When BMW introduced its latest R1200GS with its water-cooled heads, some traditionalists mourned the move away from the company’s air-cooled boxers. Those fears were allayed somewhat with introduction of the air-cooled R nineT in 2014 while other R1200 models switched to the new engine. Seeing the success of the R nineT, BMW affirmed it will continue producing more air-cooled boxer models, starting with a new Scrambler variant which will debut next week at the EICMA show in Milan.
Discuss this at our BMW NineT Forum.
The R nineT Scrambler will likely be based on the Concept Path 22, a surf culture-inspired concept shown earlier this year at the Wheels & Waves Festival in Biarritz, France. The production model probably won’t have the concept’s surf board holder, but we should expect a similar look with a raised exhaust, large front wheel, longer-travel suspension and studded tires.
Like the R nineT, the Scrambler will offer potential for customization which BMW thinks will make it an attractive option for U.S. consumers.
The R nineT and R nineT Scrambler will be the first in a family of air-cooled boxers, as well as the first of BMW’s Heritage product family. BMW Motorrad head Stephan Schaller says the company sees growth opportunities in easily customizable Heritage models, including the growth potential in the cruiser segment.
Whether that means we’ll see a new BMW R1200C cruiser isn’t clear. The R1200C wasn’t a big hit during its initial production run from 1997-2004, and BMW didn’t say all Heritage models will be based off of the R nineT. BMW has been rumored to be working on a radical W-3 engine which would be easier for a cruiser’s feet-forward ergonomics than a boxer. BMW did not mention any specific plans for the cruiser segment but the demand is too strong for the company to ignore.