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Thread: Engineering benefits of 6 cylinders?

  1. #16
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lionheart33 View Post
    All I have seen is superficial marketing materials. At the most fundamental level I am not sure I understand why there is even a need for a 6 cyl. motorcycle engine.
    This discussion probably fits under the "If I have to explain it, you wouldn't understand it" category.

    The Honda CBX was a sensation when it came out.

    No one has mentioned the sound of the engine. Find a good YouTube video of the K1600GT in action. That will explain some of the attraction of a 6-cylinder motorcycle engine.

    Excellent performance, exclusivity, sound: mystique.

    Harry
    2003 R1150RT - Silver

  2. #17
    God? What god? roborider's Avatar
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    If you are making a big, full on, luxury tourer (like a GW, KLT, or the K16GTL), this six is a perfect engine. Smooth, lots of torque, lots of power, vibration free, etc. So "need" is a strange question. This is a great engine, and the right engine in a big bike like that. Do I 'need' it in my R12RT, certainly not. But if I'm looking for a lazy boy on two wheels, I need it.

    I was surprised how nice my buddies K16GTL is. I lean more towards the GT, but the engine is nice.
    Rob C. , Raleigh, NC
    '10 R12RT, R90/6
    2007 CBR600RR & 09 V-Star
    Suzuki DR 350

  3. #18
    Registered User amiles's Avatar
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    I wonder that the appeal for this machine is mainly in the "here and now". Folks who like to be the first with the biggest/costliest/most powerful/high tech/new and damn the expense. (lucky so and so's).

    When these machines are surpassed by the next great thing or two, where will their popularity stand? I suspect that the potential frugal purchaser of a 5 year old experienced "wonder bike" like this may not be willing/able to spend on wear items that the first owner didn't have to. In addition it seems that the newer and more sophisticated machines in most cases have regular maintenance tasks that are not within the skills of most owners.

    One reason that the Airhead machines have remained popular all these years is that most maintenance is very basic and does not require unavailable diagnostic equipment. Many owners can do their own work, a big plus for someone on a budget. The sixes? different story I'm sure. I don't suppose that many will be ridden to a national rally at 30 years of age. and in the big picture does anyone care?

  4. #19
    Ambassador at Large JIMSHAW's Avatar
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    The real appeal of a six

    As any automotive or mechanical engineer probably knows, the inline six has two major benefits, both of which appeal to a motorcyclist on a big bike:

    Unusual intrinsic balance, allowing less vibration and less noticeable rough zones in the torque/rpm curves.

    Comparatively high torque at lower rpm. It makes acceleration away from a stop seem more nearly effortless. It also allows for wider power bands through the gears. And it means almost always running the engine in an optimum place on the FI mapping that should make its economy comparable to a 4 or a 2 with similar weight and frontal area factors.

    It follows from a marketing standpoint (sales fuel engineering, no matter what), it brings forth a new BMW machine, comparable only to the Honda GW, which has an enviable portion of the available, established market for such a thing.

  5. #20
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoboRider View Post
    If you are making a big, full on, luxury tourer (like a GW, KLT, or the K16GTL), this six is a perfect engine. Smooth, lots of torque, lots of power, vibration free, etc. So "need" is a strange question.
    I'll take one in a S configuration! Have a feeling it's going to be there soon
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  6. #21
    Ambassador at Large JIMSHAW's Avatar
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    Cool A Six S

    Quote Originally Posted by henzilla View Post
    I'll take one in a S configuration! Have a feeling it's going to be there soon
    I think I'd have an even harder time keeping up with you, if I were still flogging my old 1150GS.


  7. #22
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimshaw View Post


    I think I'd have an even harder time keeping up with you, if I were still flogging my old 1150GS.

    you and me both...Helen would be riding it at warp speed
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
    It's not the breaths you take, but the moments that take your breath away-D.Dillon/G. Strait

  8. #23
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    I'm a lot more interested in seeing the new MOTUS than an overly complex 6 cyl "wonderbike" S version that is likely to be a maintenance nightmare once it gets some mileage. Electronics are the bane of German quality in everything else and these new bikes aren't likely to be any different.
    The power of the MOTUS is alleged to be similar, I'd expect it will be a good bit lighter, it won't have a gear FD to leave you stranded somewhere (though you'll get stuck with chain maintenance, ugh..) Hydraulic lifters promise little need for incessant valve checks, etc etc. Has outlets, luggage and other basic sport touring stuff. Some ?? around the first use of direct injection on a bike and the ability to get really good maps- but hey, my boxer has the jerkies on throttle off already so its not like BMWs are perfect at fueling either.

    Simple is good to some of us- it is the prime reason I own a boxer but I would like more punch (get my fix from a K1200RS I also ride at present)
    Be interesting to see if a new US maker can deliver a well executed bike at a sane price. The MOTUS concept is a "road less travled" for sure compared to others brands but I believe it will have appeal if done well and priced right.

    I like straight 6's in cars - got a turbo'ed Lexus SC with one and an AMG Mercedes but I'll take my bikes a bit simpler (unless someone has an old 6 cylinder Honda 250 racebike they want to send my way....)

    I still find it hard to believe BMW will walk away from 4 cyl bikes for the long term. There is a huge gap between the boxer, even the watercooled one (which will no doubt still spin up as slowly as any other large twin and have the narrower powerband that goes with the design) and that 6.

    If I end up with either, I might never get much more than 2500 miles from another rear tire for the rest of my life, however. THAT is a potential problem, but a good one....On that subject, I am surprised at the rather long tire life for some low mile rated tires used on a friends BMW 535 i. The reason is apparently the ridiculously slow, zero torque shifting done by the car's (IMO, annoyingly programmed) auto tranny. You can eat a sandwich while it shifts, almost....Not a way I want to stretch tires on a bike.

  9. #24
    John. jstrube's Avatar
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    I saw the MOTUS in person. AWESOME looking up close. I could own that bike...
    John.

  10. #25
    na1g
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    OK, I'll throw the name out there, just to stir the pot:

    Goldwing. A flat-6.

    pete
    R1200RT

  11. #26
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    I'm happy with my boxer. At least at this time. I don't know about next year.
    Few engines will ever have that history. It's been a long time.
    But for me 2 cylinders is enough.
    I never much thought I needed to get into the Honda 4's. Tho' I do know about how smooth they are.
    I just always thought 4 cylinders was too much.
    It's part of the reason why I'm not a K bike aficionado.
    I don't think bigger is better. I don't think I need more power.
    dc

  12. #27
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    Bit ironic that all the talk in the BMW car world is superceding inline sixes with twin-turbo fours. Especially big news in USA market, where BMW hasn't offered a four since the mid/late 1990s.

    BTW, any inline 6 BMW car I ever owned was NOT a torque monster. Depends on how you tune it of course, and today's tech is light years beyond 1980s tech, but those cars needed revs to do anything. Nothing "inherent" as regards inline 6 and torque in my experience, that is.

    Still, the 1600 is quite the update on the LT.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

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