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The Art of the Bike: BMW R nineT

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Paying tribute to its first bike—the 1923 BMW R 32—BMW Motorrad has developed the BMW R nineT, a classic roadster-style bike.


Like the first bike, this has a twin boxer engine. This one has a 1,170-cc air/oil cooled engine that produces 110 hp @ 7,550 rpm and 88 lb-ft of torque at 6,000 rpm.

The nineT has a tubular spaceframe construction; the engine is a load-bearing element. The basic construction of the frame features a front frame section with an integral steering head and a rear section with rear section with swing arm mounting.

There are stainless steel-spoke wheels with black anodized alloy non-flanged rims and black aluminum hubs.

The tank is aluminum, hand-brushed, then coated. There are several forged aluminum parts (e.g., yokes and handlebar clamp bracket) that are glass-bead blasted, then given a natural anodized finish.

The round headlamp is also designed to pay homage to bikes from the brand’s 90 year history.

The nineT was designed by a team at Mottrad in Munich. When undertaking the design of the bike, terms including “purist simplicity,” “emotion,” and “authentic, traditional materials” were used to guide the designers.

Here are several pieces of art from the development of the new, old-school R nineT:

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