Photos of some BMW R nineT models wearing large ADV-spec spoked wheels, sporting long suspension and looking like they’ve spent some time off the pavement are floating about, initially at MCN and then over at ADV Pulse.
With 14 GS models and two more Scrambler variants already wearing get-dirty clothes, we have to wonder: Why? Sure, there can probably never be too many adventure bike models, especially from the Motorrad crew, but we wonder about model dilution and that very bad word: overkill.
Admittedly, BMW really only makes three primary ADV platforms: the big GS boxers, the middleweight P-Twins and the newbie-friendly sub-400cc singles, and maybe a fourth if you count the R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S boxers. Marketing, paint, farkles and options give us the many tweaked models on each platform, but now it looks like the gearheads at BMW have decided to take things a bit more seriously on the R9T end of things.
As MCN posits, this could be a response to the success of Triumph’s XC and XE Scrambler models, which meld a look from the past with modern tech and at least some real off-road prowess, even if it means you’ll need to rethink tires and add some gear to make it worthy. And of course they recognize that even the full-on GS battle cruisers have to transit some paved roads before reaching the veld. A soft-road R nineT would fill a niche in the lineup, a niche that may include 90% street riding with an occasional wandering off the bitumen, but with a splash of style the more purposeful GS bikes lack. Gotta admit, the R nineT Urban in the top photo is a looker.
But do we need it? Do YOU want one? As Maximus might say, are you not entertained… by the many current options? Are the spy shots just BMW testing the waters to see if there is an appetite for such a variant? Or something else?