BMW NineT Forum banner
  • Hey Everyone! Enter your bike HERE to be a part of this months Bike of the Month Challenge!
1 - 20 of 65 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I spent this past weekend driving several Japanese V-twin engine sport bikes. I compared the handling characteristics to my `14 RNT. I am disappointed. I came off of a Harley and have had a dozen other motorcycles. All inline 4s or V-twins. To my addled and foggy memory I can state that I always felt that my previous bikes (except the hardtail chopper) all handled better than the RNT. I said to myself….self, “naah, can’t be” This weekend reinforced my correct memories.
I have only put on a couple thousand miles on the R9T in the last year. All of these miles have been solely on twisty roads. Never over 80mph. Sadly I have found that the BMW is awkward and needs firm coaxing to get that motor out of vertical and back to vertical. For a while I thought that it was just me . I thought that I just needed to get used to the handling characteristics of a boxer. Well I have it figured it out and can push it hard into and out of turns comfortably. For me there is markedly more effort required than there should be. Nature of the beast. I get it and thought that I could live with it. No matter the speed It does not match the look-lean and go cornering of V-Twins and to a lesser degree inline 4’s. I knew going into the purchase that this would be the case but was surprised as to the extent.
This weekend I drove four V-twins. Three 1000cc+ bikes and one 700cc bike on my roads. I reported the cornering on all four as “silky”. Simple physics reveals the truth again. In a turn the mass of those jugs hanging out in the wind on the RNTs short axis takes more energy to re-orientate their position relative to level as compared to V-twin.
Keeping as much mass as close to the COG is the key. Further away from COG the more energy required to change it’s position. Some racers used to keep the battery in the tail section. They found that getting that battery closer to the center of the bike improved handling markedly. And that mass is on the long axis
Mind you it’s all subjective analysis on my part. The majority here are happy with the handling, albeit some with suspension changes. In this issue suspension change would not do anything for the outboard mass transitions. There is much to like on the RNT, pains me to unload it. I’m not a multi-bike guy. Seems like when I had a few at the same time I always rode just one of them.
More than likely I will sell it for a V-2

Cheers.
 

·
Premium Member
2017 Roadster
Joined
·
541 Posts
If that’s how you feel then that’s how you feel. Not all bikes are for everyone.
Find the one you enjoy the most and enjoy.
I was out riding my 2017 Roadster with Wilbers rear suspension the other day and it pleased me greatly. But then I am used to riding old Ducati’s.
Wrestling a heavy beast around corners all wild of hair and eye with a clutch lever that almost needs a pair of mole grips to operate it is how I like it. No pain no gain…lol
I must admit I am an old school rider with old school ways. In some ways I find the R nine t a bit too refined. But would never sell it.
Then again a nice condition Guzzi Le Mans Mk1 might tempt me.
 

·
Premium Member
BMW R nineT Pure
Joined
·
1,982 Posts
Sorry to hear the cornering ability of the R9T leaves you wanting for better. I came from a Honda VFR 800 I'd owned for 14 years and put tons of miles on during that time, including in some of the best twisties in the US. I was never unhappy with it but it was a bit of pig, something VFR owners will easily admit to. That wasn't a terrible thing though, as it made it more stable on the highway. Once turned in though, it held a line quite nicely.

My R9T Pure has similar weight to the VFR, but I think turns in more easily due to carrying its weight lower and having the wider, tubular handlebar. I modded the suspension of both bikes, and am now pretty happy with it on my BMW

One thing that is definitely different, and you mentioned this, is the weight distribution. But you didn't mention rider position and weight distribution as a key factor in overall weight distribution. Rider weight is going to be more evenly distributed on a sportbike, and more rear-biased on bikes like the R9T. If I had to guess, the front-to-rear weight distribution on a sportbike might be 50/50 to 45/55, depending on the bike. That's pretty much the ideal. And I'd guess the R9T's weight distribution is more like 40/60, or even 30/70 when loaded for touring. This will certainly limit the Beemer's handling compared to a sportbike, regardless of the engine configuration. Unfortunately, there isn't much that can be done to change this on the BMW. You could remove the passenger footpeg brackets, delete the flapper valve and module, swap on a very short and/or lightweight exhaust, and do a tail tidy, but all that probably wouldn't change things more enough to make up for the difference in rider position. Maybe if you had an R9T Racer, with its sportbike riding position - and if you improved the stock suspension - it would be more comparable to a V-twin sportbike.

Bottom line: I don't think the R9T was designed with sport-riding in mind. In my opinion it's a capable corner carver, but certainly not ideal. I'm not fast enough to ride past the bike's limits, and since I don't track it either I'm fine with some compromise. I'm a single-bike owner and I love my R9T Pure for its all-arounder-ness, just like how I loved my VFR, though it was a much better sport-tourer.

Just out of curiousity, what were the Japanese V-twin sportbikes? I can't think of very many "Big 4" V-twin sportbikes. Honda's SuperHawk and RC51, and Suzuki's SV and TL are the only ones I can think of at the moment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry to hear the cornering ability of the R9T leaves you wanting for better. I came from a Honda VFR 800 I'd owned for 14 years and put tons of miles on during that time, including in some of the best twisties in the US. I was never unhappy with it but it was a bit of pig, something VFR owners will easily admit to. That wasn't a terrible thing though, as it made it more stable on the highway. Once turned in though, it held a line quite nicely.

My R9T Pure has similar weight to the VFR, but I think turns in more easily due to carrying its weight lower and having the wider, tubular handlebar. I modded the suspension of both bikes, and am now pretty happy with it on my BMW

One thing that is definitely different, and you mentioned this, is the weight distribution. But you didn't mention rider position and weight distribution as a key factor in overall weight distribution. Rider weight is going to be more evenly distributed on a sportbike, and more rear-biased on bikes like the R9T. If I had to guess, the front-to-rear weight distribution on a sportbike might be 50/50 to 45/55, depending on the bike. That's pretty much the ideal. And I'd guess the R9T's weight distribution is more like 40/60, or even 30/70 when loaded for touring. This will certainly limit the Beemer's handling compared to a sportbike, regardless of the engine configuration. Unfortunately, there isn't much that can be done to change this on the BMW. You could remove the passenger footpeg brackets, delete the flapper valve and module, swap on a very short and/or lightweight exhaust, and do a tail tidy, but all that probably wouldn't change things more enough to make up for the difference in rider position. Maybe if you had an R9T Racer, with its sportbike riding position - and if you improved the stock suspension - it would be more comparable to a V-twin sportbike.

Bottom line: I don't think the R9T was designed with sport-riding in mind. In my opinion it's a capable corner carver, but certainly not ideal. I'm not fast enough to ride past the bike's limits, and since I don't track it either I'm fine with some compromise. I'm a single-bike owner and I love my R9T Pure for its all-arounder-ness, just like how I loved my VFR, though it was a much better sport-tourer.

Just out of curiousity, what were the Japanese V-twin sportbikes? I can't think of very many "Big 4" V-twin sportbikes. Honda's SuperHawk and RC51, and Suzuki's SV and TL are the only ones I can think of at the moment.
Well when I ride thr RNT I get the best handleing when I get up tight and over the tank. Shifting the weight forward is optimum for me. I agree with your weight distribution point. The bikes I rode were indeed an SV, a naked TL and, a TL with full glass. And an FZ 700....the FZ is a parallel twin not V, my error.

Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
With my Turban, apart from changing front and rear suspension, a meaningful improvement was made by changing to Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2 tyres and removal of the steering damper and the addition of bar risers. But I must openly admit that my 1200 GS Adv(2012) actually flicks in and out of turns quicker than my R9T despite the fact that the GS Adv motor and gearbox are sitting higher in the bike. I'm sure the fork rake is the main reason that the Turban takes more conscious effort to enter and exit turns.:cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
The R9T with it's flat twin has unique geometry.
Can it be successfully raced?
Definitely can!
Remember Reg Pridmore and his BMW flat twin race bike?
But everyone's preference is also unique and if a V-twin feels better, then it is for you.
 

·
Registered
2017 Prambler
Joined
·
530 Posts
It's your bike, buy what you like.

For myself, the R9T fits the bill. I started out riding Japanese Standards in the 1970's, CB-350's, graduated to a chopper style CM-400T which did not suit me. Ended the 1980's with a naked sport bike (Honda CB1) and realized I really loved carving corners. Moved on to a Kawasaki ZX-7RR and raced a Honda RS125RR GP bike for a few seasons. What fun. Got married, settled down with a Ducati Monster but when we moved to Portland Oregon, and the beautiful Cascades, I swapped the Monster for a 998, and after too many tickets, swapped that for a 748S and a Triumph Thruxton. Lots of fun. Moved back to Chicago where all the streets are basically in a grid, go, stop, 90º right turn or left, go, stop, 90º right turn or left. The sport bikes were worthless so they got sold for a Harley Sportster. Great for straight lines, very nice on the highway, not so good for carving corners, dragging footpegs or exhaust pipes. Sold that for the R9T, which at this point in my life, fits the bill. It corners so much better than the Sportster, the brakes are superb, the ride is nice, I got no complaints.

But again, to each their own. Buy what you like. No wrong answers.

Best,
-Tim
 

·
Premium Member
2021 Scrambler
Joined
·
72 Posts
I am also in the Great Grid of Chicagoland, so any twisties are a good ride away.

Definitely ride what you enjoy. If a sport bike and high-rpm are your thing, that's awesome. I am loving the scrambler for what it is. I can say that it is an extremely capable bike. After all day in the total control advanced course yesterday, I had no problem getting it to lean in and out. Both guys in the course with GSXRs had more trouble, so it's really about the rider. For me, It's more than capable of anything I will attempt for now.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,323 Posts
I spent this past weekend driving several Japanese V-twin engine sport bikes. I compared the handling characteristics to my `14 RNT. I am disappointed. I came off of a Harley and have had a dozen other motorcycles. All inline 4s or V-twins. To my addled and foggy memory I can state that I always felt that my previous bikes (except the hardtail chopper) all handled better than the RNT. I said to myself….self, “naah, can’t be” This weekend reinforced my correct memories.
I have only put on a couple thousand miles on the R9T in the last year. All of these miles have been solely on twisty roads. Never over 80mph. Sadly I have found that the BMW is awkward and needs firm coaxing to get that motor out of vertical and back to vertical. For a while I thought that it was just me . I thought that I just needed to get used to the handling characteristics of a boxer. Well I have it figured it out and can push it hard into and out of turns comfortably. For me there is markedly more effort required than there should be. Nature of the beast. I get it and thought that I could live with it. No matter the speed It does not match the look-lean and go cornering of V-Twins and to a lesser degree inline 4’s. I knew going into the purchase that this would be the case but was surprised as to the extent.
This weekend I drove four V-twins. Three 1000cc+ bikes and one 700cc bike on my roads. I reported the cornering on all four as “silky”. Simple physics reveals the truth again. In a turn the mass of those jugs hanging out in the wind on the RNTs short axis takes more energy to re-orientate their position relative to level as compared to V-twin.
Keeping as much mass as close to the COG is the key. Further away from COG the more energy required to change it’s position. Some racers used to keep the battery in the tail section. They found that getting that battery closer to the center of the bike improved handling markedly. And that mass is on the long axis
Mind you it’s all subjective analysis on my part. The majority here are happy with the handling, albeit some with suspension changes. In this issue suspension change would not do anything for the outboard mass transitions. There is much to like on the RNT, pains me to unload it. I’m not a multi-bike guy. Seems like when I had a few at the same time I always rode just one of them.
More than likely I will sell it for a V-2

Cheers.
It is indeed a moto that requires domination, you must overwhelm it with determined commands, no doubt about that .. Please read some threads on sellers remorse … and prepare for quality issues you didn’t have with your boxer. Just the obligatory fair warning … StayUpOn 2 … BeWell ……Blitz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
280 Posts
Some bikes mesh with our riding style and some don't. Unfortunately, it sounds like R9T doesn't mesh with your riding style. Have you thought about trying different tires, they can make a huge difference on how a bike handles. Are there better handling bikes than the R9T? Yes, but they don't have the look or give me the enjoyment of riding my R9T.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It's your bike, buy what you like.

For myself, the R9T fits the bill. I started out riding Japanese Standards in the 1970's, CB-350's, graduated to a chopper style CM-400T which did not suit me. Ended the 1980's with a naked sport bike (Honda CB1) and realized I really loved carving corners. Moved on to a Kawasaki ZX-7RR and raced a Honda RS125RR GP bike for a few seasons. What fun. Got married, settled down with a Ducati Monster but when we moved to Portland Oregon, and the beautiful Cascades, I swapped the Monster for a 998, and after too many tickets, swapped that for a 748S and a Triumph Thruxton. Lots of fun. Moved back to Chicago where all the streets are basically in a grid, go, stop, 90º right turn or left, go, stop, 90º right turn or left. The sport bikes were worthless so they got sold for a Harley Sportster. Great for straight lines, very nice on the highway, not so good for carving corners, dragging footpegs or exhaust pipes. Sold that for the R9T, which at this point in my life, fits the bill. It corners so much better than the Sportster, the brakes are superb, the ride is nice, I got no complaints.

But again, to each their own. Buy what you like. No wrong answers.

Best,
-Tim
x2.....form follows function. Nice little thumbnail on your selection reasoning.
Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Some bikes mesh with our riding style and some don't. Unfortunately, it sounds like R9T doesn't mesh with your riding style. Have you thought about trying different tires, they can make a huge difference on how a bike handles. Are there better handling bikes than the R9T? Yes, but they don't have the look or give me the enjoyment of riding my R9T.
As rule I ride the speed limit or at the most sometimes 10 above. I will tell you that the wallowish turning is at all speeds. I take a tight twist road every weekend to the local hang out. Posted speeds are 25-45 mph depending on the turn radii. I don't go over 50mph. In reality it was comparison testing. The exception was last Saturday when I just had to take the RNT through the twisties at higher speeds to see if that changed anything in the handling dynamics. Then the same speeds on the other bikes.It never dawned on me before I bought the RNT to thoroughly test drive one. Figured a 2014 should be at the least just fine in all regards. My passion overruled my normal educated consumer philosophy on this purchase. I just can't find anything else that I don't like about the bike.
 

·
Registered
2017 Prambler
Joined
·
530 Posts
One other thing we didn't discuss, tire profile. My 748S came from the factory as a very flickable bike, where as my 998 came from the factory as an unbelievable powerful, smooth as glass at high speeds, more stable machine (still handled fine, but was much more planted at triple digit speeds). When it came time to put new shoes on the 748S, I decided to go with the Michelins I had on the 998, and suddenly the 748S went from very flickable, to very planted at speed. And it all came down to tire profile.

Has anyone experimented with different tire profiles on their R nineT? I know when I switched from the Pure wheels my bike came with, to the Scrambler wheels, the handling changed quite a bit, and I know some of that is from the 19" front wheel as opposed to the 17". But I also believe the skinnier tires have made the bike feel more flickable, and unfortunately a bit less stable when approaching triple digit speeds.

Something to take into account.

Best,
-Tim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
712 Posts
Hah
Yes.
The famously flickable TL, SV, and FZ bikes will be easier to get over. That’s what they were designed to do. It has little to do with their engine orientation and most everything to do with their frame geometry, lighter rotating mass, light wheels (especially if you’re running spokes) . The TL bikes were actually notorious for being too unstable. Mix in the horrid stock steering damper of the BMW and the NineT is not going to be as quick to turn in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Life's too short to be experiencing this much angst over a motorcycle.

You either master the bike or you move on.

Of all the bikes in this class of bike, the R NINE T is the most configurable bike...ever. But you still have to learn the bike, it expects you to be a rider, not a passenger.

A Kawasaki R900 RS instead of the R NINE T might be a good alternative. The Kawasaki is a competent but boring bike, that expects nothing from you, there's nothing to master. But if you did want to explore its limits, there's precious few mods available to take you there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
629 Posts
:unsure: How different all we feel riding bikes!!!!

In my case, after 14 years riding a Monster from 2003 that I never got used to it...In the other hand, suddenly, since first day I rode my ninet Pure, it was very easy and natural. It Looks like BMW made Ninet Pure for me. Since first day I felt Ninet as my bike I have been riding all my life...

I was thinking about this some time.I was very surprised. I guess why?. I think main problem I felt with my old Monster was ergonomics/handlebar...These kind of bikes don´t fit properly to me because I can´t hold handlebar without pressure...I get tired quickly and slowly my body position press handlebar and In this situation make countersteering is not natural nor easy... Ninet Racer is the same problem for me for this reason. With Ninet Pure I discovered I ride using mainly rear tire? The balance/weight is on the rear...Front is lighter contersteering

Probably you are in the opposite side. Probably you get on like house on fire with these ergonomics??? Try Ninet Racer.
 
1 - 20 of 65 Posts
Top