5 mm
Rake 25.5 degrees
Wheelbase 1470 mm
Seat height 785 mm
Dry weight 208 kg
Fuel capacity 18 litres



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