Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster

21st photos

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

1/21
Once in motion, the respect for the imposing stature disappears in an instant. Because the Horex can be moved surprisingly nimbly for such a chunk.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

2/21
Nice idea: H-shaped light-emitting diodes form the rear light, the matt black indicators hardly appear visually.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

3/21
Limit area: Solo the cats only scratch shortly before the limit.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

4/21
The tool kit contains an aluminum plate for the side stand to prevent it from sinking into soft floors. However, it does not contain the tools required to tension the chain.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

5/21
To bring the two cylinder banks in a slight V under a common cylinder head, …

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

6/21
… requires tapered piston heads.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

7/21
In the classic sense, roadsters are primarily committed to driving enjoyment, with maneuverability and a comfortable space the Horex offers good prerequisites for this.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

8/21
Thanks to plenty of lean angle and chassis reserves, the Roadster allows a pretty brisk pace.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

9/21
And if the throttle is turned back slightly at a low speed, it sometimes seems as if the throttle valves fell shut in one fell swoop.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

10/21
Six exhaust openings as a subtle indication of the number of cylinders, the sound raises the hair on the neck.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

11/21
The artfully intertwined manifold routing is evidence of the high design effort for the VR6 engine.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

12/21
Switch for the optional heated grips, neatly inserted into the handlebar fittings.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

13/21
With its combination of classic and modern style elements, it looks extremely impressive.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

14/21
The fact that the Horex is a stately motorcycle is confirmed when you sit down. 830 millimeters seat height, neatly upholstered, but also wide bench.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

15/21
The rough surfaces of the frame, notches, rocker arms and lamp holders give it a cast-iron charm that exudes solidity.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

16/21
It’s hard to believe that behind this slim silhouette there is a 1200-
Six-cylinder hides.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

17/21
Single-sided swing arm, White Power spring elements, PVM forged wheels, radially screwed Brembo pliers that bite into Braking Wave discs: that looks dignified and makes a valuable impression.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

18/21
Clear but sober round instruments, display with little information density.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

19/21
In the spotlight: you would love to discover more of such loving details on the Horex.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

20/21
The standard adjustable steering damper has little to do, keeps the steering absolutely steady.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster
Jahn

21/21
Thanks to the stiff chassis, the Horex circles the course at high speed.

Horex VR6 Roadster in the top test

Anything but mainstream

Styling, sound and of course the engine concept with VR six-cylinder make the Horex VR6 Roadster a splash of color in the two-wheeler world. But a dazzling personality alone is not enough, so it has to prove itself in the top test.

E.There are terms that make motorcycle fans prick up their ears. “Turbo”, for example, is one of those, or “compressor”. And of course: “six-cylinder”. Then the head cinema begins to run at full speed in the richest colors. The supreme discipline in motorcycle construction. From silky, but also powerful engines. For connoisseurs and connoisseurs. Boxer, in-line engine, even a V6, at least as a prototype from Laverda, everything has been there before. Fascinating constructions all – but not exactly compact.

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Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster

Horex VR6 Roadster in the top test
Anything but mainstream

Horex in mid-2010, when the first information about the resurrection of the traditional brand leaked out, for a number of reasons. Not only that it should be powered by a six-cylinder. It should be a VR6, the design already known from automotive engineering, in which two rows of cylinders are arranged at a moderate angle of 15 degrees and offset from one another. And a compressor should give the complex unit a solid performance.

Well, the compressor and the “power limited to a maximum of 200 hp for the first series”, which Managing Director Clemens Neese spoke of two years ago, have been postponed until further notice. But the VR6 is a reality. Just like the stately appearance of the Horex. And the 161 hp of the uncharged variant should definitely be enough.

With its combination of classic and modern style elements, it looks extremely impressive. The rough surfaces of the frame, notches, rocker arms and lamp holders give it a cast-iron charm that exudes solidity. Single-sided swing arm, White Power spring elements, PVM forged wheels, radially screwed Brembo pliers that bite into Braking Wave discs: that looks dignified and makes a valuable impression.

Surprisingly easy handling

The fact that the Horex is a stately motorcycle is confirmed when you sit down. 830 millimeters seat height, neatly upholstered, but also wide bench. Long-legged people have a clear advantage. Especially since it is important to maneuver a pounding 270 kilograms. The starter has to turn for a few seconds before the VR6 responds with impressive sawing and archaic growling at just under 1000 rpm idle. When the engine is hot it can be up to 2000. But after the first throttle response, which was still sparkling, the engine speed levels off around the specified 1600 rpm.

The hydraulically operated clutch requires firm grip. First gear snaps well. You log more than in a motorcycle, which together with the upright seating position gives you a stately driving experience. Despite the somewhat long tank, the arrangement of handlebars, pegs and seat bench can be described as extremely successful. The knee angle is relaxed, the upper body is loosely upright, the handlebars, which are not too wide, are easy to reach. And since the mighty aluminum profiles of the composite frame are guided over the engine, the waist is pleasantly narrow. Some four-cylinder engines spread their legs more clearly.

Once in motion, the respect for the imposing stature disappears in an instant. Because the Horex can be moved surprisingly nimbly for such a chunk and guided through the urban jungle on the aluminum handlebar. Once you have escaped the narrow street canyons, the chassis is also in the best of hands on ornate country roads.

Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster

Chopper / cruiser


Horex VR6 Roadster in the driving report


Test drive


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Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster

Naked bike


Horex VR6 Classic in the driving report (2013)


Toothbrush for small angle cleaning included in delivery


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Top test: Horex VR6 Roadster

Naked bike


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An earthy, full driving experience

For a motorcycle of this (weight) class, it is amazing how easily it can be steered from one lean angle to the next. There is joy. The Horex willingly follows the steering commands, is neutral and conveys an earthy, full driving experience. The slightly softer fork responds properly and cleanly filters bumps away from the road. Like the fork, the fully adjustable shock absorber is much tighter. It doesn’t respond as well, but it still works comfortably enough. As long as the asphalt isn’t too pitted. Only short, hard bumps sometimes get through to the driver uncomfortably. But the shock absorber doesn’t just show off its hydraulic spring preload. It is also adjustable in rebound as well as high and low speed compression. So no problem, you think.

However, while the driver’s manual provides instructions on how to adjust the fork, it advises going to the workshop if you change the settings on the shock absorber. If the preload and rebound can just about be achieved with the on-board tool kit, nothing can be done in the compression stage with on-board tools. By the way, neither when tensioning the chain, because a hook wrench for the eccentric is not on board.

But back to the chassis, which otherwise makes for happy faces. Steering precision and feeling for the front wheel only dwindle when the pace is really accelerated, when you enter the bends with flair and when you change lean angles at lightning speed, because a lot of weight pushes into the bends. Whereby the lean angle is enormous. Only when the tire grip limit is reached, the side stands, notches and catalytic converters scratch the asphalt. But then you are already terribly weird.

A roadster, not a racer


Jahn

The rough surfaces of the frame, notches, rocker arms and lamp holders give it a cast-iron charm that exudes solidity.

But wait a minute! The Horex is an easy-going roadster, but not a racer. And measured by this, their sporting talents are more than abundant. Enjoying relaxed and upright bends, sailing briskly through the curves, pulling your path full and steady, the Horex masters that with its left hand. In addition, it can easily handle an additional passenger, remains stable and predictable and does not wobble unwieldy or imprecisely through the curves under the additional load. Which is why the chassis deserves good grades. Because one thing is clear: It is not an easy task to make such a dream for sporty driving full and stable, but at the same time sufficiently comfortable and agile. And the technicians succeeded surprisingly well.

And the engine? Is as independent and distinctive as you would expect from such a creation. He pushes forward grumpily from the stand. Already at 4000 rpm the torque increases to a remarkable 104 Newton meters. It culminates in a magnificent 132 Nm at 7200 rpm. A remarkable value for a 1200. Unfortunately, it falls into a hole in between, which becomes noticeable as a strong depression between 4000 and 6000 revolutions in the torque curve.

Of course, there is enough pressure there, too, but this power delivery does not seem very harmonious, which is why you often try the somewhat bony gearbox and downshift one or two gears for quick overtaking maneuvers. One would have expected more sovereignty from a roadster of this caliber, especially in the medium speed range. From 6000 rpm, however, the power cube goes like the plague, and its snotty babbling, which is more reminiscent of two growling three-cylinders than a sleek six-pack, increases into a furious roar. The sound cascades of the VR engine are impressive, but they are not vulgarly loud. Measured 154 hp are a word and guarantee for excellent acceleration. The temperament only subsides above 9000 rpm, which is rather irrelevant on the country road. At least more than the mechanical expressions of life of the drive.

Engine tuning offers room for improvement


Jahn

Thanks to plenty of lean angle and chassis reserves, the Roadster allows a pretty brisk pace.

If the running smoothness is still okay below 4500 rpm, the handlebars and pegs start to tingle from this mark. And the mirrors, which allow limited consideration due to their somewhat short arms, only show a blurred image. No trace of the silky, velvety barrel that is commonly associated with six-cylinder engines. But it only gets really annoying on longer stages with constant speed. On the country road with correspondingly frequent gear changes and changing speeds, we book this under the robust character of the VR6. Another peculiarity, however, is really annoying: the engine tuning still offers room for improvement.

Soft, jerk-free transitions from pushing to load operation can only be achieved with a great deal of tact. Which may also be due to the fact that the engine does not react to the first millimeter of throttle twist. Which, especially in the lower speed range, causes the throttle response to act delayed. So some strong load change jerks in the apex of the curve sometimes messes up the clean line.

And if the throttle is turned back slightly at a low speed, it sometimes seems as if the throttle valves fell shut in one fell swoop. The engine braking torque sets in abruptly, and a further slight acceleration is followed by the delayed, jerky use of power. Annoying especially in the city. Switching from touring to sport mapping changes that little. If the engine is then on the gas, it reacts very directly to gas commands and gives goose bumps with its unique sound. The technicians now have the temperature balance under control. The fans started up relatively quickly, but the water temperature barely climbed above 90 degrees even when pushed hard.

The brakes are convincing


Jahn

Thanks to the stiff chassis, the Horex circles the course at high speed.

The brakes have everything under control in dangerous situations. Brembo’s four-piston radial calipers are extremely easy to dose. Don’t pack bitingly, but grasp vehemently. In the extreme case with an excellent 9.6 m / s² determined on the top test course. We take note of the easy set-up when braking in an inclined position, but nothing more. If necessary, the Bosch ABS regulates inconspicuously and at short intervals. Even with full braking, the Horex remains extremely stable on course and the rear wheel safely on the ground, even if the pressure point of the brake shifts a little. Incidentally, the Horex does not have a slip clutch to calm the stern. If the gas is turned off abruptly during such maneuvers, the electronics close the throttle valve somewhat more slowly in order to reduce the drag torque on the rear wheel. What works well, but is noticeable now and then as a slight push.

But the Horex not only cuts a good figure when braking, also at the pump. The VR6 unit only consumed 5.3 liters per 100 kilometers on our consumption round – a respectable figure. Around 350 kilometers at a time are feasible with it. That is a gratifying tour-conscious fact. There could be more. Because thanks to the fine ergonomics and the comfortably padded bench, the driver can endure longer in the saddle of the Horex. Incidentally, lubricating the chain should be a thing of the past. It runs over a graphite block on the upper side of the swing arm, which is supposed to permanently grease the chain.

Motor does not flaunt its construction sensationally

That fits very well with the serious character of the Horex, which, despite its imposing appearance, somehow also offers a somewhat subtle understatement. Because the engine does not show off its unique construction and its power in a lurid way, but rather fits in almost discreetly into the overall picture despite the three indicated camshafts and the symbolic “V” on the cylinders. For connoisseurs and connoisseurs. And also for enthusiasts and individualists. Because a purchase price of 21,700 euros should keep the potential customer base manageable. Small series – Horex strives for 1000 units per year – ensure exclusivity, but they also have their price. But in this case you get a technically unique piece of two-wheel history.

Info and data


Jahn

The artfully intertwined manifold routing is evidence of the high design effort for the VR6 engine.

engine
Water-cooled six-cylinder four-stroke 15-degree VR engine, three overhead, chain-driven camshafts, three valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 34 mm, uncontrolled catalytic converter with secondary air system, 450 W alternator, 12 V / 19 Ah battery, Hydraulically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 18:48.
Bore x stroke: 68.0 x 55.0 mm
Displacement: 1218 cm³
Compression ratio: 12.5: 1
Rated output: 118.0 kW (161 hp) at 8800 rpm
Max. Torque: 137 Nm at 6800 rpm

landing gear
Bridge frame made of aluminum with screwed-on tubular steel frame, upside-down fork, Ø 48 mm, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, single-sided swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, rebound and compression damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, Four-piston fixed calipers, rear disc brake, Ø 264 mm, two-piston fixed calipers, ABS.
Forged aluminum wheels: 3.50 x 17; 6.00 x 17
Tires: 120/70 ZR 17; 190/55 ZR 17
Tires in the test: Metzeler Roadtec Z8 Interact “M”

measurements and weight
Wheelbase 1506 mm, steering head angle 66.0 degrees, caster 95 mm, spring travel f / h 120/120 mm, permissible total weight 450 kg, tank capacity / reserve 17.0 / 4.0 liters.

Service data
Service intervals: 10000 km
Oil and filter change: every 10000 km, 4 liters
Engine oil: SAE 15W-50
Telescopic fork oil: SAE 4
Spark plugs: NGK CR9-EIA 9
Idle speed: 1600 ± 150 / min
Tire pressure solo / with pillion passenger: front / rear 2.5 / 2.9 (2.5 / 2.9) bar
Guarantee: two years
Price: 21 700 euros
Price test motorcycle *: 22,191 euros

*Incl. Retrofit footrests (246 euros) and heated grips (245 euros)

Noticed


Jahn

Clear but sober round instruments, display with little information density.

plus

  • The operation of the display in the cockpit is simple and intuitive
  • The tool kit contains an aluminum plate for the side stand to prevent it from sinking into soft floors

minus

  • However, it does not contain the tools required to tension the chain
  • The display in the cockpit offers a lot of information, but it is divided into different menus, of which only one can be displayed at a time

MOTORCYCLE measurements


Jahn

Six exhaust openings as a subtle indication of the number of cylinders, the sound raises the hair on the neck.

Performance

Top speed *
acceleration
250 km / h
0-100 km / h 3.2 sec
0-140 km / h 5.1 sec
0-200 km / h 9.9 sec
Draft
60-100 km / h 4.3 sec
100-140 km / h 4.5 sec
140-180 km / h 4.6 sec
Speedometer deviation
effective (display 50/100)   48/97 km / h
Tachometer deviation
Display red area 10,000 rpm
effectively 9800 rpm

consumption

Country road 5.6 l / 100 km
at 130 km / h 6.0 l / 100 km
theoretical range country road   304 km
Fuel type Super

mass and weight

L / W / H 2170/790/1270 mm
Seat height 830 mm
Handlebar height 1090 mm
Turning circle 6000 mm
Weight with a full tank 270 kg
Payload 180 kg
Wheel load distribution v / h 48/51%


BILLION

The engine power of the Horex VR6_Roadster.

Driving dynamics

Handling course I (fast slalom)
Lap time 19.9 sec
Suzuki B-King 19.8 sec
vmax at the measuring point 106.1 km / h
Reference Suzuki B-King 109.1 km / h

For its high weight, the Horex circles the pylons at high speed. The turning maneuver at the turning point requires a lot of feeling with the throttle hand. The tendency to understeer can be clearly felt.

Handling course II (slow slalom)
Lap time 28.1 sec
Suzuki B-King 28.2 sec
vmax at the measuring point 55.5 km / h
Reference Suzuki B-King 52.4 km / h

Even in slow slalom, the VR6 loses time due to the hard and difficult to control throttle response. For the 270 kg heavy Horex this is still a considerable figure.

Circular path (Ø 46 meters)
Lap time 10.6 sec
Suzuki B-King 10.7 sec
vmax at the measuring point 50.5 km / h
Reference Suzuki B-King 51.4 km / h

Add-on parts such as footrests, gearshift levers and exhaust systems only come on very late. With this inclination, the grip limit of the Metzeler Z8 tires is reached. The very stiff chassis provides decent stability when driving over the bump.


BILLION

The braking delay on the Horex VR6 Roadster.

Brake measurement from 100 km / h
(Remaining speed at 25.9 km / h)
Braking distance 40.2 m
Reference BMW K 1300 S.    37.5 m

The Horex is very stable on the brakes. The fork dips noticeably, but does not block. The rear wheel maintains contact with the ground even in the event of severe deceleration, and the ABS control processes are sensitive.

The spread of the six gears has proven to be practical. The tight increase in torque up to 4000 rpm can be clearly felt while driving – but also the sharp drop afterwards. The torque practically never falls below 100 Newton meters, but the undulating power curve does not seem particularly confident. Once this valley is crossed, the six-cylinder then goes off like the fire brigade.

* Manufacturer information; 1MOTORRAD test course, values ​​from the brake test from the three best driving tests averaged; Reference: motorcycle from the respective category with the previous best values; 2 Power on the crankshaft. Measurements on Dynojet roller test stand 250, corrected according to 95/1 / EG, maximum possible deviation ± 5%

Technology: the VR engine


Jahn

Bringing the two cylinder banks in a slight V under a common cylinder head requires tapered piston heads.

Six-cylinders are a fascinating engine design – but generally anything but compact. For this reason, Horex managing director and developer Clemens Neese resorted to the VR principle, which VW had made socially acceptable in the early 1990s. It combines the shortness of an in-line engine with the narrow width of a V-engine. The two rows of cylinders are shifted to each other and arranged in a slight V-position. The small cylinder angle, in this case 15 degrees, results in a very compact engine that manages with one cylinder block and one cylinder head. However, in order to fit under a common head, the piston crowns have to be beveled because the cylinder head and cylinder axis are not perpendicular to one another. In addition, the duct routing is extremely complex.

Not least because of this, the Horex engine has three valves per cylinder. Thanks to the common cylinder head, it gets by with three camshafts, of which the middle one controls nine valves, namely the exhaust valves of the rear cylinder bank and the intake valves of the front cylinder bank. The channel routing required by this construction principle requires concessions in the search for power, since the channels cannot be optimally laid for maximum power output. The power output of around 130 hp / liter is all the more astonishing. Especially since the engine is rather long-stroke and, as a three-valve engine, by no means mercilessly designed for top performance.

Cooling is also not an easy task. The shape and routing of the cooling water channels is difficult to implement due to the limited space available. With the originally planned compressor, at least the issue of performance would be settled. However, this requires additional cooling and lubrication of the charger and is currently not economically feasible. However, these plans have not yet been shelved. After all, Horex should not be a flash in the pan, but rather endure.

Scoring and conclusion


Jahn

In the classic sense, roadsters are primarily committed to driving enjoyment, with maneuverability and a comfortable space the Horex offers good prerequisites for this.

engine

Maximum
score 
Horex
VR6 Roadster
Draft 40 29
acceleration 40 33
Top speed 30th 23
Engine characteristics 30th 23
Responsiveness 20th 10
Load change 20th 11
Smoothness 20th 10
coupling 10 6th
circuit 20th 10
Gear ratio 10 9
Start 10 6th
total 250 170

The VR6 is no ordinary six-cylinder. It has a gnarled charm and an unmistakable sound. And fiery temperament in the upper half of the speed. There is something. But the undulating performance costs points in the pull-through rating. And with all this, his manners are still lacking fine-tuning. This mainly applies to throttle response and load changes, but also includes shifting and the stiff clutch.

landing gear

Maximum
score 
Horex
VR6 Roadster
Handiness 40 25th
Stability in turns 40 28
Steering behavior 40 26th
feedback 10 6th
Inclined position 20th 17th
Straight-line stability 20th 16
Suspension tuning in front 20th 14th
Rear suspension tuning 20th 13
Adjustment options undercarriage 10 6th
Suspension comfort 10 5
Driving behavior with a passenger 20th 16
total 250 172

It’s amazing how easily the stately Horex can be moved on winding roads. The chassis set-up also enables a very fast pace and does not show any nakedness even with a pillion passenger. However, the feedback could be better, especially with a sharp gait. The shock absorber could only work a little more sensitively on bad roads. On the other hand, the freedom from leaning and the stability of the speed bolt are impeccable.

everyday life

Maximum
score 
Horex
VR6 Roadster
Ergonomics driver 40 28
Ergonomics pillion 20th 7th
Windbreak 20th 0
view 20th 10
light 20th 13
Furnishing 30th 17th
handling / maintenance 30th 16
Luggage storage 10 0
Payload 10 4th
Range 30th 17th
processing 20th 15th
total 250 127

security

Maximum
score 
Horex
VR6 Roadster
Braking effect braking metering 40 31
Brake metering 30th 23
Braking with a passenger / fading 20th 13
Righting moment when braking 10 6th
ABS function 20th 14th
Handlebar slapping 20th 16
Ground clearance 10 7th
total 150 110

Despite its stately appearance, the Horex offers a well-designed seating position. The knee joint is successful, the bench is well padded, a place to feel good. However, the mirrors should have longer arms and be better insulated against vibrations. The equipment is good, but without any special refinements considering the price. And the fact that the payload is low should hardly be a problem; you will look in vain for any way to attach luggage.

costs

Maximum
score 
Horex
VR6 Roadster
guarantee 30th 15th
Consumption (country road) 30th 16
Inspection costs 20th 10
Maintenance costs 20th 5
total 100 46

The brakes monitored by a Bosch ABS enable bearish deceleration, and the braking stability is impressive. The pressure point of the brake could be a bit more stable, however, as it shifted after several hard braking. Noticeable, but not annoying: the easy erection moment.

Maximum
score 
Horex
VR6 Roadster
Overall rating
1000 625
Price-performance note 
1.0 4.0

Although the points yield is decent, the high purchase price inevitably prevents a good grade.

Conclusion
The Horex is not a soft-washed Everybodys Darling. It is – yet – not perfect. A character head with an idiosyncratic design. Confident, with rough edges. There is something original about it. In connection with the technically unique and courageous concept, a mixture that is definitely fascinating. Chassis and brakes know how to please. But the engine technicians should still do their homework when it comes to tuning.

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