We haven’t seen a good solid stirring of the motorcycle rumormill in a while, but today whispers of a BMW six-cylinder naked bike, a K1600R if you will, have be filtering through the web forums and into our ears. With the rumors centering mostly around the fact that BMW introduced its 1,600cc inline-six motor at EICMA in 2009 by sticking it in a very attractive street-naked motorcycle, speculation has begun as to whether the Bavarian firm would follow that concept up with an actual production model (we always did find it strange that the concept for a touring motorcycle was a street-naked).
In 2009, the answer to that question were a surprising no-way, no-how, as BMW’s thoughts with the six-cylinder lump was to provide a smoother and more comfortable ride that better suited the touring market. In fact, the K1600GT/GTL’s motor makes 13hp less than the K1300R’s four-cylinder engine it would hypothetically oust, which becomes a bigger issue in the sportier category. None of these concerns are deal-breakers that would keep BMW from expanding the K1600 line into its more sporty market segments, but the Germans will likely have to tinker with the motor’s innards to find a few more ponies to convince riders about its move.
We don’t expect to see anything on this at EICMA later this November, but it certainly is an interesting proposition to ponder, and you can bet that there’s at least some discussion about the possibility going on internally in Germany. After all, the more components, especially motors, that motorcycles share, the easier it is for the Motorrad division to be profitable in its two-wheel pursuits. How that internal discussion concludes though, time will have to tell.