Horex Motorcycles Returns with New 1200cc VR6

Horex VR6 - 1200cc 15 degree V6

Horex VR6 - 1200cc 15 degree V6

Horex, a very old German motorcycle manufacturer, is returning and introducing an all new motorcycle, the Horex VR6. If you like engines with interesting designs, you'll love this bike. The VR6 engine, is a 15 degree V6 triple overhead cam, with 3 valves per cylinder and a crankshaft driven variable ratio supercharger. Power output is said to be 175 to 200 horsepower, probably dependent on the amount of supercharging. The width of the cylinder head cover is just under 17 inches, that's across both banks of cylinders! The 15 degree configuration makes for a very narrow V. The power of a 6 in an engine almost the size of an inline 3, very nice.

The valves are operated by three parallel camshafts mounted in the head. The center camshaft operates the exhaust valves in the rear cylinder bank as well as the intake valves in the front row of cylinders. The Horex TOHC (Triple Overhead Camshaft) concept is absolutely unique in modern motorcycle engineering.

Intake air flows through the frame:

The symmetrical port configuration between the cylinder banks positions all six intake ports in straight, parallel rows. Air is supplied through an air box centrally mounted above the engine. The air flows through a supercharger located behind the cylinder banks via special channels integrated into the bridge frame of the new Horex. This efficient and aesthetically compelling solution requires no additional airflow elements. The precisely controlled charge air is regulated by a central throttle on the airbox input. This eliminates the need for the complicated and troublesome synchronization of six separate air intakes.

Horex VR6 - 1200cc 15 degree V6

Horex VR6 - 1200cc 15 degree V6

The frame is aluminum with a steel steering head and 50mm upside down forks. The belt driven rear wheel is mounted on a single sided swingarm.

Weight is 526 pounds. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km / h (155 mph).

The company is all new but takes on the legendary name:

For the new VR bike project, Horex was the one and only brand seriously considered by Clemens Neese and his business partner Frank Fischer. From 1923 to 1956, the former Horex Automotive AG, a company based in Bad Homburg, Germany, introduced spectacular, high-performance motorcycles to the market, including the legendary models Regina and Imperator. The brand name changed hands several times after 1960. Compact-Bike Entwicklungs GmbH, the company founded by Neese and Fischer, negotiated for several years to secure the trademark rights. They signed a purchase option in 2007 and took over the Horex name and logo in 2009. "Horex is still today a very attractive, charismatic brand," says Neese. "From the very beginning, the
company's founder, Fritz Kleemann, focused on intelligent drive concepts and built innovative, premium-quality bikes. This tradition matches our vision of the new Horex motorcycle perfectly – like the final piece of a puzzle. And we are committed to upholding the Horex legacy."

Horex VR6

Horex VR6

The Horex will be manufactured in Germany and will go on sale in late 2011 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, expanding within Europe in 2012 and in following years will gradually extend to the USA and Japan. Horex is currently setting up their dealer network. The brand is going to be in the "premium" segment of the market. No price was mentioned.


Further thoughts: Some readers might be looking at those specs and remember there was another recent engine with a 15 degree V and triple overhead cams, the 4 cylinder 990cc engine for the Motoczysz C1. Interesting.


Thanks Tito, for the tip!

Horex VR6 - 1200cc 15 degree V6 engine layout

Horex VR6 - 1200cc 15 degree V6 engine layout

Link: Horex


  1. pabsyboots says

    The biker in me cheers at all these independant firms and the businessman in me shakes his head and wonders “what are they thinking ?!”
    otherwise known as: I really hope they make it but they won’t !
    love the baby V but I think the Honda VTR (4) makes a better use of their configuration for a super narrow waist

    • steven says

      Baby V? It’s a 1200cc, 6 cylinder. Agree with you on the VFR though, especially with the gear driven cam.

  2. Skizick says

    We had a Horex once back in the 60’s. When the verticle twin 350 Honda came out it looked like Honda liked the Horex engine too!

  3. joe says

    Great to see a new player in the market ,although the Horex name was used in the past.This bike looks like a brilliant piece of engineering and the overhaul design and asthetics are fantastic. I read they will sell for 18,000 euros in the German ,Swiss and Austrian markets to begin with ( cheaper than a Vmax ). Once production is ramped up they will be exported into other countries.

  4. Walt says

    Though it may ring clearly in Germany, the name Horex is only an echo for me. Kind of like NSU — built some great milestone bikes, but never much of a player in the US. For many like me the bike will have to win its success based not on history, but current performance. That said, if they can deliver 200 hp and 526 lbs in a bike that to me looks quite tidy and cool I say best of luck, guys. Beats Excelsior-Henderson hands down.

  5. Ian says

    Looks like the lovechild of a BT1100 Bulldog and a Brammo. Far too sterile and ‘product-like’ for me.

  6. Sportster Mike says

    Re: the comments on looks – yes, very conservative German design
    Reminds me of the Sachs 850 (a Suzuki engined roadster) that looked OK but in the end didn’t sell too well here in England either and that was a cheap-ish bike
    Only? 155mph from a bike with no fairing? better get the chest expanders out!
    Engine deserves to be in another chassis – how about a big tourer to out do the BMW ones? (oh no they’re German as well)
    Re: Mules comments: Is a just a CAD pic at the moment cos I can’t tell if its real or not?

  7. L.K. says

    @ Hugo: The rendering looks 100% better than the bike pictured, as you point out, a little lower and lighter and a little more retro in the right spots in my opinion.

  8. jim says

    Current sportbike styling leaves me a bit cold, but I hope this one goes into production, if only so my Swabian relatives can buy them. Great engineering; I’m sure it’ll be a winner. When the Germans set their minds to something, they do it right, and, except for a couple of regrettable events during the 20th century, it works out well.

  9. bikepixelguy says

    It’s got a good look, seems appropriate for a revival brand like Horex. Computer graphics have advanced to the point where even industry professionals often admit they find it hard to distinguish between 3D and reality. Having said that, I’ll venture out along the branch and say, that’s a 3D render. It’s very good. For a look at what’s currently available in 3D rendering software, check out this site – http://www.bunkspeed.com/gallery/

    Road and Track used this software to produce a 3D image for a cover shot.

  10. says

    Actually I know how good current CGI’s are but seeing a clay model of the Horex and the close-up of for instance this image (especially the headlight which is one of the most difficult parts in CGI): http://www.horex.com/fileadmin/user_upload/content/presse/bilder/hor_motorcycle_11.jpg
    makes me convince that it is real but a mock-up because some materials appear to be spray painted like the headers…

  11. Paulinator says

    There is a significant and (inconsistent) distance from the piston dome to the first compression ring. How does superior German technology deal with this compromise when plugging-in to the emissions monitor?

    Why not open the V angle to, say, a more natural 60 degrees, use the extra clearances to increase the bore/stroke/displacement immensely and loose the blower? I might have mentioned before that my 4300 lb mini-van (?) had a 3.8 V6 that measured 13 inches across the valve covers and made 245 ft.lbs of torque. That proven configuration produces 10 pounds of engine from a five pound block. I donno why it hasn’t been exploited by more bike builders/mfgs.

    I might have to take on another “doer” project (it’s on my list…right after maintaining my marriage).

  12. Woodman West says

    My 1st thought was, “Wow, what a great looking bike.” some is finally building a “normal” looking bike for normal folks. Others have expressed an opposite opinion.

    You could not give me a modern sport bike. Just too goofy looking for my taste. I guess that is why they make chocolate and vanilla!

  13. says

    re: chassis comments…

    As the text in the post points out, the chassis channels the air from the supercharger to the airbox. It also simplifies the top-end of the engine by eliminating 6 intakes.
    It wouldn’t take much to add cafe-styling to the above bike….which means the chassis works on standards or smaller genres, too.
    Motus and this bike are the coolest bikes going. Everything else is pushing the envelope within the realms of decades-old design (which is not completely bad).
    One criticism is the lack of character given to the external cam covers and the bland-ish “v” cover below it….this unique motor deserves better styling to those bits

  14. John says

    I like it a lot, looks and engineering, some just want to see the same old UJM and nothing else.

  15. Viv Collins says

    I am just thankful for the effort to make a bike actually a bit different to all the others but why does no one mention what it would sound like? there is room for improvement on the styling yes but the exhaust with a bit of work would sound awesome 😉

  16. Ricardo says

    I’m getting old and tired of having my butt high in the air.

    Put me down for one of these babies.

  17. Marvin says

    Well it certainly is German looking, I can see the first naked BMW K100 in it along with some Sachs roadster. Unfortunately it weighs about the same as my 1983 K100 did which was one of my reasons for selling it. Put me down for a 600cc triple made from the front bank. 100BHP should still be enough to shuffle me up to the electronically limited top speed.

  18. daniel says

    If they want to sell this nice and interesting new (?) VR6 technology why putting it in a retro/vintage looking bike ?
    It look like a Voxan… or worst a Bulldog like Ian said…
    Frame… seat.. all that look old fashioned…
    why not adding the dual clutch that VW have (and Honda too) and an all-automatic mode ?
    why not a traction control ?
    why not a modern design ?
    why not a V-Max style ?
    why not a tourer to kick the GoldWing ?
    why not a VR4 on a street-fighter or sport bike ?
    good luck anyway.
    looking forward to test ride it… I believe the sound will be great (I like the exhaust reminder of the 3 “asymmetric” cylinders)

  19. says

    Good thing they made it really heavy with that wheelbase and 175-200 HP. I rode a semi upright bike that made almost 190 HP in a 450lb package and besides the fact fact that a seagull exploded on my shoulder and almost took me off the bike AND I could loop that thing at will, I don’t think Joe Average has any business on a bike with that kind of power! Seriously. It’s great to talk about down at the pub, but I think a shitload of people would get cleaned out wholesale on this monster!

    Add to that it’s a “Premium Market” bike and it’s gonna be for Jay Leno types only anyway!

  20. Azzy says

    A couple of hard bags on that back, and a windshield, and it might be a nice smooth tourer. I certainly wouldn’t turn down a free test ride.

  21. Bruce says

    My God! This is a brilliant bike! It’s naked, powerful styling that says muscle but sensuous. I don’t know what you guys are looking at, but I’d buy this baby in a heart beat. This is a BMW with imagination. I currently have a 1200 R BMW and this bike takes the naked look and engine to another level. Bring it to America!

  22. says

    Hugo – thanks for the additional info.

    This standard/cafe may look sedate to some, but i’ll bet the sound coming out of a bike that has that look, would all of a sudden not appear to be so sedate.

  23. fazer6 says

    @ Mule:
    I don’t think $25k is too premium to be in the range of Leno-types only, double or triple that and they are; Goldwings and BMWs are sold all day long at that price, and it seems to me that you are selling some sweet-looking, but comparably underpowered, under spec’d bikes fro nearly the same price, no?
    The Horex looks pretty complete package for that price I think.

  24. David/cigarrz says

    I too like the looks of this upright bike. Of course Mule is right this is far more HP than is needed but thats part of the sell these days. I hope that part of the new bike market continues to expand offerings of modern upright naked bikes. Let the accessories page offer the bags and fairing if the owner wants to add them at purchase. It seems this would be a great touring bike and I would expect boost and HP can be tuned within the electronics if 200 HP seems unreasonable.

  25. Mehul Kamdar says

    +1 with everyone who has reservations about the appearance. While it is not ugly, I do feel that the designers could think about a final version which is a little more adventurous than such a staid design. Being German engineered, it will be superb to ride, of course – the Horex guys just need to get a little more adventurous.

  26. David/cigarrz says

    There is a red and black one with a black seat somewhere I hope. The colors leave everything to the imagination don’t they? I am having a hard time faulting the design otherwise.

  27. says

    I didn’t see the $25K price and the article said no price was mentioned. But I doubt it’ll come in at $25K unless they make a ton of them. And they haven’t done that yet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not criticizing the bike, I’m just saying that to design a totally new bike with a totally new motor configuration that nobody has ever done in a bike before, with 200 HP, “Supercharged” (never been done on a production bike before), in a “nitch” style, built in Germany which is not know to be a cheap labor market, would require a huge amount of optimism and lots of investment dollars (soon to be consumed and lost forever), combined with crossed fingers and hope that there is a market full of anxious buyers.

    I love bikes that are different, have lots of power, look cool and work well. I’m an optimist, but I haven’t been asleep for the last 58 years. Yes, I’m a slow learner. I’ve set myself on fire and ruined mass quanities of hardware in my life. I’ve made bad investments, bad decisions that seemed right at the time and I’ve retained a hard earned knowlege.

    This is what I would consider to be facts: This bike can not sell for less than $40K as it sits providing they build at least 50-100. At a show it would attract a ton of attention. But, describe to me the target buyer. A ducati guy? A sport touring rider? Drag racer? Road-racer? Exotic collector?

    Bags and fairing? Get real! With a 200hp supercharged V-6! Unless it had a fairing like a MotoGp bike and the bags were under your eyes, otherwise they’d get blown off.

    I think its an awesome looking bike and with a supercharged V-6 and 200hp what’s not to like, but as stated here before, there is a huge gap between “Wow, what a cool bike!” and “Here, let me write you a check!”

  28. laurent says

    Interesting bike, LOTS of very nice details.

    Lots of comments from, hm, backseat drivers oblivious to the fact that the bike is German and intended primarily to the European market. I wouldn’t be surprised if the 100 bikes Mule mention are sold within a week.


  29. says

    Laurent my friend, if they sell 100 bikes total (of this model, not mopeds made in China), I’ll buy you dinner and send you a free “Mule was wrong again” t-shirt! Where do live? Not Paris I hope!

  30. laurent says


    I live in Kalifornia (an import from Belgium)

    It’s been ages the Germans complains about not having more motorcycle brands (like Italy)
    I Might be wrong but the it looks like the founders have done their homework 😉


  31. sweetlemonaid says

    Refer back to Lazareth Roadster V6 bike, as reported by the Kneeslider and Top Speed, if you desire a different v6 configuration. The builder of the Alfabeast bike and infamous Desmohog has started on a bike using a C114 V6 Maserati engine.
    Car engine and their variants have existed since the dawn of the motorized bike. Do not be surprised with the VR6 being adopted for a bike. The VR6 is “more compact” than the usual layout of a v6.

  32. B*A*M*F says

    It’s definitely attractive. Looks like a very contemporary version of a standard bike.

    I love the narrow angle V6. For those who say it’s not new because of the VW VR6, that’s true. However, VW was following in the footsteps of the legendary Lancia Fulvia’s V4 engine. They had some that were even narrower angled than this monster, and about the same displacement. Nowhere near as powerful, but 40-50 years of engine development counts for something.

  33. David/cigarrz says

    @ Mule
    “Bags and fairing? Get real! With a 200 hp supercharged V-6! Unless it had a fairing like a MotoGp bike and the bags were under your eyes, otherwise they’d get blown off.” You have me holding my side laughing. Your absolutely right, I mistakenly was giving a nod to the speed limits. I agree this is a long up hill road for this company. Reality checks certainly become more prevalent after a certain point in life don’t they?

  34. rokster says

    I really hope they make it but I somehow doubt it. I have always loved the old sixes, Kawa 1300 and Honda CBX, and I fail to understand why we could not have something similar again (forgetting for a moment about the Goldwing). And please, do not even mention “size” or “weight” or “complexity”, those excuses just are not good enough.

  35. says

    @Rokster, I may be all wet, but I believe that size, weight and complexity are the very core elements that go into the design and construction of a motorcycle. These 3 make up the Axis of Evil! Any one of these can bring a motorcycle products to it’s knees within feet of the drawing board.

    Consider the Goldwing “Forgotten”.

    Big heavy bikes are not taken seriously by anyone in the motorcycle world except for Harley riders and this doesn’t effect their intended use.

    Size, as in large size is a huge facotor if the bike is out of proportion or awkward. The smaller the rider, the more critical this becomes.

    Complexity? No one on earth has ever requested added complexity and in fact the opposite is true. The simpler the better has been a sign of a truely well thought out design since the stone axe. Usually when something ends up very complicated, after a long period of refinements, the simpler design is discovered. Try designing something with the goal to be simple light and small. That separates the men from the boys in a nano-second. Big, heavy and complex is usually where the design process starts, not ends.

  36. Paulinator says

    Mule, Really good comment. I struggle with the gymnastics that the designers underwent to fit “two banks” of cylinders under one head – and then they add a supercharger? (WTF) I think that this exercise has been to design something unique rather than great. Put a supercharger on any litre-bike and it would slaughter this thing in specs and in performance. Actually they would probably over-match this thing while normally asperated, too.

  37. says

    There is a large & growing demographic that really likes a powerful naked sportsbike…but the folks who like them usually get drowned out by the very vocal cruiser crowd and the sportbike crowd. The problem that this “niche market” has had is that the jap brands typically make them out of old tech/ unexciting parts, and underpower them…or else they are expensive european bikes. If Horex builds this and can price it right, say $15k-$25k I see it taking off like mad. This bike looks amazing, and I’m looking forward to getting more information about it. Yes, it has 200HP, but I saw nothing about the torque value let alone a dyno-chart. Oh, and for Mule and David/Cigarzz, no fairing & bags work just fine at 150mph…just not for long periods of time at that speed.

  38. todd says

    Shadow, a 1,200 making 200HP will probably have around 100 lb-ft @ 8,000 RPM and the ability to spin to 12k or so. In other words, more than pretty much anyone would ever need or be able to use.


  39. Dieter Bergmann says

    First Mondial then Vincent and now Horex. They are all old super cool brands with super cool old bikes that got completely destroyed in their “new clothes” by some idiots trying to make money without understanding the essence in the brand!

  40. Lee Samuelson says

    Lancia built narrow-angle V-engines for years. 1-piece cylinder head.
    Matchless Silver Hawk and Golden Eagle were the same.
    See also Volkswagen/Bugatti/Bentley W-type engines which are two VR cylinder blocks in a Vee, up to 16 cylinders. Assembly video somewhere.
    There were others which my dozy mind can’t call-up tonight.
    Lee in Alberta.
    Harvest, also called CRAZY, season.

  41. says

    I like it.
    It has some very unique qualities to it which set it apart, yet follows some of the market expectations, and blends it into a sort of retro-modern muscle bike.

    I think the way they integrated the tank and the frame spars is done very well, and using the frame for the intake tract is interesting.
    I really like the seating arrangement, and the bike looks comfortable and classy, and not excessively slavish to fashion trends.

    I think it is a welcome breath of fresh air in its departure from the ubiquitous “Klingon War Bird” styling that plagues the modern sportbikes. This bike has the look of a powerful and capable gentleman’s motorbike which sets its own styling trend that isn’t too extreme.

    I do think that the silver “doo-dads” on the engine need to be improved to look look less tacky.

    I don’t think I’m in the market for a bike in that price category, but I suspect that there will be interested buyers. It’s a nice alternative in the high price category, which allows a choice which is not a race-bike on the street, and it strikes me as a bike that would appeal to BMW riders that are looking for more exclusivity/uniqueness in the higher price range naked bike arena.

    This bike shows alot of class, and avoids the pitfalls of the cheap garish look of the “plastic fantastics”, and would seem right at home in the garage of an executive estate next to an AMG Hammer.

  42. Dan W says

    I like it. Nice looking bike, will be interested to see the finished production version (well, as “production” as a 100-bike series will be).

    I won’t be in the market for it, because if I was sitting on $25k that was available to blow on a motorcycle, I’d be in the market for an MV Agusta (art on wheels) or a Bimota (engineering tour-de-force).

    One thing I’m highly disappointed in is how all these articles talk about how innovative this 15-degree Vee is… yet the most obvious example has been in production for nearly 20 years, the VW VR6. I have a GTI with the 12-valve VR6 that’s 12 years old. Wonderful engine, beautiful noise, absolutely love it… but it’s not a whiz-bang new innovation anymore. It’s a 200,000-mile daily driver powerplant. As others have mentioned there are examples of the narrow Vee that predate the VW (though I would argue that the VW mill is the first to be commercially successful in the long haul).

    Anyway… best of luck to the Horex folks, best of luck getting this bike to the real world. It’d be really neat to see this engine configuration succeed in the motorcycle segment.

  43. James says

    I wonder if they had to buy the rights to produce this engine from VW, after all, they designed it. Like others have said, it was first used in the Mk3 Golf VR6, then in the Mighty Corrado VR6. They continue to use it today in the Golf R32 (not sure about the new one) and the Passat R36. Absolutely wonderful engine!

  44. harry liehr says

    I am so glad that Horex seems to try a comeback.In the sixtees i had a 400cc Horex Imperator and one of my friends had a 450 imperator they where very good bikes for their time and left many BMWs tasting their dust.It was a shame that Horex could not survive ,lots of them tried but it was a lousy time for the motorcycle industry in the late 1950s
    As you may have worked out by now i am one of these old bikers of that time .i am riding bikes now none stop since 1959 ( on BMWs ] but my hart still goes back to my Horex years.I like the new Horex a lot and hope their new bike will work for them.Dont think i am over the hill jet,i am thinking of selling my 1938 BMW racer and would not mind to get the Horex when it hits the shores of Aus.I might give you a run one day.

  45. Mr. YaYa NADA says

    You bozos…talk nonsense

    The Horex bike has real potential…
    and is a collectors’ item
    right out of the box
    Where you might try doing some of your thinking.
    and all you can talk about whether it will be real or not.

    What happened to your creative imagination
    …stuck in reverse?!
    Get real..
    You are probably the guys I see riding your motorcycles only
    when it above 80 F and the sun’s shining !

  46. steven says

    200 supercharged horse power in a bland, boring, naked bike. This Horex makes a GS500 look fast, yet this bike must have an absolutely amazing sound.

    I just don’t get this bike at all.

  47. Turbo says

    Correct! This has been a very good motor for VW and Audi for years, putting decent amount of power/volume into a small space. This is a very unique idea for a bike and I cannot wait to hear one- as the VW VR6 with an uncorked exhaust sounds amazing.