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Thread: New BMW Water-Cooled Boxer

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragtoplvr View Post

    Just for grins, where is the radiator on your bergman, and do you feel any heat from it.

    Rod
    The radiator on the 650 Burgman is up front, under the fairing behind the front wheel.

    And no, not even a bit of heat from it or the engine. Not a bit, even sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on a summer day with the electric fan going full blast.

    I wish it had grip heaters like my GSA though. Don't know why they don't offer them in the USA version. They do elsewhere in the world, grip and seat heaters.

  2. #62
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    Now that is what BMW needs to study, how Suzuki manages the air flow such that the engine heat is not noticed. Then a waterboxer would be just fine.

    Rod

  3. #63
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    Why don't they just put the radiator somewhere in the back of the bike?
    14 R1200GSA, 93 R100R. No car is as fun to drive as any motorcycle is to ride.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by ridewv View Post
    Why don't they just put the radiator somewhere in the back of the bike?
    I would suspect that there's a natural high pressure area just behind the front tire to maximize airflow.

  5. #65
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    As to the response about Harley's market position and success with a "traditional design": I feel it has a LOT more to do with highly effective marketing and developing a feeling in the pulic that a "Harley" is the bike to own and ride, than it is the design itself. Yes, Harley should be credited with developing a product line that has stood the test of time and change. But it is a clearly dated design base compared to other more modern engine designs. Perhaps its too bad that eventual government regulations deal the final blow more than does true marketability.

    But the fact is, is that Harley is very near the end of a product line that can move ahead against pending noise and emission regulations. The air cooled v-twin is simply limited in that regard, especially a v-twin with a shared crankpin design like the Harley.

    Similarly too, the air/oil cooled boxer is reaching its limit of prolonged marketability and noise/emission compliance. BMW is simply moving the boxer-twin base design into the future. Sure, it could probably continue the current R12 engine for many years as is. But it would very likely not improve beyond its current state. Now, I for one feel it is a great engine, VERY capable and satisfying, and I'd buy one tomorrow, ten years from now, 20 years from now. But, I'm one of your common/traditional BMW market types, and BMW has to look to future marketability and growth with a new engine.
    Woodenshoe to Cheesehead

  6. #66
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    I agree with Andy. The air-oil cooled boxer twin, and certainly the 45-degree air cooled v-twin architectures have gone about as far as they can go. Could BMW punch the boxer out to 1250 cc? Probably, but incremental changes can't make it into a truly modern engine. Harley is living on borrowed time with its air cooled motor but they surely have noted that the water cooled twin hasn't been a big seller, so they are kinda stuck with what sells.

    I criticize BMW for a number of things but salute them for the bold moves they have been making recently, including the impending "wet head".

    Pete (R1200RT)

  7. #67
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    I am cautiously awaiting the water cooled boxer motor, I think it is probably the only way BMW can go if they choose to keep making a boxer motor much longer.

    I am an AirHead guy, and not much impressed with the newest oil head motors. I owned a 2000 R1100R and did not keep it long.
    Friends who have the more current oil heads have mixed emotions about them and their service costs.

    As for the water cooled HD. I think the reason it does not sell well is due to the overall design of the motorcycle and has not much to do with it being water cooled.
    If they put that motor in one of their regular touring chassis, I'll bet it would take off in the market place a lot better than it has.
    The water cooled motor is sweet through out the rev range, the bike itself is fugly IMHO. Plus, I have not yet met the person who fits the ergonomic design of that thing.

  8. #68
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    HD has made a living selling lifestyle rather than performance. No offense to anyone that owns a HD, but appearance is a major factor in that market. Contrast that with BMW GS owners. When I bought mine, my daughter asked my wife if I actually thought it was a good looking bike.
    BMW R bike rider, horizontally opposed to everything...

  9. #69
    Registered User ANDYVH's Avatar
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    A friend of mine works for Harley in the dyno room, testing engines. He said the V-Rod engine (Harley's current water cooled engine) really kicked butt on the dynos and tested very well, very durable, with great power.

    I agree, that had Harley put that engine into a modern interpretation of their classic touring bikes it would probably have sold better. But they put it in a limited use stretched cruiser style bike that appealled to almost none of the typical Harley buyers. Maybe that was the intent, to get the non-typical HD buyer. But with Harley's resources and capabilities they could have easily created a Touring V-Rod to test which bike/engine sold better.

    BMW, over the past eight years has shwon some bold market moves. Some good, some just ok. But give BMW credit for trying and for going for some diversity in the product lines. With that I welcome the water-boxer, even though I feel the current R1200 engine is a great example of what can be done without the added complexity of water cooling.
    Woodenshoe to Cheesehead

  10. #70
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    There is another problem with the Vrod, it is a 60?? angle engine and will never sound like the 45?? engine. If they fixed that it would sell much better.

  11. #71
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    I have seen a couple of the V-rod's that have added the Tour Glide fairing and it looks real sharp.
    During the short time i owned a Road King and was on some of their forums, a few people had done that mod to their V - rods.

    I think HD missed the boat on that one, but also think all the HD motors will be water cooled within the next few years.

    I also agree that BMW has stretched a lot in the last few years with new models. As we all know the brand is looked at by the younger crowd as motorcycles for older riders . Now with their efforts in road racing and more models in the ADV category, I think they are on the right track.

    Doug

  12. #72
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    The V-Rod 60 degree v-twin engine is not like the 45 degree v-twin, for more than the v-angle. The iconic 45 degree HD engine has a shared crankpin for the connecting rods, from which the firing order produces the "potatoe-potatoe" sound. HD would have to get really innovative to produce that sound in an engine with staggered crankpins like the V-Rod (maybe a soundtrack?).

    But almost more important than the look, is the HD sound for marketability. Harleys that don't look AND sound like a Harley don't sell. So HD will have to go with the water cooled heads on the current engine to maintain market share. Honda proved that when the 75 HP Shadow (with a staggered crankpin v-twin) went to a shared crankpin 60 HP v-twin. Reduced power in the same size engine overcame loss of market share with the "perception of power" in the sound of a Harley. Bikers are a fickle bunch.

    Fortunately, BMW isn't market limited by something as trivial as sound. Though we certainly all know the sound a bike makes is as much its appeal as its looks. Any Ducati, Triumph or Laverda triple, Aprillia or Honda V-four proves that. I think the latest R12GS has a great sound from a stock exhaust. So marry that to a water cooled boxer with 130+ HP (I have heard that now from a few dealer sources already) and we could have a class leading soul stirring big twin bike to come. There is no Harley anywhere near stock tune, or with a $35k Screaming Eagle package, or with some SERIOUS aftermarket mods that can even get close to those numbers! GO BMW!!
    Woodenshoe to Cheesehead

  13. #73
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    I must be getting real old, because i fail to see the need for 130 hp on a street motorcycle.

    Also cannot fathom a 1200cc so called off road/ on road motorcycle. Most of those are like the SUV's that the soccer Mom's drive. The only off road the will ever see is when they run over a garbage can left in the driveway.

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by 40427 View Post
    I must be getting real old, because i fail to see the need for 130 hp on a street motorcycle.

    Also cannot fathom a 1200cc so called off road/ on road motorcycle. Most of those are like the SUV's that the soccer Mom's drive. The only off road the will ever see is when they run over a garbage can left in the driveway.
    As to #1, I tend to agree. Hard to justify the 110hp the GS currently has.

    As to #2 I think you're perhaps judging based only upon personal experience, and not looking at what some people need. In my case I traded from an F650GS to an R1200GSA because my wife loves to ride the dirt roads with me, 2-up. The smaller bikes are not comfortable two up ... at least not for us. We don't have pretenses of doing single track through sand, but there are lots of fun dirt roads here in Michigan, and lots of fun to be had on the dirt roads of CO this coming summer! JMHO
    Dan

  15. #75
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    On the 2nd thought , I was just generalizing.

    Never even considered riding two up on an off road machine.
    Kudo's to you for your skill !!!

    I'm originally from Michigan and remember back in the day riding some great trails, and gravel roads.

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