Motorcycles

BMW unveils Concept 101 bagger-style cruiser at Villa d'Este

BMW unveils Concept 101 bagger...
BMW Concept 101 is a fine looking tourer
BMW Concept 101 is a fine looking tourer
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BMW Concept 101 - concept drawings
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BMW Concept 101 - concept drawings
BMW Concept 101 - concept drawings
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BMW Concept 101 - concept drawings
BMW Concept 101 - concept drawings
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BMW Concept 101 - concept drawings
BMW Concept 101 design team points convincingly at pictures
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BMW Concept 101 design team points convincingly at pictures
BMW Concept 101 design team points convincingly at pictures
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BMW Concept 101 design team points convincingly at pictures
BMW Concept 101 design team points convincingly at pictures
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BMW Concept 101 design team points convincingly at pictures
BMW Concept 101 design team points convincingly at pictures
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BMW Concept 101 design team points convincingly at pictures
BMW Concept 101 - concept drawings
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BMW Concept 101 - concept drawings
BMW Concept 101 - design fits in with BMW's more stylish machines
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BMW Concept 101 - design fits in with BMW's more stylish machines
BMW Concept 101 - German style cruising for an American market
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BMW Concept 101 - German style cruising for an American market
BMW Concept 101 - aerodynamic front fairing
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BMW Concept 101 - aerodynamic front fairing
BMW Concept 101 - 6-cylinder cruiser concept
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BMW Concept 101 - 6-cylinder cruiser concept
BMW Concept 101 - built for the open road
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BMW Concept 101 - built for the open road
BMW Concept 101 - should make a great mile muncher
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BMW Concept 101 - should make a great mile muncher
BMW Concept 101 - can a German cruiser do big numbers in the American market?
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BMW Concept 101 - can a German cruiser do big numbers in the American market?
BMW Concept 101 - a signal of things to come
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BMW Concept 101 - a signal of things to come
BMW Concept 101 - on the road
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BMW Concept 101 - on the road
BMW Concept 101 - see-through engine covers
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BMW Concept 101 - see-through engine covers
BMW Concept 101 - wood inlays in the fairings are a nice touch
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BMW Concept 101 - wood inlays in the fairings are a nice touch
BMW Concept 101 - hand craftsmanship is the focus of the marketing here
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BMW Concept 101 - hand craftsmanship is the focus of the marketing here
BMW Concept 101 - touring luggage looks good
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BMW Concept 101 - touring luggage looks good
BMW Concept 101 - by the beach
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BMW Concept 101 - by the beach
BMW Concept 101 - carbon dominates the rear aspect
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BMW Concept 101 - carbon dominates the rear aspect
BMW Concept 101 - man using tools signifies craftsmanship
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BMW Concept 101 - man using tools signifies craftsmanship
BMW Concept 101 is a fine looking tourer
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BMW Concept 101 is a fine looking tourer
BMW Concept 101 - should stack up well against Honda's naked Goldwing
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BMW Concept 101 - should stack up well against Honda's naked Goldwing
BMW Concept 101 - great for leaning on
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BMW Concept 101 - great for leaning on
BMW Concept 101 - about to be interrogated
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BMW Concept 101 - about to be interrogated
BMW Concept 101 - dramatic looks enhanced by carbon, brushed aluminium and wood inlays
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BMW Concept 101 - dramatic looks enhanced by carbon, brushed aluminium and wood inlays
BMW Concept 101 - wood inlays in the fairings add a touch of class
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BMW Concept 101 - wood inlays in the fairings add a touch of class
BMW Concept 101 - looks beautifully finished
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BMW Concept 101 - looks beautifully finished
BMW Concept 101 receives its BMW badge
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BMW Concept 101 receives its BMW badge
BMW Concept 101 - austere and powerful looking back end
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BMW Concept 101 - austere and powerful looking back end
View gallery - 33 images

BMW doesn't mess around with its concept bikes. If they make waves, the bikes tend to make it to production. People loved the Concept 90 in 2013, and it quickly became the very popular R NineT production bike. Likewise, the Concept Roadster provided a blueprint for the updated R 1200 R that was released this year. Both these concepts were debuted at the Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este in Como, Italy, and versions of both made it to production quick smart. So this year's effort, the Concept 101, should not be looked upon as a flight of fancy.

Designed in collaboration with famous American custom builder Roland Sands, Concept 101 uses the smooth and powerful 1649cc 6-cylinder engine from the K1600GT tourer. In cubic inches, that comes out close to 101, hence the bike's name. I doubt that this bike is targeted towards Myanmar or Liberian riders, so the use of inches is a very clear sign that whatever this concept becomes, it is aimed squarely at the United States. BMW intends to break into the American cruiser market, and to do it in style.

BMW Concept 101 - see-through engine covers
BMW Concept 101 - see-through engine covers

Much is made in the promo materials of Concept 101's hand crafted touches, with the wood inlays in the fairings being the standout here. They do add a nice touch to the design, reminiscent of the use of wood in high-end luxury car interiors. Although as soon as wood colors start getting introduced on big tourers, I can't help but recall some of the kack-brown Goldwings of the 1980s.

BMW Concept 101 - dramatic looks enhanced by carbon, brushed aluminium and wood inlays
BMW Concept 101 - dramatic looks enhanced by carbon, brushed aluminium and wood inlays

Beyond the looks of the thing, The K1600 engine makes a fantastic touring mill, and while it won't deliver some of the sensual excitement of a throbbing Harley v-twin, it will certainly outperform it with a mountain of torque and superior performance when the pace comes up. Likewise, BMW knows its stuff when it comes to touring ergonomics, so the 101 can be expected to be a great mile muncher. All that remains to be seen is what the production version will look like, and how it's going to be received by the American touring market.

Certainly, it's a heck of a step forward from the last cruiser BMW produced.

Source: BMW

View gallery - 33 images
6 comments
Knife
Re the K1600 bagger, the exhausts are beyond hideous, and the wood body inserts look like they're out of a 70s car (very ugly). Otherwise, not too bad.
pwndecaf
It looks a bit like that Honda thing that they called a "scooter," but a bit less weird. And bigger!
Loz
I love your thinking there Galane! I do have a vague memory of Australian Motorcycle News getting involved in a Goldwing Cup race series or something like that maybe 9 or 10 years ago. This kind of foolishness really does make the world go round. :)
Dave Andrews
Wow. I usually don't care much for BMW bikes, but this is sweet! I'd prefer round pipes, but I can live with that.
ChrisLeavitt
I bet BMW makes the wood trim optional, and any biker knows that stock silencers rarely remain on bikes for very long... aftermarket pipes will be available. My question is, how will the passenger remain confidently seated when her seat slopes to the rear? Looking at the rider's seat, though, it looks very comfortable, designed to cradle the upper thighs...