Performance – With a 1.3L engine and 173 hp on tap, this is one of the most powerful production “muscle” bikes on the market today. The engine was tweaked by Ricardo, the same company that is responsible for developing the gearbox of the Bugatti Veyron, and it feels very smooth and responsive. Acceleration picks up hard from around 3000rpms and the higher the rpms go, the harder it becomes to hang on to the controls. But you don’t need to worry about losing grip through the corners because traction control is available as is ABS.
The engine may be a work of engineering art, but I can’t say the same about the transmission. The clutch does have a wide range of bite, which is very easy to use and set off, but shifting feels very harsh, almost like I was riding a race bike not an urban cruiser.
Comfort – This could be the perfect bike for anyone taller than 6’. It is a large bike in terms of its size and the riding position is upright and comfortable. This bike also benefits from having electronically adjustable suspension. At the flick of a switch you can have the suspension set in sport mode for riding around a twisty mountain road or you can set the suspension to absorb every bump from an aging city street. In comfort mode, this bike is comfortable enough to go on a trans-continental ride, it really is that comfortable.
Odds and Ends – It has a striking presence but like pretty much all BMW motorcycles, it has the “Quasi moto” headlight assembly and to me it just looks awkward. This being a BMW, it comes with a large list of optional extras such as: ABS, heated grips, Akrapovic exhaust, quick shifter, carbon fibre trim pieces…. and the list goes on. All of these “toys” can add up to well over $20,000 as the final price of the bike. Base price is just over $17,000 CAD.
Overall this bike is just like other BMW products, very well engineered but very expensive.