Founded in 1920 by the Rex glassware company, Horex is a German motorcycle manufacturer which disappeared from the bike-building landscape many, many years ago. That’s all changed now, and the company’s introduction of a six-cylinder powerplant has the industry buzzing and managed to steal the limelight from established maker BMW, who have also announced their plans for a six-cylinder machine, in the bargain.
With its cafe racer stance and monstrous poweplant, this custom-built, limited production bike is sure to make a splash for the re-invented company.
Making use of Columbus four-stroke engines after 1925 when Horex and Columbus merged, their bikes included a range of models with single-cylinder Columbus engines from 250cc to 600cc displacements. The addition of a 600cc S6 and the 800cc S8 back in 1933 put them on the map, but World War II interrupted motorcycle production at their plants and though Horex resumed operations in 1948 with a 350cc single-cylinder model, the SB 35 Regina and went on to sell 18,600 of them, the company found it hard going against the competition. A 30 bhp 500cc OHC Straight-two engine called the Imperator and a 400cc, 26 bhp twin kept them in the running through the mid-1950’s, but Daimler-Benz took over the company in 1960 and that was all she wrote for the company’s motorcycle production operations.
But my how times have changed…
In June of 2010 the announcement was made that the Horex brand would be revived and plans were made to resume production with a bike featuring a narrow-angle, six-cylinder supercharged engine. The latest incarnation of the brand boasts not only the VR6 supercharged engine, but an aluminum bridge frame with a steel steering head and a single swing arm which controls the rear wheel via a belt drive system.
The first showing of the VR6 Horex Roadster, with its muscular 200 bhp, narrow-angle, V6 captured the imagination of the motorcycle-buying public and journalists. The new Horex factory is set to build machines on a custom-order-only basis and the powerplants will be built by Weber. Each machine will be handcrafted and built by a single mechanic from start to finish right down to the final test phase on the dynamometer.
While initial production will be a decidedly low-volume affair, each bike is expected to command something like a $26,500 pricetag, so they won’t come cheap, and you can spend lots more depending on the level of customization you want. If you want one in the US, you’re out of luck for the foreseeable future and you’d have to pay a visit to Germany, Austria or Switzerland to land one for your garage.
While the brand hasn’t produced a motorcycle in the last 50 years – this latest effort is sure to meet with some interest and will offer stiff competition to the Yamaha V-Max in the musclebike segment.