A supercharged V6-engined motorcycle? Yes, we'd take the Horex VR6 over the BMW K1600GT. It could well be the modern-day, German-made equivalent of the magnificent Honda CBX1000!
Set up way back in the early 1920s, Horex was one of the first motorcycle brands to be established in Germany (and, for that matter, in Europe...). The company was set up by one Fritz Kleemann, who was all of 24 years old when he set up Horex. Horex produced a fair number of bikes for the next three decades, but went into decline by the mid-1950s. The company was finally bought over by Daimler-Benz in 1960 and stopped producing motorcycles.
Those who may be interested in Horex’s past can read the German company’s story on their official website. The future, however, begins right here, for Horex is making a comeback of sorts. Under new management, they have built an all-new V6-engined motorcycle that will be launched in Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 2011. The bike, which could be priced at about €20,000, is fitted with a 1,200cc supercharged V6 that produces more than 200 horsepower and 150Nm of torque.
The Rotrex radial supercharger fitted to the Horex VR6 engine is driven via a toothed belt connected to the bike’s crankshaft. ‘This enables the supercharger to instantly build up charge pressure, without a trace of turbo lag,’ according to the press material available on the Horex website. ‘Combining a compact, high-output VR engine with a crankshaft-driven supercharger gives the new Horex a level of raw performance that is unmatched in today's motorcycle world,’ it adds.
In terms of its styling, we think the new Horex looks quite all right, and the spec sheet is not too bad either – six-speed gearbox, belt drive, aluminium bridge frame, 50mm USD fork, single-sided swingarm with adjustable monoshock and radial-mount four-piston callipers for the front brake discs. The bike weighs about 240 kilos, which should be all right if the claimed power output figure is correct.
A 200bhp supercharged musclebike that can take on the Yamaha VMAX and Suzuki B-King? Yes, why not. We like it. We like the new Horex – it’s kind of cool. And we want a whiff of whatever it is that those Germans have been smoking.
A video of the Horex VR6 being unveiled at the 2010 INTERMOT motorcycle show in Cologne