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The Revival Birdcage: Other-worldly frame, spanking engine!
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The Revival Birdcage: Other-worldly frame, spanking engine!

Sudipto Chaudhury

American custom bike builder Revival Cycles has unveiled their latest build, the Birdcage at the Handbuilt Show in Austin, Texas. Its a radical design, with a telelever front and hardtail rear. And the fuel tank, at a glance, seems to absent!

The cage-like titanium fram defines the retro style of the Birdcage. German motorcycle racer Ernst Henne’s record-setting machines from the late 1920s and early 1930s inspired this unique design . Revival cycles crafted many other parts of the bike, including the handlebars, footrests and carbon suspension components completely in-house. The entire build took around five months to complete.

However, the build is not the most important thing here. It’s actually the engine that Alan Stulberg, the head of Revival Cycles has used. Stulberg designed the frame to give maximum exposure to the ‘Big Boxer’ engine. We expect that the engine will be an 1800 cc air-cooled boxer twin.

What’s so special about the Birdcage’s engine?

So if you thought that BMW was phasing out its air-cooled boxer engines due to the ever-stringent emission norms, think again. Also, the Big Boxer engine used in the Birdcage is no R nineT derivative. It is an all new engine! BMW has made it to directly attack Harley-Davidson and Indian’s dominance in the big-capacity air-cooled engine market.

Speaking about the possibility of a large-capacity boxer engine, Timo Resch, vice president,  sales and marketing, said, “BMW Motorrad will present a series production motorcycle with the Big Boxer for the cruiser segment in the course of 2020.”

Resch then went on to say: “Naturally we want to keep growing. One step we will take to do so, certainly in the US market, is to enter the cruiser segment. BMW Motorrad is consistently pursuing its growth strategy with the clear aim of becoming the number one in the premium big bike segment.”

Speaking about the project, Alan said: “The frame came together very well in the end. We are very pleased the frame, which accomplishes the goal of being nearly transparent.

“We wanted to focus attention on the engine. That is precisely what we achieved with this completely unique frame we designed. You can easily view the engine and the drivetrain from all angles,” Stulberg added. “I have always been a fan of the boxer engine, but the pure physical size and aesthetic appeal of this prototype really inspired us.”

BMW has nearly 100 years of tradition with boxer-powered motorbikes though, so this new one is likely to be something very special. BMW will produce its own concept to surround the engine in the next few months, before we see a production bike in 2020.