Her­itage harks back to Dakar

The Advertiser - Motoring - - TWO WHEELS - CRAIG DUFF

THE fifth it­er­a­tion of the BMW RnineT road­ster, re­vealed at the EICMA show, is in­spired by the orig­i­nal R80 GS from 1980.

The RnineT Ur­ban G/S is touted as a clas­sic en­duro style rem­i­nis­cent of the orig­i­nal Dakar Rally mo­tor­bikes, right down to the paint scheme and front mud­guard and tank de­sign.

The R80 GS is cred­ited with es­tab­lish­ing the ad­ven­ture bike seg­ment and was the first se­rial pro­duc­tion BMW to use a sin­gle-sided swingarm, which evolved into the Par­alever sus­pen­sion found on Beemers today.

The Ur­ban’s look might be retro but the me­chan­i­cals are modern, from the 81kW/116Nm 1170cc air-cooled boxer en­gine to an op­tional sta­bil­ity con­trol set-up to limit wheel spin on greasy sur­faces, be it slick tar­mac or clay trails.

The Ur­ban name hints at the fact this ma­chine isn’t as of­froad fo­cused as the Scram­bler, oc­cu­py­ing the mid­dle ground be­tween it and the roadori­ented RnineT vari­ants.

Those want­ing to take it of­froad can op­tion a set of wire wheels — 19-inch up­front and 17-inch at the rear — along with knobby off-road rub­ber.

Cus­tomi­sa­tion is still a big part of the RnineT ethos and the mod­u­lar frame lets own­ers bolt on items from the BMW parts cat­a­logue

For the unini­ti­ated, the Ur­ban G/S dif­fer­en­ti­ates it­self from the reg­u­lar RnineT with a con­ven­tional set of gaitered front forks in place of the up­side-down units and comes with 5mm more sus­pen­sion travel.

Steel brake lines and BMW’s anti-lock brakes are fit­ted to stop the bike, via dual 320mm front discs with four-pis­ton calipers.

The in­stru­men­ta­tion has also been re­vised, with a cir­cu­lar ana­log speedo set above a two-line LCD dis­play with clock, trip me­ter func­tions and warn­ings such as low fuel.

The bike weighs in a 221kg and the seat height is 850mm, mean­ing shorter-statured rid­ers may need to look at the low seat, which is of course avail­able as an op­tion along with the likes of hand pro­tec­tors, heated grips, LED in­di­ca­tors. A brushed al­loy fuel tank with a vis­i­ble weld seam re­in­forces the connection to the Dakar-era ma­chines.

At­ten­tion to de­tail ex­tends to forged alu­minium fork bridges, steer­ing damper mount and the han­dle­bar clamp, all em­bossed with “BMW Mo­tor­rad”.

BMW has now spun five vari­ants off the RnineT ar­chi­tec­ture in what it terms the Her­itage col­lec­tion.

The ap­peal of the retro ma­chines has Ja­panese ri­vals keenly as­sess­ing their own line­ups to see how many ways they can slice the nos­tal­gic ap­peal of old-school styled ma­chines.

Ex­pect the Ur­ban G/S in lo­cal deal­er­ships late next year.

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