BMW RnineT Scrambler – Is it though…
Over the last few years the trend for ‘scrambler’ style bikes has really taken off (no pun intended). Triumph have had the Bonneville Scrambler in their line up since 2006, and in 2015 Ducati launched an ‘homage’ to their 250 Scrambler of the 60’s and 70’s…
It’s also been a popular style for pro bike and Shed builders a like, with some very tasty machines being produced. BMW wanted to get in on the action, and this week has seen the launch of the new RnineT Scrambler.
Built on the same platform as the very successful RnineT roadster, the Scrambler is a stripped down version enabling you to get on the ‘rough stuff’. Stripped back means its loses some of the ‘goodies’ from the Roadster version. The Ohlins upside down forks have gone, replaced by traditional telescopic forks, but the bike is powered by the same 1170cc engine which delivers its 110hp to the rear via the paralever shaft drive.
A higher (tan vinyl) seat and optional knobbly Metzeler Karoo 3 tyres give it a more rugged look. The bike I had was fitted with some pretty funky cross spoked wheels, whereas I understand the model comes with Cast wheels as standard.
The cockpit is basic, the big wide slung back (quite cruiserish) bars give a comfortable position. In keeping with the minimalist style, BMW have gone with a single small speedo, which I applaude, although for a bike costing over £10.5k I would have expected at least a fuel gauge, and maybe a gear selection indicator. There’s a clock, engine temp and heated grip display, but I found it hard to read in daylight. I also found the shifter rather vague, but thats probably down the the bike being brand new. Shaft drive shifters never give you the positive clunk of a chain/belt drive.
Now I’m a fan of the RnineT Roadster and almost bought one, (couldn’t stomach the price in the end). However I’m not too sure about the Scrambler…of course BMW will sell shed loads, and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes out of the hands of the customisers, but it left me a little cold. It’s fast, stops on a dime, makes a good noise and is practical, but i found it maybe just a little to………clinical. Its not a retro styled bike in reality, so you can forgive BMW for not making the aircooled engine ‘pretty’. The bike in the spec I had will hit your bank account for a shade over £11k….. at this price (if you are not a badge snob) then a Yamaha XSR700 or 900 and a set of new ‘knobblies’ would do much the same job with a spare few thousand pounds still in your pocket?
There are rumours of a larger capacity scrambler from Ducati, and Triumph have yet to show their ‘Scrambler’ hand on the new platform. I’m sure 2017 will be an interesting year.
I only had the BMW Scrambler for an hour or so, but you can see my quick overview below…..