Retro styled cars, trucks, and motorcycles have been a big hit lately. Ford released the new yet old school Bronco and made the off-road community giddy with excitement, especially with its newest vintage concept. The same principle is at work with the new Jeep Gladiator, and of course, the Land Cruiser Defender is going for a slice of vintage pie as well. Nostalgia is a serious drug, and BMW proved its willingness to partake with the R nine series a few years ago. The coolest and rarest of that series is the BMW Urban G/S, which didn’t survive 2018 and is now returning with a vengeance (and upgrades).
The BMW R nineT series
The R nineT is the coolest idea BMW has had in a really long time. Taking their signature “airhead” motor design with all modern technology and efficiency applied and throwing it in a beautiful mix of sleek and modern styling with the various iconic versions of BMWs racing success from the past.
The R nineT (read R90) came in a scrambler sort of vintage cafe racer setup, a naked sort of streetfighter verison, and the ‘80s style Dakar set up of the Urban G/S. The Urban G/S must have been confusing for riders because, unlike the other models, it didn’t sell many units in 2018. The G/S had a front fairing off a dirtbike, a taller off-road setup, and the option for knobby tires from the factory. This bike was meant to cross between city life and off-road with ease and proficiency.
The 2021 BMW Urban G/S
As seen on ADV Pulse, BMW is finally giving us more options and a new Urban G/S. BMW isn’t just updating the Urban G/S, but they give us a new verison based on the legendary R80GS. The regular G/S is getting new shocks, a refreshed engine, and extensive options for much more customization. It also comes in new colors! Sorry for the excitement, but if you love this bike but wasn’t feeling the red, white, and blue look, the new one is offered in the black and yellow 80s-style livery and red and black.
The new engine
According to ADV Pulse, the 2021 BMW Urban G/S motor has been slightly tweaked to accommodate for enduro racing emissions standards. This tweak has left the 1,170cc boxer motor with one fewer horses than the old one. Never fear; it doesn’t seem that this power drop will make the bike any slower. In fact, the new G/S revs to 5,000 RPMs faster than the old one and still has the same 86 ft-lbs of torque.
ADV Pulse also mentions that BMW also gave the bike new Cylinder heads and new throttle valve components. BMW says these improvements not only make the bike run smoother and more efficiently but give the G/S a fuller torque curve.
New features for the 2021 BMW Urban G/S
BMW hasn’t left us without ways to stay safe on the new dual-sport racer. The 2021 G/S will now have ABS and dynamic brake control as standard. Other included standard features are multiple driving modes like “rain” and “road,” new steering dampers, and an easily-adjustable spring pre-load system.
The Urban G/S options
The new BMW dual-sport offers traction control and an extra “dirt” driving mode as optional extras. There is also a “comfort” package that includes heated handgrips, cruise control, and softened riding modes.
This is what we needed this year
This is an exciting addition for any off-road biking enthusiast. This model always felt cool and exciting, but the overall look and feel didn’t exactly land. It was cool, but if you zoom in to certain parts like the exhaust, wheels, or seating options, it felt a little unfinished in parts. The 2021 G/S has gold wheels, for crying out loud! The exhaust is restyled and at least 10,000 percent better looking than the old ones.
BMW, y’all did good on this. Nice work.