Friday, September 2, 2011

Liquid Boxer

As first pictures of what looks to be the next R1200GS show around the internet, there's a frenzy about the fact the boxer is becoming a liquid cooled engine for the first time. Which is not completely true in fact, but that's not the point here.

A couple of years ago a BMW engineer announced the boxer engine could not evolve any further if it didn't pass to water cooling. We were all told the boxer engines would not pass the coming Euro3 emission standards without these kind of developments. Since then, BMW has been releasing 2 generations of their big flat lump. The "hexhead" (like the one on the R1200S, for instance) is one of them and was still cooled with air through an oil radiator. Then last year came the overhead cams (on the R1200R, for instance), another change required to comply to Euro emission standards, but still that engine was oil-cooled.

Finally, 2012 means water cooling for the 1200cc boxer. Ok, now look closely at the picture and notice how cylinders have been rotated half a turn clockwise. The admission is now made from the top and the exhaust headers come out from the bottom just like the BMW R1, a prototype designed in 1992 with a BMW boxer based-engine that had liquid cooling and overhead cams (plus desmodromic valve control).

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