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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Took my bike out on Saturday afternoon. 3rd ride since my purchase. Just thought I would give some feedback.
Firstly I am fortunate that I only need to make two left turns and I'm on a country road. Did a quick pose tourer 'Look at me look at me through town and straight away if you buy this bike to pose on forget it. It is not a bike to do short trips to a coffee shop and sit down to admire. The riding position is quite challenging for short hops and city riding. If I lived in a major city I would be knocking on my dealers door and saying What do you have thats more comfortable? This is not a commuter bike. Full stop. I am 5'10 and have a European build. Short legs with long torso. Out on the twisties it wasn't bad. Yes you do need to put a bit of input in but that means your riding the bike and telling it where to go. The riding improves 1000%. This is what the bike is meant for. Certainly not super fast or super sharp. Buy yourself an Aprilla for that but It suits my modest riding ability. Engine and characteristics are excellent,was not expecting the strong engine breaking in the lower gears but adjusted quite easily. Don't get caught out in the wet if you did not go for the traction control option cold tyres.I think the standard exhaust sound is actually quite average. I think its because its a 2 into one. I do own a Moto Guzzi California ABS 1400 model with after market and that just sounds awesome. So I have been spoilt. I did also own a K1300R with standard exhaust and that also sounded awesome. I would love to hear what it would sound like with two seperate exhausts. This would not be possible due to the swing arm and shaft on the right hand side. If it were possible I think it would sound really good. The instruments and where they are placed are really hard to read. BMW should have made larger dials with black on white. You really have to look down to read the instruments. You can't go past the looks however. I thought I would never buy a white bike...boring. The BMW racing colours do bring it up quite a few notches. This bike in red, black or even orange would be quite noticeable . I'm sure if BMW decide to keep this model (which I doubt as I think they realise they have made a boo boo and really can't see how they can fix this model without major changes to the riding position.) I would be knocking on Truimph's Thruxton designer's door if I were them.(Or stealing their ideas.) Not a fan of the negative neutral feel. I now have to look at the dial to make sure I am in neutral. There is no place under the cowling to fit a GPS or mobile phone holder.You better know where your going.Standard tyres take awhile to warm up. Not a fan when cold so be careful in the first couple of klms/miles. Grip as with all tyres improves once heated up but these are quite slippery until they do. The heated grips work a charm. As most of you know, no fuel gauge.Just fill up after, which is what I do or before a ride so no big deal. You won't be doing long distances on this one. I am yet to ride it at night so can not comment on the the headlight beam but think it should be ok. Scrolling through the instrument clusters is no problem and easy to use and intuitive. Mirrors are good and offer good visibility with only slight vibration. I will probably stay with the stock. If BMW could offer these in steel chrome I would be a buyer. The plastic ones look average.The triple tree in cast alloy is also average. Look at the Thruxton and compare.I would love this in polished stainless steel. More cost cutting. Options for the valve covers are hugely expensive. Over $1500 Aus.Suspension set up is actually quite good. I will probably ask for a slightly stiffer rear when its in for its first service. Quality of finish is excellent which is why I never bought myself a 2nd Thruxton. I also wanted an air-cooled /oil, motor like the Moto Guzzi. Not water cooled. Shaft drive, air cooled,ABS ,traction control, and kerbside appeal where on my must list so this bike ticked all those boxes. The only big negative I can find is its riding position. It almost over shadows all the plus's on this bike.
I really can't see a solution to the riding position for standard riding. my biggest gripe here is having a sore neck due to my head being tilted so far back to ride.My wrists are fine and so is my bum and back.Anyway I will still own this bike for a little while yet. These are my personal views and each person to their own. I am suggesting this will be an over 45's bike. I don't think younger guys will be drawn to it. So the riding position will need to improve in the next model. Certainly not your daily ride bike.Do I love the bike...No, not yet. But the longest relationships I have had with the opposite sex are the one's I never fell head over heal for. It will be a slow getting to know you relationship which will require me to show a lot of respect to this one.
 

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Took my bike out on Saturday afternoon. 3rd ride since my purchase. Just thought I would give some feedback.
Firstly I am fortunate that I only need to make two left turns and I'm on a country road. Did a quick pose tourer 'Look at me look at me through town and straight away if you buy this bike to pose on forget it. It is not a bike to do short trips to a coffee shop and sit down to admire. The riding position is quite challenging for short hops and city riding. If I lived in a major city I would be knocking on my dealers door and saying What do you have thats more comfortable? This is not a commuter bike. Full stop. I am 5'10 and have a European build. Short legs with long torso. Out on the twisties it wasn't bad. Yes you do need to put a bit of input in but that means your riding the bike and telling it where to go. The riding improves 1000%. This is what the bike is meant for. Certainly not super fast or super sharp. Buy yourself an Aprilla for that but It suits my modest riding ability.
I think the standard exhaust sound is actually quite average. I think its because its a 2 into one. I do own a Moto Guzzi California ABS 1400 model with after market and that just sounds awesome. So I have been spoilt. I did also own a K1300R with standard exhaust and that also sounded awesome. I would love to hear what it would sound like with two seperate exhausts. This would not be possible due to the swing arm and shaft on the right hand side. If it were possible I think it would sound really good. The instruments and where they are placed are really hard to read. BMW should have made larger dials with black on white. You really have to look down to read the instruments. You can't go past the looks however. I thought I would never buy a white bike...boring. The BMW racing colours do bring it up quite a few notches. This bike in red, black or even orange would be quite noticeable . I'm sure if BMW decide to keep this model (which I doubt as I think they realise they have made a boo boo and really can't see how they can fix this model without major changes to the riding position.) I would be knocking on Truimph's Thruxton designer's door if I were them.(Or stealing their ideas.) Not a fan of the negative neutral feel. I now have to look at the dial to make sure I am in neutral. There is no place under the cowling to fit a GPS or mobile phone holder.You better know where your going.Standard tyres take awhile to warm up. Not a fan when cold so be careful in the first couple of klms/miles. Grip as with all tyres improves once heated up but these are quite slippery until they do. The heated grips work a charm. As most of you know, no fuel gauge.Just fill up after, which is what I do or before a ride so no big deal. You won't be doing long distances on this one. I am yet to ride it at night so can not comment on the the headlight beam but think it should be ok. Scrolling through the instrument clusters is no problem and easy to use and intuitive. Mirrors are good and offer good visibility with only slight vibration. I will probably stay with the stock. If BMW could offer these in steel chrome I would be a buyer. The plastic ones look average.The triple tree in cast alloy is also average. Look at the Thruxton and compare.I would love this in polished stainless steel. More cost cutting. Options for the valve covers are hugely expensive. Over $1500 Aus.Suspension set up is actually quite good. I will probably ask for a slightly stiffer rear when its in for its first service. Quality of finish is excellent which is why I never bought myself a 2nd Thruxton. I also wanted an air-cooled /oil, motor like the Moto Guzzi. Not water cooled. Shaft drive, air cooled,ABS ,traction control, and kerbside appeal where on my must list so this bike ticked all those boxes. The only big negative I can find is its riding position. It almost over shadows all the plus's on this bike.
I really can't see a solution to the riding position for standard riding. my biggest gripe here is having a sore neck due to my head being tilted so far back to ride.My wrists are fine and so is my bum and back.Anyway I will still own this bike for a little while yet. These are my personal views and each person to their own. I am suggesting this will be an over 45's bike. I don't think younger guys will be drawn to it. So the riding position will need to improve in the next model. Certainly not your daily ride bike.Do I love the bike...No, not yet. But the longest relationships I have had with the opposite sex are the one's I never fell head over heal for. It will be a slow getting to know you relationship which will require me to show a lot of respect to this one.


Thanks for the honest and detailed review.

I think your point about over 45s and the ride position is particularly insightful.




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Good honest review. The Racer is certainly a bike that will divide opinions more than most. Hope you don't mind but I'm moving this article to the Reviews section.
 

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I think that's a fair review. After a while, Ricky, you should provide a follow-up, too. I suspect you'll get used to the position and it won't be so much of a factor. I honestly had some buyer's remorse the first few rides as well, but now, it actually feels very natural.

Regarding the sore neck, I really haven't experienced that (I'm only 5'7" though). Which helmet are you using? I'm wondering if because of the position, a sport helmet might be a better option? I ride with a Shoei GT-Air, which is good on my naked, but I think a sportier helmet would be better on the Racer.

Not being able to stuff anything under the cowl is a pain, and boy did I try. Though, with some creative positioning, I have been able to use center and bar mounts for my radar detector and phone. ( I will make a post with pics soon)

Keep working through the pain, it will be worth it!
 

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I test ride the Racer today. As a styling exercise it ticks all the retro look and feel box.

Brakes are OK but jumping from a radials brakes to normal brakes you realise how superior the radials brakes are.

The racer shocks are shocking, sorry its really is crap, however I jumping from the S1000RR shocks of my R9T.

The Racer does not like very slow corners such as 15km/h hairpins.

Its bum up head down riding without much power, yeah it looks cool but if you are in that tuck position 100% of the riding time you want more power. For me the riding position is a long arm reach. Its a frustrating bike to ride because the motor runs out of puff when you are expecting that rush of top end power. If you like riding slow and looking at your reflection from the window shop this is the bike for you.

If I want a sports bike, I'll spend the money on a proper modern sports bike. The retro sports bike its just for show.

Cool looking bike, thanks but no thanks. I'll keep my MV.
 

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The racer is a retro sports bike, so IMO expecting modern sportsbike performance and handling is perhaps too much to hope for. If you compare the Racer to sports bikes of the late 70s to early 80s I think then comparisons are fairer. I think the comparison that should be made with bikes in production right now is between the Racer and other retro sports bikes out there today, such as the Thruxton.

Even comparing a Thruxton to a R1, S1000RR or Fireblade will highlight it's shortcomings.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I think that's a fair review. After a while, Ricky, you should provide a follow-up, too. I suspect you'll get used to the position and it won't be so much of a factor. I honestly had some buyer's remorse the first few rides as well, but now, it actually feels very natural.

Regarding the sore neck, I really haven't experienced that (I'm only 5'7" though). Which helmet are you using? I'm wondering if because of the position, a sport helmet might be a better option? I ride with a Shoei GT-Air, which is good on my naked, but I think a sportier helmet would be better on the Racer.

Not being able to stuff anything under the cowl is a pain, and boy did I try. Though, with some creative positioning, I have been able to use center and bar mounts for my radar detector and phone. ( I will make a post with pics soon)

Keep working through the pain, it will be worth it!
I recently purchased the Bell bullet with bubble visor. Not a bad helmet. Great visibility but gets noisy with visor down. It uncannily picks up a load of road noise from below the helmet.I never experienced this before. I thought for a second I had a flat tyre. Really unusual. I flipped the visor up and it went away. Flipped it down and there it was. I also have been riding with a half face as well which is quite light. Definitely will be working through the breaking in period. As I mentioned before on another post its like breaking in a pair of new flash leather shoes.Once done all good!
 

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What's the demographics for the Racer? In Aussie the price for the Racer and the S1000RR is nearly the same. Then you need to spend $$ on the suspension, brakes and wheels upgrade.

Young guns will get a S1000RR with all the go fast high tech gear etc. Riders in the 40+ and 50+ years old will hate the riding position and trade in for something else.

I get the design criteria of the original 9T and the scrambler and even the pure, but the Racer and retro cool will rub off quickly if you can't enjoy riding it. Styling will only go so far.
 

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What's the demographics for the Racer? In Aussie the price for the Racer and the S1000RR is nearly the same. Then you need to spend $$ on the suspension, brakes and wheels upgrade.

Young guns will get a S1000RR with all the go fast high tech gear etc. Riders in the 40+ and 50+ years old will hate the riding position and trade in for something else.

I get the design criteria of the original 9T and the scrambler and even the pure, but the Racer and retro cool will rub off quickly if you can't enjoy riding it. Styling will only go so far.
Most people seem to think the suspension is OK on the racer - maybe not hyper sports good, but pretty decent and fits within the design brief. I think the issue is more probably the target audience for this model. Fair point in that respect I think @MVA.This is why I suspect the Racer won't be a big seller in the long run... Probably will get a small cult following...


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Enjoyed reading your review RL....

I don't find the seating position detracts from enjoying the bike..heck...around town anything putting you into a bit of a tuck gets uncomfortable. Out in the country, though...wow!. This bike is made for the curves. I don't find I have to tell it where to go..it seems to know better than the 916 or V11. The motor certainly doesn't have that head snapping quality, but I'm happy in trading that for it's flawless corner carving ability. And..enjoying the curves at speed makes the seating position more of an asset than a hindrance, adds to the experience IMO.

Looking good during all of this...welllllll.....why not?!!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Enjoyed reading your review RL....

I don't find the seating position detracts from enjoying the bike..heck...around town anything putting you into a bit of a tuck gets uncomfortable. Out in the country, though...wow!. This bike is made for the curves. I don't find I have to tell it where to go..it seems to know better than the 916 or V11. The motor certainly doesn't have that head snapping quality, but I'm happy in trading that for it's flawless corner carving ability. And..enjoying the curves at speed makes the seating position more of an asset than a hindrance, adds to the experience IMO.

Looking good during all of this...welllllll.....why not?!!
Yes...Its all about compromise. People want everything in one box these days. To look good,sound,comfort,safety,bang for bucks,ease of maintenance,rider aids, and performance. I fully accept the bikes short coming with not being the most comfortable to ride on in the slow stuff,city or traffic. I have a cruiser for that. I just wanted to give an honest review to those who may be thinking of this bike as their one and only bike. Unfortunately I found most reviews on the net did not bring up some of the compromises that I mentioned. This is a good bike.And yes I consider it a sports bike. Its not a track bike or meant to be. Its not super fast but it holds its own as most if not all R9T owners are aware. I had quite a few choices. MV,Ducati,BMW R1000S and a couple of Jap bikes, but my choice was the racer. The dealership didn't have a R9T or Pure in stock only the Scrambler and the racer. The Scrambler as beautiful as the bike is did not excite me as much as the Racer.(visually) If an R9T was there it may have been a different story,but more than likely not.I liked the engine,the Marque the rider aids and of course the looks.
It does ride particularly well for what it is. Comparing it to a Super sport is not fair. It does not fall in that category. Its like comparing the Scrambler to a BMW R1200 GS. You just don't.
 

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What's the demographics for the Racer? ...
Young guns will get a S1000RR with all the go fast high tech gear etc. Riders in the 40+ and 50+ years old will hate the riding position and trade in for something else....
That is a good question. I agree regarding the performance oriented riders - they're going to pick the S bikes all day long. I also agree that older riders who pick this as their only bike might become disillusioned after a while.

I've got to think that BMW probably realized this bike wasn't going to be a big seller compared to the others in the heritage line-up. Their market launch for it was vague and limited, 90% was Joy Lewis and her Japanese vintage racing stuff. So, lady racers and Japanese vintage racing aficionados? :giggle:

I believe the demographic that will actually buy this bike are those wishing for occasional racing nostalgia, but not laboring under the delusion that this is anything but BMW's least-compromising, singe-purpose bike. I predict its strongest sales will be as additions to multiple rather than single bike owners.
 

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I haven't ridden the Race and found it not to be comfortable to even sit on. My experience with my 2014 R NineT would indicate that the basic bike is not a good candidate for clip-ons.
I feel that this is due to the length of the tank. A long tank means a long reach and that makes low bars uncomfortable. The shorter bars that I did mount on the R NineT created enough of an extended reach that I find myself riding at the very front of the saddle to be comfortable around town. Once past 60 mph, there is no weight on the hands and I am comfortable for hundreds of miles.

The sport bike that I had until recently was a Yamaha R6 and the low bars on it were not uncomfortable at all because my hand position was much closer to my knees.

Another sport bike that I have ridden and I did not find to be uncomfortable was the BMW S1000RR, and I have three friends who use them for touring bikes . One is in the late 50's and the other two are in their 70's. and these guys range in height from 5'6" to 6"3".

Though I really like the looks of the Racer, it is just not for me.

I had entertained the notion of a frame mounted fairing like the Racer, but the reach required after installing even the highest clipons would have made riding a less pleasurable experience.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I believe the demographic that will actually buy this bike are those wishing for occasional racing nostalgia, but not laboring under the delusion that this is anything but BMW's least-compromising, singe-purpose bike. I predict its strongest sales will be as additions to multiple rather than single bike owners.
I think your on the money, and in saying that and reflecting on your words I am one of those in that demograph. I only have one other bike which has a lot of similar features, oil-air cooled,twin cylinder, shaft drive, similar power, same riding aids such as ABS and traction control but also with additional 3 engine mappings but is a completely different universe away in riding style and looks. Hence that is one of many reasons why the Racer has appealed.
 

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Review is 100% spot on

I am 27 and have previous back and hand injuries so anything longer than an hour ride I am normally done on this bike, back is killing me, ass is sore, and my right hand is a complete ghost. I would never commute on this bike and I certainly did not buy it for that reason

However, for me, this is by far the perfect weekend motorcycle as a bop across the country side going to an early morning cars and coffee taking back roads, running by friends and families houses off back roads and in general enjoying myself on a beautiful bike on beautiful days.

Beyond that, it sits in the garage with it's 4 wheel brethren looking pretty. Which I am fine with.

If I ever decide that I want to commute on a bike, I will get something else and keep this off to the side.
 

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IMO it is very good for what it is and the components you are paying for. And it looks awesome. Power is also enough to have a blast unless you need the 10,000 rpm engine whistle.

If you want high end brakes and suspension on a classic bike, you may look at the Triumph Thruxton R.
 

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A very insightful Thread.

Bear with me. When I was a young thang, my first 3 vehicles were bikes. Apologies, but they were all Hondas (this is all relevant). My 2nd was a 750/4, I put on Ace Bars (poor man's version of clip-ons), this in the early ages of "modifications". Grew up with them Ace Bars. 3rd was a GL1000 Goldwing, this, then, was a "naked" before they hung all the plastic off them. But it did come with a then-radical tacked-on bikini fairing (handlebar mount, none of that flash frame mount stuff). Loved the bike, hated the upright seated position. Yepdodoody, on went some Ace Bars. I rode that bike for years, commuted on it, toured on it, gravel roaded on it, pillioned on it.

I'm 60+ and you'll have read in previous posts, about the Racer appealing to 45s'+/Cult status
etc.
I saw the S1000RR when it was first introduced a few years ago and loved it, but knew it would have to have all the Traction Control/ABS/Newbie power downgrades etc, or I'd do some serious damage.

Then I saw the Racer. Awwww man!! I don't have a libido anymore, but I just HAVE to have one. More than love, I just CRAVE one. I have a laptop full of reviews, photos, ninetowners.com, tail tidies, Puig huggers etc etc. Sad huh!

Anyway, moving right along. I've read reviews, heard others opinions, lots of different things. I hear people talk about the stretched out riding position, the seating, the forks, blah blah blah. A reviewer compares it to a Pure, or a Scrambler, or heavens-to-Betsy some other brand. Ummmm ..... it's NOT.

Example. Take that 'Wing. Yeh, I know you'd rather not. It was BIG/ugly/heavy. Technologically and physically it was a tractor. Put low bars on it (much lower and more forward than clip-ons), commute on it, tour on it, go off road on it. My partner at the time had to wear platform shoes to touch the ground (I taught her to ride it).

The upshot of all that is the Racer may not be a commuter, may not be a touring, may not be an off-road scrambler, but you accommodate.

I do enjoy listening to all of your learned opinions. This is how we learn. This is what we gain, from other peoples experience, ideas and input.

I thank you all.
 

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59 year old, 5ft 10ins and I find my Racer more comfortable than my old 15 model 9t, I also find the suspension better controlled and less crashy (73kg).... Horses for courses chaps! The riding position is stretched, but that's the idea, old school cafe racer!

9t
Full Ti exhaust
Tail tidy/light
Hilltop ECU flash
modified side stand, and some powder coating :)
 

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Love your modded Racer Boysie - very nice! I'm trading in my 899 Panigale tomorrow for the R9T Racer and by comparison (from my limited experience so far), the Racer to me seems like a comfortable sports tourer that I could ride all day.

I could be wrong of course as I only rode it for about 1hr plus, but as a comparison to a Panigale or RSV4, those proper sports bikes are far more pain-inducing than the Racer. The suspension is far more plush on the Racer of course, plus it didn't boil my nuts off like the Duke does in traffic!

I'll be doing a 3.5-4hr ride tomorrow on it - so lets see how it goes over long distances...
 
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