2017 BMW R nineT Pure Preview - Pure and Simple
You’ll be able to read Louisson’s thorough rundown on the Pure variant of BMW’s R nineT in the February issue of NZ Autocar, so what follows will be a preview only, encompassing the juicy bits of the stripped-down flat-twin modern classic.
The Pure is one of five R nineT options available, and it caters to the builders out there. It is completely stripped back, with ABS the only electronic item included. The paintwork is meant to resemble primer, to encourage people to make the bike their own. Everything else is bog-standard.
You can still accessorise with a bunch of different stuff through BMW but the idea behind the Pure is that the world of customisation is completely open to you.
The main item that carries through the R nineT range is the powertrain; the 1200cc air/oil-cooled flat-twin is the same in each variant, and it’s no bad thing. Two 600cc pistons fighting each other at multiple thousands of times per minute is truly a wonderful contraption. The engine is as happy to cruise through city streets as it is to holler across the B-roads.
During said hollering, I found that the engine responds well to tough love. The Pure lacks a tacho so there’s an element of guesswork with the revs but after finding the sweet spot the bike howls appreciatively. The sweet point is approximately one unit beyond “I should change gear now.” Given the Pure still retains the upright roadster ergos I wasn’t willing to push the limits of grip for fear of stacking the bike onto one of its cylinders, instead choosing to enjoy a brisk pace through the winding west Auckland roads.
The bike would be shown the way by a competent rider on a sports bike but keeping up with normal Sunday riders is no hardship. As an added bonus, instead of stopping and slowly easing your joints back nto a somewhat humanoid shape as you disembark, you’ll be leaping off at the front of the fish and chip queue.
As with the Urban G/S, which features an identical instrument cluster, the lack of any form of fuel consumption data is an irritation. When running low the digital part of the dial switches to a flashing petrol icon alongside an upwards-ticking odometer. We guess this is so you know how far you’ve gone on low petrol, but how far would be considered pushing your luck we aren’t exactly sure. Best to just hustle to your nearest servo when this illuminates.
Looking at it as a motorcycle, the Pure is much of what the Roadster is. Both sport wide bars with comfortable ergonomics, a powerful engine and fantastic looks. Where the Pure differentiates itself is its intention. It provides the R nineT essence with none of the frills, meaning it’s a proper blue-collar bike. You don’t get electronic safety nets, bar ABS, and the power of the flat-twin is completely unadulterated.
The Pure is also intended for those who like vehicles built, not bought. The stripped-back nature means the bike is ripe for customising, with either genuine BMW options or otherwise. But many will likely choose to go minimalistic.
I would probably slap some bar-end mirrors on, get a nice aftermarket exhaust, add a rev tacho and paint a lightning bolt on the side. Then it's off to the races.