BMW R ninet Scrambler

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Feature -

Boxer has plenty of punch

The boxer en­gine was one of the first to be picked up on by cus­tom builders and it is a great-look­ing mo­tor when stuck in a café racer or scrambler. But where so many of the box­er­pow­ered spe­cials you see in mag­a­zines or on the in­ter­net look like li­a­bil­i­ties to ride, with their R ninet range BMW have built a group of thor­oughly func­tional, yet still beau­ti­ful, mo­tor­cy­cles whose styling doesn’t com­pro­mise the ride. And that’s re­flected per­fectly in the R ninet Scrambler.

With the old air-cooled boxer mo­tor you get that raw feel­ing that adds such spirit. It vi­brates, lurches to the side when you rev it and sounds awe­some even on its stock stacked pipes, yet once on the go it is ac­tu­ally pretty re­fined.

The ride qual­ity is typ­i­cal BMW and al­though the seat isn’t the most plush, the han­dling is im­pres­sive and you can hurl it into bends and it sits there in to­tal se­cu­rity. This feel­ing was en­hanced on our test bike by hav­ing the most road­tar­geted tyres of all the scram­blers (you can opt for road or semi-off-road tyres when you buy it), but the boxer’s weight also plays its part. How­ever where on the road this helps, ven­ture off-road and it hin­ders it a bit.

Tak­ing the Scrambler off-road feels cruel. Like the Tri­umph this is a bike more styled as a scrambler than built to act like one and get­ting a 110bhp, 220kg, boxer side­ways can be a touch wild. If it gets out of hand that’s a lot of fly­ing metal to at­tempt to per­suade back into line. But why would you take a Scrambler off road? If you want to get dirty buy a GS!

‘Tak­ing the BMW Scrambler off road feels cruel’

On the open road, the boxer mo­tor is bril­liant and leaves its ri­vals out of sight

All three of these ma­chines can turn heads... and cor­ners

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