The new Horex was unveiled at an event June 15 in Munich, Germany, after weeks of clues and teasers were released by a company calling itself “Das Neue Motorrad” (German for “The New Motorcycle”). The original Horex was founded in 1923 by glassware company Rex and operated until 1960 after the company was acquired by Daimler-Benz.
The new Horex secured the rights to the brand name in 2007 will be based near Munich instead of the brand’s original home in Bad homburg, Germany. Production is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2011.
“Does the world need another motorcycle brand? Probably not,” says Clemens Neese, chief executive officer of Horex GmbH. “But riding a bike is more than a form of mobility on two wheels. It’s raw emotion combined with a passion for technology and everything that’s new and exciting! I’m a bike enthusiast and I haven’t seen anything like this on the market in years.”
Over the last few weeks, the company has been promising an engine “based on one currently found nowhere in the motorcycle world. “ Today, Horex unveiled that new powerplant: a 1218cc triple overhead camshaft supercharged VR6 engine.
The VR6 engine configuration was originally developed by another German company, Volkswagen, with six cylinders arranged in two rows of three. Unlike a traditional V6 engine, the rows are offset to allow for a narrower angle instead of the V6’s typical 45 or 60 degree angle.
Horex’s engine was developed with the help of the engineers from the University of Munich and has been in the works since 2005. Volkswagen provided some consultation but the engine was developed from the ground up. The 15 degree Horex VR6 engine is 429 mm (16.9 inches) wide at the cylinder head cover, making it a bit wider than a conventional inline-four, but because the cylinders are offset, it is slightly shorter. Each cylinder head has two intake valves and a single exhaust valve, all operated by three parallel camshafts.
“We started out with simulations and single-cylinder test engines to establish the ideal parameters for cylinder angle, degree of offset, porting and other factors,” says Dr. Martin Doll, director of the Institute of Internal Combustion Engines and Vehicle Drivelines at the University of Munich. “It soon became obvious that we would have to design this type of a motorcycle engine virtually from scratch to get an optimum result in terms of power efficiency and compactness. Consequently, only the basic principle of the new Horex engine is comparable with the well known automotive engines developed by Volkswagen.”
A direct drive radial supercharger located behind the cylinder banks takes in air through an air box centrally mounted above the engine. According to Horex, the engine outputs from 175hp to 200hp at 8500rpm with torque peaking at nearly 110 ft-lb.
The VR6 engine is key to the design of Horex’s first motorcycle. The aluminum bridge frame surrounds the engine, drawing attention to the power plant. Six exhaust headers flow from the engine leading to three silencers.
“The overall design concept transforms our vision of the new Horex brand into a personal experience,” says Neese. “We clearly defined the main character – the VR6 engine – and surrounded it with self-assured lines and effective details. We are introducing a sensual, exclusive motorcycle to the market. This bike perfectly conveys my idea of the distinctiveness and sustainability of our new Horex.”
The VR6 engine will be paired with a six-speed transmission with a belt drive transferring power to the rear wheel.
The Horex motorcycle will use an upside-down fork with 50 mm tubes and 130 mm of spring travel. At the rear is a single-sided swingarm with damping handled by a central spring strut with a compact bell crank.
The new Horex will come standard with ABS. The double-disc front brakes are fitted with radial four-piston calipers while the single-disc rear uses a two-piston caliper brake.
Horex is still completing the engineering and road testing phases. The initial product will first be launched in Germany, Austria and Switzerland before expanding across Europe and to the U.S. and Japan. Initial production will be in the thousands. Horex is planning to add other models using the same VR6 engine in the future with a sport touring and a “classic edition” already in the works.
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