BMW updates R NineT family

BMW’s just announced updates to its R NineT line, with four models surviving into 2021. Next year, we’ll see a revised R NineT, R NineT Pure, R NineT Scrambler and R NineT Urban GS.

The biggest news is updates to the air/oil-cooled 1170cc flat twin engine. Now, it’s Euro5-friendly, and makes 109 horsepower. That’s down a pony from the 2020 bike, but supposedly the machine has stronger mid-range so it all works out. Peak torque is the same, at 85.5 lb-ft. Visibly, the biggest difference in the new engine is the updated heads.

The R NineT line now has up-to-date electronic safety systems, too. BMW has ABS Pro (cornering ABS) built into all these machines as standard, and thanks to new ride-by-wire throttle, also has Dynamic Brake Control fitted at the factory, to close the throttle under heavy braking. Good news for newbie riders, bad news for burnout enthusiasts …

There are Road and Rain ride modes built into all the new R NineT models from the factory, and the Scrambler and Urban GS models, you can also get a Dirt mode (allowing more wheelspin, and minimal ABS in the dirt) and the standard R NineT and R NineT Pure models have a Dynamic mode available, with more responsive throttle and less electronic interference via ABS and traction control.

The front suspension seems unchanged, but there’s a new rear shock with supposedly improved damping, and a remote knob for easy preload adjustments.

BMW also updated the gauges, added new LED indicators, and added new paint schemes, of course. A USB charger is now standard, too. There are up-to-date optional add-on packages, as that’s a core of the R NineT financial plan (cruise control, heated grips, luggage, etc.). So far, we haven’t seen Canadian pricing, but we’d expect to see these machines by spring.


  1. Meh. I thought the R nine T philosophy was all about the simplicity of the riding experience and homage to classic bikes of yore. I can understand the Euro 5 tweaks and ABS upgrades, but riding modes and other electronic trickery move the bike further away from its original purpose.

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