2009 BMW Concept 6
Fascination, Supremacy and Riding
Comfort with Six Cylinders.
Six-cylinder power units have always
had particular appeal, offering not only supreme smoothness
and refi nement, 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 also 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 confi guration
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
fi tted, 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
benefi ts of extra engine power.
The BMW Concept 6 now proves that a
straight-six, benefi ting from the most advanced construction
and production technology, may offer not only unique
prestige, but also a supreme standard of riding dynamics.
The new BMW straight-six will further
expand the K-Series in the foreseeable future. The
fi rst model to be introduced will be an innovative
and luxurious BMW touring machine. Refl ecting the
tradition of the BMW K-Series, this will of course
be a genuine top-of-the-line product.
Highly compact and dynamic
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 100 mm or 4" 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
To achieve this very compact confi
guration 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 confi guration and layout
of the engine
avoids the need for a balance shaft and its drive
elements on the new straightsix, 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°. This ensures not only
a low centre of gravity, but also very good weight
balance as an element essential above all under sporting
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.
The straight-six featured in the BMW
Motorrad Concept 6 comes with dry sump lubrication.
Apart from greater reliability even under extreme
conditions, dry sump technology serves to keep the
crankcase particularly low and fl at, with the engine
being fi tted lower down and masses concentrated around
the centre of gravity. Doing without an oil sump,
the engine may be positioned far lower than on a conventional
The oil reservoir is provided by an
oil tank integrated at the rear of the engine block.
This avoids the need for a separate tank, again helping
to make the entire power unit more compact and reduce
weight to a minimum.
Maximum supremacy in running
refi nement 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 or 96 lb-ft of torque from just 2,000 rpm and at
the same time revving up almost to 9,000 rpm –
a dynamic potential quite unparalleled in the tourer
segment. This alone qualifi es the engine of the Concept
6 as the ideal
power unit for a wide range of different motorcycles.
and all-round economy re-defined.
The Concept 6 shows the absolute supremacy
of its six-cylinder drive system also in ecological
and economic terms. Fuel consumption of this six-cylinder
naturally equipped with a fully controlled catalytic
converter is lower than on a comparable four-cylinder
under normal touring conditions. The use of
E-gas technology (ride-by-wire) then offers further
potentials for enhanced fuel economy and riding dynamics
throughout a wide range of different riding modes
and conditions. And last but not least in this context,
the straight-six power unit featured in the Concept
6 offers long inspection intervals through the use
of cup tappets controlling the engine valves.
Dynamic and powerful design
in Café Racer style.
Supremacy and dynamism are also borne
out clearly by the thrilling design of the Concept
6 and, as usual, this project from BMW Motorrad is
more than “just” the attempt to develop
a motorcycle of a kind never seen before.
Working on Concept 6, the designers
at BMW Motorrad have therefore focused yet again on
technical function and quality and, in particular,
the emotional element bringing together man and machine.
Their rule, quite simply, is that a motorcycle must
not only follow the laws of functionality, but also
in all its facets. In a nutshell, therefore, the machine
must be simply thrilling.
Precisely this is why the design of
the Concept 6 focuses in particular on the powerful
straight-six engine as the heart of the machine. Conceived
as a mixture of classic and modern styling elements
in motorcycle construction, the Concept 6, with its
long front end and short rear, takes up the design
language of the legendary Café Racer. Powerful
and muscular, the body elements extend around the
power unit fi nished in a special platinum colour,
presenting the engine almost adoringly from every
Smooth and soft lines ensure fully
organic integration of the power unit within the machine,
while at the same time they create a powerful, exciting
and dynamic contrast to the sharply contoured front
and rear ends.
The so-called Split Face, a well-known design element
of the latest models from BMW Motorrad, extends smoothly
from the front of the fairing all along the top of
the fuel tank made of carbon-fi bre, again confi rming
the high technological standard of the Concept 6 and
forming an exciting contrast to the outer shell in
aluminium with its white layers. The division into
three sections created by the Split Face is further
accentuated at the front by the LED headlight integrated
longitudinally in the machine in its rod shape and
by the slender LED rear light extending far up into
the seat hump.
The powerful and supreme character
of the Concept 6 is also underscored by the six-chamber
exhaust system complete with sidepipes and the strong
presence of the intake ducts again fi nished in platinum
Aerodynamic components such as the twin-tipped
engine spoiler and the air guide elements derived
from the design of the new S 1000 RR Supersports,
on the other hand, bridge the gap between functional
and clearly visible technology, on the one hand, and
the soft and smooth design of other body elements,
on the other.
Innovative suspension technology and equipment.
The suspension of the BMW Motorrad
Concept 6 is built around a light-alloy bridge frame
as well as Duolever and lightweight Paralever arms
holding and guiding the wheels front and rear. Seventeen-inch
HP forged wheels as well as the extra-large brake
system with its six-piston fi xed callipers emphasise
sporting look of the new machine and its high level
The outstanding supremacy of the Concept
6 and its drivetrain is also refl ected 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
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.