Thursday, August 5, 2010
BMW Brings Six Cylinders to Two Wheels
* By Chuck Squatriglia Email Author
* July 6, 2010 |
* 8:00 am |
* Categories: Motorcycles, Performance
No one builds six-cylinder engines like BMW. They’re smooth, they’re powerful and they’ve got loads of torque. Having used them with great success in automobiles, Bayerische Motoren Werke is finally putting them in motorcycles.
The boys in Bavaria have released some technical info and renderings of the new machines, which we got a glimpse of as the sexy Concept 6 sportbike last fall and the guys at Hell for Leather spied as a full-dress long-haul machine aimed at the Honda Gold Wing.
Turns out the big block will appear in two bikes — the sport-touring K 1600 GT and the continent-crossing K 1600 GTL.
The 24-valve straight-six engine will put down 160 horsepower and 129 pound feet of torque at 5,000 RPM. A full 70 percent of that grunt is available at just 1,500 RPM. BMW says the engine weighs 226 pounds and is just 22 inches wide. Throttle control is ride-by-wire, a system BMW calls E-Gas.
Bikes these big are invariably heavy, and while BMW didn’t say what they’ll weigh it did note that the front panel carrier is magnesium, the rear subframe and crank are aluminum, etc.
Of course they ride on the Duolever front suspension and Paralever rear. They’ve got antilock brakes, and you can get dynamic traction control and the Electronic Suspension Adjustment system that allows on-the-fly tweaking. There’s also an optional adaptive headlight that changes the shape of the beam to better illuminate corners, and a multi-function, multi-color thin-film transitor LCD display. That’s a first for motorcycles.
This isn’t the first time someone’s stuffed a six between two wheels — Honda’s awesome CBX-1000 from 1978 comes to mind, and the big Goldwing uses an 1,800-cc boxer six. But these big Beemers may be the closest you’ll come to driving a 3-series with two wheels.
No word yet on just when we’ll see the bikes or what they’ll cost, but the K 1200 LT super-tourer goes for $21,700.
The K 1600 GTL is designed for long-haul touring. Don’t blink. You’ll miss Montana.
Six cylinders, 160 horsepower, 129 pound feet. Sweet.
The engine from the other side.
Read More http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/07/bmw-six-cylinder-motorcycle/#ixzz0vlM5OB6I