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Unveiled: The New R12 and R12 NineT

Unveiled: The New R12 and R12 NineT

This evening, BMW unveiled their new, fourth generation R9T – and this time round the bike has had a much larger overhaul than previous iterations. Our headline takeaway from the press release? BMW state that this has been ”designed for customizing”, which is a great line to quote at your dealership when you've fitted some aftermarket parts!

We're extremely excited about the new range of BMW R12 machines. Seems to us that BMW has really upscaled their Heritage line and brought in a load of tech that has been present on other BMW models for a few years now. Importantly, they also decided to stick with the tubular frame, and oil/air-cooled engine – both entwined parts BMW Motorrad history that have disappeared on the new R1300GS. Here’s a quick bit of insight into our first reactions to the new bikes:

The re-imagined Classic and Roadster NineT models, plus the totally new Cruiser-style model act as a smaller sibling to the BMW R18, are all explicitly designed for aftermarket customization. This is undoubtedly going to free up our drawing board quite a bit, and it’s very exciting! 

Left-side exhaust system with double silencer and conical end pieces. These are much nicer than the current OEM offering, in our opinion. Pretty toe-to-toe with the original RSD concept bike actually, which we all went crazy for.

New classic round instruments as well as USB-C and 12V sockets. To be honest, we’re not sure about this, the press release also mentions a TFT screen. Let’s wait and see what turns up from the production line.

New airbox position, now integrated under the seat. We believe this will make it way easier to remove the airbox, but we'll see. Fingers crossed it won’t be long before we have our hands on one at PCHQ.

One-piece tubular spaceframe with bolted-on rear frame. This is truly a thing of beauty – much more in line with many other heritage and super naked bikes from competitors. A really nice step up.

Fully adjustable upside-down telescopic forks at the front and revised, paralever swing arm with rear spring strut. We’re confident that this is going to be better than the current offering, but if not we'll be straight onto the Ohlins guys.

Radially mounted 4-piston monobloc brake callipers, steel flex brake lines and floating 310 mm brake discs. This is an interesting flex: we've just fitted monobloc callipers to the race bike.

Standard riding modes: "Rain", "Road" and "Dynamic" in the R12 nineT, "Roll" and "Rock" in the R12. The names here mirror the riding modes on the R18 which gives more of a feel that the R12 and R18 are from the same stable. Thus far, they’ve felt a little disparate aside from being “retro”, so we’re pleased to see the BMW Motorrad Heritage range coming together a bit more.


All in all, the R12 and R12 NineT bikes are really getting our pistons pumping. We're looking forward to getting our greasy mitts on some bikes and really figuring out what's possible with the new platforms. Stay tuned for more as we have it!

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