Sylvia on a BMW R1100GS
The Bumblebee

My very first BMW R1100GS was nicknamed The BumbleBee, because it appeared to mock the lwas of nature in the same way the Bumblebee does: a bumblebee is so heavy it should not be able to fly, and my Bumblebee was so heavy it should not be able to behave like an XT500, and yet it could.

Later on I should learn that every R1100GS is different from all the others. I was very lucky with this one: reliable, able to ride on low revs, and smooth.

Don't you worry about the bare arms on the photograph: this was for a very short, very slow ride on soft sand.

Once, after having owned my Suzuki VX800 for one and a half year, when I was drooling next to a GS at a dealer, thinking that I would never be able to ride such a big big bike, I was approached by the owner who offered me a testride: he said he was certain that I could ride it very easily.

Everybody who has ever ridden on a R1100GS knows that there is no bike behaving better on the road: it steers very easily, and because of the telelever, tight corners on bumpy roads are lots of fun. You can flick it into a corner, and whatever you do (scraping a footpeg or having the back slide away), it always feels as if the bike can handle it (and it does).

In other words, when the dealer told me what he would pay for my VX800, I surrendered...

That was the birth of the amazing BumbleBee (bumblebees, according to the laws of aerodynamics, are not able to fly...), my Kalahari-yellow R11GS, love at first sight.

I started doing some off-roading, and it behaved amazingly well.


The Bumblebee brought us to Poland: it carried us both, and the luggage, with ease.

I aslo took the Bumblebee Greenlaning in England (unfortunately, there are no photo's of that time; the photo's with the story are from another occasion).

The Bumblebee came to its end by a fall by which the subframe broke. Ernst transformed it into the R3B (Rat Bike BumbleBee), which has its own page.


© Copyright - Author: Sylvia Stuurman , Pictures: Ernst Anepool .
Copyright 1993-now.
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