BMW R nineT Racer (2017-2019) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

This is the complete maintenance schedule for the BMW R nineT Racer, made from 2017-2019.

The BMW R nineT Racer was a member of the R nineT family released in 2017, alongside the Pure, Urban G/S, and Scrambler.

The whole BMW R nineT range shares a common engine base — an air-cooled 1,170cc flat twin “boxer” engine with four valves per cylinder and double overhead camshafts. The engine makes ~80 kW (~110 hp) of power and ~120 Nm (~90 lb-ft) of torque at the crank, powering the rear wheel via a dry clutch and a shaft drive.

The Racer has a really unique front cowl style, clip-on handlebars with a very aggressive riding position, a single seat, and twin gauges. It shares the same lower-spec suspension as the non-Classic R nineT motorcycles despite its “Racer” pretensions.

You may be searching for one of the following maintenance schedules from the BMW R nineT family:

Model family2014-20162017-20202021+
R nineT (Classic)2014-2016 R nineT2017-2020 R nineT 2021+ R nineT
R nineT Puren/a2017-2020 R nineT Pure2021+ R nineT Pure
R nineT Urban G/S & Scramblern/a2017-2020 R nineT Urban G/S and Scrambler 2021 R nineT Urban G/S & Scrambler
R nineT Racern/aR nineT Racern/a (discontinued)
BMW R nineT maintenance schedules

The maintenance schedule for the R nineT Racer is similar to the schedule for the BMW R nineT Pure (2017-2020).

The Racer was discontinued in 2019 for reasons known best to BMW, but has a loyal following.

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BMW R nineT Racer Service Intervals

Like the rest of the BMW R nineT line, the Racer has an air/oil-cooled boxer engine with service intervals of a relatively short 6000 miles / 10000 km. At every service, you should change the oil and filter and also check/adjust the valve clearances.

Note that BMW also specifies an annual oil change in their service schedule, regardless of distance travelled. There’s also an annual full multi-point inspection to check for leaks or parts that need lubrication.

Luckily the valve clearance inspection isn’t too hard. Once you’ve dropped the oil, the cylinders are out there poking out the sides of the bike.

Every two services, change the air filter and the spark plugs.

Finally, make sure you regularly attend to key fluids like shaft drive lubricant and brake fluid.

What you need to service the BMW R nineT Racer — Consumables and Special Tools

For the BMW R nineT Racer, the manual recommends the following specific consumables.

PartBMW R nineT Racer Spec
Engine oilPer the manual for all R nineT bikes, a maximum of 3.8 L (1 US gal) L of SAE 15W-50, API SJ/JASO MA2. Additives (for instance, molybdenum-based substances) are prohibited, because they would attack the coatings on engine components, BMW Motorrad recommends BMW Motorrad ADVANTEC 15W-80 Ultimate oil.
Oil filterAll BMW R bikes use a BMW/Mahle oil filter, part number 11 42 7 673 541. The best replacement is a Hiflofiltro HF164.
Spark plugsNGK MAR8B-JDS This is what the manual suggests. Make sure it’s gapped correctly to 0.8mm (get a gapping tool).
Air filterYou can get the stock air filter (part 13717706414), but riders love the BM-1204 air filter from K&N, which is reusable.
Brake padsUse the standard brake pads by Brembo, which you can order from your dealer. Or use EBC double hardened brake pads to get the best out of your advanced braking system. For the Racer, use two FA244HH for the front, and one FA363HH for the rear.
* Note — Pads are different across the R nineT line (R nineT Classic vs Pure, Racer, Scrambler, and Urban GS) — get the right ones.
Drive oilCalled the “Rear axle differential oil” in the manual. BMW recommends “SAE 70W-80 / hypoid axle G3”, but many hypoid gear oils work, e.g. Mobil 1 75W-90.
Alternator beltSuper annoying when this breaks! The part number is 11 31 8 528 385. It’s easiest to pick this up from a dealer.
BMW R nineT Racer consumables

BMW R nineT Racer Maintenance Schedule

Below is the maintenance schedule for the BMW R nineT Racer as per the manual, but clarified and simplified slightly.

The R nineT motorcycles have quite short valve service intervals. You have to inspect the valves every 6000 miles or 10000 kilometres, along with the oil change.

The Racer also doesn’t need you to change fork oil, as the forks are simpler than on the R nineT (Classic).

Simplified, the maintenance for the BMW R nineT Racer involves:

  • A standard service every 12 months (irrespective of distance)
  • Oil change every 10000 km / 6000 miles or 12 months, whichever is earlier,
  • Checking the valve clearances every 10000 km / 6000 miles (with no time restriction)
  • A series of other periodic checks

Notes:

  • Observe the earlier of the time-based or distance-based interval.
  • After the 40K km (24K mi) mark, continue repeating the schedule in the pattern indicated.
x 1000 km10203040
x 1000 mi6121824Every
Conduct BMW Standard Service (see below)Year
Change engine oil (BMW Motorrad ADVANTEC Ultimate oil) and oil filter (BMW/Mahle oil filter, part number 11 42 7 721 779)XXXXYear
Change oil in the rear bevel gears (Castrol 75W-90)XX2 years
* See note below
Check valve clearanceXXXX
Change transmission oil (Mobil 1 75W-90)XAfter 1 year, then every 2 years
Replace spark plugs (NGK MAR8AI-10DS)XX
Replace air cleaner insert (BMW part 13717706414)XX
Replace alternator belt (11 31 8 528 385)X6 years
Adjust engine synchronizationXXXX
Change brake fluid in entire system (b) (Castrol Dot 4)After 1 year, then every 2 years
BMW R nineT Racer maintenance schedule

* The US manuals for the R nineT have an error/inconsistency in the notes regarding the rear bevel gear oil change. The main table says “every 2 years” but the footnotes say “annually”. The European manuals are consistent and say 2 years in both the main table and footnotes.

BMW Motorrad Service, standard scope

The activities in the BMW Motorrad Service standard scope (that are to be done periodically according to the service schedule above) are listed below.

There might be additional work to be done on your BMW R nineT Racer in addition to the standard service — whatever you (or the mechanic) observe.

Note: Some of the below tests, including those that need the BMW Motorrad diagnostic system or re-setting the service due date, require BMW-specific equipment. These are marked with a [Dealer].

BMW R nineT Racer — Standard Service
[Dealer] Perform vehicle test with BMW Motorrad diagnosis system
Visually inspect the hydraulic clutch system (adjust free play and lubricate as necessary)
Check steering-head bearing
Visually inspect the brake lines, brake hoses and connections
Check front brake pads and brake discs for wear (replace pads with FA244HH if necessary)
Check front wheel brake fluid level
Check rear brake pads and brake disc for wear (replace pads with FA363HH if necessary)
Check rear wheel brake fluid level
Check the cable linkages for ease of movement, chafing and kinks, and play (lubricate with Protect All Cable Life as necessary)
Check tyre pressures and tread depth
Check side stand for ease of movement
Check tension of the spokes (if spoked wheels fitted) and tighten as needed
Check the lighting and signal equipment
Functional check for engine start suppression
Final inspection and road safety check
[Dealer] Set the service-due date and service countdown distance (using the BMW Motorrad diagnostic system)
Check battery charging state
[Dealer] Confirm BMW service in the vehicle literature
BMW Motorrad service for R nineT Racer — Standard scope

BMW R nineT Racer Tire size and pressures

The following are tire sizes and tyre pressures for the BMW R nineT Racer.

The Racer is available with cast alloy rims or spoked rims (with tubed tyres).

Wheel/TireSizePressure (cold)
Front120/70 ZR 17 (58)2.5 bar (36 psi)
Rear180/55 ZR 17 (73)2.7 bar (39 psi) one-up
2.9 bar (42 psi) two up with cargo
BMW R nineT Racer tyre size and pressure

About the 2021 BMW R nineT Racer

BMW R nineT Racer RHS front

When it was released in 2014, the BMW R nineT was an instant classic — a true “return to roots” of motorcycling.

The R nineT racer was somewhat unexpected of BMW. They had been known at that point for doing three things: 1. boxer-driven adventure and sports tourers, 2. inline-four or six-cylinder bikes as sport tourers, and 3. hypersports bikes.

The 2017-2019 BMW R nineT Racer had bits of all of those. It took a boxer engine from an older R 1200 (the R 1200 range had been water cooled since 2015), a riding position straight out of a sports bike’s playbook, and suspension from… the other R nineT motorcycles — just conventional forks with gaiters and no adjustability.

The R nineT Racer also has looks to die for. Look at some of the pics below.

So the BMW R nineT racer doesn’t really make sense on paper. It’s a gorgeous looking bike that has a very aggressive position and a lazy air-cooled engine that actually likes being short-shifted. So what? It also looks like a cafe racer builder’s fantasy. It has that beautiful fairing, a gorgeous exposed single-sided swing-arm, sculpted exhaust pipes, and twin gauges.

The twin gauges are of note because most of the BMW R nineT line does NOT have a tachometer. Aside from the premium space base R nineT, the Racer is the only other model to have a tachometer.

BMW R nineT Racer twin gaugesBMW R nineT Racer twin gauges
Twin gauges on the R nineT Racer

The BMW R nineT Racer is based on the same air/oil-cooled boxer that powers the rest of the R nineT range. It’s a twin-cam 8-valve setup that makes 80 kW (110 hp) at 7750 rpm, and 116 Nm (86 ft-lb) at 6000 rpm. There’s a natural shifting point around 6-7000 rpm even when you’re pushing it hard.

The R nineT Racer competes in principle with other “street sport” bikes like the Triumph Thruxton 1200 R. Even though the Thruxton normally makes lower power, its higher spec suspension and less aggressive riding position make it a better candidate for the street for many riders.

The R nineT Racer’s last unusual point as a sport bike is the drivetrain. While the shaft drive is low maintenance, it means it’s hard (or near impossible) to change drive ratios. Quick shifts don’t come as easily. And if you toast your clutch — it means splitting the bike in half to fix it.

Despite the above, the R nineT Racer has its legion of loyal fans. Because it’s not a bad bike; it’s just there are better bikes for specific use cases. But the looks of the BMW R nineT Racer alone mean it’s almost guaranteed to be a long-term classic.

Manual for the Racer BMW R nineT Racer

The above information was gleaned from the owner’s manual for the BMW R nineT Racer (2017 model US, 2018 model Europe). We compared them and found a couple of odd errors that were corrected in later manuals for the R nineT — see above.

You can download the manuals from BMW’s website directly here.

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