2016 BMW R nine T Scrambler – first look!

By Marc Potter
marcpotter Tested every new bike since 1994, loves anything on two wheels, runs Potski Media, ex-BikeSocial boss. Recently discovered elbow-down riding - likely to end in tears.

BMW is building on the enormous success of the R nineT with a new retro-cool stripped-back retro called the R nineT Scrambler. It’s revealed at the Milan Show in EICMA this morning.

The new R nineT Scrambler takes all the best bits of the brilliant and almost instant sell-out R nineT and makes it into a good, old-fashioned Scrambler in the finest style but using modern BMW insight and parts. We think it looks stunning, especially with optional spoked wheels and knobbly tyres to replace the standard tyres and cast wheels.

With Ducati selling thousands of Scramblers and Triumph expected to launch a new Bonneville-based Scrambler next year, BMW wanted a slice of the Scrambler action.

At the rear the subframe is removable with an optional single seat available and the new twin exhaust is high-level to highlight the Scrambler vibe and tucked in neatly. An optional single Akrapovic.

The standard bike has been such a success for BMW that they’ve been on back-order on dealers waiting lists since it was first revealed in 2013. So if you want one of these then get in touch with your dealer quickly.

The new Scrambler harks back to the good old days when the world was simpler and bikes would be modified, a set of knobblies fitted, higher and wider handlebars bolted on and suddenly you had a Scrambler.

BMW say: “With deep-treaded tyres, a raised exhaust, somewhat extended spring travel and a relaxed seating position, Scramblers offered their riders in the 1950s to 1970s not just motorcycling fun on winding country roads but also great off-road capability and therefore an extended range of use. Like the motorcycles themselves, the people who rode Scramblers were not bound by established conventions. And they could be seen virtually everywhere: on winding country roads, stony mountain passes and - where it was allowed - even on sandy beaches.”



The new BMW Scrambler uses the same basic air-cooled, six-speed, 1170cc Boxer twin engine making 110bhp and good for 116Nm of torque. You may expect the gearing to be different to the R nineT but it’s the same and good for a claimed 125mph. Though we’ve had a standard R nineT showing 140mph (on a test track…).
The Scrambler also uses the same steel tubular modular frame concept with removable rear subframe but with taller suspension, a new  kicked-back riding position with longer and lower pegs, a kick-ass twin high-level silencers and a 19-inch front wheel. The R nineT uses a 17- inch front wheel.

The suspension is jacked up by 5mm at the front to 125mm and 20mm at the back to 140mm of spring travel. It uses right way up forks at the front and a Paralever rear-end.

The wheelbase of the Scrambler is also slightly longer at 1527mm compared to the R nineT’s wheelbase of 1476mm. Brakes are straight off the R nineT with Brembo front calipers on a set of twin 320mm front discs. ABS is standard and BMW’s traction control is available as an option.

5mm extra suspension travel at the front and 20mm at the rear over the two-year old standard model

To enhance the retro feel the bike’s frame forks, and calipers are painted black and the footrests are serrated metal with removable rubber inserts. The tank is painted silver.

There are tons of neat aluminium touches like an R nineT embossed tank panel on the right-hand side, an anodised air cleaner cover and a stitched brown leather seat.

As you might expect, BMW are keen that the Scrambler is just the starting point for and tins of options will be available direct from BMW. A must-have is the seventies style headlight guard, we reckon. Though it’s not road legal.

No prices are yet available, but the R nineT costs £11,900 on the road to give you some idea of where it will sit.

Air-cooled, six-speed, 1170cc Boxer twin engine for the R nineT Scrambler

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