Let’s dream a bit- We have the backing of a major corporation owned by wealthy backers and can cost-no-object build the ultimate motorcycle. But we can build just one basic design, so it’ll have to be a versatile-all rounder that can race on dirt or pavement, tour, commute, explore, and excel as a bike of burden. And our bike has to be durable and rebuildable forever.

The engine is the core of a motorcycle, and a design that can stretch from around 500 to 1000 ccs. sounds about right- big enough to haul a ‘hack, but small enough that it won’t be a gas hogging boat anchor. How many cylinders? One would be great for simplicity, and 4 are too complicated- a twin sounds about right. Air or water cooling? Again, KISS- air cooling has worked just fine for decades, no need to add the weight, complexity, and unreliability of liquid cooling. How shall we arrange those cylinders? A longitudal V-Twin would be narrow, but need a ninety degree angle to keep the vibration at bay… Which would make it kinda long, and the rear cylinder wouldn’t get enough cooling air. A parallel twin across the frame would be simple and well cooled, but vibey too. Why not lay the cylinders horizontal, with one on each side balancing each other out? Cylinders out in the airstream for cooling, well balanced for low vibration, and a low center of gravity… What’s not to like?

Boxer twin engine chosen, on to the drivetrain… With plenty of room for a clutch, we can use an automotive style dry clutch. Behind that we place an auto style two shaft tunnel type transmission, and taking advantage of our longitudal crankshaft, shaft drive and an auto style differential. Then tie it all together with a traditional double cradle frame for easy accessory mounting and strength.

Folks, we just coincidentally designed a BMW airhead… Which 16 years after BMW tried to kill it off, refuses to die. And sure, BMW could prove our concept and build a new midsize airhead with 100 horses that weights 200 kilograms… But it’d cost as much to make as an oilhead, and have to sell for less at a loss. So if you’re lucky enough to be an airhead rider, take good care of your airhead- It’s the ultimate all around motorcycle, and BMW isn’t going to build any more.