BMW Motorrad signals some serious intent with the Concept 101 cruiser.
BMW usually have their plans sorted out and now, they are making a big play for the American cruiser market with their newest tourer, Concept 101. Flash and pizazz reside in abundance in the split tail lights and the long chrome exhaust pipes of this motorcycle.
The design was conceived in conjunction with renowned custom bike builder, Roland Sands. Sitting atop BMW’s famous 1649 cc engine, Concept 101 has streaks of wood on the fairing and the fuel tank. Even the chrome adds to the nostalgia, making the bike look like a relative of the star of touring in the 1980s, the Honda Goldwing.
The Concept 101 received a rousing applause when it was introduced at Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Como, Italy. This has also been the scene of many previous triumphs for BMW motorcycles, for instance when Concept 90 was unveiled here in 2013. A year later, it went into production as the R NineT production bike.
With These Two Hands
Most of the Concept 101 is handcrafted – a major attraction for biking enthusiasts. The wood panelling on the sides is a throwback to times when interiors of Cadillacs had the same mahogany coloured wood inserts. These little kitschy touches blend in the old with the essence of Americana.
Aside from the glamorous exterior, BMW will most definitely have better ergonomics than most American cruisers. In fact, at the performance top end, it should also outstrip the legendary Harley V-twin. The engine, though not as visceral as a free revving sportbike, is still a master at keeping pace. Miles just go by with such effortless transmission.
Whether it succeeds or not is a byline, but there is no doubt that, with the concept 101, BMW have put their best foot forward. With class oozing from every strip of metal and the famous badge, it should not be a hard sell. But the American motorcyclist is a tough nut to read.