BMW R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S (2017-2020) Maintenance Schedule

This is the complete maintenance schedule for the BMW R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S, made between 2017-2020, before gaining throttle-by-wire and cruise control in 2021.

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 Scrambler and Urban G/S is very similar to that of the “Classic” R NineT. But there are a few small differences in specs and parts, which warrants having a separate maintenance schedule.

I’m grouping the Scrambler and Urban G/S together because they share so much. Apart from the colours, the position of the exhaust pipe (higher on the Scrambler), and the tires they ship with, everything else is the same — suspension, rider geometry, and of course, the engine.

The whole BMW R nineT line has the engine base in common — an air-cooled 1170cc flat twin “boxer” engine with four valves per cylinder and double overhead camshafts, making about 81 kW (110 hp) of power at 7550 rpm, and 116 Nm (86 lb-ft) of torque at 6,000 rpm to the rear wheel through a dry clutch and a shaft drive.

The BMW R nineT Urban G/S and Scrambler use the same “camhead” engine that was used in the previous R 1200 generation of motorcycles, including the R 1200 R and 2010-2012 R 1200 GS. But those motorcycles added water cooling and had different suspension systems (Telelever) and generally were higher-spec bikes than the air-cooled R nineT range.

In 2021, the BMW R nineT range was updated to throttle by wire, and the maintenance schedule for the 2021 BMW R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S changed slightly.

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BMW R nineT Scrambler / Urban G/S Service Intervals

Like the rest of the BMW R nineT from 2017-2020, the BMW R nineT Urban G/S and Scrambler have an air/oil-cooled engine with service intervals of a relatively short 6000 miles / 10000 km. At every service you change the oil and filter and also check 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 Scrambler and Urban G/S — Consumables and Special Tools

For the BMW R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S, the manual recommends the following specific consumables.

PartBMW R nineT Scrambler/Urban G/S 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 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, but riders love the BM-1204 air filter from K&N, which is re-usable. The OEM air filter is part number 13717706414.
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. 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 Scrambler and Urban G/S (2017-2020) consumables

BMW R nineT Urban G/S and Scrambler Maintenance Schedule

Below is the maintenance schedule for the BMW R nineT Urban G/S and Scrambler as per the manual, but made more clear so that you can understand what needs to happen more easily.

The R nineT range, being air-cooled, have surprisingly short maintenance intervals — quite similar to other air-cooled performance bikes. You have to service the valves every 6,000 miles or 10,000 kilometres.

The good news is that you can get to the valve heads very easily, as the cylinders are sticking out into the wind.

The Urban G/S and Scrambler’s maintenance schedules also don’t require you to change fork oil, as the forks are simpler than on the R nineT’s upside-down fully-adjustable forks.

Simplified, the maintenance for the BMW R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S (from 2017-2020) involves:

  • A standard service every 12 months (irrespective of distance)
  • Oil change every 10,000 kms or 12 months, whichever is earlier,
  • Checking the valve clearances every 10,000 km/6,000 miles (with no time restriction)
  • Adjust engine synchro every 10,000 km / 6,000 miles
  • A series of other periodic checks

Notes on the maintenance schedule

  • At the end of the indicated schedule, keep following it in the pattern shown (every 1-4 service intervals)
  • Where there’s a time and a distance-based interval, follow the earlier of the two.
  • The break-in service isn’t shown, as the dealer usually takes care of this during the warranty period.
x 1000 km10203040
x 1000 mi6121824Every
Conduct standard BMW annual service (see below)Year
Engine oil change, with filter (BMW Motorrad ADVANTEC Ultimate oil, BMW/Mahle oil filter, part number 11 42 7 721 779)XXXXYear
Oil change in the rear bevel gears (Mobil 1 75W-90)XX2 years
Check valve clearanceXXXX
Change transmission oil (Mobil 1 75W-90)XAfter 1 year, then every 2 years
Replace spark plugs (NGK MAR8B-JDS)XX
Replace air cleaner insert (BM-1204)XX
Replace alternator belt (11 31 8 528 385)X6 years
Adjust engine synchronizationXXXX
Change brake fluid in entire system (Castrol Dot 4)After 1 year, then every 2 years
BMW R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S maintenance schedule

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 Scrambler or Urban G/S 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 [B].

Standard service — BMW R nineT Scrambler / Urban G/S
[B] Perform vehicle test with BMW Motorrad diagnosis system
Visually inspect the 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 Bowden cables 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 adjust as needed
Check the lighting and signal equipment
Functional check for engine start suppression
Final inspection and road safety check
[B] Set the service-due date and service countdown distance (using the BMW Motorrad diagnostic system)
Check battery charging state
[B] Confirm BMW service in the vehicle literature
BMW Motorrad service for R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S — Standard scope

BMW R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S Tire size and pressures

The following are tire sizes and tyre pressures for the BMW R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S.

The BMW Scrambler and Urban G/S ship with three options of wheels: aluminium cast wheels, cross-spoked wheels, and standard spoked wheels (Scrambler only).

On the BMW R nineT Scrambler you can also opt for a low ride height (“low-slung”) option which changes the rim sizes.

The tyre sizes are as follows:

Wheel/TireTyre Size (Standard)Tyre Size (Scrambler, Low-slung option)
Front120/70 R 19120/70 ZR 17
Rear170/60 R 17180/55 ZR 17
BMW R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S tyre sizes

Recommended tyre pressures for the BMW R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S are 2.5 bar (36 psi) up front and 2.9 (42 psi) bar in the rear.

About the BMW R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S

The BMW R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S are two very similar bikes from the BMW R nineT line-up.

Like other motorcycles in the range, both are based on the same 1170cc DOHC boxer twin. It’s an air/oil-cooled engine that’s quite powerful despite not having liquid cooling, making a peak of 81 kW (110 hp) at around 7,500 rpm.

The R nineT’s motor is quite torque rich. You don’t have to rev it to the moon to pull a lot of torque out of it — it peaks around 6,000 rpm, where it makes about as much peak torque as the S 1000 RR, just a lot earlier in the rev range (and for not as long in the rev range).

The R nineT Urban G/S and Scrambler have a lot in common. They both have, compared to the R nineT (which is the top-of-the-range model)

  • A relaxed “urban roadster” riding position
  • Shallower rake
  • A conventional fork with gaiters
  • A rear shock that’s adjustable for preload and rebound damping
  • A single gauge display
  • 19-inch front spoked wheel (with tubeless tyres) as standard

The differences between the two models are cosmetic — the Urban G/S has a lower pipe and a cowl. They also come stock with different tyres, but you can opt for other tyre combos (and this matters less if you’re doing any maintenance, as you’ve done more than 6K miles/10K km, and so will have changed tyres at least once).

Riding both the Urban G/S and Scrambler is a similar experience. You still short-shift the big-bore boxer twin. It’s somewhere between a cruiser and a sportbike — and very similar to riding one of the bigger Triumph motorcycles, like the Triumph Speed Twin. It’s not fast, but there’s torque everywhere, and in any riding you do off the track you’ll rarely be left wanting.

Manual for the BMW 2017-2020 R nineT Urban G/S and Scrambler

Below are screenshots of the maintenance schedule from which the above was derived (there’s more information in the manual about what the numbers mean) for the BMW R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S. As you can see, the maintenance schedules are the same.

The above information was gleaned from the owner’s manuals for the 2019 BMW R nineT Scrambler and Urban G/S. You can download them from BMW’s website directly here.

BMW R nine T Urban GS outdoors on dirt road

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