We present experimental results on inclusive spectra and mean multiplicities of negatively charged pions produced in inelastic p+p interactions at incident projectile momenta of 20, 31, 40, 80 and 158 GeV/ c ( s√= 6.3, 7.7, 8.8, 12.3 and 17.3 GeV, respectively). The measurements were performed using the large acceptance NA61/SHINE hadron spectrometer at the CERN super proton synchrotron. Two-dimensional spectra are determined in terms of rapidity and transverse momentum. Their properties such as the width of rapidity distributions and the inverse slope parameter of transverse mass spectra are extracted and their collision energy dependences are presented. The results on inelastic p+p interactions are compared with the corresponding data on central Pb+Pb collisions measured by the NA49 experiment at the CERN SPS. The results presented in this paper are part of the NA61/SHINE ion program devoted to the study of the properties of the onset of deconfinement and search for the critical point of strongly interacting matter. They are required for interpretation of results on nucleus–nucleus and proton–nucleus collisions.