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BMW 9cento Concept; Is This the Future of Sport Touring?

Unveiled at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, the 9cento concept is BMW’s take on the future of sport touring … powered by the mid-displacement, 798cc parallel-twin. Here is what Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design for BMW Motorrad, has to say about the 9cento:

“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. … Functional properties such as touring capacity, 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.”

To MD, it looks like a light, comfortable, fun ride. To have a look at more pictures and information, go to BMW Blog or BMW Motorrad.

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Dave says:

    Looks like BMW’s answer to the Duke 790. Nice, but I would add a little more Seat.
    I have 2016 F800r and it’s hidden treasure.

  2. BoxerFan says:

    Looks like a mechanical insect, AKA a Michael Bay movie Decepticon, WAY too over-styled, as is R1200RS, and most modern bikes. Detachable bags are a nice concept, but the bags have to be actually useable when attached, not just a gimmick. dirty, greasy chain drive, high-beak, not-quite-an-adventure-bike stance…

    Not sure what makes this bike attractive, or particularly a BMW… I’d rather return to the PAST of sport touring, and buy a nice used R1100S, with some add-on saddle bags, or something like it.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Last pic. Loose chain. I’m bored.

  4. Not a fan… Sorry BMW. At what point would I want to unplug the fenders and sit on the bicycle seat and why ?

  5. hardman says:

    I’m struggling with the “sport touring” aspect when the detachable “bags” might hold a rainsuit, bottle of water and a few granola bars. However it is only a concept.

    • Snake says:

      Sadly, I’ll agree. My first impression was “again, the same 800cc twin rather than a 900”, but then I hit those last set of photos. Said sadly, that’s a nice set of gloveboxes you’ve got there.

      Love the concept besides those two points, though, I’d buy it. I’m sick of overly-large bikes and really, and I mean REALLY, am actually looking forward to the proposed new generations of turbo and supercharged mid-displacement bikes – all the fun, less size and weight. What’s not to like??!! So, wish list: “midsize” but more than 90HP and NO HIGHWAY BUZZ, please, plus both adequate storage space and fuel range.

  6. rider33 says:

    what is it of late with BMW and bikes missing a back end? 9T’s do the same thing, 90% of the mass is from the fuel tank forward, move and inch or two back on the seat and it feels like you might fall off. The T’s have done well as a line, my guess would be that has more with BMW getting back to basics than it does with ass-less design.

  7. Anonymous says:

    There is a huge amount of room for much larger side bags (both under and as wide as you want) along with a top case. Brackets could be removable. Then you are back to light and sporty. If BMW did not offer it, the aftermarket could.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The passenger peg hangers are bigger than the passenger seat itself!

  9. bike rider says:

    My first thought: Remember that fiberglass carnival-style motorcycle or car sitting in front of a Kmart? Insert a quarter, push the button, and your kid got to rock on it for a couple minutes.

  10. Vrooom says:

    I was wondering how they were going to put bags on this thing. It would be nice if they were a bit bigger, as your standard Givi monokey bags aren’t mounting on this. Looks light and fun to ride if the engine is decent.

  11. John says:

    The whole chicken tail thing needs to go. There is zero reason for all of that real wheel clearance. And just looking at the seat makes my butt hurt. That said, 800cc is all I need for a ST, though calling in the 9cento makes me assume the design is for the new engine, not the old.

    Actually, what could be cool if all of the unused space under there were able to be removable storage, but the bags they are showing simply don’t store much of anything. They should call it a “Race Tourer” since it is about that practical.

  12. Marty says:

    Nice looking, but….I like the red beak/green eyes idea. Modular bags could be a bit larger. Is 250 miles a day really touring? Releasing the butt to seat suction would be time consuming.
    It does look like a good around town or day trip bike

  13. Frank says:

    Very nice looking everyday ride. Commuter, week-end pleasure, etc…

  14. PBrasseur says:

    Yet they have a perfectly capable new 850Cc engine for the GS, why not use that for a new GT?

  15. Neal says:

    The F800GT was heavy and soft, this might indicate a harder edged successor on the way. I liked my F800GT but felt like it was holding back my more enthusiastic riding and its engine was dull. I could be down for something like this.

    • todd says:

      BMW tried that with the F800S. It sold very poorly. This bike does not look like what I consider a sport-tourer (K75S being the best in my eyes – it’s the 50-50est mid-cap bike). This is more like a FZ07 with a half fairing, which wouldn’t be bad.

  16. todd says:

    How is this a better sport-touring bike than the F800RS/GT? Seems like a couple steps down.

  17. stan says:

    Muddy oily road grime sprayed all up your back is the new norm?

  18. DN in NV says:

    Is it just me, or does this just look like a bobbered S1000XR? The resemblance is uncanny! This is good news for the motorrad fans looking for a smaller displacement S1000XR.

  19. James says:

    Where is the center-stand?

  20. skybullet says:

    Consider this is a concept and not a production version. The look will appeal to some who would see themselves as occasional solo weekend tourers. If optional bags were deeper they could double the capacity and a top box could add much more volume. I like the lighter weight/better handling/accelerating/easier to push around design flexibility. New designs need to differentiate from what is already on the market.

  21. turnergande says:

    Paint the end of the beak red and the eyes green and it will look even more interesting as a style statement

  22. joe b says:

    Whats really important, is can you see the tank seams?

  23. Gary says:

    Uhhhh …… no. I’ll stick with my R1200RT.

  24. Pete says:

    It should say: “KTM wuz here” on it.

  25. Baggerchris says:

    Perhaps designs like this are the reason sales are down overall.

    What ever happened to beautiful bikes?

    • John says:

      Once upon a time BMW made the most beautiful bikes in the world. The idea of being at one with your environmet and flowing serenely through space is lost with their current so-called designs. The designs are fundamentally at odds with the intended use. They might look “cool” on a computer screen but someone is just not able to think wholistically about creating something with soul.

    • Oilhead says:

      Ah, that’s why an R1100RT remains in my stable. To me, it’s a beautiful waterfall of art-deco plastic. And un-compromised comfort.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I think the Ducati Supersport with bags is a much better looking design and it’s not a concept,it’s a reality,although the modular hard bags are a great idea!

  27. takehikes says:

    I presume the designers get a bonus based on how much air they can put between the rear tire and fender? I’m not buying new again until the damn look of these things gets back to having even the tiniest bit of style. Screw some of the performance and high tech specs for some damn good looks. What an abortion to the eyes.

  28. Joseph says:

    For the last few decades, motorcycle designers all over the world have lost their ability to design a motorcycle from the petrol tank backwards.

  29. mechanicus says:

    That seat should cause a “buy” rating for Pfizer stock {Preparation H sales}.

  30. Jonathan says:

    Love it!!!

  31. Simon Jester says:

    It’s a freakin’ concept bike, it’s not meant to be practical! It’s cool looking and has some interesting mechanical and aesthetic elements but practicality and government joy killers will change the whole thing if they go that way.

  32. Auphliam says:

    That’s a sexy piece of machinery, although I do think the passenger pegs are a bit optimistic. Maybe good for picking up your 12year old from school, but no “significant other” is going to Tour on those accommodations, sport or nay. Looks like great fun otherwise.

  33. Artem says:

    That thing resembles insects from that famous french cartoon. “Time Masters”

  34. Wendy says:

    Grumpy old person here, that seat looks brutal.

  35. Jim says:

    Sargent and Corbin will love this bike.

  36. Price says:

    Pretty cool. Perhaps they’ll call it Hyperstrada.

  37. Kjazz says:

    Very cool looking bike!!!! But not a tourer……day trips at best.

  38. Dino says:

    Nice looking? check. Sporty? probably.
    Touring, Not the way most rigs I see, including my own.. Really? 47 gallons of air above that rear tire, and cool looking clip on bags?
    For the guys that tour light, and think it is fine, cool. Probably just touring from hotel to hotel, and that is fine too. I travel heavy, as in “prepared”. I ride in any weather, so rain gear, and cold weather layers. I camp, so that means tent, sleeping bag, etc. I guess I could lash all that extra stuff to the top of the bags with bungeees, but that kind of defeats the purpose of the bags, eh?

  39. red says:

    I understand you can tour on anything and people do. But this looks not at all purpose built for “sport touring”. Pretty cool looking though.

    I bet those bags work out to some obscene amount of $/liter of storage.

    • Bart says:

      I call it “credit card touring.” Nothing wrong with that, been there/done it myself. Until something goes wrong outside of service area, then the adventure begins!

      They could put a full-face helmet locker between the shock and rear tire of this concept bike.

      The edgy small “man-purse” bags will look like hell after being knocked around on a few trips. They are way too small, try again. No room for travel stickers either.

      Offer an option for Bluetooth LED screens on the sides of each pannier, to roll through digital hero-shots and BMW ads, electronic farkle for the connected rider.

  40. Mike Simmons says:

    They focused on the “sport” and ignored the “touring”. The seat would be comfy enough for maybe a 100 miler. The luggage would carry a couple of pair of clean skivvies and an extra pack of cigarettes. When riding in the rain, your backside and nether regions would be soaked. Sorry, not enough “touring” for me. A nice styling exercise though…

  41. turnergande says:

    Presume a chain guard will be available as an accessory

  42. Sean says:

    If you’re touring to Starbucks, sure. Any final design will not resemble this. The rear subframe cannot carry the implied passenger and gear.

  43. Ahwen says:

    Clearly, these so-called designers never ride their “creations” on a dirty, wet road!

  44. beasty says:

    Sport touring!? Gethefugoutahere.

  45. marloweluke says:

    Nice bike, but why not use the new 850cc BMW motor?

  46. Mark says:

    Modular bags from BMW only $2100 US.

  47. PD says:

    I like it. One thing about saddlebags, they’re hard to throw a leg over.

  48. kawatwo says:

    What about the passenger 🙂 If you are solo touring and they offered larger bags and a top box then OK but if want to carry a passenger not sure how they would pull that off. Still, I like the concept.

  49. Jeremy in TX says:

    I think it is a very attractive motorcycle. Aside from mirrors and blinkers, it looks to be practically production ready.

  50. Bozo says:

    The first time I saw an FZ09–similar to this bike in that the rear end is lopped
    off–was while on a freeway. A really HEAVY guy was riding it.

    Honestly, my first thought was “it looks like the guy has a motorcycle stuck up his butt.”
    So I don’t think it is a flattering look.

  51. RyYYZ says:

    While I have doubts about the utility of the pictured luggage, I quite like the look of it. Sporty, light.

  52. WBond says:

    I like that design a lot. Great for 1-2 day trip. Looks very nimble and love the handlebar and pedal placement.

  53. Neil says:

    Enough room for underwear. Add a tank bag. Good to go. Travel light. I don’t like bikes packed full of stuff anyway. Helps tank slappers. Reminds me a bit of the Honda Crossrunner.

    • Tom R says:

      Agreed. Show this to those whining about reduced luggage capacity of the new Gold Wing.

  54. mmytacist says:

    Seriously? $.09 – Oh?

  55. ATBScott says:

    Nice. sporty looking ride – but those bags will be enough for maybe a night or two when you are staying in hotels and traveling light… Not a camping machine for a week or two trip, at least as shown here… Could it be set-up to be a “modular” bike that has sub-sections that can be changed for sport/commute use, and then add a different rear-end and have it be a week-long tourer?

    • Bob K says:

      Modularity is great at the production level for the ability to make many (slightly) different models at higher profit margins.
      Modularity at the consumer level simply means shelling out more $$$$, although it is less expensive than 2 different purpose built bikes. But then, you still have a jack of all trades bike that isn’t exactly “great” at anything. Not a great tourer, not a great sport bike.

    • RyYYZ says:

      I don’t think they’re even enough for that, unless you’re a very light traveler. I don’t think what I consider basic essentials for an overnight trip would fit in those. For example: can of chain lube. Can of spray cleaner (for faceshield). Various cloths and such. Street shoes (maybe). Toiletries. Extra sweater or jacket liner. Those things look like they might fit a pair of gloves and a small bottle of water. Still, no reason they couldn’t do something similar, but bigger.

  56. Dave says:

    Cool looking modular hard bags. They’ll need a larger size, perhaps with an accommodation for a top-box to appease the longer trippers.

    Bike looks pretty good, too. It’ll get a little more pedestrian looking when it acquires real fenders & such.

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