VR6 Powered Horex VR6 Motorcycle — Information Regarding the Rare VR6…

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Bimota DB 5 Prototype

By Silodrome: Gasoline Culture May 24, / Photos by Horex

Our friends at have so much awesome that we like to share it time to time. This is courtesy of Silodrome.

This is the piece in a new series on Silodrome by the talented Jason Cormier, is a writer, an avid motorcyclist, a …-hard, and a shadetree mechanic in Montreal. He-s the editor of a unique website that the history of rare and unusual from around the world.

motorcycles are some of the most useless, and magnificently overwrought you will encounter. A well-tuned of equal displacement will do the job with far less complexity, but it turn anyone-s head if you want to get noticed, you have to go big and go with your engineering. The of six-cylinder motorcycles is, admittedly, a one.

For production machines you the Benelli Sei, the Honda the Kawasaki KZ1300, and the current BMW and Honda Goldwing 1800. For bikes you have the Honda RC174 and Laverda V6. Recently has been a new addition to the list has been garnering some and it comes from a long-defunct brand that came out of in 2010 to announce that would build a six-cylinder with an engine design anything else on two wheels.

Horex was a German assembler of founded in 1923 as an offshoot of the Rex company in Bad Homburg (hence the Ho Rex). The company began by machines around outsourced singles supplied by German Columbus, eventually merging Columbus in 1925 to bring production in-house.

They a range of large displacement plus) singles and parallel that were well with an occasional success in Horex survived the Second War and continued operating until when production was suspended months of declining sales. then purchased the brand in and absorbed it into the DB empire. But the was not ….

Friedl M-nch, famous for his series of car-engined roadsters, the rights to the brand in 1977. A 1400cc roadster dubbed the 1400 TI was produced in 1978. The was purchased again in the 1980s by and another attempt was made to the marque by building a series of machines around Rotax and four-… singles.

Unfortunately, the production of some handsome and sport machines, the attempt succeed in reviving the storied and Horex laid dormant the 1990s and 2000s.

In 2010 was resurrected once again, but time with an entirely design with an in-house Some concept sketches and specs were released for a standard with a supercharged -VR6- engine. The motorcycling was taken aback, and a more a bit skeptical. A forced-induction six-cylinder From a brand that had … for decades?

Slated for within two years? With a projected price of around Many had seen such claims before from newly minted manufacturers who promptly disappear into the often with a boatload of capital.

But Horex was more typical vapourware, and was working with a number of major companies to develop their

Before we discuss the Horex however, we must first about Lancia and Volkswagen.

engine layouts typically into three categories: vee, and flat/boxer. The one setup you find very often is the vee (or staggered cylinder) layout. was a pioneer of the format, introducing the -Lambda- V-4 in 1922, and produced a of narrow-angle designs up until the

A typical vee will have between 45 (Harley-Davidson V-twin) and 90 (Ducati L-twin). A narrow-angle vee 45 degrees) is so compact that -banks- of cylinders can share the block with a common head, making for a much compact and lightweight package.

You essentially combine the qualities of an engine with those of a vee the block is as short as a vee, wider than an inline the head, and shares the balance of an inline design. You get more into a much more package, with less than a typical vee by combining the and block into a single

While Lancia pioneered the cylinder layout, and achieved notable successes in rallying their Fulvia 12.5 V-4, it would be Volkswagen who make the narrow-angle vee a mass-produced Developed in the 1980s and introduced in the 90s, the VR6 initially used a vee with a common crankcase and head and two overhead cams all 12 (later 24) valves.

The VR designation is to as either a -Verk-rzt Reihenmotor- inline engine) or a -Vee-Reihenmotor- engine), depending on whom you ask or Wikipedia entry you trust. The was developed as a compact six-cylinder could be fitted into a car designed to accommodate a four-cylinder indeed, the VR6 was the same length as a four and only slightly It was an easy fit into a compact bay, without needing modifications, which allowed VW to a six into compact cars hitherto had never had the option.

The VR remains a signature of VW to this and has been further developed far the original 2.8 litre, 12 valve The W8 uses the staggered piston to make an eight-cylinder engine is the length of a V-4, while the Bugatti Veyron uses a W16 based upon the design of the W8.

The Horex VR6 takes the basic and name of the VW engine, but is otherwise a design developed in-house. The mill displaces 1218cc via an 68x55mm bore/…. The head is a design with a flat surface above the block.

the cylinders are angled while the is flat, slanted-deck pistons are to maintain the 11.5:1 compression slanted pistons were used in the Lancia and VW engines, so it a new idea, but it-s still unusual.

Unlike previous the Horex uses a unique cam arrangement with three per cylinder. The front cam operates the of the front row of cylinders. The middle cam the rear bank of exhaust and the intakes of the front bank. The cam operates the intake valves of the bank.

Very simple It also makes the Horex the TOHC production engine. To things even more the Horex has radial valves this means that the stems are angled out slightly so the faces encircle the dome of the chamber, a feature shared Honda RFVC singles and the MV F4.

One problem of automotive narrow vees with one-piece is porting. The intake and exhaust are asymmetrical due to the staggered layout of the chambers, which means of the cylinders have longer This causes tuning that need to be addressed by on extended intake runners and headers for the -short- ports.

The solves the problem by using exhaust headers and downdraft ports — the intakes run the valve cover, with the and throttle bodies placed the engine.


The initial prototype was with a belt-driven Rotrex nestled above the gearbox to the of the cylinders. Projected power was in the 200 hp At some point in development the superfluous) supercharger assembly was and the now naturally aspirated production was rated at 161hp with 101 of torque. Extensive testing and tuning has been performed to reliability and tidy fueling.

Bimota DB 5 Prototype
Bimota DB 5 Prototype

Peak power is at 8800 rpm and is claimed to be a fairly flat with the peak under which should mean a relaxed motor with a spread of power. The reviewers who fortunate enough to sample the machine noted that delivery is buttery smooth, and very useable.

A VR6 has the advantage of the same perfect primary and lack of rocking-couple flex you get in a so its no surprise that journalists how smooth the engine was. It has a distinctive engine note, not a like most inline-sixes, but a growl that sounds a CBX gargling gravel.

Chassis-wise the uses a hybrid bridge that has a steel steering mated to a pair of aluminum It looks like a sport twin-beam frame, except the are curved high over the top of the This gives the machine a stance that shows off the big six lending some serious mass to the complete machine.

The VR6 not look delicate, nor is it a lightweight claimed dry weight is about hardly sport bike but a damn sight better the 720lbs (dry!) BMW K1600GT, is lighter still than the 800 lb Honda GL1800. Sure, might be an unfair apples-to-staplers but what else is there in the way of motorcycles on the market today? The is certainly the definitive option in the -more-than-four-cylinder-German-…-semi-sporting-retro-inspired-roadster-from-a-previously-defunct-brand- sector of the market.

The styling errs on the conservative without looking too much a throwback. There is a brawny, appearance to the design with components and styling that clean and modern without the insectoid plastic-cladded designs the East. I-d go so far as to say there is a hint of automotive design in the slab-sided of the frame, tank and engine

It-s not particularly groundbreaking but it has its own in a market inundated with retro repops and plastic-addled spaceships.

Suspension is via Works at both ends — a 48mm upside down up front, and a conventional rising-rate at the rear hooked up to a trendy swingarm. Brakes are from with an advanced ABS system by While the supercharged prototype was with a belt final the production version uses a with an exclusive dry lubrication

The chain passes over a of solid graphite, which the chain and sprockets without oil or to fling all over the place. this type of setup has around for some time has some criticisms, particularly in of its penetrating ability on O- and X-ring this is the first time it has offered on a production machine. you get longer chain and sprocket without any maintenance or mess, and the dry won-t pick up road like sticky chain does.

Production began, a behind schedule, in 2012 the first dealer deliveries in The Roadster is being built in a new facility in Augsburg with the man, one machine- assembly to ensure impeccable quality A single technician, who follows the along a multi-step assembly builds each individual

It-s reminiscent of the production of boutique brand Bimota, who a single mechanic assemble a in a stationary bay, with more efficient German Remarkably Horex boasts a impressive dealer network their relatively recent on the market — in 2012 35 were announced across Switzerland and Austria. Current price in Germany is — not far off the original target price.

The Horex VR6 Roadster is, at its core, a bruiser that has no peers in the Sure there are big … bikes available from brands but none offer the prowess of an ultra-compact and powerful powerplant. Nor do they offer the and hand-assembled quality of the Horex.

the initial specs might seemed improbable, the VR6 is here and is in more or less as-promised, a to the determination and skill of the company-s in bringing such an advanced and design to production in a relatively period of time. Many have failed while far less exotic products, but has weathered the initial doubts to one of the most interesting production to come out of Germany in a long

Not only that, the VR6 adds machine to the pantheon of legendary motorcycles, a rarified breed of in engineering excess. Had Horex the conservative route and built a four-cylinder roadster of similar we wouldn-t be talking about it and you likely wouldn-t be drooling it right now. If you want to get an amount of attention in the world of you must build a six.

Is A Developing Story

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