BMW R12 nineT (2024) - Technical Review

 

Price: from £14,420 | Power: 109bhp | Weight: 220kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: TBA

 

BMW’s R nineT debuted in 2013 and after ten years and a host of spin-off models it’s bowing out for 2024 and the new R12 nineT steps in as its replacement as BMW’s motorcycle division celebrates its 100th anniversary.

Sharing the same air-cooled boxer twin as its predecessor the new model’s improvements focus on the chassis and technology while cleaning up the retro styling and offering a vast array of customisation options to tailor each bike to its owner’s whims.

If you’re wondering why the ‘nineT’ element of the name remains, when the original 2013 R nineT was launched to mark BMW’s 90th year of making bikes and the R12 nineT comes in the centenary year, it’s because the styling is intended to hark back to the old R90 of 1973.

 

Pros and Cons

  • New chassis is simpler and lighter
  • Uprated tech including keyless ignition
  • R90-inspired styling is cleaner than the old R nineT’s look
  • The older R nineT had more of a concept-bike-for-the-street style
  • Not vastly lighter overall, despite new lightweight frame
  • Options will rapidly start to push the price up

 

Review – In Detail

Price & PCP
For and against
Engine & Performance
Handling & Suspension (inc. weight & brakes)
Comfort & Economy
Equipment
Rivals
Verdict
Specification

 

2024 BMW R12 nineT Price

Coming in at £14,420 the R nineT is a direct replacement for the standard R nineT from the 2023 range, which came in at £14,100. As with its predecessor there are plenty of ways to push that cost up by dipping into a mind-boggling array of options.

The standard price gets you the Black Storm Metallic version of the bike, with the optional San Remo Green Metallic adding £250 to the tag. Want the ‘Option 719 Aluminium’ look, with a red frame, pillion seat cover and various billet bolt-ons? That will be £2100 extra.

 

 

2024 BMW R12 nineT Engine & Performance

The basics of the 1170cc, air/oil-cooled boxer twin are carried over from the R nineT, including the peak power of 109hp. It now arrives 250rpm sooner at 7,000rpm and the peak torque is rated at 115Nm at 6,500rpm (84.8lb-ft), which is 1Nm less than before and comes 500rpm higher in the rev range.

As before, the engine is a DOHC design with four valves per cylinder, a 101mm bore and 73mm stroke, and it shows that even in the era of Euro5+ emissions restrictions it’s still possible to make air-cooled engines that pass all the relevant rules and regulations.

Changes include a new airbox, sited under the seat and eliminating the air intake duct that ran down the right-hand side of the R nineT’s tank, helping give the new model a cleaner style overall. The exhaust, also new, loses the exhaust flap of the R nineT, with new manifolds leading to a main silencer under the transmission, incorporating the all-important catalytic converter, before the exhaust splits back into two for the silencers on the left-hand side.

As is the norm, there are three riding modes for the R12 nineT – ‘Road’, ‘Rain’ and ‘Dynamic’ – each tweaking the throttle response and traction control settings to suit. In ‘Road’ the throttle is in its mid setting and the traction control and engine braking control are set for dry, grippy surfaces. In ‘Rain’ the throttle is gentler and the traction control cuts in earlier. ‘Dynamic’, as the name suggests, is the sportiest setting, sharpening the throttle response and cutting back on the electronic nannies.

The transmission is the same six-speed box as before, with the option of an up/down quickshifter as an ex-works accessory.

 

 

2024 BMW R12 nineT Handling & Suspension (inc. Weight & Brakes)

If the engine is a carry-over, the same can’t be said of the chassis – the R12 nineT’s frame is a much more conventional steel trellis setup than the three-piece, bolt-together design used on the old R nineT.

BMW says the change reduces the number of fastenings and cuts the weight, although at 220kg wet the R12 nineT is only 1kg lighter than the outgoing R nineT.

It is a bit bigger, though, with a 1511mm wheelbase, up from 1487mm, and an outright length of 2130mm instead of 2105mm. Those changes are in part due to a slightly more relaxed rake of 27.7 degrees, where the old R nineT’s was 26.8 degrees.

The front suspension is a similar formula to before, with fully-adjustable upside-down forks (45mm in diameter, down from 46mm for the R nineT), but at the rear there’s a repositioned monoshock, directly connected between the frame and the Paralever single-sided swingarm/driveshaft at an angle rather than mounted vertically as on the old model. As before, there’s 120mm of wheel travel at each end.

Brakes are four-pot radial monobloc calipers on two 310mm discs at the front, with a two-pot caliper and 265mm disc at the back. BMW’s ‘ABS Pro’ is standard, offering cornering ABS that adapts to suit the chosen riding mode.

 

 

2024 BMW R12 nineT Comfort & Economy

The R12 NineT’s seat, at only 795mm, is lower than the old model’s 805mm, and the reshaped tank with deep cutaway sections for your knees promises to be unobtrusive. The tank is also 30mm shorter than the old R nineT’s, and allied to tall, wide bars (870mm across) and relatively low pegs, it should be a pretty comfortable, controllable machine.

However, customisation is the name of the R12 nineT’s game and there’s an optional ‘Comfort package’ that adds hill start control, the up/down quickshifter, heated grips and cruise control to make for an easier riding experience. A cockpit fairing is another option, adding a modicum of protection against wind-blast.

The official fuel consumption figure of 5.1l/100km (55.4mpg) is the same as the previous R nineT and means a potential range of up to 195 miles from the 16-litre tank.

 

 

2024 BMW R12 nineT Equipment

As standard, the R12 nineT gets a pair of traditional analogue clocks – speedo and rev counter – with a small digital display built into the speedometer to give access to menus and another in the rev counter showing gear position and selected riding mode. Optionally, those instruments can be swapped for a tiny 3.5-inch colour TFT dash that gives all the same information in a smaller, all-digital package.

Other standard kit includes keyless go, replacing the old-school ignition key of the R nineT with an electronic proximity key. You’ll still need to use a traditional one for the steering lock and fuel cap, though, so the benefit is arguably limited.

BMW’s Intelligent Emergency Call system is also standard, alerting emergency services in the event of an accident.

As an option, you can add BMW’s Connected Ride Control, giving Bluetooth connectivity and phone-based navigation controlled via the left-hand bar pod. LED lights are standard, with the option of adaptive cornering lights at extra cost.

 

 

2024 BMW R12 nineT Rivals

There’s plenty on offer when it comes to retro bikes in the same price range as the R12 nineT, so you can take your pick of different engine configurations and styles. How about these alternatives?

 

Kawasaki Z900 RS | Price: £11,799

Power/Torque: 110bhp/72.65lb-ft | Weight: 215kg

 

Triumph Speed Twin 1200 | Price: £11,795

Power/Torque: 98.6bhp/82.6lb-ft | Weight: 216kg

 

Harley-Davidson Sportster S | Price: £14,805

Power/Torque: 121bhp/91.2lb-ft | Weight: 225kg

 

 

2024 BMW R12 nineT Verdict

We’ll let you know when we’ve ridden it.

 

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2024 BMW R12 nineT - Technical Specification

New price

From £14,420

Capacity

1170cc

Bore x Stroke

101 x 73mm

Engine layout

Boxer twin

Engine details

4-valve, DOHC, air/oil-cooled

Power

109bhp (80KW) @ 7,000rpm

Torque

84.8lb-ft (115Nm) @ 6,500rpm

Transmission

6 speed, shaft final drive

Average fuel consumption

55.4mpg claimed

Tank size

16litres

Max range to empty

195 miles

Rider aids

Traction control, cornering ABS, engine brake control, three riding modes

Frame

Steel spaceframe

Front suspension

45mm USD forks

Front suspension adjustment

Adjustable compression, rebound and preload

Rear suspension

Paralever swing arm, direct-linked rear shock

Rear suspension adjustment

Preload and rebound adjustable

Front brake

Twin disc brake, floating brake discs, 310 mm, 4-piston monobloc fixed calipers

Rear brake

Single disc brake, 265mm, 2-piston floating caliper

Front wheel / tyre

Light alloy cast wheel, 3.5 x 17, 120/70 ZR17 tyre

Rear wheel / tyre

Light alloy cast wheel 5.5 x 17, 180/55 ZR17 tyre

Dimensions (LxW)

2130mm x 870mm

Wheelbase

1511mm

Seat height

795mm

Weight

220kg (kerb)

Warranty

TBA

Servicing

TBA

MCIA Secured Rating

Not yet rated

Website

www.bmw-motorrad.co.uk

 

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2024 BMW R12 nineT Review Details Spec Price_32

 

What is MCIA Secured?

MCIA Secured gives bike buyers the chance to see just how much work a manufacturer has put into making their new investment as resistant to theft as possible.

As we all know, the more security you use, the less chance there is of your bike being stolen. In fact, based on research by Bennetts, using a disc lock makes your machine three times less likely to be stolen, while heavy duty kit can make it less likely to be stolen than a car. For reviews of the best security products, click here.

MCIA Secured gives motorcycles a rating out of five stars (three stars for bikes of 125cc or less), based on the following being fitted to a new bike as standard:

  • A steering lock that meets the UNECE 62 standard
  • An ignition immobiliser system
  • A vehicle marking system
  • An alarm system
  • A vehicle tracking system with subscription

The higher the star rating, the better the security, so always ask your dealer what rating your bike has and compare it to other machines on your shortlist.