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the concept 6 – bmw 1600cc inline-six motorcycle

Dig this scooter, folks. It’s the Concept 6 by BMW that was presented at the EICMA show in Milan last week.

BMW is renowned for the inline-six motors for their automobiles but the Concept 6 is a new venture for Bemmer in regards to motorcycles. They admit that, “while a few engines in straight-six configuration have indeed been fitted in motor­cycles both lengthwise and crosswise, the straight-six has never really made a genuine breakthrough on production models nor in motorcycle racing.”

BMW seeks to change the past of the inline-six with this concept bike. They state that the new engine “proves that a straight-six, benefiting from the most advanced construction and production technology, may offer not only unique prestige, but also a supreme standard of riding dynamics.” Prestige, huh? Looks like history-making motorcycles are about to roll out of Berlin.

The engine has hollow-bore camshafts and very light connecting rods and does not possess a balancing shaft, shaving pounds from the engine. The 55-degree forward tilt pf the motor helps keep the center of gravity low.

BMW further states that this motor will soon expand their K-Series. The first model to be introduced will be an “innovative and luxurious BMW touring machine.” Sounds like a flagship bike to me. That bike is going to kick *** if these photos tell anything about how aggressive Beemer designs are going. Hopefully too, they will manufacture a bike similar to the one shown here.

From BMW’s press release:
“High-tech lightweight construction in all areas serves to make the power unit relatively light from the outset, important components in this context being the two hollow-drilled camshafts and the very light connecting rods. The perfect compensation of masses ensured by the configuration and layout of the engine avoids the need for a balance shaft and its drive elements on the new straight-six, which again means lower weight and enhanced running smoothness.”

The engine’s performance characteristics are freaking impressive, offering 96 lb-ft of torque from just 2,000 rpm while still being able to run at almost 9,000 rpm. That’s a wickedly dynamic potential unparalleled in the tourer segment. Harley? Honda? Victory? Just 1600 cubic centimeters in six small inline cylinders for all that torque. Imagine what a custom fuel map and exhaust will give you. This alone qualifies the engine of the Concept 6 as the ideal power unit for a wide range of different motorcycles.

The BMW press release also says the bike was conceived as a mixture of classic and modern styling elements in motorcycle construction and with its long front end and short rear, the Concept 6 takes up the design language of the legendary Café Racer. With powerful and muscular design, the body elements extend around the motor, finished in a special platinum color, presenting the engine prominently from every angle.

I don’t normally like sportbike design, and although BMW is calling this a cafe, I think that’s reaching a little but what the ****, it looks great. I’d strip off the little blue wings and call it pretty badass. Can’t wait to see this motor paired with a touring machine.

[EDIT 02.01.11]

The Concept 6 has won the most prestigious design award in the world, the GOOD DESIGN award. The award is the world’s oldest and most distinguished. It was created in Chicago in 1950 by the architects Eero Saarinen, Charles and Ray Eames and Edgar Kaufmann Jr.

The BMW Concept 6 design persuaded the jury with its highly contrasting composition; while the lower half of the motorcycle reveals its mechanical underpinnings, the “sensually tactile surfaces” invite some close interaction with the driver. The two levels are fused by an organically designed air flow system.

The Concept 6 motorbike will be exhibited as part of the annual GOOD DESIGN SHOW in June, 2011 at the Chicago Athenaeum.


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One comment

  1. I would buy this for my husband for Valentines Day……if I could

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