BMW Teases New 2024 R 12 NineT

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Full specs and pricing to come in second half of 2023

Hot on the heels of a new R 18 Roctane, BMW offered a preview of its R NineT successor, the new R 12 NineT. As we previously reported, the R 12 NineT comes as BMW celebrates its centennial, just like how its predecessor was timed for BMW’s 90th anniversary. Beyond a new name, the 2024 BMW R 12 NineT comes with a number of updates. Full technical details will be revealed later, but here’s what we know so far.

Just like when the R NineT debuted in 2013, the new R 12 NineT offers classic roadster styling, while providing a canvas for customization. A big factor that made the original model apt for customizing was its tubular steel spaceframe. A basic design that uses the engine as a load-bearing element, the frame was a fairly basic construction with a removable pillion frame that allowed BMW to produce several different variants.

The R 12 NineT uses a new frame design, but it sticks to a similar formula. This time, however, the entire rear subframe – supporting both rider and passenger – appears to be removable. This gives customizers more to play with, and we can’t help but notice this could potentially open up a much lower seat height, so perhaps an R 12 version of the R 18 cruiser could be in the works from BMW.

In its current setup, the R 12 NineT is a single-seater with a short tail featuring an integrated LED taillight atop a combination rear fender and license plate holder. The solo seat looks much thicker than the current R NineT’s saddle, and it’s backed by a rear pad incorporated on the tail cover. Below the seat are new side panels covering the rear suspension, instead of leaving the area open as with the existing NineT. BMW says the covers give an authentic roadster feel, resembling R models from the ’70s.

The black fuel tank adds to that retro feel, with the metallic knee cutout surfaces providing the illusion of the chrome side covers on the fuel tanks of yore. The shape of the tank looks taller than the current NineT’s tank, but it isn’t as long, ending right before the seat.

The R 12 sticks with the classic single round headlight, the same design as the old NineT with a horizontal LED position light running across the middle. The dual round instrument dials further contribute to the classic looks, though curiously, the tachometer now shows the engine speed with double digit numbers marking every 100 rpm instead of single digits marking every 1,000 rpm. Triumph does the same thing with its current Bonnevilles, but this wasn’t common on disco-era roadsters from either brand.

The engine remains a air/oil-cooled Boxer motor, and while we don’t know its exact displacement yet, the R 12 name suggests it won’t be much different from the current models’ 1,170cc. Visually, the engine looks similar, but with new cylinder head covers, and the indicated redline on the tachometer remains at the same 8,500 rpm.

The intake system has been updated, losing the snorkel that sits above the right cylinder on the current NineT. The exhaust system is also new, with additional lambda sensors on the headers and a more retro-looking double muffler with conical end caps stacked on the left side of the rear wheel. The transmission also appears to be modified, with a new housing design on the left side. What secrets lie inside the covers remains to be seen.

Keeping with BMW tradition, the rear wheel is mounted to a paralever with a cardan shaft drive. An inverted Marzocchi fork with dual radially-mounted four-piston calipers connects to the front. Both wheels are shown with Michelin Road 5 tires instead of the Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tires that come with the current NineT.

More details about the 2024 BMW R 12 NineT, including full specifications and pricing, will be announced during the second half of 2023. Expect a whole new line of accessories as well, and very likely a new variant or two.

Here’s what BMW has to say:

The New BMW R 12 nineT Teaser

  • Successor to the BMW R nineT
  • Pricing and specifications to be announced in the 2nd half of 2023

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – May 11, 2023 . . . BMW Motorrad is proud to present the new BMW R 12 nineT in celebration of “100 Years of BMW Motorrad” and, exactly ten years after the launch of the original R nineT.

Like the BMW R nineT, introduced in 2013, the new BMW R 12 nineT is a pure, powerful, classic roadster which offers a wealth of conceptual options for almost unlimited customizing and personal individualization.

Dr. Markus Schramm, Head of BMW Motorrad: "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. The new R 12 nineT 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.”

1200 Boxer motor with redesigned intake and exhaust systems

100 years ago, the very first BMW motorcycle - the R 32 – arrived, powered by an air/oil-cooled flat-twin engine. The boxer's unmistakable design, powerful acceleration, unique power delivery, hallmark sound and smooth running quickly made it a legendary synonym for BMW motorcycles. With its air/oil-cooled boxer engine, the new R 12 nineT continues this great tradition. The number 12 has been added to reflect the model’s engine capacity, as done in other BMW motorcycle models.

Classic, Purist Design

Even more than its predecessor, the new R 12 nineT combines the strong visible character of the boxer engine, a classic design language of motorcycle eras past, innovative technology and a modular concept that offers the rider a maximum of customization options. Reduced even more to the essentials, it delivers high emotional appeal.

Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad: "The purist design language is dominated by the clear tank/seat/rear line, in the style of the traditional /5 or the legendary R 90 S of the 70s. At first glance, the tank itself is a classic BMW boxer tank, with a typical bend in the lower edge and classic knee contact. The new R 12 NineT also features side covers in the area of the frame triangle in the authentic Roadster look - another reminiscence of BMW motorcycles of the 1970s."

Particular attention to detail is evident in the redesigned front fender, the LED headlamp design and the two round instruments gauges. As is tradition, attractive customization options are offered as part of the original BMW Motorrad accessory range. With customizing in mind, the new R 12 nineT features an LED taillight unit integrated into the seat for a "short tail" appearance.

The highlights of the new BMW R 12 nineT:

  • Classic, purist design.
  • Workmanship with great attention to detail.
  • Air/oil-cooled 2-cylinder boxer engine.
  • Designed for customizing.
  • One-piece tubular space frame with bolted-on rear frame.
  • High-quality upside-down telescopic forks at the front and Paralever at the rear.
  • Left-side exhaust system with double muffler and conical end pieces.
  • Radially mounted 4-piston monobloc calipers, steel braided brake lines.
  • Tailor-made, high-quality original BMW Motorrad accessory range.

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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