BMW Motorrad has been churning out great motorcycle after great motorcycle for the last few years now, but despite all that success there’s a gaping hole in it’s model lineup – a cruiser. That might be about to change however as new patent documents uncovered indicate that they’re working on a W3 configured engine.
What is a W3, you might ask? While a BMW cruiser wouldn’t be the first motorcycle to ever use such a configuration, it is still very rare. Essentially, a W3 is a V-Twin with a third piston placed between them down the middle, creating a ‘W’ configuration. The latest motorcycle to feature such an engine was the Fueling W3 which itself is based on a Harley-Davidson.
The patents indicate that Motorrad’s W3 would be air-cooled, but there’s also a little trick up the German firms sleeve. One design shows that each cylinder connects to its own crank pin (just like most inline triples) allowing BMW to make the firing intervals as they see fit. The second version seems to be almost a hybrid between a V-Twin and a Triple, with the front and rear cylinders sharing a crank pin, while the middle cylinder operates separately.
What might shock Motorrad fans the most though is that this engine uses pushrods. Such an idea would potentially sends many Europhiles into fits, but pushrods don’t have to mean low tech. What it really demonstrates is that any such engine and associated cruiser would be targeting the USA where such motors are far more appreciated and where the cruiser market is also the biggest.