Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums banner

1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Anybody ever compare/contrast these 2? I'm pretty sure that my next bike will be one of these.
I've ridden both for very short times; not enough to really form an opinion of the strengths and weaknesses of each. Wondering what you all think? I know this is a Triumph forum so the answers will most likely be skewed. Oh well, try to be objective.
Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,311 Posts
Very different bikes in my view as far as character. Better comparison might be the NineT Pure version in terms of pricing. Very different engines with the boxer having it's quirks with crankshaft response. Chain vs shaft drive. I think the lack of water cooling on the BMW is a plus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
No speed twin here but I've owned two of the BMW with the same engine. I like not water cooled and I like the shaft drive. You can do all the general maintenance yourself on the BMW and mine were stone reliable. I did find the engine 'not exciting' and the bike is more a Butler than a hooligan. But if you wanted to travel distances the bikes were hard to beat with a lot of options with baggage or windscreens (r1200r) or just go (r1200rt).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
352 Posts
When I purchased my 2018 T120 in June 2017, I had already pulled the trigger on a 2017 R9T Urban GS but not signed the final documents. I am 6'4" and both bikes were going to need attention to the seat to give me any comfort for distances. Having had a BMW boxer before, I was familiar with the engine and what to expect. They are tractor simple to maintain and deliver very good performance without issues. I rode my BMW for 83K miles without real big issues. My experience with Triumph was remembering just how weaselly the owners of the bikes were in the late 1970's and I had to think if there would be any association........ha. There isn't but it's just my brain in motion. Anyway, I went with the T120 because it fit for me is a little better, was incredible to look at, lower priced, and the dealer treated me very fairly in the transactions and trade.

You are asking about the Speed Twin and it would be more comparable to the R9T in frame size. Both are compact. Also probably very similar in performance. The R9T will have better options for suspension upgrades and ride (a Yacugar shock would transform that bike). The new /5 model is amazing to look at. Personally, I would gravitate towards the BMW between those two options. I am actually thinking how I could trade my T120 for a /5 but would take a tremendous hit on financing and then the cost of getting the BMW to my personalization would be even more. I don't think the difference between my bike and the BMW would be worth the cost at this time. (That probably means the deal will be made in the near future)

Last item of note, as a musician, I like my bikes to sound good. The Triumph makes a better sound. The BMW will have a nice snarl, especially after it's been run a little hard, but overall the 270 degree crank on the Triumph produces a very nice sound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
905 Posts
There a few versions of the R9Ts out there. Price wise my R9T/5 was $14,000 out the door about the same as the Speed Twin.

I bought the R9T/5 because I already have a 2016 Thruxton R which has the same motor has the Speed Twin. Just needed a little variety.

The Speed Twin and R9T/5 are both fantastic bikes. Both have good ergonomics but the stock BMW seat is better . The Speed Twin in my opinion is more sporty when the road gets twisty and the Speed Twin motor will take a heap more hard use and never complain.

Both have a ton of accessories available but the BMW are way more pricey. The BMW is a little harder to work on and access components like the battery and you have to stand on your head to take the seat off.

The shaft drive of the BMW has an advantage with less maintenance but the chain and sprocket of the Speed Twin has the advantage of being to easily change the gearing to whatever you want.

My R9T/5 has tube tires which give some people concern. The BMW RnineT/5 has a larger gas tank but the Speed Twin fuel mileage is about 10 to 15 mpg better so the range is about the same.

The BMW RnineT/5 does not come with a tachometer or fuel gage the Speed Twin does. The tachometer is about a $700 option of the BMW.

Both bikes are beautiful but I think my R9T/5 in blue looks a little better than the Speed Twin. Both bikes have a top speed of around 130 mph however the Speed Twin can easily be increased to 136 mph with a gearing change the BMWs is what it is.

Hard choice but you can't go wrong with either bike. The exception would be which dealer is the best, that might be a tie breaker for me.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
Depends on the version. I have a Thruxton R, I have friends with literally every R9T version. I've ridden everything but the Pure, but the Pure is basically the Classic without the goodies that make the classic badass.

Thruxton R vs R9T Racer - Thruxton is a resounding win
Speed Twin vs R9T Classic - I'd give it to the R9T classic for the better suspension
Speed Twin vs the R9T Pure (more better aligned with the Speed Twin's spec) - Speed Twin all day long, the dollar stretches further
Scrambler 1200 vs the R9T Urban GS or Scrambler - Scrambler 1200 easily for the better bang for the buck and real capability.

I currently have an R1200R (2016, liquid cooled) and a Thruxton R. Long term plans include selling the R1200R and using the money towards the R9T/5, as it's a good naked, and still wildly different than my Thruxton R.

I'd still like a GS in my life, but not immediately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
I’ve ridden the RnineT a couple of times. It’s a terrific bike. Very satisfying engine, very satisfying handling. BMW quality.

The seat on the BMW is minimal, and terrible for a passenger, if that matters to you. My wife hated it.


Now I own a Speed Twin, tho. Better gearbox, more of an “up on the balls of its feet” stance. Similar engine characteristics in that both have huge reserves of thrust but not big top ends. The Speedy is a better value.


But you can’t really go wrong here unless you are tall, in which case you don’t want either. These are brilliant bikes but built for folk who are six feet or shorter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
You guys aren't making it easy.
They both seem like excellent choices.
If I bought new, the Triumph is mighty tempting as it's less expensive.
Pre-owned might be a tougher decision depending on how much I can get an R Nine T for.
Thanks everyone for responding.
And if you have anything that would make the decision easier, lemme know.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
176 Posts
Tough decision but both are nice choices. I'm lucky to have a Thruxton S and R9T Pure. Both have been modified, with bench seats and higher handlebars, to become more like the standard motorcycles that I grew up with in the early 1970's.

The engines on both machines are fantastic with enough low and mid range power to be very satisfying. Exhaust sounds good on both with the R9T having a particularly nice snarl. The Triumph is easier to work on and modify. BMW does some weird things like making the battery hard to access and changing handlebars is way more complicated than it should be. Parts for the R9T are also more expensive than Triumph. One big difference between the two motorcycles is their engine character. The BMW seems happy to both putter about or scoot; the Thruxton seems impatient with puttering and wants to scoot. I'm guessing the difference is that the R9T has a heaver flywheel than the Thruxton (thought the T120 more similar to the R9T in this regard).

One big disadvantage of any new Triumph is the shrinking dealer numbers. I've seen a number of good dealers give up their franchise due to costly requirements from Triumph. This has me concerned that despite having excellent machines, Triumph will become even more of a niche brand with service only available in major urban centers.

Hope you can get test rides on both motorcycles and good luck on your decision.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
241 Posts
Speed Twin vs BMW R Nine T?

There are quite a few R Nine Ts all equipped differently at different price points so make sure you're considering the exact model that will make you smile.

Then there's these two words to consider... RESALE VALUE.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
905 Posts
Not to beat this point to death but both Greenbonnie and I made point about dealer stability and has to be considered. We are on the third Triumph dealership in Boise in 19 years and it was the same in Tucson where I lived before.

Even the best intentioned new Triumph dealer takes some time to get up to speed for service, parts and accessories. Here is something I've noticed happening in these frequent dealer changes and I'm wondering if this occurred elsewhere?

The first dealers in 1995 started the carb 3 & 4 cylinder modular engines, then some of the 2nd generation dealers came in with initial fuel in and the aircooled Bonneville line in the early 2000s. I noticed the 2nd generation dealers didn't really want to work on the earlier generation bikes because they didn't sale them.

Now my third generation dealer (2018) has only a basic understanding on servicing of current (2016 - now) watercooled twins and triples and won't touch any carb bike and is disinterested at best for early 2000 -2015 fuel injected air or watercooled triple or twin again my new dealer didn't sale them.

In 2015 I took my 1976 Honda 550 F1 to the Honda dealer for some work guess what they were delighted to work on it, even found some new OEM parts. I've seen the same thing with Kawasaki, BMW, Yamaha and even Triumph but it is always with a same dealer who has carried the brand for a couple decades.

My point is that I don't trust Triumph well enough that the dealership where I buy a bike will be the same one in three years down the line or even if there will be one at all. So if two bikes are equally appealing to me I'll go with the brand that will still be there as long as the warranty...so I bought a BMW this time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
Speed Twin vs BMW R Nine T?

There are quite a few R Nine Ts all equipped differently at different price points so make sure you're considering the exact model that will make you smile.

Then there's these two words to consider... RESALE VALUE.
Well then it's R9T all day long, they hold the value so well it's been annoying looking for a used one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Just a few clarifications from my end:
- I'm cosidering the regular R Nine T; (not the Scrambler, Racer, Urban or Pure)
- I can purchase both bikes at the same dealer; they've carried both brands for a long time and have a great service dept

Hope that helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,311 Posts
I was just down there for their tent sale. Interesting how Triumph doesn't give them grief about having the Triumphs right up against Kawasaki on the floor. Good place to purchase a bike. I remember the old days when it was just Honda in the large main building and Cross Country BMW in the smaller front building. The two bikes that you are interested in have such different character traits that it would be hard for me to compare and decide. With BMW, you either love them or don't get it. The Triumph is probably a bike you settle right into. A basic UJM, although British. The NineT really is a much better modern Airhead. Similar size. I'd like one.

If they have a bike for you to take out, they will give you a longer test ride if they know a sale might be in the works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
Regular R nine T or Speedy: These are both terrific bikes and with identical missions.

It might come down to engine character (ride both back to back and see what you prefer) and whether you ever ride two-up (then you want the Speed Twin).

Whatever you decide to get, let us know!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
228 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for all the help folks.
Still not decided if I'm gonna get either.
I've always liked the R Nine T since it came out.
Pretty much the same when they upgraded the motor in the Speed Twin.
I'll never ride two up so that's a wash.
But first, I have to decide if I want to part ways with my 2019 Street Triple.
I absolutely love the bike, but I find as I'm getting older, I want to slow down.
All I've ever owned is sport bikes and the Street Triple constantly says to me "you *****, go faster, lean into them curves, pull my front wheel up". I wrecked my BMW S1000R in 2018 due to an unintended wheelie and it put the fear of God in me.
Oh well, I have a lot of soul searching to do.
I can say that the Triumph has a few things going for it.
I like the seating position better than the R Nine T's.
And it's a few thousand $ cheaper.
Plus, the engine sounds killer.
However, I truly believe that the BMW would be the better handling bike and that's important to me.
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
Top