BMW R nineT Pure Review
✓Easy to customise, looks cool, weight is low down
×Suspension, no gear position indicator
What Is It?
The 2017 R nineT Pure is a budget version of the original R nineT retro bike, with cheaper suspension, wheels, brakes and dash setup.
Engine: 1,170 cc Boxer, 110 bhp
Economy: 45 mpg
Range: 170 miles
Seat Height: 805 mm
What Is It Like?
I'm 66 and spent most of my early days like a lot of old codgers riding bikes, racing bikes, photographing and writing about them.
During the 70s and early 80s I acquired a special love for BMW and owned an R60/2 , R60/6 and an R100 ... then as life rolled along bikes somehow got left by the wayside until a couple of years ago I found myself a beautiful R75/5. A beautiful bike indeed however I felt the need for one more brand new modern motorcycle....something with brakes!
Choosing The Pure
So I started reading about and shopping for a BMW of course. Now when I ventured into the bike shops I couldn't believe how bloody big they were. Not in engine capacity but sheer physical size. Some of the big Adventure models must be at least a metre across.
No, I wanted what I had back in the old days. What you young critters call 'naked bikes'. Just a straight bike without all the Christmas trees lights and dashboard thingos.
I don't need an LED display to tell me what gear I'm in. Bloody hell if you cant count to six you should buy a pushbike. So I figured just from reading the mags etc the Pure was the way to go. Just a straight bike.
So I went on down to the nearest BMW dealer but he didn't have one in so I went for a ride on 700GS Adventure model and rode it straight back. Nope get one of them Pures in mate I says. Righto he said, no obligation I'll order a new one in for you.
So I got the call and made the drive to the dealer. Sitting on the bike felt good and it certainly felt all bike! It was a nice fit being about 175cm tall and solid build, it was made for me.
So I turned that key on and it obviously didn't sound like the old bikes, but it did have a nice note. Then I gave it a handful ......and HOLY DOOLEY I took off like a scalded cat!
Damn this thing is fast was my first reaction ....some 'safe' voice in me said take it back you silly old bastard this bike is way out of your league ...bugga that says the other voice ..'I'll get used to it ...I think ' I mean hell your a long time dead.
To Sum Up
So naturally I bought it and over the past few months have fallen in love with it. It's definitely got brakes ...the ABS is a bit savage when you haven't ridden with them. I love how easy it is to handle and throw into the corners ...its just 'Pure Fun'.
I'm no mechanic so I cant give any high tech run down but that motor has been around for a long time. What a great bike. The past and present all in one bundle. It's quite simply 'pure' motorcycling.
- Denis M, 2018
Get The Gear To Go With It
BMW R nineT (2017 On) - Range topping retro.
BMW R nineT Scrambler - Pure with Scrambler style high exhaust, larger front wheel and bench style seat.
BMW R nineT Racer - Cafe racer style Pure with a headlight fairing, low bars, aggressive riding position and seat hump.
The Second Opinion
The first time I saw a BMW R NineT at Orlando's AIMExpo in 2014 I was taken back by the bike. I had always loved retro styling on a motorcycle but to me, this was something different.
With its low tank, single-sided swingarm, and shaft drive, I was awestruck. The bike is absolutely beautiful. But I never thought I'd have a chance to ride one, let alone own one.
Fast forward to 2018 and that dream became a reality. Everything about this bike was as I had remembered if not better. The seating position is comfortable yet, inspires "spirited" riding.
The engine is torquey yet not overbearing, just enough to squirt in and out of city traffic.
Don't even get me started on the exhaust note. An electrifying little braap that doesn't make your head hurt but puts an undeniable grin on your face as you braap and pop your way around town.
Modularity has always been big to me with any of my bikes. The R NineT Delivers there as well. From it's modular frame, to the plethora of aftermarket support you would be hard-pressed to not either find one or build one to match your tastes.
To Sum Up
The bike inspires you to just etch out a few extra miles rain or shine. The styling is also a major selling point for me. It is a serious head turner from any angle. Everything about the bike just oozes class.
In short, if you are looking for the purest form of motorcycling you can find, without breaking your wallet, BMW's R NineT line up is perfect for you. I look forward to every time I throw my leg over and you definitely will too.
- Kyle P, 2018
Check out this video review from TheMissendenFlyer.