Back in 2014 BMW released the R NineT and it hit the world like a Mike Tyson right hook. It was a muscular roadster that turned heads and had a new audience interested in BMW motorcycles. By 2017, there were 5 different variations including the R NineT Scrambler.
Today we are taking a look at the Scrambler version, so let’s get into it.
BMW R NineT Scrambler Review
The R NineT Scrambler could easily be mistaken for a fashion bike, one that is all style over substance; a gimmick as it were. However, today what is a Scrambler and doesn’t the Triumph and Ducati Scrambler also need to be thrown into the same category?
The ‘Scrambler’ title is the only gimmick about this BMW, other than that it’s a solid, stunning road bike that can put a smile on anybody’s miserable face. I hear you, surely a bike with the Scrambler title should be able to go off-road to some extent successfully?
You are half right. Any bike can handle some loose ground riding, and in that sense the BMW hits the mark. Scroll through the riding modes and you can find a dirt riding option if you’ve added the Ride Modes Pro upgrade.
Despite being visually convincing as a green lane bike, it just isn’t great at it. You should instead change your perception of what a Scrambler means in modern motorcycling and trust me you will be far happier.
The Scrambler is now a style statement just like the Cafe Racer; how many of these new age Cafe Racers are actually being raced around from Cafe to Cafe? With that all said if you want a bike capable of off-road scrambling maybe a dual-sport is more what you are after these days like the Honda CRF300R.
So now armed with your new perspective on the Scrambler style, the BMW begins to look different and can be treated objectively; irrespective of the token 19″ GS style wheel.
Remember the original GS models were meant to be off-roaders but actually were incredibly competent roadsters, so maybe you are better off comparing the Scrambler to an original GS as opposed to the current line.
The air-cooled engine is a soulful charmed thumper, that is far different from the liquid-cooled GS alternatives. It evokes nostalgia over earlier times and while not as silky smooth as other options that is a good thing in this case, as the noise and vibrations add to the character of the scrambler.
BMW say they have optimized the power and torque curve in the 4,000-6,000rpm range, the mids is where the Scrambler thrives, the noisy engine is a pleasure to rev and have some fun with around town and straight on to the back roads for some country side havoc.
With 110 horsepower on deck and 115 Nm of torque the motor is no slouch, there is plenty of room to play with and see what the Scrambler can do. It is the legendary Boxer engine that makes the bike such a great roadster.
Its deep Boxer sound track comes from the elevated exhaust system which ads to the classic scrambler look.
Containing the engine is a slightly more relaxed frame than the original model, it gives way to a more relaxed position and a less aggressive stance.
The back end like the Roadster is a modular unit so you can swap out the back where the passenger section is for a cleaner stripped back look.
Conventional forks, brakes and cast wheels are in keeping with tradition, giving a robust, no frills riding experience, which again adds bags of character to the model.
A 19” front wheel graces the Scrambler with a 17” on the back, it also gets a different seat and exhaust system to the original bike.
The tires are the Metzler Tourance tires, which aid the bike’s handling rather than hinder it; you can opt for a set of Metzler knobbly but you would be doing yourself and the bike a serious injustice. The tires are actually the same size as those found on the GS adventure bikes.
The non-adjustable forks combined with the tires make for excellent road feel, and the feedback is strong to the rider, giving the utmost confidence where it is most important in the corners. Some riders would be put off by the chunky set up but the fact is there is nothing to fear, rather you need to embrace the muscle and give it some.
Now there is a caution to be given here, chasing your mates on an S1000RR would be absurd and is not the thing to do. The Scrambler is for enjoyment and fun, so while corners can be enjoyed it is not the bike for recording lap times and testing your bravery (stupidity) for how far you can get your knee down.
Brakes benefit from ABS and there is also traction control as standard, I might be against tech on the whole but those two make sense on any modern roadster.
Quite possibly my favorite thing about the R NineT Scrambler is the complete lack of tech that it has. A guy I once worked with has a new GS, all singing, all dancing and he was all too keen to show me the display that could show a live video of the weather in his selected destination.
Instead of sharing in his joy, I was disappointed, where is the adventure in that? So the lack of features with the Scrambler is right up my alley, a simpler riding experience, two wheels, an air-cooled engine and the road.
Standard on the 2022 BMW R NineT Scrambler is as follow:
- LED headlights
- Speedometer with on-board computer
- Automatic Stability Control (ASC)
- Ride Modes: Rain, Road plus optional Dirt with Ride Modes Pro upgrade
- Drivetrain and final drive in black
- USB charging socket
Optional extras include:
- Ride Modes Pro with Dirt mode
- Heated grips and cruise control
- New paintwork
- Cross-spoked wheels I & II
- Option 719 billet packs I & II
- Off-road tires
- Rev counter with on-board computer
- Short rear
- Rear tracker
- Functionally-integrated turn indicators
- Cylinder head covers in 2V style
If it was up to me, I’d even strip the USB port, riding modes, and the speedo just to go proper old school.
The overall fit and finish of the Scrambler is excellent. Its ruggedness shines through despite it being a brand spanking new BMW, safe to say BMW’s factory quality checks give any other manufacturer a run for their money.
A while ago in a little Welsh village where my Mum lives, a group of guys on old R45’s and R90’s rode through and pulled up at the pub, the smell of the motors and noise was fantastic.
The R NineT line takes stylistic cues from those older 70’s models and the Scrambler would have slotted right in with those now classic machines; for me that is always a sign of a well built modern retro motorcycle.
BMW R NineT Scrambler Top Speed
The top speed of the BMW R NineT Scrambler is said to be around 124mph.
BMW R NineT Scrambler Specs
Engine and Transmission
- Engine – Four-stroke, opposed twin cylinder, Boxer engine, 4 valves per cylinder, central balancer shaft
- Capacity – 1170cc
- Bore x Stroke – 101 x 73mm
- Compression Ratio – 12.0:1
- Cooling System – Air/Oil cooled
- Starting – Electric
- Induction – Electric intake, pipe injection
- Transmission – 6 Speed
- Final Drive – Shaft
- Clutch – Single dry plate clutch, hydraulically operated
- Max Power – 110 horsepower at 7,750rpm
- Max Torque – 115 Nm at 6,000rpm
- Top Speed – 124mph
Chassis and Dimensions
- Frame – Modular frame with replaceable rear subframe
- Front Suspension – Right way up, 43mm telescopic forks with gaiters
- Rear Suspension – Paralever single-sided swing arm
- Front Brakes – 2 x 320mm discs, 4 piston calipers
- Rear Brakes – Single 265mm disc, 2 piston floating caliper
- Wheels – Cast or Cross-spoked
- Wet Weight – 220kg
- Fuel Capacity – 17L
BMW R NineT Scrambler 2022 Price
In the UK the R NineT Scrambler starts from £11,670 and in the US prices start from $13,495.
Who’s The Scrambler for?
Think checked shirts, brown boots, maybe David Beckham walking out of a Belstaff advert.
With its typical classic scrambler look, relaxed seating position, prominent exhaust system and classic round instrument speedometer the R NineT Scrambler is aimed at the experienced rider that is a bit more mature in their riding style and desires.
With that said it is a pretty cool looking motorcycle so anyone who appreciates a well-styled motorcycle will find themselves attracted to the BMW Scrambler.
You May Also Like
In terms of the R NineT Scrambler competition you would be looking at motorcycles like the Triumph Scrambler or the older Street Twin with the Scrambler package. Or you could look at the Ducati Scrambler range, with the Desert Sled, the top of the line model being the best to compare.
Another cool alternative could be the CCM Spitfire Scrambler.
All BMW R NineT Variants
- Standard R NineT
- R NineT pure – a more stripped back version
- R Nine T Urban G/S inspired by the R80 G/S
- R Nine T Racer S – a cafe racer design
- R Nine T Sport – Available in the UK only with a Akrapovic exhaust
- R Nine T Scrambler
The R NineT Scrambler is an awesome motorcycle, a modern retro with a thumping Boxer engine and a rugged off-road aesthetic that captures your attention.
I think once you are over the fact the motorcycle isn’t for off-roading anymore than a GSX-R is and just appreciate the style for what it is, you can truly enjoy the BMW and get into all the great things it offers as a roadster.