BMW debuted its Concept 101 today at the Concorso d’Eleganza at Villa d’Este, Italy. Designed and built by BMW and Roland Sands Design, Concept 101 is touted as a touring motorcycle, a performance bagger powered by a six-cylinder, 1649cc engine teamed to a relaxed, all-day riding position.
“The Concept 101 opens up a new chapter in the history of our concept bikes. It is the BMW Motorrad interpretation of endless highways and the dream of freedom and independence – the perfect embodiment of ‘American touring.’ Designing this big touring bike study was amazingly exciting for us because we haven’t been involved with a motorcycle concept like this before. To me, the Concept 101 is the epitome of elegance, power and luxury on two wheels,” said Edgar Heinrich, Head of BMW Motorrad Design, in a press release.
The firm’s plans to build a bagger-style tourer based on the K1600 and targeting the American market have been clear for more than a year, with spy shots of prototypes in various states cropping up on a regular basis. So the firm’s decision to show a concept version, the Concept 101, at the Villa d’Este concours event by Lake Como in Italy, is really a preview of the bike that will appear in production form soon.
The 101 name comes from the 101 cubic inch capacity (1649cc), which it shares with the K1600GT and GTL models that it’s based on. And apart from the oddly crude, 6th-form-metalwork exhaust pipe, the equally strange metal front mudguard and the appearance of the sort of wood veneer sides that you’d expect to see on a 1970s American station wagon, it’s pretty close to the production bike in its appearance.
While this is truly a bagger, with a cut-down screen and drooping tail, the prototypes spied on the road have a higher screen and a top box incorporating a passenger backrest. It’s quite likely that BMW will offer both variants – the more touring-oriented machine rivalling the Honda Goldwing while the bagger competes with the F6B.