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A Chinese Truck Company Is Diving Into Eight-Cylinder Motorcycles

A Chinese Truck Company Is Diving Into Eight-Cylinder Motorcycles

Would You Ride an Eight-Cylinder Motorcycle?Ross Gilmore – Getty Images

Rumors abound in this industry and when you hear something about a flat-eight-engined motorcycle coming to market, you want to do your due diligence. Building on its domestic dominance making trucks (and a rather adorable city car called the Funky Cat), China’s Great Wall Motor is set to bring a lineup of motorcycles to market under the Souo Motorcycles name, and a teasing announcement plus patent documents show a future full of eight-cylinder motorcycles.

Dug up by Cycle World, the patent filing shows the makings of a flat-engine cylinder engine with a four-into-one header design stemming from each cylinder head. Due to its transparent size, the flat-engine is likely to grow over 1500ccs, potentially even growing to 2.5 liters. Further analysis of the patent filings shows double-overhead cams for each cylinder bank as well as a pair of radiators, one for each side. Shaft drive and a dual-clutch, semi-automatic transmission are also likely to join the flat-eight engine, according to Cycle World.

A less internal view of the new flat-eight engine was available at the 2024 Beijing International Automotive Exhibition with the relatively compact engine appearing with black valve covers and a Souo Motorcycle logo behind. Great Wall Souo Motorcycles will be a breakout brand for Great Wall, serving as an addition to its wide-reaching vehicular exploits that includes Haval and Wey.

The engine will likely be fitted to a Honda Goldwing challenger of sorts, with glimpses of the touring bike appearing on X. Spy photos of the Souo cruiser during an alleged photo shoot show bodywork and ergonomics very similar to those found on Honda’s Goldwing, not to mention the shared used of a flat-engine configuration. Additionally, the super cruiser appears to have Hossack-style girder front suspension system, just like the Goldwing and the BMW K1600 GT.

More details on the Souo Motorcycles brand and the flat-eight super cruiser will arrive as the Beijing Motorcycle Show kicks off tomorrow, May 17. Either way, the resurgence of eight-cylinder motorcycles is a long time coming, with V-8 motorcycles from Moto Guzzi, Indian, and Curtiss dating back to the early and mid-20th century.

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