Skip to comments.Bavarian company resurrects classic Horex motorcycle brand
Posted on 06/16/2010 9:36:57 AM PDT by GonzoII
Published: 16 Jun 10 11:23 CET
The classic German motorcycle brand Horex has been resurrected and the newly re-founded company plans to put out a new bike by the end of 2011. The old brand went out of production in 1960 after it was bought by Daimler-Benz, but Compact Bike secured the brand copyright in 2007 and has now set up the Garching-based Horex GmbH just outside Munich.
The company unveiled its new TT-3D prototype on Tuesday evening, complete with a what it called an unprecedented 1200 cc supercharged VR6 engine.
The bike will be sold in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for an estimated 20,000.
Originally Horex was located in Bad Homburg, and began manufacturing motorcycles in 1923, including the legendary models Regina and Imperator. Since being bought and dissolved by Daimler-Benz the name has passed through several owners, but still holds a certain mystique, new CEO Clemens Neese said in a statement.
"Horex is still today a very attractive, charismatic brand," Neese said. "From the very beginning, the company's founder, Fritz Kleemann, focused on intelligent drive concepts and built innovative, premium-quality bikes. This tradition matches our vision of the new Horex motorcycle perfectly like the final piece of a puzzle. And we are committed to upholding the Horex legacy."
Ooooooh. Nice. Spouse would kill me, though.
At least it’s not another attempt to start manufacturing modern reproductions of the original bikes. Bringing back an old name is one thing; trying to bring back old bikes that, while notable at one time, are now total anachronisms is useless. Motorcycle technology has been stuck in the 50s for far too long, particularly suspension. It’s long past time to start moving forward on some of the innovations of the past 40 years. Buell started things, with their rim-mounted front brake rotor, and Yamaha started to take steps into the future with the GTS1000, but no major manufacturer save BMW only has done anything to move bikes forward.
Yay, an exact copy of a 1940s-tech motorcycle, with a few modern touches like disc brakes hung on it to keep folks out of the ditches.
Norton had the beginnings of something with the Wankel engines back in the 80s, but couldn’t hang on. Sure, there’s a market for retro, but except for nostalgia (which never lasts long), no one really wants to drive something that old. You go on one or two rides just to see if it is as good as you remembered it, and when you realize that copies of old bikes handle and ride just like they did way back when (not very good), and you’re not as young as you were when you rode your last one, you put the thing in the garage and spend the next 10 years looking at it and telling stories.
Sorry for ranting, but cashing in on boomer nostalgia is a bad business model for big-ticket items like motorcycles, as most of them aren’t going to have disposable incomes much longer. Pretty soon, all they’re going to splurge on is music anthologies and books. Far too many manufacturers are afraid of being to radical, and while there is some legitimacy to that concern, there has to be some effort to move the tech forward. Bike design is a big part of that. The NR-1 from Honda is a start, as is their new Interceptor with the double-clutch transmission. Yamaha is starting to experiment with the new cross-plane crank in their R1 (a technology that’s been in cars pretty much from the beginning), and BMW has started to push the envelope just the tiniest bit with the TeleLever and DuoLever suspensions. We’ve had fuel injection for a while now, as well as catalytic exhaust, active exhaust, ABS, and throttle-by-wire. Granted there’s not a whole lot more that can be done with final drive, though there have been some interesting experiments with hydraulic drive. Basic engine design isn’t going to change for a while yet, though innovations like the “backwards” Yamaha dirt engines look promising. That leaves things like valve actuation and suspension. We need more forkless front ends, more work on shaft and belt final drive tech.
They could do without the "ammo box" saddle bags on some of there bikes though.
It was. I’ve got two of the “Modern Classics”.
I ride both of them MUCH more often than I ride the Harley....
Charm doesn’t do you a lot of good, when the antiquated wiring or solex carburetor leaves you stranded at the side of the road.
I’m just kind of against the whole idea of deliberately building bikes that look old, even when they hide things like fuel injection or modern cartridge forks inside. The idea that bikes have to look and sound, and more or less ride, like something out of the 50s and 60s is nothing more than a sop to nostalgia. As I pointed out before, there’s nothing wrong with a little nostalgia, but centering your model lineup around it is nothing more than painting yourself into a corner. The cruiser/retrobike movement isn’t going to last forever, and once it fades, all that production tooling has gone to waste. That money could more profitably have been spent on new transmission development and such. It delegitimizes motorcycles, turning them into toys instead of serious transportation.