BMW has always, unapologetically, showcased the brand's boxer engines. The company just drops these engines into the frames longitudinally, the massive cylinders sticking out of the sides, says, "Done," and slaps a For Sale sticker on the side of it. And to its credit, the tactic has continually worked for a variety of its Boxer-powered motorcycles

I'd go so far as to say it's BMW Motorrad's defining look at this point. 

But with the debut of its R20 at Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este, the company has taken that signature and dialed it way the hell up. How? By throwing its stinking-biggest boxer engine into one of its diminutive cafe race-style chassis' and calling it a day. 

I mean, just look at the insanity of this motorcycle's proportions.

BMW R20 Concept

"The BMW R20 concept is a mechanical masterpiece," says Markus Flasch, Head of BMW Motorrad, adding, "The Big Boxer is its center. Distinctly BMW Motorrad." That "Big Boxer" is an air-oil-cooled 2,000cc twin-cylinder boxer engine. That flows through a 2-into-2 exhaust setup that give the R20 its throaty rasp. And for the concept, though the engine received "new cylinder head covers, a new belt cover and a new oil cooler were developed in order to be able to mount the oil pipes partially hidden."

The design and engineering paid off, because this is one clean motorcycle.

BMW R20 Concept
BMW R20 Concept
BMW R20 Concept
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Further details include a new double-loop main frame made of chrome-molybdenum steel tubes, which makes up the bike's backbone, as well as a new "double-arm" Paralever rear swingarm setup. The bike's driveshaft had to be shortened to fit within its diminutive footprint, too. The result, according to BMW, is that the bike's "kinematics are designed so that the drive torque is completely balanced." 

You'd hope so with that huge displacement. 

Ohlins suspension keeps those dynamics in line both front and rear, while twin 17-inch wheels (one spoked, the other a full disc) are kept in line thanks to twin milled-aluminum axle carriers. And a 6-piston brake setup at the front, with a 4-piston setup out back, help halt the 2.0-liter Boxer's progress. 

BMW R20 Concept
BMW R20 Concept

As for the look, the R20 is painted in a color BMW hasn't used since the 1970s called "Hotter than Pink," while likewise being color-coordinated "with the cylinder head covers, belt cover and air intake funnels made of polished and anodized aluminum, as well as the Paralever strut, footrest system and the ISR brake calipers" in a gunmetal paint scheme. A single, quilted, black Alcantara and leather seat "emphasizes the dynamic roadster appearance," while an LED headlight sits in a custom 3D-printed aluminum housing. 

“The R20 concept is a bold interpretation of the BMW Motorrad DNA,” says Alexander Buckan, Head of Design BMW Motorrad, further stating, "It combines modern technical elements with a classic roadster design. Its oversized proportions and minimalistic aesthetic make it an unmistakable character.”

So the natural question is: Can I buy one? No, you can't. It's just a concept. But BMW has a habit of showcasing design concepts at Villa d'Este only for them to pop up in a dealership near you not too far into the future. And the R20 would certainly fit in BMW's lineup.

But for right now, it's just eye-candy and I can't stop staring at it. 

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