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BMW R nineT Pure (2017-current): Review & Buying Guide

Massively experienced road tester



2017 BMW R nineT Pure Review Used Price Spec_10


Price: £6999-£15,500 | Power: 110bhp | Weight: 219kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 5/5


When BMW launched the first R nineT model in late 2013, many thought it would be a fairly lacklustre retro that looked good but whose performance wouldn’t really impress that much. Then we got to ride it and the original R nineT (which is now generally referred to as the Roadster to separate it from its many variants) absolutely blew us away. Feisty, great handling and stunning to look at, BMW’s purist roadster hit the mark in so many ways. But Brembo radial brakes and inverted forks came at a price and the original model was costly at £13,150 – not to mention all sold out! Fast-forward to 2017 and BMW released the Pure, a more budget-conscious version that took the fantastic R nineT base and after a few cost-cutting savings, chopped the price tag down to under £10,000. A brilliant bike that is just as good as the Roadster to ride but with a few of its flashy parts downgraded, if you want a retro that has bags of bite and won’t disappoint in the corners, check out the R nineT Pure.


BMW R nineT Pure (2017-current) Price

The Pure was always designed to be accessible and at £9990 it was good value for money and over £3000 cheaper than the flashy Roadster. As with all BMW models this was just the starting point and spoke wheels, uprated electronics etc all added to the price tag. BMW sold a C version for £10,815 that added spoke wheels and a few other bits as standard, which was generally the better selling model. Nowadays you need to pay a minimum of £6999 for a Pure, which is a heck of a lot of money considering that is only £3000 less than its RRP and it will have over 10,000 miles on its clocks! But that’s the price of a popular bike and as a new 2023 Pure costs £11,750 you are still saving decent amount of money for what is essentially (bar the small 2021 update...) the same bike. A few Pures get sold in the private market but the vast majority are traded in and go through official BMW dealerships, which is why the price tag is a bit inflated. If you can find a used one in a private sale you may save about £500 but you won’t get the warranty you get from a dealership.


  • Soulful and thumping boxer motor

  • Great handling

  • Loads of scope for customisation

  • The power delivery is quite abrupt

  • Price tag is still high

  • Should you buy the higher-spec Roadster model?


Engine and Performance

Powered by exactly the same air-cooled boxer twin as the Roadster (and Scrambler, Racer and Urban G/S) the Pure is an incredibly engaging bike to ride with a wonderful pop on overrun. The joy of the older boxer motor is the fact it hasn’t been refined too much and it lurches to the side when you rev it at a standstill, vibrates with attitude and sounds raw and raspy – even with the standard exhaust system fitted. If you consider BMW model a bit dull, take a ride on a Pure and it will change your mind... But this old-school attitude does come at a bit of a cost...

Packing 110bhp but backed up by a thumping 87lb-ft of torque, the boxer engine is quite raucous and aggressive to ride. On the first initial throttle opening the Pure lurches forward and then its flat torque curve sees it take off with a surprisingly enthusiastic burst of acceleration. Far from a slow bike, the Pure packs all its speed into a fairly small area (top speed is just 125mph) and that means lots of instant stomp and huge amounts of grins as a result. A thoroughly engaging motor to use, it is far from smooth and its gearbox is pretty clunky but if you want an engine to make you smile, the Pure’s will certainly achieve this goal. And, best of all, it does so with minimal electronic interference. There are no power modes on the Pure (well, not until 2021...), traction control is an optional extra (until 2021) and the ABS is basic (2021 saw angle-responsive electronics added) – it’s very much two wheels and a motor and all the better for it. And this rawness also makes it a very reliable engine.

Wonderfully exposed and easy to get to, the Pure requires the usual boxer 6000-mile services (valve-clearances at 12,000) but they are far from expensive (for a BMW...) as access to the engine is so easy. A few bikes are known to burn a bit of oil, so you are advised to keep an eye on its level, but overall the engine is incredibly solid – which you would expect as it has been around for so long! There are the usual warnings about clutch slip (you have to split the bike in half to change the clutch...) and grumbly shaft drives (the hub bearing can go and the shaft itself likes to be removed and lubed every few years) to keep an eye out for but overall, the only concern about the boxer motor is paint flaking off and maybe a sensor or two failing (generally in the exhaust). However as most R nineT models are showing mileages well below 20,000 (10,000 area is most common) wear and tear is hardly a concern. A few owners grumble about corroded exhausts but in general, R nineTs are saved for sunny days and well cared for so the finish remains good.

The engine was upgraded in 2021 with new heads to help it pass Euro5 emissions laws, which reduce peak power by 1bhp but are claimed by BMW to boost the mid-range slightly. Two power modes (Road and Rain) were also introduced that are linked to the ASC traction control system, which can be upgraded to DTC if required.



BMW R nineT Pure (2017-current) Handling & Suspension

Where the Roadster gets inverted forks and radial brakes, the Pure makes do with telescopic (right way up...) forks with no adjustment and conventional brakes. The Pure’s chassis also has slightly more relaxed geometry than the Roadster, but you would be hard-pushed to spot this detail and for 99% of the time on the road, its brakes and suspension are just as good as the Roadsters. And that is saying something.

Out on a twisty road the Pure is absolutely brilliant fun to ride. One of those bikes you just get on and muscle around, the instant punch of the boxer engine and its upright seating position with wide bars mean you can happily throw it around and on a twisty B-road it guarantees grins. Although the standard bikes comes with cast wheels, a lot of riders opted for the C version with its spoke wheels, which look good but offer no performance gains. There is always a bit of a concern with spokes about rust, especially on bikes that tend to be washed and then put back in a garage as the water can collect around where the spokes join the rim, so check them well for any damage but all should be good. Unlike the Roadster the Pure’s shock lacks a remote preload adjuster, it has two collars on the shock’s body in the traditional way, so give them a quick inspection for signs of them being bodged rather than moved by a C-spanner in the correct way. Again, it is highly unlikely that they will be seized but it is always best to look.

Just like the Roadster, the Pure has BMW’s ‘modular frame’ which is specifically designed to allow part to be removed for easy customisation. Most owners simply use this feature to clean up the back end of the bike through various aftermarket seats, which is a cool thing to do, but always check you are getting all the original parts included in the sale as you may want to take a pillion at some point (check the pillion peg and their hangers are also included) in the future and some aftermarket seats are particularly hideous for passengers! And as always, avoid any heavily modified bikes...

In 2021 the Pure’s shock was slightly upgraded and Dynamic ABS (angle-responsive) added as standard fitment.



Comfort & Economy

The Pure is a very exposed bike with an upright riding position that puts you slap-bang in the windblast. If you don’t mind this, and keep the speeds down, you can certainly ride it over distance but in general it is better for 100-mile runs at most. Which is what most owners tend to do on them. A few bikes come with soft panniers or small screens but these aren’t used for touring, more sticking office equipment in and to reduce a bit of the wind blast on a short summer commute.

BMW claim the boxer engine is good for 53mpg, which owners report is about right with 45-55mpg generally recorded, and gives a tank range approaching 200 miles, which is more than enough for a naked roadster!



BMW R nineT Pure (2017-current) Equipment

BMW deliberately made the Pure low-tech and that’s no bad thing at all. You get ABS as standard but that’s it and adding heated grips, ASC (basic traction control) or even LED indicators is extra. The 2021-onwards bike is more tech-heavy with ABS Pro (angle-responsive) as standard alongside ASC (which can be upgraded to Dynamic) and two power modes. When it comes to accessories however, well, where do you start?

The Pure has a huge list of official BMW bolt-on accessories that range from brushed aluminium covers to an aluminium fuel tank (unlike the Roadster, the Pure’s isn’t this as standard), new levers, rev counter, replacement bars, soft luggage, bar end mirrors and a huge array of seats and exhaust options. Most owners who want to customise their bike go for replacement indicators, a tail tidy and a new seat, which is a good starting point. Upping the price tag and also the look of the bike are the various exhaust options, which are high or low level. The boxer is quite raucous-sounding as standard so be a little cautious of aftermarket exhaust options as the boxer can get very loud, very quickly, and always get the OE can included in the sale. As with all BMW models, official BMW extra are more sought after than non-official ones.



BMW R nineT Pure (2017-current) Rivals

Due to its price tag, R nineT owners tend to be over 40 years old and not the bearded trendy young types that BMW like to portray in their marketing material! It also isn’t really a bike that owners choose between a rival or it, if they want an R nineT they will buy one with the main choice if they want a Roadster, Pure, Urban G/S or a Scrambler. Certainly not the Racer, it's crap...


BMW R nineT Roadster (2014-current) | Approx Price: £6800-£16.000

Power/Torque: 110bhp/86lb-ft | Weight: 222kg


BMW R nineT Urban G/S (2017-current)| Approx Price: £8000-£15,000

Power/Torque: 110bhp/86lb-ft | Weight: 221kg


BMW R nineT Scrambler (2016-current) | Approx Price: £7500-£15,000

Power/Torque: 110bhp/86lb-ft | Weight: 220kg



BMW R nineT Pure (2017-current) Verdict

The R nineT Pure is a great example of a manufacturer understanding exactly what a modern rider demands in a modern retro. Brimming with soul and character, the Pure looks great and performs like a modern motorcycle while still retaining a real naughty spirit that separates it from more sterile rivals. Yes, it is pricey, but it is also a bike that is hard to fault and will certainly make you smile during every ride.



BMW R nineT Pure (2017-current) – Technical Specification

Original price


Current price range




Bore x Stroke

101mm x 73mm

Engine layout

Boxer twin

Engine details

Air-cooled, 8-valve, DOHC


110bhp (81kW) @ 7750rpm


87lb-ft (116Nm) @ 6000rpm

Top speed



Six-speed, shaft drive

Average fuel consumption


Tank size

17 litres

Max range to empty (theoretical)


Reserve capacity


Rider aids

ABS, optional ASC


Tubular space frame

Front suspension

43mm telescopic forks

Front suspension adjustment


Rear suspension


Rear suspension adjustment

Rebound and preload

Front brake

2 x 320mm discs, four-piston Brembo calipers. ABS

Rear brake

265mm disc, single-piston caliper. ABS

Front tyre

120/70 – ZR17

Rear tyre

180/55 – ZR17


26.4°/ 103.9mm

Dimensions (LxWxH)

2105mm x 920mm x 805mm



Ground clearance


Seat height


Kerb weight

220Kg Wet


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