Meet BMW’s meaty new six pack which has been unveiled at the EICMA show in Milan. Dubbed the Concept 6, the futuristic cafe racer is powered by a stonking straight-six unit which the German company promises us will be the motorcycle equivalent of a fist wrapped in silk.
We think this is a cracking design, but what are your thoughts on the concept? More details below from the official press release. For more image check out the gallery.
BMW Motorrad Concept 6
Six-cylinder power units have always had particular appeal, offering not only supreme smoothness and refinement, but also superior power and performance as well as a truly emotional driving – or, in this case, riding – experience.
A further point is that the typical sound of a straight-six almost like a turbine is absolutely incomparable, with straight-six power units at BMW having stood for fascinating engine technology in BMW cars for more than seven decades.
Looking at motorcycles, inventive engineers have tried time and again to offer the enthusiast the thrilling concept of a straight-six power unit. But 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 neither on production models nor in motorcycle racing.
Depending on the way the engine was fitted, six cylinders in-line inevitably made the engine either very long or very wide, creating disadvantages in terms of the running gear, weight distribution, and the centre of gravity. A further drawback was much higher engine weight usually setting off the benefits of extra engine power.
The new BMW straight-six will further expand the K-Series in the foreseeable future. The first model to be introduced will be an innovative and luxurious BMW touring machine. Reflecting the tradition of the BMW K-Series, this will of course be a genuine top-of-the-line product.
Highly compact and dynamic six-cylinder
The starting point for this dynamic introduction of the straight-six in the new Concept 6 from BMW Motorrad is of course the extremely compact form and configuration of the engine. The power unit is approximately 100mm or 4-inches slimmer than all former straight-six production engines and only a bit wider than a large-capacity straight-four with conventional technology.
The reduction in width is achieved in particular by the slightly over-square bore: stroke ratio with relatively long stroke and very small gaps between cylinders. To achieve this very compact configuration with minimum width, the electrical ancillaries and their drive components are positioned behind the crankshaft in the open space above the transmission.
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.
In its layout, the straight-six featured in the Concept 6 follows the well-known straight-four in the K 1300 model series, again coming with cylinders tilted to the front by 55 degrees. This ensures not only a low centre of gravity, but also very good weight balance as an element essential above all under sporting conditions for precise feeling and clear feedback from the front.
A further advantage is that the tilted engine provides extra space for the aerodynamically positioned intake manifold directly above the engine and allows ideal configuration of the frame profiles following the flow of power.
Running refinement and performance
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 of torque from just 2 000 r/min and at the same time revving up almost to 9 000 r/min – 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.
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.