Cernobbio, Italy - The annual Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, held since 1929 in the grounds of the Villa d’Este Hotel in Cernobbio on the shores of Italy’s Lake Como, sees the rarest and most elegant classic cars and motorcycles gathered to compete in a number of concours categories.
But Europe’s most prestigious concours doesn’t only look to the past - it also looks to the future, with one of the lawns dedicated to unique state-of-the-art show cars and concepts. And among this year’s self-consciously PC electric prototypes and self-driving car-sharing concepts was this unashamedly hedonistic, fully functional concept motorcycle.
The BMW 9cento (pronounced ‘nove cento’ - nine hundred in Italian) is intended as an old school all-rounder with the accent on agility and riding fun, a midweight sports-tourer without the burden of either excessive bulk or electronic interference - a balance of performance and compact rideability.
It’s based on the Rotax-built F-Series parallel twin, now displacing 853cc, and delivering 70kW at 8250 revs and 92Nm at 6250rpm, and brings together “appropriate power with reliable sports touring properties and above all lots of riding fun” according to BMW Motorrad head of design Edgar Heinrich.
"Functionalities such as storage space, and wind and weather protection are important to real-world riders,” he explained, “but they’re not usually considered in the design of a concept.”
“With this bike we want to show that all these rational aspects can go together with a dynamic design to create something exciting and emotional."