Euro Notes: Horex is Back!

Germany's New/Old Überbike

BMW might want to watch its back. With the revival of formal rival Horex, the German superpower may soon have some competition for top of the Teutonic food chain.

The new supercharged, six-cylinder 1218cc Horex Roadster is the brainchild of company founder Clemens Neese. The former mechanical engineer is reviving the marque with a supercharged, triple-camshaft, narrow-angle V6 and fresh-but-understated styling by Peter Naumann, creator of the MZ 1000S.

At less than 17 inches wide, the VR6 motor is narrower than many inline-fours. With a 15-degree angle between the two banks of cylinders, it's essentially a space-saving, staggered-straight-six much like Volks-wagen's. Horex claims 114 lb.-ft. of torque peaking at 7200 rpm spread over a broad range via a very flat curve, with peak power of 200 bhp at 8500 rpm.

The heavy, innovative engine is housed in a modular chassis comprising twin aluminum side spars attached to a tubular-steel subframe incorporating the steering head. The Roadster will have an Öhlins inverted fork matched to a cantilevered shock operated by a single-sided cast-aluminum swingarm. Radial-mount Brembo four-piston calipers grip 320mm front discs, and ABS is standard.

The new Horex will initially be marketed as a premium motorcycle in Germany, Austria and Switzerland when it enters production in October 2011. Other markets will follow one year later, includinög the USA, Australasia and Japan. Neese plans to ramp up production to 1000 bikes per year. R&D; testing was slated to begin in September.

Euro Notes: Horex is Back!