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BMW Concept 6 - Show bike reveals new powertrain... for luxury touring bike?


by Marc Cantin ,

BMW in-line six cylinder engines are famous for their performance and sublime smoothness, dating back to the 1930s. But such engines are relatively long and tall, too much so for a modern motorcycle. That was true until BMW engineers applied all of the trick and technology they have learned in F1, Superbike racing and on their ultra modern K1300 models to work on just such an engine.

Magnificent eye candy, with the concentrated mass of the powertrain, triple exhaust and simplicity of the rest of this almost-naked bike. Seems almost a shame to hide such beauty under a full touring fairing. So, maybe two models, Guys?

The Concept 6 project bike gives us a preview of the engine and technology we can expect to see when the replacement model for the long-in-the-tooth K1200LT finally comes our way.

The new traverse in-line six has been shortened to the maximum, with minimal inter-cylinder spacing and accessory drives behind the cylinder block and above the crankshaft. The block is leaned forward 55 degrees from vertical, and a dry sump system is fitted, all in the name of the twin God of Mass Centralization and Low C-of-G. Ride by wire technology manages the engine according to one of several programming modes available to the rider.

Designers used torque to express the performance potential and rider friendliness. Only two performance related figures have been revealed: 96 lb-ft of torque at 2000 rpm, and a likely maximum torque at 9000 rpm. In fact, torque is of such importance that the tachometer has been replaced by another display showing “Available Torque”, without specifying in the announcement how this is measured. It is difficult to anticipate maximum power. Suffice it to say that it will be in line with or above the competition.

Designers naturally went whole hog on the chassis and suspension sides, with K1300 like girder chassis, Duolever/Paralever suspensions and six-piston calipers. I would expect the usual complement of safety features such as advanced ABS, traction control and ESA to also be part of the package.

The looks of the Concept 6 are a cross between naked brute and sportbike, somewhat like the K1300R. We can expect at least a Full Monte touring bike, with sophisticated aerodynamics, to come from this wonderful new power package, and I can’t wait to ride it!

Photo Credit : BMW