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Horex Reportedly Enters Insolvency Proceedings in Europe


We have written about the Horex brand as it tries to re-establish itself with the production of an unusual six-cylinder machine. Recently, reader Tom Barber wrote an excellent analysis of the engine powering these good looking (in the author’s opinion) bikes.

The financial pressures, and obstacles, faced by a new motorcycle manufacturer must be immense. Horex is selling bikes, but according to news reports it has recently entered insolvency proceedings to protect itself from creditors as it struggles to get off the ground.

Horex is apparently keeping its employees paid while it looks for new capital, and continues to produce the three versions of its VR6, including the Roadster, Classic and Cafe Racer.


  1. Kent Harle says:

    Although this is not an uncommon story, I think it is sad. These are the guys that keep the major manufacturers on their toes and drive innovation and the desire of owning something truly unique and uncommon. I remember as a kid looking through the Cycle Buyers guides and seeing dozens and dozens of manufactures all doing something a little different. The 80’s were tough on these small manufacturers and soon we were down to about 7 or 8 total and practically just 4 manufactures all producing the same line up. Thank you God for Ducati as they came back into the market and began to build something different, something that puzzled consumers and manufactures alike. They were sold out, they were winning races and they kept the motorcycle industry vibrant and exciting. I didn’t necessarily think that Horex was the next Ducati, but I was excited to see a new group with new ideas try to fulfill a dream. I hope they can find a group that will back them and I wish them the best of Luck.

    Kent Harle
    Formerly of Redline Snowmobiles

  2. Mufasa5599 says:

    I just wanna know where the rider got that snazzy helmet.

  3. The Spaceman says:

    Their problem isn’t raising capital. Their problem is raising buyers.

    Motus will be next. A cool engine, decent but not earth-shaking styling, and they’ll be in Chapter 11 or 13 by the end of 2015 if not sooner.

    Confederate has the right idea: wildly different motorcycles with enough exclusivity to draw customers willing to pay the huge price. And they only have to build a tiny fraction of the bikes Horex or Motus does to make their business model work.

  4. Ed says:

    “That’s a shock!” – said no one anytime.

  5. Norm G. says:

    re: “I believe it would have to be a “VM” badge”

    no dice. (C. Bronson voice)

    VM is an Italian manufacturer of diesel engines Fiat’s sorted for use in the latest variant of RAM and Jeep Cherokee…

  6. Archie says:

    Too bad. That engine looks really cool, but the rest of the bike is too conventional.

  7. Norm G. says:

    re: “The financial pressures, and obstacles, faced by a new motorcycle manufacturer…”

    …are an extension of those faced by dealers tasked with selling them, by the brave souls attempting to race them, etc. etc.

  8. Don Fraser says:

    surprised???????????Brough, your next

  9. 6 cylinders are very cool, but should that have been after a compact 3 cylinder established the business? Best wishes on continuing this great idea.

    • Norm G. says:

      re: “6 cylinders are very cool, but should that have been after a compact 3 cylinder established the business?”

      scratch building an engine is a HERCULEAN task regardless of cylinder count. ask Dorna, Kenny Roberts, and any satellite or CRT team in MotoGP about this.

      so i’m afraid…

      it won’t make any difference. (Rebecca “Newt” Jorden, Circa 2179)

  10. frank says:

    Make fast cheap food, market it well, and the hordes will come. You won’t ever find a Chez Panisse, (Berkeley,CA fine food restaurant), ‘blighting’ most every neighborhood in America. Same for everything…clothes, houses, etc. Make any high end product and many people will want it as well, but your actual buying pool will narrow dramatically. Comes to cars, how many would enjoy owning a fine automobile, but can’t afford it? Make transportation cheap enough, and you can sell large enough numbers in many parts of the world to support a healthy ongoing enterprise. Make it a beautiful, limited number, and expensive rolling pieces of sculpture, and without very deep pockets behind you, you will swim up stream fighting for your economic life, and more than likely go down in flames. Does that surprise anyone? I tip my hat to anyone who feels compelled to knowingly go down that road, and am saddened when anything beautiful and rare goes out of the world.

    • DaveA says:

      Chez Panisse does well in a limited market because it’s food is much better than average, run-of-the-mill food. Horex motorcycles are not better than other motorcycles, even if they are different and interesting. Also if the owners of CP were so-inclined, there could be one in every city with a population over 500,000 in the US.

      Anyway, the Horex stuff is interesting (I’m stopping well short of beautiful), and it’s always a bummer when the field narrows.

  11. Gary says:

    You did not have to be telepathic to see this coming. Amazing that they were even able to find investors willing to risk their risky business model. There is no market for a two-wheeled Mercedes with zero brand recognition.

  12. Klaus says:

    I must say I am disappointed by the news. Hopefully they’ll find some investors so they can continue. I like the VR6, the triple cams, and the sound of the engine. Looks are not overwhelming but better than another plastic-fantastic rocketship.
    I’ll never be able to afford one but I would like to see those bikes on the road.
    Maybe if they are successful the technology could trickle down to a lighter, cheaper 600cc VR3 – I could see myself saving up money for something like that! 🙂

  13. Norm G. says:

    gotta be honest, was never really jazzed on the styling. unlike the “middy”, there’s not much of a visual here to differentiate that engine. for all it’s technical accomplishment, only an anorak would know or care what that kit is. however (comma) you see a CBX and even 30 years later it’s still…

    hey look…! a CBX…!

  14. Phil D says:

    Well that didn’t last long.

  15. Mitch says:

    Hi all. Sorry, I am not as understanding. This is yet another bike is a very heavily populated and contested environment that costs way too much. Is it really required???? Before answering, consider the fact that many organisations have capital raised and still go under….. Lets stop this process of wasting money for the sake of wasting money. This is my opinion only. 🙂

  16. Gronde says:

    Very predictable. Lots of great ideas floating around but no capital. Next!

  17. Dan W. says:

    Even some relevance there – VW has made narrow-V-6 motors for some time, I believe.

  18. Jeremy in TX says:

    I am not at all surprised by this news, but it is disappointing. I hope they find some capital and get the act back on the road. Awaiting a similar announcement from Motus?

  19. John says:

    Buy them, VW. Take your VR concept back and slap a big ol’ VW badge on it.

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