BMW has announced the European prices for the new R nineT Racer and R nineT Pure, both scheduled for release in March 2017. The Pure will list for €12,300 (which should equate to roughly $11,486), the Racer is set at €13,300 (which should boil down to about $12,420). In Munich math these are “entry level” prices for admission to the world of Bavarian retro motoring; “the roadster reduced to the essentials and the classic, old-school half-faired sports motorcycle,” is how BMW explains these bikes in their pricing PR. “These are both concepts that were popular in the 1960s and 1970s and inspire more and more motorcycle enthusiasts today.”
To be fair, the “BMW Motorrad Heritage world of experience” does run deep. The Boxer Twins appealed to a faithful legion back in the day, when the popular moto-menu included a buffet of baggers, cruisers, cafe racers and choppers. And racers like Reg Pridmore and Steve McLaughlin established the Beemer’s carving capabilities on the track. So these minimalist models represent more than a marketing ploy or a cursory nod to the old days.
The R nineT is the contemporary counterpart of the original R90S and /6 (Slash 6) models of 1973, with some significant upgrades. The basics of Hans Muth’s original design have been retained, but what was a 900cc Twin making 67 horsepower is now an 1170cc engine rated at 110 hp. Add to that engine a pair of alloy wheels, 320mm twin discs in front, ABS and Automatic Stability Control as an option, and stainless steel 2-into-1 exhaust system, and you have today’s equivalent of a classic roadster or racer.
While the model monikers may not represent memorable names, or even sensible typography, the machines themselves reflect well on BMW’s sporting history. Of course entry level in the old days was about $3000. Them days are gone forever.