If you’re a regular here, you’ll know that we rarely feature production motorcycles. But this new bike is more interesting than most. It’s the return of the venerable German marque Horex (est. 1920) with a VR6-powered Roadster due to start production in a few weeks’ time. And there are some big names backing this company: finance is coming from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, while Rolls-Royce, Bosch and VW are providing technological know-how.
The Horex is powered by a new 1218cc triple overhead cam motor. It has a tight 15-degree V-angle to keep it compact, and puts out a hefty 161 hp. (It’s built at the Weber facility in Markdorf, near Lake Constance.) Another innovation is a chain and sprocket lubrication system, which continuously applies a thin film of graphite to the chain.
The styling—which reminds me a little of the Moto Guzzi Griso, surely a bike in the Horex’s sights—is by Peter Naumann, an industrial designer with motorcycle experience who also moonlights as a professor of design at the University of Munich.
Each Horex will be built to order, so there will be no excess stock at dealers. And it’ll be built using the traditional “one man, one bike” principle. The company is putting a big emphasis on quality control, and pitches itself as a two-wheeled counterpart to the established German auto industry.
It all sounds very promising, although we’ll have to reserve judgment until we know the pricing. We’ll also have to see how well the Horex carries its weight. The official specs show a rather portly 250 kg, without revealing whether that’s wet or dry. Either way, the VR6 Roadster is no featherweight sportbike.
My gut feeling is that the brand is doing everything right. And with a supercharged version of the VR6 motor already in the works, Horex will be able to satisfy power freaks as well as riders looking for an accomplished all-rounder. What do you think?