The big BMW flat twin that originally broke cover last fall in a Japanese custom bike has reappeared.
When it first appeared in the fall in the Custom Works Zon machine, details were sparse on the new air-cooled boxer, and even now, after it showed up again in Austin, Texas, there’s not much information about the engine.
This time, the engine once again appeared in a custom bike, built by Austin’s Revival Cycles. Since all the moto-press was in town for the MotoGP race at Circuit of the Americas, it was a prime opportunity to show off this new engine, and get everyone all hot and bothered, even if they didn’t know specific details.
What we do know is, the engine is supposed to be 1800 cc, uses a combination of air-cooling and oil-cooling (like the engine found in BMW’s current retro R9T lineup), and uses pushrod-actuated valves. I
We also know that while BMW generally keeps planned developments more or less under wraps, this engine has been spotted not only in two different custom bikes, but also a prototype bagger that Motorrad magazine published a photo of.
There have indeed been rumours of a new BMW bagger for a while now; many assumed the K1600 Grand America was that machine, but what if it wasn’t? What if BMW is planning to build a massive retro twin, to battle Harley-Davidson and Indian in the cruiser market?
Such a move might be seen as madness, considering the last time BMW tried this, with the R1200 C, it wasn’t a huge success (although it built a cult following).
However, this is supposedly the way forward for BMW, with more teasing of the engine expected at Lake Como’s Villa d’Este motorcycle custom show, probably in a concept bike form.