2011 Horex VR6: six supercharged cylinders, made in Germany

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This is the much rumored new motorcycle brand from Germany. Horex has developed its own VR6 engine which makes 197bhp, 110lb/ft of torque and displaces 1,200cc. The 530lbs (240kg) weight is almost as considerable as the €20,000 price. Sales of the Horex VR6 begin early next year in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but the new company plans to expand to the rest of Europe and America in the near future.

Update: now with high-res pictures.

Update 2: way more info.
You probably associate the “VR6″ name with VW, who first developed the
arrangement in the late ’80s, but it’s actually just a generic name for
a monoblock design with offset pistons in rows. The “VR” comes from a
combination of “V-motor” and “Reihenmotor,” the German words for a V
engine and an inline engine respectively. It’s a uniquely suitable
arrangement for a motorcycle, packing six cylinders into a package only
slightly larger than an inline-four and considerably shorter than a V6,
in fact, VW originally created the design so they could package six
cylinders into cars only intended to accommodate four. VR6 engines use a
single cylinder head and this one has three parallel camshafts.

As the rumor of Horex’s inception have spread, so to have rumors of an
affiliation with VW. Such doesn’t appear to be the case, although it’s
logical to assume they’re either using the VR engine configuration with
the permission of VW or purchased it from the automaker. VW is listed by Horex as a technical partner.

There’s a lot of information to digest here, so we’re including the press material below while we try to wrap our heads around it. 

  • Big10inch

    Now that is kinda interesting. Looks cool but way too expensive and I am sure it drinks fuel like crazy.

    I wonder how it sounds?

    Kind of has a V-Max look to it. Unusual for sure.

  • Teebles

    If the Honda CBX1000 is anything to judge by, the inline six will sound staggeringly good.

  • http://muthalovin.com the_doctor

    I would love to hear this. But yeah, 20k in euros is obscene.

  • robotribe

    It seems Horex is making an attempt to remind BMW that German bikes are best served mundane and styled by robots on the outside (although the motor specs are impressive for a superbike standards).

    • Matt

      I actually like the styling. It isn’t a retro bike, but it has a classic look that isn’t anime inspired like so many modern naked bikes. That said, it’s still too expensive, heavy, and over-powered for me.

  • Spoon

    Bring on the new Katana (Stratosphere)!

    The VR6 is a bit boring (and weighs the same as a 1981 Katana).


    peace out.

  • http://www.mc-addict.com HansP

    I find it staggeringly similiar to the rather boring Yamaha BT 1100 Bulldog


    • Ian

      I was just thinking the same. A whole lot of ‘meh’ from this direction.

  • Richard Gozinya

    The looks don’t match with the power. Looks like it should be in the same category as the R1200R or Griso, but it’s heavier than both. On the other hand, the motor, given the bike’s weight, seems like it should be in something more along the lines of the VMAX or B-King. It’s a confusing mess in all.

  • JR

    Feels like a Griso, but that’s not bad!

    I’ve been wondering why no one has put a VR6 into a bike yet. They are shorter than inline 6′s and still have just one head. Nice.

    It looks comfortable and understated. It seems that there is a golden mean that HFL readers want for styling, too much and it’s styled by a ten-year-old, too little and it’s boring and German.

    I want to hear it.

  • Ian S

    This is the kind of styling direction I’d like to see the rest of the industry take. I like how they’ve went away from the “tail in the air like a cat wanting to get screwed” look that it seems everybody likes. I mean, why would you want your pillion 4 feet above the rear tire, when the rear wheel had 4 inches of travel? Also, I like to lack of anime/Transformer/ comic book aesthetic. We’re grown ups. Give us handsome designs like this.

  • Will

    This is utilitarian and elegant. Every piece on the bike is a necessity, and each looks solid and purposeful.

    Lean meat no fat.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      The more I look at it, the more I’m actually into this. Simple, understated, downright humble even, but check out the detailing: the three clustered exhausts each split in two, the three silver button on the cam covers for the three camshafts, the way the tank and the frame are integrated.

      Also, judging by the size of the wheels to the rest of the bike, this thing is going to be MASSIVE.

      The whole thing is just so much more credible and impressive than the B-King or the VMax, it’s a proper hairy-chested man’s bike.

  • PeteP

    Will it beat the original “Red Porsche Killer”?

    Google it. 4 Horex twins ganged together in a drag chassis. Old School!

  • PeteP

    Ridden by the one and only Werner!!!!!

  • DoctorNine

    I think I might want one. The power to weight looks really good. And the styling is absolutely dead-on, as far as I’m concerned. I’d need to touch one and assess quality before laying out that kind of cash, but it’s a hand-built, and still much cheaper than a Confederate.

  • Dr. Gellar

    I’m impressed. Like this bike or not, it is great to see a manufacturer go a different route engine-wise and get away from the monotony of yet another I-4.

  • TeeJay

    I think the 20k€ price contains the regular 19% German VAT, so it shall be less in the US. 16.8 grants or so. Similar to VMax

  • TeeJay

    I think I like it – the speciality comes from the technical details, not from an obsolate design and look.
    Still, imagine the maintenance cost of the valves. :)

  • Duge

    I like most everything EXCEPT the belt drive

  • http://www.bottpower.com Hugo

    The engine is apparantly “modular” meaning a VR4 (or maybe even a VR2?) is also feasible. It has two intake valves and one exhaust valve positioned in a radial array. One of the guys (I think Rupert Baindl) working on this project knows a lot about the Apfelbeck engines, they built the twin-crank 750cc BMR Supermono single (115 bhp) and they developed the Neander diesel motorcycle engine

  • http://www.thisblueheaven.com Mark D.

    I saw the 3 cam shaft circles, but thought it was just a design affectation! I guess three cam shafts makes sense for this bike; I was just assuming each “bank” had one cam, running 3 cylinders a piece. But the center one runs the exhaust for the rearward cylinders, and the intake for the forward cylinders? Cool.

    Also, that seat looks like a beautiful piece of leather. Hope it doesn’t spoil in the rain!

    With an engine that size, needs more fairings; it’d be a killer GT bike!

  • MotoRandom

    Well, it’s not really cool or sexy. That being said, this bike has quite an elegant design. It is subtle and utilitarian but has very clean lines with nothing out of place. I like how the gas tank and frame lines blend together while being separated by material color. The whole package is a solid step forward for modern design. While it is not the kind of bike I would gravitate towards, I think some respect needs to go out for them building something that doesn’t need be some far out extreme (i.e. Confederate) or copy something that already exists. For a new independent company they have done a real nice job here.

    Oh, and kudos for insane amount of power. Because that’s always fun too.

  • BL

    love it.

  • http://www.tripleclamp.net Sasha Pave

    German bike porn, semi-illicit.

  • fazer6

    Love it–Just wish I could afford it.

  • mike

    Handsome looking bike…and a supercharged V6? Wow. It seems like it might look out of place on its back wheel, but I’d like to see it!

  • http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html Randy Singer

    When did someone develop a belt final drive that could handle anywhere near 200HP?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Just now.

  • toeCutter


  • http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html Randy Singer

    For the first time EVER on a bike that still isn’t in running prototype form? I doubt it.

  • Brett

    Like the bike some thing new as for the belt drive it’s not the bhp that will do in the belt but the torque that will shred the belt

  • Patrick

    Belt drive aside, I love this bike! Great ingenuity and the styling is great with it’s kind of retro, tracker, modern, understated elements.. Pricey, but I dig it.