It is a beautiful Sunday morning when you get out of bed. The road calls you, to ride, to escape. Helmet in hand, you rip the cover off a machine that is more than transport, but an extension of your personality, a motorcycle like no other, one with heart, heritage, and soul. Come ride with CARL KRITZINGER as he introduces you to the BMW Motorrad R nineT Racer.

BMW Motorrad doesn’t merely build motorbikes. They create mechanised tours de force with the intrinsic power to create a bond between rider and bike, which leaves the human half of the equation with a feeling of longing, of nostalgia and excitement, which few other motorcycle brands can match.

The Motorrad heritage is long, and illustrious, stretching back to the R32 of 1923 and, of course, the iconic R90S of the mid-1970s. History aside, for a moment, Motorrad has also successfully built a following of eager lifestyle riders who see their bikes as less of a transport tool, and more as a statement of their life’s achievements.

It may be an age thing, but on the other hand, riding for the sake of nostalgia need not be the preserve of the well preserved. However, there is one truth about ageing; we tend to see the world from an entirely new perspective. We change in the way we see the world but also in the things we enjoy. For most of us, our early motorcycle-thirties is all about competing with our friends and following the latest trends – whether it’s the latest superbike or the hottest hatch. However, after we hit the big four oh, something significant happens – and for some, that means waking up one morning on a mission to proclaim to the world: “I am different!” If you are fortunate enough – this realisation will hit you even earlier.

The BMW R nineT Racer is the kind of motorcycle one buys to stand out from the crowd. It screams heritage with its boxer engine and BMW Motorrad’s classic racing colour scheme. And as its retro styling dates to the early 1970s and the R90S above, it appeals to the connoisseur, in a brilliant combination of technology and old school retro nostalgia.

The tailpiece and headlight are borrowed from the standard R nineT Roadster, but it is the steel fuel tank and the half-fairing that caught our attention. Combine that with a steel tubular frame and a beautiful boxer engine, and you have one of the best-looking Café Racers around.


The last thing you want, when you swing your leg over this heritage machine, is a smooth and refined ride. Don’t get us wrong – the R nineT Racer is a well-engineered piece of kit, but when you’re going back in time, you need a motorcycle that still feels like your granddad’s bike did back in the day. Once you push the start button and the boxer engine fires to life – you will know that this is no mainstream racer. Even at a lazy idle of the 1,170 cc / 110 hp boxer engine, this motorcycle has a personality of its own.

Once on the open road, the torque of the twin-cylinder engine will astound you, with more than enough power at hand for any application, not only for long sweeping corners and the open road. Before you realise it – you will even find yourself popping down to your favourite coffee shop with your Top Gun leather jacket and open face helmet.

It is the kind of bike, which gets you noticed whether you are on the open road or just plodding along in the urban jungle. Although the riding position may take a little getting used to, you will constantly be reminded that it is after all, a racer.


BMW Motorrad also offers a wide range of accessories for the R nineT so that you can individualise your ride even more. They even have a bolt-on subframe, complete with pillion seat, if you’d like to share your heritage experience with someone. Before sharing, however, we recommend that you take it for a lone ride first. Sharing may be great, but there’s no doubt that this baby was built for one.


Owning an R nineT Racer is more than just having a bike, it’s owning a piece of modern history. Although based on the seventies two-wheel legend – the BMW R90S – the new version also pays homage to another seventies icon out of the BMW stable – the BMW M1. Both were game changers in their era and getting on the 2017 BMW R nineT Racer, will surely take you back in time, with fond memories of being a little boy (or girl) with big dreams in or on wheels.

The M1 was BMW’s answer to Lamborghini’s Countach, and it was a worthy competitor. Loaded with groundbreaking technology, it laid the foundation for many successful BMW models that came to life, after production of the M1 was stopped in 1981.

“How can you compare a 2017 motorcycle to the legendary BMW M1?” you might ask and rightfully so, but somehow the BMW R nineT Racer, transports you back to a time when cars and motorcycles were less complicated and a lot more fun to ride and drive. Your identity was embedded in your wheels – it was an important part of your life that signalled your hopes and dreams for the future.


The R nineT Racer is unsurpassed as a two-wheeled lifestyle companion, but it tells only half of the modern BMW Motorrad story. BMW Motorrad represents a lifestyle as much as it represents the most advanced technology, and visiting a Motorrad showroom will soon make it clear that Motorrad not only focuses on the ride but also on developing the rider as a unique individual. Through this lifestyle transformation, you become part of a unique family that recognises you for the individual that you are. And with the R nineT travel machine out on that lazy Sunday ride, you have the unique opportunity to remember your childhood dreams, to go back in time, and to become one with the road.

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