2018 BMW R nineT Racer

Heart full of soul.

2018 BMW R nineT Racer.BMW

Like other companies, BMW has discovered (or more accurately, rediscovered) the coolness of café racers—not only for boomers who were there in the 1970s, but for old-soul millennials too. BMW’s refocus here results in the R nineT Racer, a cleanly styled café version of the R nineT naked bike. Powered by the same fuel-injected and air-cooled 1,170cc parallel twin, the Racer goes its own way with a super low-slung café fairing, low-set handlebars, a unique chrome-plated exhaust system, a bum-stop solo seat, a silver-painted steel frame, and white bodywork detailed with BMW’s blue, purple, and red “///M” race car colors.

Priced midway in BMW’s “Heritage” lineup, the R nineT Racer is, well, the raciest of the lot. Its aggressive seating position extracts a comfort penalty in town but rewards the rider with a highly immersive ride experience when the road opens up and flows. If you’re considering the R nineT Racer instead of a contemporary sportbike such as BMW’s own S1000RR, know that the Racer’s long 58.7-inch wheelbase, 26.4-degree steering-head angle, and rearward seating position combine to create a relatively more casual ride.

Likes: Design beautifully evokes the 1970s; modern Z-rated sportbike radials

Dislikes: Long fuel tank begets far-rearward seat location; better hope you fit…

Verdict: Kind of a one-trick pony; but, wow, what a trick!

2018 BMW R nineT Racer Specs and Pricing

MSRP $13,545
WET WEIGHT 485 lb.