The ‘Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este’ is an annual competition for classic and vintage vehicles held on the shores of Lake Como in Italy. This automobile extravaganza is also the venue for some of the most elegant looking cars and motorcycle exhibition. Therefore, at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza, BMW Motorrad took the center stage to unveil their new adventure sports bike called ‘Concept 9cento’ (pronounced as ‘nove cento’) to the media.
At first stance, this adventure motorcycle looks agile and light from its compact silhouette. “It doesn’t always have to be about ‘bolder, bigger, brighter’ nowadays: this concept bike focuses on achieving a sense of balance,” says Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design BMW Motorrad. “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,” explains Heinrich, and he adds: “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.”
Aesthetically, the bike looks promising and its proportions simply make you want to get on and ride off. The striking dual headlamp, windscreen, fuel tank, frame and the hovering side panels highlight the focus on the direction of travel. Here, the side panels are decorated in pure metal silver which is habitual for the Motorrad adventure segment and all aluminium parts on rest of the motorcycle. Towards the front, the headlight features two symmetrical lamps with iconic LED DRLs in the lower section with a flat, dynamic U shape, while two compacts LED lenses on each side provide the low and high beam. This lighting design is unique for BMWs which is easily recognisable from a distance. At the rear, it is just distinctive as the front lights which are integrated underneath the seat.
Under the skin, Concept 9cento features CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer) based triangle frame which helps in reducing the overall weight of the motorcycle. The chassis has been designed in a such a way that it links the three-dimensional design of the front trim to rear aluminium carrier. The suspension set up of the vehicle is just ideal for the touring with long spring travel. Furthermore, upright riding posture enables perfect riding fun over long distances.
Innovative storage space is another highlight of this motorcycle. This storage space comprises a clip-on case element which offers storage space and it also extends the seating area for the pillion. Thereby, the system provides two functional versions for the same bike. With the cases on, 9cento is transformed into a touring motorcycle capable enough to carry two people. On the other hand, without the case, it has the maximum agility and sporty feel that a rider demands from a Motorrad.
Interestingly, two motorcycling jackets have been developed by the makers that go with the Concept 9cento. It has been made with the refined mixture of leather and kevlar fabrics. The ‘Sport’ model features black, blue and white colours while ‘Touring’ gets light grey colour, which is a soft leather with high-quality feel. Both jackets bear the “9cento” signet clearly visibly, thereby rounding off the presentation of the BMW Motorrad Concept Bike at the Concorso d’Eleganza 2018.