BMW Motorrad is very quietly teasing a new motorcycle platform, one that is centered around an 1,800cc boxer design.
BMW teased this new engine in a unique way, having Yuichi Yoshizawa and Yoshikazu Ueda of Custom Works Zon build a show bike around the boxer-twin, which we are showing here in the story.
With its vintage style, it is easy to disregard the prototype engine from BMW as being something from the German company’s past, and perhaps that is the point. The engine uses a push-rod design, and its cooling fins tip-off its air/oil-cooling mechanism.
Specifics beyond this are non-existent, however, with BMW Motorrad simply saying that “further details about the engine and its possible future use will be communicated at a later point in time.”
We have a pretty good guess where BMW Motorrad could be headed, however. This because for a while now, we have seen rumors of a BMW cruiser model circulating – a so-called Diavel killer.
With virtually every product segment tapped in the two-wheeled world by BMW Mottorad, there really is only one gap in the lineup: an honest heritage cruiser.
Such a model from BMW could make a tremendous amount of business sense for the brand, though it should be noted in the same sentence that the market size for cruisers is one that is rapidly shrinking.
If there is a window for BMW to make a successful play in the cruiser realm, that opening is right now, before too many brands are fighting for the last table scraps of this dying segment.
For BMW, the opportunity bodes well, however, as the Germans have already shown a willingness to turn their air-cooled motor designs into a heritage portion of the brand, which has helped them to recycle the older boxer-twin engine for a longer duty life.
Making now a new boxer engine, with old-style elements, the Germans show a willingness to grow this space of their brand, while also entering new segments. As such, it will be interesting to see where they go with this concept.
The rumored 1,800cc displacement is surely down to two factors: 1) the impending Euro5 regulations will be murder on air-cooled engines, and thus require large displacements in order to meet power and torque goals, and 2) to help better position BMW against brands like Harley-Davidson and Indian, which also have large heritage-focused bikes in their lineup.
Will BMW Motorrad dress up its cruiser offerings like these American brands, or will the germans follow more closely their European counterparts at Ducati and Triumph? That will be interesting to see, but we think this concept gives us an idea of where the Bavarians are headed.
We will keep your apprised as this develops over the coming months. Stay tuned!