bmw rninet urban gs

Artikel oleh:Wahid Ooi Abdullah

  • Motosikal BMW R nineT Urban G/S ini berdasarkan platform R nineT.
  • Ianya mengenang kembali kepada motosikal ikonik R80G/S yang telah memenangi empat buah perlumbaan Paris-Dakar Rally.
  • Ketercapaian, praktikaliti, dan penggayaan yang tidak konvensional adalah tarikan utamanya.


  • The BMW R nineT Urban G/S is based on the rnineT platform

  • It harks back to the iconic R80G/S which won four Paris-Dakar Rally races

  • Accessibility, practicality and unconventional styling are its key points

“Wahid,” said Shaz in her sweetest voice, “You need to work on article about adventure riding.” That made the office lights turn in circles around me. Sure, I’ve ridden off-road and attend motocross training at Oh Kah Beng’s Most Fun Gym (MFG) from time to time, but to write about it was something else.

But lo’ and behold, a little research unearthed a whole treasure throve of amazing stories regarding the Paris-Dakar Rally.

This legendary rally raid event (now Dakar Rally or just The Dakar, and had moved to South America from Africa) which started in 1979 features classes for motorcycles, quads (ATVs), cars and trucks.


The Dakar isn’t quite like the type of rally we’re used to seeing in the World Rally Championship (WRC) where the competitors fly through 2km-long Special Stages (SS) to stamp the fastest time.

Oh no. Compared to The Dakar, WRC looks like a kiddy kart ride on the rooftop of a shopping mall.

The Dakar required competitors to cover 800 to 900 kilometres per day in tough conditions. Less than 30 percent consists of road stages, while the rest are offroad – crossing over dunes, mud, camel grass, rocks and a whole bunch of other terrains that are difficult to even walk on, plus who knows of dangers the desert lie in wait for the unfortunate soul. There were even competitors who vanished without a trace. The total distance over the rally ran up to 10,000 kilometres. To finish is akin to winning in itself.

It didn’t come to be called The World’s Toughest Rally for nothing.

Anyway, as I scrolled through the long list honours, two particular letters jumped out at me. “G” and “S”. More specifically, “BMW R80G/S.”

You see, motorcycles of the time were divided clearly into their respective roles; it was either fully road-going or off-road. The road-going motorcycles offered touring capabilities such as longer range, ability to haul luggage, and comfort for two. On the other hand, if you wanted a motorcycle that could handle Alpine dirt paths, desert tracks, sandy roads or the forests, it’s one which was stripped out of all the touring accoutrements. There was nothing in between.

BMW Motorrad made the bold decision to fill this void with a motorcycle that could do it all. The Reiseenduro (touring enduro) segment was born. (Reise means “a change of location” in German, while duro means “to endure” in Spanish.)

To cut a long story short, BMW Motorrad presented the R80G/S to the world press in Avignon, France on 1st September 1980. The “G/S” moniker stands for Gelände/Straße (off-road/road). BMW Motorrad promoted the R80G/S with the phrase, “Sports machine, touring machine, enduro… Welcome to a motorcycle concept with more than one string to its bow.”

The R80G/S also broke several engineering grounds, including how its 800cc Boxer-Twin was mated to a single-sided swingarm which carried the driveshaft, called the “Monolever.” (The “Paralever” was introduced in 1987 on the R80GS and R100GS.)

So, the R80G/S was the Adam of all adventure-touring motorcycles, including the current R 1200 GS.

BMW joined the Paris-Dakar Rally in 1980, and rider Jean-Claude Morellet finished fifth on the R80G/S. That result had shown the G/S’s potential and encouraged BMW to commit everything in 1981, resulting in Hubert Ariol winning 3 hours ahead of the next competitor, while Morellet came home in fourth. A non-factory G/S with little modifications finished in seventh.

BMW won again in 1983 in the hands of a diminutive Belgian rider by the name of Gaston Rahier, ahead of Auriol. Rahier would go on to win his second Paris-Dakar rally in 1984 with R80G/S.

Four Dakar victories in five years. That’s why the R80G/S is an icon.

Let’s time travel back to 2017.

The 2017 BMW R nineT Urban G/S was formally launched in Malaysia during the BMW Motorrad Malaysia’s Nightfuel event in Penang. (Click here for our coverage.)

Built upon the modular BMW rnineT platform (click here for our test and review), its styling harks back the R80G/S, so it does look retro. But is it just a heritage bike?

BMW Motorrad Malaysia had prepared a unit for the ride up to Penang to cover the event, but since we were sharing different bikes among other members of the media, I only got to ride the Urban G/S from Tian Siang Motorrad in Ipoh.

Getting off the manic S 1000 R naked sportbike/streetfighter, the R nineT G/S was a great change of pace, and of physical and mental aspects.

Compared to the S 1000 R’s plethora of features, the rnineT Urban G/S makes do with single large speedo with a small LCD screen embedded in it, there’s no ride mode (although ABS is always on), no electronic suspension settings, no quickshifter, no howling inline-Four.

But it does have the 1170cc “Oilhead” Boxer-Twin, with 110bhp and 116 Nm of torque!

It started up with a roar and a “very” noticeable kick to right; similarly when you blip the throttle. This thing’s alive it’s is telling you to get going.

The handlebar behind that classic “windshield” put me in a straight up riding position. The seat was coloured like the R80G/S Paris-Dakar Edition’s and was flat. The footpegs were slightly forward like those on an enduro.

Letting out the clutch, the Boxer’s flat torque took over and pulled away smartly. There’s no rush, the engine note was relaxed, lazy even.

Out on the North-South Highway, we decided to punch it as we reached the winding road leading to the Menora Tunnel. The engine’s steady rumble turned into a roar, mixed with a warble from the airbox underneath the tank and BRRRAAAAP from the single exhaust. The exhaust was loud enough to warn other vehicles out of the way.

The suspension might be basic and lack adjustability but both ends handled well as we swung through those corners at high speeds. They also soaked up the bumps from the red speed-breaker lines painted across the lanes, without the bike threatening to go wide.

We switched bikes again when we stopped for fuel at Gunung Semanggol, and I got the K 1600 GT tourer this time. But I jumped on the chance to ride the Urban G/S again on our way to the Nightfuel venue.

Penang’s traffic was clear when we left G. Hotel at Gurney Drive, but it was a total gridlock when we reached the coastal highway leading to the old Penang Bridge. It was so bad that even small bikes found it hard to get through. Sep would later say, “It looked like a scene from a disaster movie. It’s like everyone in Penang was running away from a catastrophic event!”

I managed to hook on to the back of a group of local R 1200 GS riders as they blazed a trail by using the motorcycle lane. It was here that I truly appreciated the R nineT Urban G/S’s agility. It was stable while cutting lanes at crawling speeds even at full handlebar lock. Helping along was the progressive clutch lever and engine’s smooth, low down torque. The brakes were strong and progressive, without being too aggressive.

We hit the clear past the bridge. Then the heaviest rain came down out of nowhere!

My riding gear had gotten wet on the way into Penang and I’ve left them to dry back in the hotel, so I was in my long-sleeve BMW GS Trophy T-shirt and, I’ve got the DSLR hanging in the rain! There’s only one thing left to do.


I pushed past 130, 140, 150km/h while the rain slammed onto my skin like cold needles from the left. Yet, the R nineT Urban G/S remained stable. With my head slightly down behind the screen, knees and elbows tucked in, there was surprisingly little wind blast.

I parked at the first space in sight when I reached the event ground (in first place, just like Rahier, I’d like to think) and ran inside. It was only during the launch that it occurred to me that I was riding the country’s first registered BMW R nineT Urban G/S with such abandon.

Anyhow, an acquaintance in Penang met up with me later that night and we rode into town.

Penang’s roads seemed to have deteriorated somewhat and they were bumpy everywhere. Ridden at speeds of 60km/h above, the R nineT Urban G/S’s suspension glided over the bumps and potholes, but they felt a little stiff below that speed. So ride faster! Still, the pillion didn’t complain about being bumped around, since she’s much lighter than me.

Back in Kuala Lumpur where the traffic moves at a faster rate and the roads are wider, the R nineT Urban G/S had no trouble with whatever road surface it encountered. Big bumps and potholes were taken while standing up on the pegs, and they felt like road pimples and dimples. I was fully in tune with the bike by then and riding felt very natural.

Additionally, true to its Euro 4 rating and BMW Motorrad’s principle of building economical bikes, the full tank of gas from the Tapah R&R lasted for two more days of urban riding.

The BMW R nineT platform was created to spawn more variants and it was truly refreshing to have the R nineT Urban G/S as a stablemate. It still does retain resemblances to the iconic R80G/S and it positively handled the touring aspect very well. While we didn’t take it offroad, the R nineT Urban G/S met the challenge of rough city roads with aplomb. That is why there’s “Urban” in its name.

Honestly, I wasn’t too enamored with it initially but having discovered its character and that it shared the R80G/S genes turned me into a believer.

Besides that, the BMW R nineT Urban G/S is further customizable to your personal tastes – the Lac Rose Concept being an example – letting it stand out from the sea of cookie-cutter styled bikes.



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
Dry weight 209 kg
Fuel capacity 17 litres



















  • BMW Motorrad Malaysia telah membawa acara Nightfuel ke Pulau Pinang.
  • BMW Motorrad Malaysia turut melancarkan motosikal BMW R nineT Urban G/S, S 1000 RR, R 1200 GS Rallye, dan K 1600 Bagger yang baru.
  • Walaupun hujan lebat, ratusan pengunjung telah menghadirkan diri.


  • BMW Motorrad Malaysia brought Nightfuel to Penang.

  • BMW Motorrad Malaysia launched the new R nineT Urban G/S, S 1000 RR, R 1200 GS Rallye and K 1600 Bagger.

  • Hundreds showed up despite the heavy rain.

One of the best parts of motorcycling is the lifestyle. Now, while the word “lifestyle” usually describes fashion, a motorcycling lifestyle goes deeper than the superficial.

A motorcycling lifestyle encompasses loving the motorcycle you own, loving to ride whether going solo or with your buddies, strengthening the bond amongst your riding buddies while making new ones, and many more latent personal reasons. It’s a way of life, regardless of your level of passion and to what lengths you express that passion.

But there is one inescapable aspect of every biker’s life and that’s the weekly get-together, called TTS for Teh Tarik Session, among Malaysian bikers.

That’s why BMW Motorrad Nightfuel roadshows play an important role to not only showcase that lifestyle but also to present it as part of BMW Motorrad’s “Make Life a Ride” way of life. Featuring “friendly gathering, food and music,” attendees can be assured of the best TTS in their calendar.

BMW Motorrad Nightfuel visited Penang on 9th September 2017 and it was the first outside of the Klang Valley. The event site was situated just off the on-ramp to the Sultan Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Bridge (better known as “The new Penang Bridge.

There were already hundreds of bikes when we arrived, consisting of BMWs and a good number of other brands, as well.

Pretty girls smiled sweetly and welcomed us at the BMW Motorrad Nightfuel registration desk despite the heavy rain blowing into their tent. Kudos, girls. Each participant received a BMW Motorrad dry bag and ticket for the lucky draw. There was already a long line for the food – typical of us Malaysian bikers!

In the main pavilion, tables and chairs were laid out to surround the centre stage, flanked by BMW motorcycle display stands. The Penang channel and bridge provided the breathtaking backdrop.

Head of BMW Motorrad Malaysia, Owen Riley, welcomed attendees and launched BMW Motorrad Nightfuel Penang.

One of Malaysia’s most famous sessions band, NRG, made sure everyone got rocked by expertly belting out famous hits such as Highway To Hell, Highway Star, Sweet Child O’ Mine, Sejati, among others.

Speaking about the food, the row of stalls served iconic Penang street food such as ais kacang, cendol, Penang assam laksa, rojak buah, char koay teow, and satay. There was also a mini BBQ. The laksa was among the best this writer has ever tried (I had three bowls!).

There was also a Ride & Style Shop operated by Auto Bavaria Penang which sold BMW Motorrad riding gear and paraphernalia.

The site was buzzing with high octane activity, despite the rain still crashing down. Many more motorcycles continued to appear through the maelstrom.

Soon enough, it was time to launch the new bikes, starting with the updated S 1000 RR superbike. Although the engine and design are untouched, the new S 1000 RR now features ABS Pro for more secure hard braking in corners. It is priced from RM 106,900.

Next was one the most anticipated motorcycle, the new R 1200 GS Rallye. Priced from RM 105,900, the GS has been redesigned with new radiator flanks. The engine remains the same (why fix something not broke), backed up by six comprehensive Ride Modes.

The night continued with more great food and music as old friends hung out together and made new ones. A few rounds of lucky draws were held as BMW gave away a few amazing gifts such as sets of Lego R 1200 GS.

The other two bikes were unveiled soon afterwards.

The R nineT Urban G/S harks back to the design of the R 80 G/S of yesteryears but with a modern twist. Built upon the R 1200 engine and R nineT’s frame, the Urban G/S is given longer travel suspension, tapered handlebar, 19-inch front wheel, and the classic headlight fairing to complete that classic enduro look. It is priced from RM 87,900.

Soon, it was time to unveil the main star of BMW Motorrad Nightfuel Penang – the K 1600 Bagger.

As what BMW Motorrad Malaysia’s Product Specialist said during the presentation, a bagger means a cruiser which features touring gear and luggage. Built on the K 1600 engine and touring frame, the K 1600 B uses the platform’s impressive size and is given a sloping tail end to great effect, turning it into a beautiful motorcycle which only the best customizers could dream of building. But don’t be fooled by its size: The K 1600 series consists of superbly agile motorcycles! Priced from RM 159,900, it is not cheap for most of us, but that pricing is competitive when compared among high-end baggers in the market.

The Nightfuel party carried on until late and we bid our goodbyes. As mentioned before, this was the first BMW Motorrad Malaysia’s Nightfuel outside of the Klang Valley and it turned out to be the best. Not even the big storm could derail is status.

Well, rain is part of the biker’s lifestyle.

Click here for more on the new models launched during event.



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