This particular Bee
Emm is the tallest road bike I’ve ever sat my tight wee arse on – the Replika
comes with taller, sports-spec suspension over the standard R1100S to help keep
the cylinder heads off the floor at big lean angles. And just in case that’s not
enough, the bike comes with carbon fibre cylinder head protectors too.
The contours, colours
and graphics are all pleasing on the eye, copied as they are from the BMW Boxer
Cup race bikes, and so too are the underseat pipes. And, apart from some slight
vibration through the bars, riding is a comfortable experience as I found on
two non-stop, 130-mile trips. The high riding position gave good vision over
cars, hedges and the like, and my upper body at least seemed to have decent
weighs in at nearly 230kg, the motor delivers reasonable acceleration while
sounding quite raspy through the five gears thanks to the ‘sound optimised’
Laser exhaust. Shifting itself has a positive efficiency to it, and being
German I guess it should.
Revving it in the
gears to 8000rpm feels good, but torque is what this opposed twin is all about
so short shifting makes more sense if you’re in a hurry. The Telelever front
suspension feels and works pretty much like conventional telescopic forks,
except there is much less dive under braking. When I tried some extreme front
braking the powerful brakes would either lock the front wheel or the front end
would hop, which is exactly what would happen with conventional forks.
I couldn’t fault the
shaft drive rear as it behaved well at all times. Not many negatives here, but
I have to say BMW’s ‘sided’ indicator switches really wind me up. Okay, maybe
my thumbs are always in the wrong place but operating them is just too
confusing for my little brain.