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Discussion Starter #1
Judged by Cycle World mag, the R9T finishes second last in a four motorcycle comparo and is labelled as "agricultural".
Truth is, it is a good looker (I ride one!), tho' at times the engine block does seem belonging to a tractor (please don't flame me).


"be free from the gravity of expectation"
 

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Judged by Cycle World mag, the R9T finishes second last in a four motorcycle comparo and is labelled as "agricultural".
Truth is, it is a good looker (I ride one!), tho' at times the engine block does seem belonging to a tractor (please don't flame me).


"be free from the gravity of expectation"
I think that's a fair (albeit somewhat sweeping) assessment; that said, agricultural doesn't necessarily mean "bad" in the context of motorcycles, even if it does have negative connotations.

IMO the R9T is inherently uncomfortable (primarily due to the seat and suspension quality/setup), and that's just about it's only major flaw. That said, it's a very loveable bike and has more character than (probably) any of its rivals. I'd describe it as quirkily beautiful :)
 

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I saw this recap the other night too; I think it's fair to say these engines/transmissions were never designed to be S1000rr track weapons.
I personally think they are being a little harsh on the ergos. I'm 6'3"/190cm and have no issues with the rear cowl. Granted, I'm on a racer with bit more tuck, and I prefer to sit forward in the saddle.
As for it feeling "old"... that was the major appeal to me! The classic, timeless styling, unadorned by modern TFT, as well as the lumpy, buzzy air-cooled character is exactly what drew me to this bike. I'll quote the article itself (glad they included this)
"if you’re riding to get away from screen time, you’ll be happy."
 

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The 9T is FAR less agricultural than my 09 GS, which interestingly was one of the first words to come to mind when I first rode it.
 

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Recently switched to a Racer from a 2012 GSA. Although it's unreasonable to compare the two I don't find the Racer uncomfortable at all and the gearbox is definitely smoother. It's a big boxer twin and considering that, it's pretty smooth, I love the cam head motors and prefer them to the LC's. These bikes and motors just speak to me, emotion over logic



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The R9T is "rough around the edges", for sure, but like others said, it's part of the appeal. I also thought the comparison line-up was odd and ended up comparing apples and oranges.
 

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I have to agree with their assessment of the drive train. I love the boxer twin, but the transmission reminds me of the one in my International 9400i with a Cummins 550. And I am NOT 6'3". Lol. I think most of the problems with ergos on the bike could be solved by reducing the length of the gas tank.
 

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I don't see how calling it agricultural is an insult. I see a lot more seventy-year-old agricultural tractors then I do Honda lawn mowers and generators. I have an 07 GSA with a hundred and ten thousand miles and it is very agricultural. Has it ever been as smooth as my old VFR? No. Has it ever left me stranded on the side of the road a dozen times like my old VFR? No. I prefer Agricultural and long-lasting
 

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I saw the video and read the article. Agricultural is a bit harsh. "Analog" is a much better term to describe the 9T and that's how it was designed, for it's simplicity.

If you want see agricultural, try riding a Ural. It's laughably bad and still makes you smile.
 

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“Agricultural“ was a term applied by motojournalist’s, to all HD’s, for decades. It sure didn’t keep the folks in Milwaukee from selling motorcycles. Could it be that TFT touch screen displays, and on board MP3 players, don’t really appeal to a goodly chunk of the riding population? Personally, I love gears, valves, and weighty metal bits that I can see, touch, and feel function. I get that I’m old, a bit asocial, and set in my ways. I’m am definitely not the market Cycle World is trying to appeal to, nor am I in any longer the future of motorcycling. However, I still vote with my wallet and like flying the idea of flying an old biplane fast, and close to the ground.

Ill shut up now.
 

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I'm with @Vectorbug on this one, I don't read "and is labelled as "agricultural" in the article.
Their observation of "feels old rather than nostalgic" may come close, but for me this is the winner: "the BMW R nineT brings us classic German roadster vibes".

Excuse me if other terms were used in the video, I didn't get a chance to watch it.
 
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The comparison bikes really made no sense to me, like comparing an apple, an orange, a pear, a kiwi and a lemon... I know I'm preaching to the choir but the the lack of technology is what drew me to the NineT. In 10-years the NineT gauges are still going to be cool while the TFT and Bluetooth whatever is going to be very 2020.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
"The essence of motorcycling", "function follows form", "simplicity", "longevity", are my reasons to own the R9T. Definitely, the seat and suspension were disappointments and for me it took off some of the shine from the BMW label. What I do not miss are items (gizmos?) such as a TFT screen.

IMHO the bikes selected for the comparison did not all fit the mould.

Thank you for the comments!


"be free from the gravity of expectation"
 

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I'm not at all sure that 'agricultural' is at all justified, implying as it does unfinished, crude, rough, outmoded, etc. My take on the R9T has been given here before, my belief being that it's "a triumph of styling over practicality", despite which I like - even love - several aspects of the bike. How it fares against others is quite immaterial to me, for as we always say 'YMMV'.

In my hands the ergonomics of my 2017 Option 719 Blueplanet Metallic are all wrong, and for this reason alone I simply cannot 'bond' with the bike, but am throwing time and money and effort at it, while trying very hard not to make a sow's ear out of a silk purse. I'm a pretty standard 5'9"/ 10", in proper proportions (about 176mm). Fully-kitted, I weigh-in at a maybe somewhat lighter-than-average 85kg (187 pounds). But despite a peg lowering kit and handlebar risers I cannot get comfortable on it - there's far too much weight on my forearms and wrists, and I feel not fully in control when muscle-stiffness sets in. The (hopefully) taller 'bar from the F900 XR which is on its way may make an important difference.

I have had many BMW boxer twins with the same engine and gearbox as my R9T, so things like the shove-to-the-right torgue-reaction and slight vibes at most speeds were to be expected- indeed, I may have missed them if somehow they had been dialled-out! This is a great engine, acceleration plentiful and engine-braking outstanding. The engine note was a surprise to me on first acquaintance, as this was the first BMW on which I can actually hear the exhaust note, a deep drone that reminds me of the sound made by those massive rotary aero engines of the past. However, I don't like the ponderous, bulky, out-of-place twin Akra zorst on mine, as I think it detracts from the otherwise simple minimalist lines of the bike. I do have a simpler, neater BOS single pipe zorst on its way - e.t.a. from Europe...??? Again, YMMV.

The seat is dismal, almost unbearable after about an hour, despite my R9T having the so-called premium comfort seat, and complementary well-tuned suspension including an OHLINS rear shock. But the seat was actually what made my choice of this bike a no-brainer, with its low 803mm height (31.6"), and flat design (cowl/ hump removed) making it so easy for me to mount and dismount, as my ageing stiff hip, knee, and ankle joints can no longer cope with the contortions of even slightly taller seat heights. Even if I had been interested in any of the other bikes in this comparo, seat height would have been the key criterion to stimulate further interest, or not.

I like the absence on the R9T of TFTs and all that goes with them, finding just the right degree of electronic information, but not too much - I don't even miss cruise-control.

Fit and finish and attention to detail are typically top-level BMW, dispensing with any thought of the 'agricultural' tag. But I cannot overlook the abominable tubeless-tyres-with-inner-tubes aspect of this model R9T. Yes - I like spoked wheels that make it necessary, but whatever was Motorrad thinking of when putting this tubed-tyre set-up onto this machine? I have a set of KINEO spoke wheels on order - e.t.a. again your guess is as good as mine - but it shouldn't be necessary, though I will appreciate the rather more delicate nature and lighter look of them when they arrive. I'm also told to expect easier steering and turning with the lower mass of the new wheels.

So: 'agricultural'? - certainly not, or maybe only in the tyre/ tubes combo. Needing work to suit me - definitely. A disappointment, yes, but I'm hoping to resolve the outstanding issues. Hopeful - always!
 

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It's funny, 20+ years ago, my neighbor across the street (still back in The Netherlands) called my '95 R100R Classic a Tractor. But then, this Honda BlackBird riding "kid" called me "opa" (granddad). The funniest, couldn't keep up with him on the highways (duh), but on the twists, roles were reversed :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It's funny, 20+ years ago, my neighbor across the street (still back in The Netherlands) called my '95 R100R Classic a Tractor. But then, this Honda BlackBird riding "kid" called me "opa" (granddad). The funniest, couldn't keep up with him on the highways (duh), but on the twists, roles were reversed
Please excuse my digression ....
On that note, I had watched a mixed class vintage bike race, the RD350's would zoom off in the straights only to be reeled in at the corners by the lone Norton Manx
The sound coming from the reverse cone megaphone exhaust of that big single outclassed the buzz of the two stroke twin's exhaust.

"be free from the gravity of expectation"
 

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I personally love the "agricultural" feel. The new bikes are great but they are softer and safer refined rides which I enjoy from time to time. Sometimes lack in refinement in the older engines are a reminder of we we come from and brings back the good memories of the older technology. I did a 1500 km trip on a vespa and it was more of an adventure than the same trip on my GSA, maybe for all the wrong reasons. Personally I enjoy all bikes, the good, the bad and the ugly. I do not feel to offended.
 

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Please excuse my digression ....
On that note, I had watched a mixed class vintage bike race, the RD350's would zoom off in the straights only to be reeled in at the corners by the lone Norton Manx
The sound coming from the reverse cone megaphone exhaust of that big single outclassed the buzz of the two stroke twin's exhaust.
"be free from the gravity of expectation"
Please excuse MY digression. I once owned a very rare, even then, Norton International road-bike, which comprised the Norton Dominator 'featherbed' frame (with twin down-tubes), into which was slotted the 500cc ohc (bevel-drive) single cylinder Manx racing engine. As said, very rare then, even more so today - I'd bet that a decent example would now be worth $$$$s. The megaphone zorst certainly was noisy - my neighbours were mighty glad when it was stolen and disappeared!
 
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In our little town we had 4 bicycle shops in the early ‘60s.
In ‘62 one shop had a Manx Norton in the front window. (Only room for 1 m cycle in widow).
1933 for £20. £20 being 3 weeks wages for me back then.
I bought it and pushed it 1 1/2 miles home were my dad said ‘Thars not worth a box of matches’
Obviously had no lights or number plates (Not that they mattered to me) and it also had (Apparently one of the ways to differentiate between Manx and Inter.) no provision for a kick starter. The other difference to an Inter. was (So I was told?) was the oil filler neck was on the opposite side.
Exhaust was just a megaphone about 4 to 5 inches across at the end.
Shop owner said it was tunes to run on Methanol, which meant nothing to me.
One day I bumped started it and rode it to where they had put a new road in for building an housing estate....got to the end of the road and when I turned round the local Police car was behind me. ( Reg number WTB 842) won’t forget that.
Magistrates Court, no tax, no insurance, no lights and no number plates...Fined total of £5.
After that we rode it on fields for a bit, then pushed it into the shed and left it. (I did have a new BSA C15 at the time that my Dad had bought for me.)
Some time later a young lad who’s Dad had a car repair garage in town called round and offered me £6, so he took it and made it into a 3 wheeled grass track combination.
Eventually it went to Young’s bike scrapyard in Rochdale.
I still see the lad that bought it off me and he was still racing old sidecar outfits (Not on grass) as recently as 3 years ago.
I also still see and talk to the son of the guy that sold it to me.
Funnily enough, those two guys married two sisters from our town.
Would bring more than 6 quid now, I think!
Ken.
 
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