BMW Unveils Concept 101 Bagger in Italy

Bryan Harley | May 22, 2015
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.

There’s no doubt the Concept 101 targets the U.S. market as company PR states the 101 stands for the engine’s 101 cubic-inch size, “the American unit of measurement for cylinder capacity.” The press release further states it was built at the design studios of the BMW Group subsidiary Designworks in Newbury Park, California, just off historic Highway 101.

The six-cylinder engine of Concept 101 currently powers BMW’s K1600GT sport-tourer. With abundant torque available early in the powerband, the six-cylinder producing a claimed 129 lb-ft at 5250 rpm, it will suit the cruiser-tourer segment well. Dual tailpipes with three chambers will “ensure the appropriate sound, making the potential of the 6-cylinder engine audible.” American riders love the rumble of their pipes, another indicator of the Concept 101’s target audience. Much of the machine’s inner workings are exposed thanks to Roland Sand Design’s Clarity-style covers, and the clutch cover, timing chain cover and wheels all fly the RSD logo.

The big front wheel is also a common trend in the American bagger scene, and Concept 101 sports a healthy front hoop. Of course, the BMW bagger will benefit from the Bavarian marque’s performance bend, as dual rotors handle braking duties on the front. We wouldn’t be surprised to see it equipped with Duolever suspension, too.

The bodywork is an interesting combination of brushed aluminum, carbon fiber, and milled wood. A low-seated smoked windscreen slopes back to an instrument panel complete with an integrated audio system, and boomin’ sound systems are another tip at its intended target. The hard saddlebags look fairly capacious and are styled to continue the flow established by the front bodywork. An upright riding triangle is formed by a large leather seat, mid-mounted footpegs and what look like RSD ProStep Handlebars.

BMW’s Concept 101 is obviously road-ready, so the million dollar question is when will BMW turn prototype into production? It would be the perfect motorcycle to pit against Honda’s Gold Wing F6B, the other performance bagger on the market. Hopefully we’ll be bringing you a BMW 101 Bagger First Ride article in the near future.

Bryan Harley

Cruiser Editor |Articles | Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it’s chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to ‘Merican, he rides ‘em all.