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R Nine T - Racer

Discussion in 'R1200RS Versus The Competition' started by JasonQ, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. JasonQ

    JasonQ Member

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    Dropped the RS in for a 6000mile service this morning, had booked a courtesy bike some weeks ago, was told it would be a basic F800, no problem I only need it to go 20 miles from the dealers to work (and back).

    So this morning I’m handed the keys to an R-Nine-T Racer. Cool, I think, great looking bike this will be fun, then I remember I’ve got to be at work all day, bummer.

    I exit the dealers and set off for work, 5miles in and my arms, shoulders and chest are shouting at my brain to change my thinking from, "bummer I’m sat in work in work all day instead of riding"; to, "cool I’m sat in work in work all day, I can park the bike outside the office window and look at it", ‘cause this is too painful to ride any distance.

    I haven’t a clue what shape human it’s designed for but it ain’t me. I’m fairly short at 5’7” and I’m having to fold myself into it. I’d read the ergonomics were poor, they weren’t kidding. I spent 35 minutes getting to work (on wet/damp roads). At over 60mph there’s some relief but below that even squeezing with the knees and trying to use core body is killing me. But it’s a great machine to look at.

    But that’s not the full story, it’s sat there now outside the window calling to me like some mythical mechanical siren; ride me, ride me. It is so much smaller, so much lighter, better looking and so much more basic than the RS, there’s something very beguiling about it. Despite my misgivings and the painful arms and shoulders I’m already considering taking it out at lunchtime for a (short) ride on hopefully dry, and less crowded, roads.

    More later…
    JasonQ
     
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  2. Andy Griffiths

    Andy Griffiths Well-Known Member

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    Damn those designers ....:)
     
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  3. Brimstone Mahone

    Brimstone Mahone Well-Known Member

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    For some unknown reason (to me), the "Racer" is a cheaper version of the R9T - lesser suspension (and the OEM 9T's suspension isn't all that good anyway), and cheaper Brembo brakes as opposed to the radial-mounted Brembo mono blocs. I would have expected a "racer" to have the best suspension/brakes.

    However, I absolutely agree that it's a great bike to look at. OTOH, I sat on one at the dealer a couple of months ago and, frankly it was less comfortable than my old 996 Ducati, which in capable hands (not claiming I have those hands) would smoke the racer in every aspect of motorcycling. I see the racer as a nice 20-minute- bike to ride to the local biker hangout, where lots of folks would ogle it, and then back home.

    But for that matter, the R9T itself gets a good bit of ogling and it's a lot more comfortable to be on. I ride mine a lot in Mexico and have done several multi-day trips on it with no notable comfort issues...though the stock seat makes me quite happy to stop for fuel when it's time. ;) On the DOWN side, it took nearly 3k bucks worth of Ohlins suspension parts (front and rear) to change the bike from mediocre to quite good in both the handling and comfort departments. So, I guess based on that, the same changes would be done to the racer if I owned one so the difference in the oem suspensions doesn't really matter!
     
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  4. Mr. 36654

    Mr. 36654 Well-Known Member

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    In the summer of 1999, I was shopping for a new bike and tried to shoehorn myself into a R1100S. The salesman asked what style of riding I preferred and said.... "Get the RS. You'll be happy." Then walked away.
     
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  5. roger coleman

    roger coleman Well-Known Member

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    I had exactly the same experience when I asked for a hack while service was done, I couldnt wait to take it back, its impossible to ride, it hruts my bones.
    but my god it does look good
     
  6. oscarguitar

    oscarguitar Well-Known Member

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    Now I was given the R9T Pure. That was comfortable and a hoot to ride.
     
  7. Duckbubbles

    Duckbubbles Active Member

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    My local dealer has two Racers in stock. One, new, on the showroom floor for a couple of months. And the second, used, with less than 600 miles on it. Just getting it off of the side stand was awkward- made by the same company that puts an almost too long a side sand on the RS. I've loved the looks since I first saw it, but from the pics I could tell it wasn't for me. Sitting on it confirmed that.

    Frank
     
  8. GordonH

    GordonH Well-Known Member

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    Tell me about it.....my 900ss is the definition of pain...........with none of the BM's rideability below 3k rpm.........but I keep riding the bloody thing...
     
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  9. JasonQ

    JasonQ Member

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    Right where to continue… wasn’t dry at lunch but took it out anyway.

    BMW_R-Nine-T-Racer_01.jpg

    Ultimately no, not for me, but a good exercise as it has hi-lighted a number of things I was at risk of taking for granted on the RS.

    Ergonomics
    RS: Ha the RS is so much better, so, so, so much better, yes I occasionally get a bit of a lower back ache after 6hrs+ on the RS but hey I’d get that sat in the same chair at home for 6hrs.
    Racer: words can’t describe how awkward and cramp yet stretched out it is. I found if I push my arse back against the rear seat hump I can get my knees wedged behind the tank better and this helps me support my upper torso, well actually I’m bent so far forward like this my stomach is then resting on top of my thighs, and no I’m not fat! I feel like I’ve been riding with my chin being constantly pulled forward but my neck staying where it is. My neck and shoulders need the optional extra, installed at home, masseur option, what?! It doesn’t come with one… oh ok. Missed opportunity there BMW....

    Suspension / Chassis
    RS: compliant and comfortable yet taught enough to ride fast with confidence at all speeds.
    Racer: Hard and stiff and long and slow. I wonder if some of the pain comes from the non-compliant suspension.

    Engine
    RS: Pull from low down with smooth energetic torque
    Racer: Rough and raw down low, not as refined but above 4,500rpm I reckon it pulls harder and is faster – could be the lack of mass but it can’t match the pull of RS below 4,500 despite being smaller. And ha ha the torque reaction, as I blipped the throttle (myself) on a down shift, caught me out entering a fast roundabout and moved me off line enough to have me worried, didn’t happen again once I realised what was going on.

    Gearbox
    RS: now here a thing, I’ve never had any problems with the RS gearbox, occasionally I struggle to find Neutral but no complaints, never found it clucky or harsh.
    Racer: Makes the RS box feel clunky, there is so little travel on the lever and each gear sort of snicks home. BUT I missed the GSAP of the RS, I mean really missed it big time.

    Practicality (stop laughing at the back)
    RS: excellent.
    Racer: Not.

    What else, oh yeah aesthetic appeal:
    RS: quirky and different - not exactly beautiful but ok.
    Racer: At work least a half dozen non-bikers who have never even given the RS a glance have stopped and looked at the racer. Two have then come into the office and asked whose is it and want to talk about how cool it looks.

    Exhaust Note:
    RS: Bland and boring - always been the least satisfactory thing of the RS for me (but so much else about it I like I'm happy to live with it).
    Racer: more like, alive and sparky.

    And one final thing, I hadn’t realised how much I unconsciously use cruise control, even for the briefest of periods (short as a few seconds) just to coast along with before the next manoeuvre or whatever, got so use to it in 11 months and 8000+ miles – how odd.

    So the in a few hour the affair will be over and I’ll be back to my steady comfortable one and not this supremely, seductively, (skinny) attractive one that ultimately is just too much effort.

    JasonQ
     
  10. PaulB_UK

    PaulB_UK Member

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    "It is so much smaller, so much lighter, better looking and so much more basic than the RS..."

    Smaller, and lighter may be points of fact, but better looking?? Good grief, no.

    It looks like the bastard love-child of a Laverda Jota and R80. Or something along those lines.

    I know there is a current trend for retro-styled bikes with modern tech, but the R-nine-T just takes it a step too far, in my humble opinion.

    Tastes differ, of course.

    Cheers

    Paul B.
     
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  11. Peter Burridge

    Peter Burridge Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Today I had a sit on my mates Ducati 748 SPS in yellow (of course). Compared to the R Nine T Racer that I had a look around last time at the dealers there was no contest (full Ohlins for a start). If anyone wants a 748 with 4k miles on it for £5,500 in immaculate condition see me. If only I had a spare £5.5k, I'd never look at the R Nine T Racer... It looks the part but it's poorly specced imo. A right tarts handbag.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2017
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  12. Andy Griffiths

    Andy Griffiths Well-Known Member

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    A 748 SPS for £5.5k - I feel faint . There are numerous 1980s Hondas o Ebay ( all described as classics) for similar money. World's gone mad ...:rolleyes:
    That Ducati is a genuine timeless classic that will be worth the same money long after the present retro fad has moved on to something else .
    Post a pic Pete
     
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  13. Peter Burridge

    Peter Burridge Well-Known Member Contributor

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    I didn't take any photo's as John has a whole collection of bikes, mainly 60's and 70's Hondas and not really my thing. He lives in the country and is a bit sensitive to thieves as he's away a lot. He has a 75 CB750, a 400/4, a race prepped 350cc K4 (?) very neat. He also has a Benly, an old trials iron, another couple of old Hondas (450cc and 305cc) and his day to day Beemer. If I had the funds I'd love the Duke.
     
  14. Andy Griffiths

    Andy Griffiths Well-Known Member

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    John is a man of taste obviously ....:)
     
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  15. leroysch

    leroysch New Member

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    The moment I saw the Racer in the motorcycle magazines I knew I had to have one. Rode down to the local (40 miles) BMW dealer and asked to get on the list. Their response: What list? Well, there was one by the time I left.
    At 62, 5'9", 170lbs this bike is nothing but a pleasure to ride. It's stability leaned hard over in sweepers is almost orgasmic. Certainly isn't a head-snapper when accelerating, I never was one much entertained by how fast I could go in a straight line. (Seems that's always the question we get from non-riders....)
    Only other bike that got to me like that was 1995. Ducati 916 was on the cover of one of the rags I was subscribed to. In that case....there was a list (I was #2 on it).
    Happy to report they both are co-exisiting quite amiably when parked in my shop.
     

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  16. Bunter

    Bunter Active Member

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    I had one of these for a hour or so while mine was in for a new rear and service. Very very pretty bike. Riding position was comfy, suspension felt a lot more basic than the RS and the brakes were good, probably slightly nicer feel than my RS. Wind was a pain making cruising at speed a struggle especially after the RS (with a sorted screen!) but that's no surprise. I didn't think the engine was stronger at any revs than my RS (MY 2017). Gearbox and clutch didn't feel as nice as my RS.

    I too was surprised by the torque reaction especially on down shift blipping. It made me wonder about whether the crank and the shaft drive contra rotate in all boxers? So you will always get the most torque reaction when you do something at the crank which is not offset by the shaft i.e. blipping.

    <untitled>.jpg
     
  17. Brimstone Mahone

    Brimstone Mahone Well-Known Member

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    Re 916/9T derivatives - They are, of course, totally different machines types in the sense that the 916 set a standard at the time for the latest available tech/performance in sport bikes; the 9T/it's derivatives are sort of the opposite, using very standard, non-latest tech parts (other than maybe the monobloc/radial mounted brakes on the 9T) when creating the '60's/70's cafe look.

    I suspect if you took the racer and your 916 to the twisties (or better yet - local track day), you would find the 916 , ASSUMING the suspension/brake parts are still in good condition, will inspire a lot more confidence and be noticeably quicker if you were able to time both through the same sections. OTOH, I'd guess that few of us actually buy motos based on their ultimate performance capability. Most of us probably buy them for their appearance! The racer is definitely a looker. IMO it may be THE looker in the retro-racer style. The 916 was both the performer AND the looker (as far as sport bikes) when it came out.
     
  18. Peter Burridge

    Peter Burridge Well-Known Member Contributor

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    The water cooled boxer (RS) has a small counter rotating clutch in front of the engine with the gearbox input geared down. The older engines like the ones used in the R Nine T range have an engine speed dry clutch rotating in the same direction. Hence greater torque reaction. The engine is about 15 bhp weaker methinks, a very different design.
     
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  19. Willy

    Willy Well-Known Member

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    For retro cafe Racers it would have to be the Triumph Thrusting R for me......sorry. Downside is chain drive, but it does look good.
     
  20. Brimstone Mahone

    Brimstone Mahone Well-Known Member

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    I agree re the Thruxton though I don't see the chain drive as a downside because that is what would have been there on a cafe racer...
    FWIW, since I never owned a BMW moto in my life until 2015, I still see chain drives as "normal" and superior to the shaft in performance applications - though for my use nowadays, the maintenance/convenience of the shaftD far outweighs the performance advantage of the chain. But I didn't buy my R9t or RS for the shaft drive - they just happed to have that.
     

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