BMW R12 Nine T & BMW R12 : Our opinion


It’s the big announcement of 2023: the introduction of two new models to BMW Motorrad‘s iconic Heritage range.

This range, so dear to our hearts, continues to successfully ride the neo-retro trend that has conquered the motorcycle world for several years now. In a spirit of renewal, and to breathe a breath of fresh air into the legendary Bavarian brand, BMW Motorrad presents two new models this year: the R12 and the R12 Nine T.

The BMW R Nine T evolves into a major new version, while the all-new BMW R12 marks the entry into the world of custom cruisers. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the BMW Nine T, BMW unveiled its two latest creations, hoping to generate the same enthusiasm as when the BMW R NineT was launched in 2013.

We give you our opinion.

These are the new BMW R12 Nine T and BMW R12

One name, two models: the R12.

Purists will remember the now rare model from the 1930s. The first motorcycle to be fitted as standard with a hydraulically damped telescopic fork, it was one of the most mass-produced bikes of its era. The BMW R12 was a rugged military motorcycle designed for exploration.

Back to the present with the R12 Nine T. BMW offers a new iteration of its emblematic R NineT without sacrificing the winning formula: a neo-retro motorcycle with a strong character, powered by the legendary flat-twin engine.

The Nine T R12 has undergone several notable changes. To begin with, the fuel tank has been given a new shape, becoming shorter and narrower. An evolution that is undeniably reminiscent of the BMW motorcycles of the 60s. The upholstery features a two-seater saddle, to which you can add an optional seat cover to give it a cafe racer look. Continuing the line of noteworthy innovations, you’ll find a new air intake system that takes place under the seat and then expels through a double exhaust with conical tips, making the line less massive. To top it all off, an all-new one-piece frame with only the rear buckle bolted on takes its place on the chassis.

The shorter fuel tank than on its predecessor brings the handlebars closer to the rider, promising a smoother riding position.

C'est une BMW Nine T R12 dans un style cafe racer
C'est une BMW R12 sur la plage

The second addition to the range is the BMW R12.

Although BMW doesn’t officially present it as the custom version of the R NineT, this new model is nevertheless a cruiser version of the latter. Positioned halfway between the BMW Nine T and the BMW R18the BMW R12 competes with Harley Davidson’s Sportster models.

BMW’s objective is clear: to offer a more compact cruiser than the R18. Although the chassis and engine of the BMW R12 and BMW R Nine T are identical, there are a number of features, particularly aesthetic, that give the BMW R12 a real cruiser character.

A teardrop-shaped fuel tank reminiscent of ’70s models, a 19-inch front rim, wide handlebars, low seat height and advanced footrests all contribute to the BMW R12’s distinctive identity.

Finally, both the BMW R12 and the BMW NineT R12 are A2-compatible. With introductions out of the way, let’s hear what our team has to say about these new arrivals.


At FCR Original, BMW Nine T models are iconic. We’ve been working on them for many years and have given them styles ranging from the retro Classic Heritage to the urban and modern Urban. But what do our teams think of these newcomers?

“The styling difference between the two models is very clear. On the one hand, we have the R12, which adopts a bobber style and is positioned in the cruiser segment, designed for leisurely rides on long trips. On the other hand, we have the R12 Nine T, which seems to target the same market as its predecessor, while accentuating the vintage feel. From a pure preparation point of view, the R12 Nine T seems well designed and easy to modify. It retains a very classic spirit, with a very simple and even more accentuated tank, which will make our modifications easier, since we won’t have to change the original tank to give it a neo-retro look. Conversely, the rear section of the bike can be completely dismantled, which will give us plenty of scope to change the aesthetics of the bike. All in all, I can’t wait to see these two bikes, as they open up a whole new and exciting field of possibilities”.

FCR Original Design Office

C'est une photo d'un preparateur moto

“I’m really excited about the R12 and R12 Nine T because they have new engines, and I’m really looking forward to trying them out.

We’re delighted to see a cruiser-style version of the BMW R12, based on the codes of the original, but with a custom look that BMW Motorrad is keen to emphasize, offering a breath of fresh air.

But it’s also this cruiser side that means the R12 won’t be the preferred model for our preparations. Instead, we’ll be working on the BMW R12 Nine T, which we see as a real novelty. Over 10 years old, the Nine T has taken on a muscular look, and it’s great to see iconic models evolve in this way.

For my taste, this makes it a very good basis for work that calls for modification. The idea of declining it into a scrambler, roadster or even a sporty version is generating a lot of enthusiasm in our workshop, and we’re looking forward to working on it.”

Sébastien GUILLEMOT – Creator and CEO of FCR Original


It’s a new challenge for our workshop, and at FCR Original, we like bobbers too. We have already developed a bobber range based on the Triumph Bonneville 1200 and a Fat Bike range based on the Triumph Bonneville T120 and Triumph Speed Twin 900. So we’re not closed to the idea of working on the new BMW R12, on the contrary, we’re looking forward to exploring new avenues at BMW Motorrad.

As for the BMW Nine T R12, our workshop is already working on its first 2D visuals, and as soon as we receive it, we fully intend to put the FCR Original stamp on it, including the design of new specific accessories and the creation of new body elements. We hope that this new R Nine T will become a flagship model in the FCR Original range, because it’s already a model that works well in terms of driving feel, and we’re going to do everything we can to work on all the driving elements and make it perform even better.