For a while, rumors have been circulating about the demise of the traditional cafe racer. With scramblers and flat trackers dominating the scene, the low-and-sleek genre has been taking a back seat.
But like a venerable art rock band, the cafe racer is still hanging in there. Interest is still sky high—so high that manufacturers are entering the fray.
So let’s take a very close look at BMW R nineT Racer—BMW’s factory cafe, and one of three new models based on the R nineT platform. The other two—the Pure and the yet-to-be-released Urban G/S—are styled as a bare-bones roadster and a retro adventure bike, respectively. The Racer is a vintage speed machine through and through.
All three share the same platform as the R nineT Scrambler—a Euro4 compliant, 1,170 cc / 110 hp air- and oil-cooled boxer packed into a tubular steel frame.…