BMW has released photos and some basic information about a new model, the R 12 nineT, which will replace the current R nineT towards the end of this year.
The retro roadster is one of a number of new models and special editions being launched to celebrate the centenary of BMW Motorrad. The iconic German brand, which had previously made aircraft engines, produced its first motorcycle, called the R 32, in 1923 – five years before further diversifying into the car industry.
The current R nineT was introduced in 2013, cashing in on the popularity of traditional roadsters like the rebooted Triumph Bonneville range, and has proved a successful model for BMW – with a number of derivatives even taking it down the retro scrambler, café racer and even adventure bike themes.
Although details of the upcoming model are still scarce, it looks like the new R 12 nineT will go back to basics by providing a more stripped back motorcycle which will provide more of a blank canvas for riders who wish to customise and modify their machines, no doubt using parts from what will be an extensive official BMW accessory catalogue. With modifications clearly in mind, the new R 12 nineT also features an LED rear light unit integrated into the seat, which suggests it will be easy to remove the standard rear seat unit and create a ‘short tail’ design.
Dr. Markus Schramm, top boss at BMW Motorrad said: "The R nineT and its customising concept established the new heritage experience for BMW Motorrad's 90th birthday and has become an indispensable cornerstone of our model range. The new R 12 nineT consistently continues the successful heritage story surrounding the legendary BMW boxer engines with an even more classic, reduced design language, even greater degrees of freedom when it comes to customising and, last but not least, new and innovative technology.”
BMW also confirmed the ‘R 12’ designation will reflect the new model’s engine capacity, in line with the nomenclature used with big R 18 cruiser models. The current R nineT range utilise a 1170cc version of the venerable BMW boxer twin engine and although nothing has been announced, it is not inconceivable that the retro model will receive an incarnation of the latest 1254cc motor found in the current R 1250 range.
Commenting on the upcoming model, Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design at BMW Motorrad, added: "The purist design language is dominated by the clear tank/seat/rear line, in the style of the traditional /5 or the legendary R 90 S of the 70s. At first glance, the tank itself is a classic BMW boxer tank, with a typical bend in the lower edge and classic knee contact. The new R 12 NineT also features side covers in the area of the frame triangle in the authentic roadster look - another reminiscence of BMW motorcycles of the 1970s."
And classically styled it is, with traditional twin dial instruments, spoked wheels and BMW’s trademark finned cylinder heads sticking out in the wind.
We’re expecting BMW to tease out more information on the R 12 nineT over the summer months, with the finished model landing in dealerships by the end of the year.