The BMW R nineT has several design elements configured to allow the bike to be easily modified, such as separate engine and chassiswiring harnesses and minimal bolts attaching the rear subframe, tail lights, and headlight.
For cosmetic reasons, the bike has upside-down (USD) telescopic forks (rather than the BMW "Telelever items). For the same reasons, it uses an air-cooled "oilhead" engine, which has the inlet manifold at the rear of the cylinders and the exhaust at the front. The oilhead is arguably more suitable for customisation as it has a more "conventional" appearance than the new water-cooled engine.
As of 2017 there are five different variations of this motorcycle:
R nineT PURE
R nineT URBAN G/S*
R nineT RACER S - a cafe racer for a solo rider, with a nose fairing in blue, white and red trim.
BMW R nineT showing the horizontally-opposed twin cylinders
BMW R nineT in Paris
BMW R nineT Scrambler
R nine T special at Paris Motor Show 2018
In a The Daily Telegraph review, Roland Brown wrote: The BMW R nineT is "... not the bike for impecunious custom builders, but a retro roadster that combines heritage, good looks, high quality finish and entertaining performance in one cleverly integrated package, with potential for easy personalisation".
A Motor Cycle News review says of the R nineT: "The build quality is superb and the attention to detail impeccable. It goes, stops and handles as well as the best roadsters out there, thanks to its modern chassis, suspension and braking components. But there’s a lovely twist with the old-school air-cooled Boxer engine".