A Bavarian Soul Story

Blog Post No. 25 - BMW Motorrad - A Bavarian Soulstory - Episode 6: Boxer Engine

Blog Post No. 25 - BMW Motorrad - A Bavarian Soulstory - Episode 6: Boxer Engine

We're now at episode 6! Yes six episodes deep and we're starting to get under the surface that is the R18 and all that goes along with it.

In this episode we find ourselves back in Germany.

We jump from big city Munich headquarters to small country side cottage and secret workshops tucked away on sleepy roads. Something very special we look at in this episode is to the the past of Motorrad. Yes this has been a common theme in many of these episodes but we sit down with past Master technicians of the BMW Motorrad assembly line as well as a man who uses touch, feel and emotion to fine tune the boxer motors of today in partnership with the Motorrad team to bring new models together for future offerings.

Why is this so important? It shows the values of the Motorrad embracing the past, respecting the roots and people who have helped create bikes of the past as well as a company that still keeps the passion and the "feeling" of riding a motorcycles alive. It is at the forefront of development though and though in the storyline of the R18. Off screen I can't tell you how many conversations were had pertaining to the feeling of riding a bike, the feeling of a boxer motor, the feeling you get going through the gears or firing up the motor. The passion in each persons voice you can really feel the sincerity and how much soul has gone into this bike. 

Not just soul went into the boxer motor tho. This was a completely new motor that was designed with simplicity. It's a simple work of art as a stand alone piece out of the bike, but its built to perform while maintaining beauty and grace. No plastic, no fake covers, no dummy plates. It's all the real deal and each piece was designed to serve a purpose, to look good and perform to its best ability.

This is important because it's talked about in a later episode but everything on the R18 including the motor was designed conceptually and passed off to the engineering team to make it work. Usually existing parts are used from other models to keep costs down and why reinvent something if its already working? But with the R18 the Motorrad team flipped the script on how the bike was to be built. Usually sepcs are passed from engineering and design is restricted based off those specs and current production possibilities. This can really hinder the overall design of the bike. But in the R18's story line, the design team along with outside help from Lazlo and Helmut who you meet in this episode along with minds like Roland Sands, Petter Nettesheim and others sat down together to bring important design details into the scope of what this bike would look like and all these notes, sketches and specs were passed to the engineering team to make it happen. 

Passion, design, and feeling were the key components in the beginning, middle, and end product of what the R18 will be. Additionally I think it's respectable that the Motorrad team goes outside of the box and outside of the internal team to work with people like Helmut who has been building race engines out of the boxer motor for 35+ years. This is a man who has relied solely on feel. With all the money, computers, dyno rooms, etc at Motorrads disposal they took it back to their roots and remembered you can still have a motor built to have soul and passion pumping through the valves. 



Reading next

Blog Post No. 24 - BMW Motorrad - A Bavarian Soulstory - Episode 5: Tommy at the Nettesheim Museum
Blog Post No. 26 - BMW Motorrad - A Bavarian Soulstory - Episode 7: The design process of the R 18


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