I am a sports bike rider. My personal bike is a 2015 BMW S 1000 RR. This was my first foray into the biking world, and since 2017, the only bike I’ve ridden for the most part.
I realise now that I’ve been spoiled by this bike; it damn-near rides itself. It has incredible handling, exceptional brakes, great ergonomics, is loaded with tech, and is well endowed with power. I fear that because of it, I’ve measured everything else I’ve ridden rather harshly.
So, I started as the newest BMW Motorrad Cape Town sales team member on 1 August. It’s been quite an overwhelming time trying to get on top of all the twenty-odd variants offered, from G 310 R to R 1250 GS to K 1600 GTL and so on. Each one with its own line of configurations and optional extras. The only way, however, to get to grips with your product is to try your product.
And so I did…
I’ve had many great, short little adventures this past week, and I’ll tell you about them another time. But today, I would like to tell you about one specific little guy.
On paper, this beastie, a 2022 BMW R nine T scrambler, could not be more different from my S 1000 RR. In fact, on paper, it’s very different to lots of the offerings out there. With a 1100cc boxer twin delivering 81kW (109hp) and 116Nm, it doesn’t seem all that impressive. It weighs more than 220kg, and with those knobbly tyres, it looks like a chore to ride. In fact, when pushing this thing off the showroom floor to prepare for my ride home, I kind of cursed the person responsible for saddling me with this oddball of a bike. It wasn’t easy to hold my laughter as it felt like I was pushing it over greenmarket square. Even while off, it vibrated like crazy.
Starting up is quite an occasion. An ever-so-slight hesitation can be sensed as she turns over the twins with a bit of effort. She jumps to life and settles into what I can only describe as sitting on top of a very happy dog wagging its tail. You can almost feel a weird sideways vibration as the boxer engine produces its characteristic opposing tug of war between the two pistons.
“Ah man, don’t worry, just don’t be too aggressive, and it will corner great,” says one of the guys. “Yeah, just be mindful of a wet road. Other than that, it will be just fine,” says another.
“Hear goes nothing,” say I inside my helmet, fingers and toes crossed.