Mumbai: Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este is a yearly event where classic motorcycles and cars from across the world come together on the shores of Lake Como, Italy. At this year’s exhibition, held from 25 to 27 May 2018, BMW Motorrad showcased its latest sports-touring machine, the Concept 9cento, pronounced as 'nove cento'. BMW says the motorcycle is built to be an ideal companion to traverse serpentine Alpine passes or narrow rural alleyways, or just to be parked outside of a café and look pretty.
The German marquee has ensured that the concept is not only elegantly designed but is also usable. "Functional properties such as touring capability, storage space, and wind/weather protection are relevant to most motorcyclists but they're rarely included in the design of a concept vehicle. In this year's concept bike, we're demonstrating that all these rational aspects can be coupled with a dynamic design to create something really exciting and highly emotional," says Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design, BMW Motorrad.
If you see the overall silhouette of the motorcycle, the mass-forward design coupled with the sleek high-set rear, reek of sportiness. However, the ergonomics of the slightly raised handlebar and upright seating position reveal the possibility of easy mile-munching. Even the clip-on panniers on the sides are designed to sit flush with the design of the motorcycle. The double case not only offers storage space but also extends the seating area for the passenger. It is hooked into the rear carrier from above if required, and there is a powerful electromagnet that attaches the element securely to the lower section of the rear carrier.
This time, BMW has symmetrically designed the angular LED headlights with LED DRLs. Adorning the headlamps is a tall windscreen that will keep wind blasts at bay. The fuel tank wears a reflective chrome paintwork and the hovering side panel has a Pure Metal Silver finish. On all-aluminum parts such as the central tank cover, the rear carrier, and the footrest holder, the milling is directed towards the front wheel to complement the sporty design.
Speaking about the motorcycle, Heinrich commented: “It doesn't always have to be about 'bolder, bigger, and brighter’ nowadays: this concept bike focuses on achieving a sense of balance.”
He further explains: “We've created a bike that combines the appropriate power with reliable sports touring properties and above all lots of riding fun, so it's an attractive overall package. It brings together the best of the sports, adventure and touring segments to produce an exciting concept – in a class which has not seen this kind of model from BMW before. The BMW Motorrad Concept 9cento is our interpretation of a modern all-rounder for the new mid-range segment.”
BMW Motorrad has tweaked the upside down front forks and rear monoshock for touring, with its long travel tuned for ride comfort. The frame triangle of this concept is reinforced with Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic (CFRP), linking the front trim to the rear aluminum carrier. At the rear, the carrier is milled and designed for weight-reduction, as well. The motorcycle comes to a halt using dual front discs with Brembo radial calipers, and a disc for the rear wheel.
While the manufacturer has not revealed the details of the bike’s powerplant, we suspect it could be the BMW F 850 GS’ liquid-cooled, 853cc, inline twin-cylinder mill. In the GS, it pushes out 95.1PS at 8,250rpm and 92Nm at 6,250rpm. Expect the powerplant to be tweaked for a sportier demeanor in this concept.
To complete the look, BMW Motorrad has designed two riding jackets made of a combination of leather and Kevlar fabric. The Sports variant of the jacket comes with 3D-printed protectors, and the Touring variant comes in a soft leather finish, for urban use. Overall, the Concept 9cento not only has looks that can kill but is capable of going the distance too. Now, that’s a wholesome motorcycle!