While the R1200GS Adventure is the technically the most evolved descendant of BMW’s transformative 1980 R80 G/S, the R nineT Urban G/S is actually a purer version of the German firm’s storied first ADV. That’s simply because the R nineT Urban G/S is closer to the original in engineering, size, weight, and simplicity than is the big R1200GS Adventure. Let’s take a look. From its high-mounted front fender to its minimalist fly screen, and from its contemporary fork with old-school rubber gaiters to its understated black chassis, simple white bodywork, and vibrant red seat, the R nineT Urban G/S nicely melds past and present.
Like the other R nineT models, power comes from an 1,170cc air-cooled and fuel-injected opposed twin spinning through a six-speed gearbox. Naturally, BMW’s signature shaft drive sends motive force to the rear wheel via a hollow one-sided swingarm. The 19-inch front, 17-inch rear cast aluminum wheels differ from the 21-inch front, 17-inch rear wire-spoke wheels of the original ’80 G/S, but BMW offers wire-spoke wheels and more aggressive lugged tires as options—a good call if you’re planning any serious off-road work.
Likes: Great design, roomy cockpit, large 4.5-gallon fuel tank
Dislikes: Make wire-spoke wheels standard, please! Also porky for a woods bike at 487 pounds.
Verdict: The most faithful retro-bike in BMW's lineup