EICMA: Six-Cylinder for BMW K-Series Debuts in Prototype

Publish Date: 
Nov 10, 2009

Designed and laid out as a straight-six, the engine also opens up new dimensions in motorcycling in terms of supremacy, power reserves, performance and running refinement.

Output of the new six-cylinder will be in approximately the same range as on BMW's 1.3-litre straight-four power units. Torque, on the other hand, will be right at the top of the range, even in comparison with the largest motorcycle engines, such superior power and muscle coming inter alia from engine capacity of no less than 1.6 litres.

The engine's power and performance characteristics are equally impressive, offering 130 Nm or 96 lb-ft of torque from just 2,000 rpm and at the same time revving up almost to 9,000 rpm – a dynamic potential quite unparalleled in the tourer segment. This alone qualifies the engine of the Concept 6 as the ideal power unit for a wide range of different motorcycles.

Environmental compatibility and all-round economy re-defined.

The Concept 6 shows the absolute supremacy of its six-cylinder drive system also in ecological and economic terms. Fuel consumption of this six-cylinder naturally equipped with a fully controlled catalytic converter is lower than on a comparable four-cylinder under normal touring conditions. The use of E-gas technology (ride-by-wire) then offers further potentials for enhanced fuel economy and riding dynamics throughout a wide range of different riding modes and conditions. And last but not least in this context, the straight-six power unit featured in the Concept 6 offers long inspection intervals through the use of cup tappets controlling the engine valves.

Dynamic and powerful design in Café Racer style.

Supremacy and dynamism are also borne out clearly by the thrilling design of the Concept 6 and, as usual, this project from BMW Motorrad is more than "just" the attempt to develop a motorcycle of a kind never seen before.

Working on Concept 6, the designers at BMW Motorrad have therefore focused yet again on technical function and quality and, in particular, the emotional element bringing together man and machine. Their rule, quite simply, is that a motorcycle must not only follow the laws of functionality, but also arouse emotion in all its facets. In a nutshell, therefore, the machine must be simply thrilling.

Precisely this is why the design of the Concept 6 focuses in particular on the powerful straight-six engine as the heart of the machine. Conceived as a mixture of classic and modern styling elements in motorcycle construction, the Concept 6, with its long front end and short rear, takes up the design language of the legendary Café Racer. Powerful and muscular, the body elements extend around the power unit finished in a special platinum colour, presenting the engine almost adoringly from every angle.

Smooth and soft lines ensure fully organic integration of the power unit within the machine, while at the same time they create a powerful, exciting and dynamic contrast to the sharply contoured front and rear ends.

The so-called Split Face, a well-known design element of the latest models from BMW Motorrad, extends smoothly from the front of the fairing all along the top of the fuel tank made of carbon-fibre, again confirming the high technological standard of the Concept 6 and forming an exciting contrast to the outer shell in aluminium with its white layers. The division into three sections created by the Split Face is further accentuated at the front by the LED headlight integrated longitudinally in the machine in its rod shape and by the slender LED rear light extending far up into the seat hump.

The powerful and supreme character of the Concept 6 is also underscored by the six-chamber exhaust system complete with sidepipes and the strong presence of the intake ducts again finished in platinum look. Aerodynamic components such as the twin-tipped engine spoiler and the air guide elements derived from the design of the new S 1000 RR Supersports, on the other hand, bridge the gap between functional and clearly visible technology, on the one hand, and the soft and smooth design of other body elements, on the other.

Innovative suspension technology and equipment

The suspension of the BMW Motorrad Concept 6 is built around a light-alloy bridge frame as well as Duolever and lightweight Paralever arms holding and guiding the wheels front and rear. Seventeen-inch HP forged wheels as well as the extra-large brake system with its six-piston fixed callipers emphasise the sporting look of the new machine and its high level of technology.

The outstanding supremacy of the Concept 6 and its drivetrain is also reflected by details such as the instrument panel intentionally kept in minimalist design but nevertheless completely equipped with all the instruments and gauges required. While a digital display performs its usual function of clearly presenting road speed, there is intentionally no rev counter on account of the supreme flow of power at all speeds. So instead of a conventional rev counter, a LED display shows the rider at all times how much torque is readily available whenever required.

Posted by Arlo Redwine