BMW Concept 101 – the K1600 bagger

Much-spied US-style touring version of the K1600 gets debut as a concept

USUALLY ‘concept’ bikes are intended to gauge public reaction before deciding whether or not to produce a new model but in the case of the new BMW Concept 101 that’s been turned on its head.

The firm’s plans to build a bagger-style tourer based on the K1600 and targeting the American market have been clear for more than a year, with spy shots of prototypes in various states cropping up on a regular basis. So the firm’s decision to show a concept version, the Concept 101, at the Villa d’Este concours event by Lake Como in Italy, is really a preview of the bike that will appear in production form soon.

The 101 name comes from the 101 cubic inch capacity (1649cc), which it shares with the K1600GT and GTL models that it’s based on. And apart from the oddly crude, 6th-form-metalwork exhaust pipe, the equally strange metal front mudguard and the appearance of the sort of wood veneer sides that you’d expect to see on a 1970s American station wagon, it’s pretty close to the production bike in its appearance.

While this is truly a bagger, with a cut-down screen and drooping tail, the prototypes spied on the road have a higher screen and a top box incorporating a passenger backrest. It’s quite likely that BMW will offer both variants – the more touring-oriented machine rivalling the Honda Goldwing while the bagger competes with the F6B.

See more pictures of the BMW Concept 101 here.

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