BMW CONCEPT

Shadow Boxer

BMW concept

Once upon a time, in 1928, a chap by the name of Ernst Henne bought and supercharged a BMW R37. This machine took an incredible 76 world records and at the end of the 6 year development cycle, it was good for an astounding 216 kph. Have a look at http://silodrome.com/ernst-henne-supercharged-bmw/ for the amazing story.

I didn't know Ernst Henne's story was a part of BMW history until after this project had been completed. All I thought was that the boxer engine, so long a part of BMW's heritage, could benefit nicely from being bored out say to 1.5 litres and having a nice, big supercharger bolted on. Little did I know that this marriage had already taken place!

As the TCD concept unfolded, it became a natural requirement to rotate the entire engine 30 degrees forward, opening up a space behind the engine that extended above and well past the swing arm pivot - a pretty good place to install the blower hardware, gearing it conveniently straight off the back of the engine (see diagram below).

I've spent plenty of hours riding big beemers and I have great respect for the layout, but I've always wanted to have my arms wrenched out of their sockets whilst boxer mounted, hence the blower idea. I have also been interested in other attempts at working with the Boxer such as the outrageous hub centre steering 'Harrier' from Swedish builder Stellan Egeland, and very much enjoyed the opportunity to throw some ideas around for this iconic model.