Is BMW about to put the 9cento concept into production?

Earlier this year, when BMW showed off its 9cento concept at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, we wondered how long it would take until it hit production. Now, we’re fairly certain it’s coming soon.

This certainty is thanks to spy photographers, who are at it again, shooting what appears to be a BMW F850 sport touring prototype as it’s put through its paces somewhere in Europe.

In keeping with tradition, we expected an F850 GT sport tourer soon; after all BMW had a parallel twin-powered sport tourer in the lineup for years. But when BMW showed off the 9cento in the spring, it announced it as “a look ahead to what an exciting new Adventure Sport model might look like.” In other words, this machine will be much more similar in concept to the S1000 XR adventure bike than it is to the R1250 RT.

The prototype that was spotted in Europe is basically a blacked-out version of the concept seen above, with hard bags, and an unconcerned rider. Hrm … if we were riding a top-secret prototype, we’d be a little more concerned about being spotted, we’d think …