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BMW Motorrad teases the R12 nineT roadster

Successor to the best-selling R nineT

The '12' in the name denotes the engine size. PHOTO FROM BMW MOTORRAD

After 10 successful years of the R nineT roadster with sales of more than 100,000 units (having evolved into several variants like the Urban GS Scrambler), BMW Motorrad has just previewed the R12 nineT.

“The R nineT and its customizing concept established the new Heritage experience for BMW Motorrad’s 90th birthday, and has become an indispensable cornerstone of our model range,” said Dr. Markus Schramm, head of BMW Motorrad.

He added: “The new R12 nineT consistently continues the successful heritage story surrounding the legendary BMW boxer engines with an even more classic, reduced design language, even greater degrees of freedom when it comes to customizing, and, last but not least, new and innovative technology.”

A high-quality look and feel befitting a BMW. PHOTOS FROM BMW MOTORRAD

At first glance, the new bike is an evolution of the R nineT’s distinctive styling, with the familiar boxer cylinder heads sticking out the sides, an upright riding position, and a naked frame. But a closer look reveals subtle changes meant to enhance the riding and ownership experience. It retains the beefy fuel tank, but now includes side panels. The front mudguard has been redesigned; the LED headlamp features a black surround light guide element; and there are two instrument pods with an updated design.

The “12” denotes the engine displacement (1,170cc, rounded off), and thus the bike retains the current air- and oil-cooled flat twin-cylinder of the outgoing model. BMW is keeping mum about more technical details, but it does use a one-piece tubular space frame with a bolt-on subframe. The suspension uses a USD fork and a rear paralever. The exhaust is located on the left side, using a double silencer design with conical end pieces. Four-piston monobloc Brembo calipers with steel braided brake lines are used. An LED taillamp is integrated into the seat cowl.

It'll be fun playing spot-the-difference if you park it beside an R nineT. PHOTOS FROM BMW MOTORRAD

BMW promises a wide range of customization options for the R12 nineT, making it an ideal blank slate for owners who want to personalize their rides. More details about the new bike will be revealed by the second half of 2023.

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our motorcycle editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.