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BMW Motorrad Concept 6 (2009) unveiled

Wed, 11 Nov 2009 00:00:00 -0800

Yes, we know this BMW is a pair of wheels short of CAR Online’s usual offerings, but we couldn’t resist giving some space to this stunning straight six-powered BMW sports bike concept.

Yes, you read that right - the BMW Concept 6 has a 1600cc straight six slung across the frame. Honda tried something similar for the CBX1000 in the 1970s but the idea never really caught on even if the true width increase over a contemporary four wasn’t as huge as your eyes would have you believe.

Modern manufacturing techniques have allowed BMW to place the cylinders much closer together with the result that the engine is 100mm narrower than previous six-pot efforts and appears far narrower than the company’s own Boxer twins. All the electrical ancillaries are positioned behind the crankshaft and above the transmission, and the centre of gravity is kept low by titling and dry sumping the straight six.

BMW claims power is on a par with its 1.3-litre fours, so around 160bhp, but offers 96lb ft of torque from just 2000rpm while still retaining an ability to rev to 9000rpm and offering even better fuel consumption and much improved NVH.

The engine will find its way into BMW’s K-series touring bikes in 2010 where it will battle the likes of the Honda Goldwing, but sadly the Concept 6 itself will remain just a concept.

Still, we can all admire the carbonfibre fuel tank, white-painted aluminium body panels, LED lights and glorious exhaust. There's also drive-by-wire controls, 17-inch forged wheels and a minimalist LED display.

By Chris Chilton