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The new 2024 BMW R 12 nineT and R 12: Hot and cool classics

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Two riders on 2024 BMW R12 and R12 NineT motorcycles driving from right to left on a brick road in front of an office building.

When BMW Motorrad decides to update a classic motorcycle, there’s no lack of models. The 2024 BMW R 12 classic cruiser and 2024 BMW R 12 nineT classic roadster share an iconic predecessor: the 2013 R nineT, a roadster with roots in the 1923 BMW R32.

BMW Motorrad certainly looks forward to new technology, as demonstrated by the all-electric BMW CE 02. BMW adventure touring bikes are familiar to two-wheeled travelers worldwide. However, riders seeking a modern classic with stories to learn and retell that range back 101 years may find the new BMW R 12 cruiser and R 12 nineT roadster a fusion of modern tech and classic style.

A parked 2024 BMW R 12 NineT with a light tan tank bag and matching small saddlebags.

Why BMW created the 2024 BMW R 12 and R 12 NineT

Starting with the R32 in 1923, BMW motorcycles with boxer-style, horizontally opposed two-cylinder engines have been admired for their smooth running, low-end torque, and durability. Classic style with up-to-date technology inspired the 2013 nineT, a theme that continues with this year’s models. BMW even has a name for it, “The Spirit of nineT.”

The new models share a new frame and updated technology. Both models have 1,170cc air and oil-cooled boxer engines, six-speed transmissions, and drive shafts instead of chains. They share updated front and rear suspensions for ride comfort and control and advanced braking with BMW Motorrad ABS Pro. In addition to standard Dynamic Traction Control and Engine Drag Torque Control, each model has pre-configured ride modes.

The R 12’s standard drive modes are “Roll” and “Rock.”

You can personalize BMWs by choosing from an extensive performance, comfort, and appearance list. Customization is a major part of motorcycle ownership, and BMW makes it easy, although not inexpensive, to outfit your ride to match your needs and whims.
A rider standing on the far side of a oarked 2024 BMW R 12 NineT motorcycle looking a beach and dunes.

2024 BMW R 12

The 2024 BMW R 12 is the cool cruiser of the new duo. The R 12 has a teardrop-shaped steel gas tank and a lower, 29.7-inch high, solo seat for a more relaxed ride. The two-cylinder engine is tuned to create up to 95 horsepower at a moderately low 6,500 rpm and 81 lb-ft of torque at 6,000 rpm.

The R 12’s standard drive modes are “Roll” and “Rock.” In “Roll” mode, the throttle, traction control, and other configurable controls are adjusted for the best performance on the widest variety of surfaces and circumstances. Select “Rock” mode when you want to push it to get hustling down the road and around corners. According to BMW, “Rock” mode also alters the engine firing with an irregular rhythm at idle, which I guess might inform anyone who notices that you probably like Harley’s, too.

A rider sitting on a parked 2024 BMW R 12 NineT motorcycle with helmet off and arms crossed over tank with office buildings in the background.

2024 BMW R 12 NineT

Cut closer to the bone of the 2013 nineT, the 2024 BMW R 12 nineT classic roadster-style bike sits the rider 31.3 inches from the ground, a bit higher than the R12, and the boxer engine also runs a bit hotter, cranking out 109 hp at &,000 rpm and 85 ft-lb of torque at 6,500 rpm.

The R 12 nineT’s ride modes may rock harder than the R 12’s “Roll” and “Rock,” but the mode names are more generic. “Rain” mode protects you by increasing sensitivity to wet surfaces, adding softer throttle response and gentler traction and torque control. You’ll likely use “Road” mode as your default because it balances throttle response, and the traction and torque control are set up for dry road surfaces. When you want to go harder, choose the R 12 nineT’s “Dynamic” mode for immediate throttle response and some extra slippage from the bike’s traction control system that apparently never totally shuts off.

Two riders on 2024 BMW R 12 on a dirt road with grassy fiedls and dune in the back ground.

When you can buy the 2024 BMW R 12 and R 12 NineT

BMW Motorrad estimates the 2024 BMW R 12 and R 12 nineT will launch in the second quarter of 2024. The R12 cruiser-style bike will start at $12,345, and the R 12 nineT will start at $16,295. Both models will be available with a broad selection of accessories sold individually and in packages.

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Bruce Brown
Digital Trends Contributing Editor Bruce Brown is a member of the Smart Homes and Cars teams. He also writes technology news…
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