BMW gets naked



SINGAPORE – Local BMW Motorrad distributor Performance Motors Limited (PML) launched two naked bikes last night that look set to consolidate the brand’s leadership of the premium bike market here.

The retro-styled R nineT and the high-performance S 1000 R both saw their public debut at Timbre in Gillman Barracks, with more than 100 riders in attendance.

But at least one of them has proven a huge success even before its unveiling here. PML says that the R nineT picked up as many as 35 orders before last night. It was launched at $35,000 without COE.

With a global shortage of the bike and allocation for Singapore tight, any new customers face a long wait for their R nineT, but PML says it is doing what it can to increase its allocation from the factory.

Meanwhile, some of the earliest customers will take delivery of the retro roadster within the next few days. The 1,170cc, 110bhp R nineT has an air-cooled Boxer twin mounted on a frame that BMW says was designed for easy customisation.

Owners are encouraged to fiddle with its looks by choosing from a wide range of accessories, the way Harley riders tinker with their machines.

Meanwhile, the S 1000 R should appeal to a different sort of rider altogether. Running a detuned version of the S 1000 RR superbike’s engine, the S 1000 R has a revvy in-line four that produces 160bhp.

Its engine has a revised cam profile from that of the RR to give it more low-end torque (not that anyone has ever complained about a S 1000 RR lacking torque), which should make it something of a wheelie monster.

PML has a base price of $30,500 without COE for the bike, with a higher-spec version available for $33,000. That comes with fripperies like LED turn signals and a small engine spoiler, but also useful items like traction control and active suspension dampers. The former will probably come in handy if the bike is ridden the way its maker intended.

Stocks of the S 1000 R are available, says PML. But customers should probably move fast. Sales of BMW bikes have taken off this year, with the brand currently fourth in rankings overall.

January to April registrations saw 157 BMW bikes joining the roads. In contrast, sales of Ducati and Harley-Davidson are at 49 and 42 units respectively.

BMW R nineT

Engine 1,170cc Boxer twin

Power 110bhp at 7,550rpm

Torque 119Nm at 6,000rpm

Seat height 785mm


BMW S 1000 R

Engine 999cc in-line four

Power 160bhp at 11,000rpm

Torque 112Nm at 9,250rpm

Seat height 814mm

Weight 207kg


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Leow Ju-Len
Leow Ju-Len is a lot older than he behaves. He's been writing about cars for 23 years. Someday he might do it coherently. Ju-Len believes in world peace and V8s, but not necessarily in that order.