BMW joins the ranks of companies that have offered an inline 6 by installing one in the Concept 6, a design exercise unveiled at EICMA. Though BMW has a long history of inline sixes in their cars, dropping one in a bike is a bit more work if you’re interested in keeping the weight and size down to manageable levels.
Hollow-bore camshafts and very light connecting rods plus not needing a balancing shaft, shaves pounds from the engine. Electrical auxiliary units and their drive gear are positioned behind the crankshaft in the free space above the gearbox to reduce width. A dry sump system works with an integrated oil tank in the rear of the engine. E-Gas (ride by wire), gives several selectable ride modes for fuel economy and power. The 55 degree forward tilt helps keep the center of gravity low.
Power is said to be similar to what you would get from a 1300, perhaps 170 hp, but torque is 96 foot pounds at 2000 rpm plus it has a redline of 9000 rpm. BMW says initial intentions for the engine are in a touring platform of some sort, but its capabilities mean it can easily be used in a wide variety of bikes.
It isn’t clear how much, if any of the design cues from the bike shown here will make it to production, but the engine seems to be headed for highway use. It should make for a very impressive touring rig, not to mention whatever else BMW decides to use it for. Interesting.
Thanks for the tip, Marcus.