The BMW F 800 R is a sensible hooning machine... Here's our BMW F 800 R review. Test by Tony Wilding
The current BMW F 800 R is an upgrade on what was already a great bike, a bike that is not at all intimidating but surprisingly quick in the twisty bits.
So what’s new? Well, BMW has given the R new stiffer upside-down suspension and as a $985 option, you can now have ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment), which lets you alter the suspension while on the move.
Three different settings can be selected – comfort, normal or sport, via a button on the dash, depending on the type of riding you desire or what surface you’re on. The system works flawlessly and I’d certainly fork out the extra cash if I were going to use the bike for more than a short commute.
As well as the suspension, the brakes have also come in for an overhaul, now you get radial Brembo four-pot calipers with ABS as standard. The 800 parallel-twin engine however, is pretty much as it was, which is no bad thing as it’s an absolute belter, you do get a couple of extra ponies to play with and the gearing has been changed for better acceleration but that’s it.
Riding the F 800 R is easy, the ergonomics couldn’t be any better – BMW even have a couple of seat height options for those little people you hear about. The dash is perfect with its easy to read analogue gauges and a simple computer to show ESA setting, heated grips, fuel and loads more usable functions.
Selecting first gear and letting out the nice light clutch I can’t help feel that BMW should have lowered the gearing further, but that may be just me that likes to pop the odd wheelie…
The bike certainly pulls well and you don’t need to rev the bollocks out of the motor to get it to move, as it’s quite torquey and there’s definitely enough grunt to do any type of two-up touring or corner scratching. Speaking of which, for me this is where the bike shines.
Selecting Sports mode really sharpens up the suspension and through the mountains of Victoria, I can’t help think that even though I only have 90hp to play with, I don’t think I could carve through these corner much faster on anything else.
The chassis is that well sorted, even when I encounter rutted and pot holed corners on a good lean angle, the BMW remains planted, which really inspires confidence. Flicking from left to right, the bike feels nothing like its 200kg weight and I can’t believe the fun I’m having in this beautiful countryside.
Another plus for the BMW are the brakes, they offer great power and feel and with the ABS I have every confidence that I’m not going to be sliding down the road on one of the damp corners.
SPECIFICATIONS: BMW F 800 R
Price: $13,100 + ORC
Warranty: Two years/unlimited kilometres
Colours: Racing Blue metallic matt/light White, light White, Black satin gloss, Racing Blue metallic/ Black satin gloss
Claimed power: 88.5hp[66kw]@8,000rpm
Claimed torque: 86Nm [63.4 lb-ft]@5,800rpm
Wet weight: 202kg
Fuel capacity: 15L
Engine: Liquid-cooled, DOHC parallel twin-cylinder, compression ratio 12:0.1, 66 x 90mm bore x stroke, 798cc,
Clutch: Wet clutch multi-disc
Chassis: Aluminium-alloy perimeter frame, load-bearing, engine aluminium double-strut swingarm
Suspension: USD telescopic forks, central shock, spring preload, rebound damping adjustment
Brakes: ABS, dual 320mm front rotors, Brembo four-piston radial calipers, single 265mm rear rotor, single-piston Brembo caliper
Wheels and tyres: Aluminium, 3.50 x 17in & 5.5 x 17in, 120/70ZR17 180/55ZR17
Seat height: 790mm optional 770mm or 820mm
Overall height: 1235mm
Overall length: 2145mm
Wheel base: 1526mm
Instruments: Analogue tachometer and speedo, multi-function display