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BMW F 800 R

BMW F 800 R

4.8 from 5 reviews

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Great commuter, if a touch bland

It has a parallel 798cc twin so quite torquey and and predictable. The engine is pretty sedate under 5k, but it has a bit of a surge after that up to its ~9k redline. At low RPMs it has plenty of torque for around town, I probably shift at 3-4k when I'm just commuting.

It doesn't try to be all things to all people. Doesn't win any bechracing competions with peak power numbers, it just rides well for what it is.

It makes a good stepping stone bike for those who don't want to jump straight into the top end of town as soon as they get off their restricted license from smaller 250cc'ish bikes.

Few things I like about it:

+ factory heated grips work fantastic in winter
+ has been very reliable
+ very good ergonomics
+ doesn't have the traditional BMW indicator switching
+ plenty of torque
+ gearbox is smooth, but provides enough feedback that you always know you've engaged gear

A few things I don't:
- The factory "sports" fairing would just blast air into my helmet creating a ton of wind noise.
- The taco/speedometer, they're both smallish and hard to read, could just be my eyesight though. Especially coming from the big digital spedometer & tach on the KLX250S, I would much prefer a big digital readout for speed over a tiny gauge.
- I've become a lazy shifter, and would like even more torque off idle now
- There's not much character in either the engine response, not the exhaust sound.

Date PurchasedOct 2012

If God rode a motorcycle it would be a BMW.

Well the title says it all. God is a perfect being, devoid of fault, power and compassion beyond our frail and petty view. So if God walked into a motorcycle dealer which make would make him feel at home?, most would say Harley, someone might suggest Ducati. Nope only one would promise and deliver, BMW a bike carved from the solid. I'd hope he'd pop over one day and take my F800R for a blat. The seating position to die for, controls where they should be, easy to read instruments. An engine designed from the start to give and keep giving, brakes that never fade regardless of how hard you ride. A chassis made of the best materials, precise road holding. Suspension you can adjust as you ride, i reckon the Lord would laugh his bits off. And you have an endless market of accessories.
And you have the best dealer in Adelaide, Moto Adelaide.

A enjoybale bike to own and ride

I owned a 2010 model BMW F800R for just under a year and travelled around 2,500km on it. The bike had a centre stand, LED white indicators, trip computer, heated grips, 12v supply and tire pressure monitor fitted; which are all factory options. I was very happy with the bike and did not experience any mechanical issues with it. I have divided this review into two parts, covering what I liked about the bike and want I didn’t. Overall this is an excellent bike and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good naked bike for around town use and short weekend blasts out of town.

The good stuff

The two stage heated grips work well and are definitely worth it in my opinion; they are fully integrated into the controls. The centre stand makes for easier maintenance. The riding position was comfortable (1.8m tall) for me.
I was very impressed with the tyre pressure monitoring. I was riding one day when I noticed the system flashing on the dashboard. I could see that the back tyre was losing pressure at a rapid rate, this gave me sufficient time to get out of the busy highway traffic and find a suitable place to fix the puncture.

I liked the idea of the under seat fuel tank (lower centre of gravity and no need to remove your tank bag to fill up). The bike was economical and the computer will show you litres per 100km usage and how many km left before you run out of fuel. Combine this with a fuel gauge and low fuel warning light gives you no reason to be left stranded.

The rear suspension is easily adjustable for preload and dampening; the front suspension is not adjustable. The gearing is very good and well suited for around town and highway riding, no hunting experienced or clutch slipping required. The brakes are Brembo and they are very good, you will have no problems stopping this bike, I did not get to use the ABS as the bike stuck to the road like glue.

The bike handles very well and is very stable and confidence inspiring for the most part. At sub 200kg it is very light and I suspect this along with the fuel tank being down low is why it feels so agile. The bike has a long wheelbase, and I suspect this this combined with the steering damper is why it feels so stable and predictable. I never experienced any head shaking, or the front wheel going skyward during hard acceleration.

The room for improvement and small niggles department

I had the stock exhaust and the note can sound like a pig at a trough at lower revs or like there is something stuck in the pipe. You will suffer from exhaust note envy when other bikes pull up next to you, especially Ducati 899 Panigale’s.

I would have liked the front end to be stiffer. I found the suspension compressed far too easily under braking for my liking, even with moderate to light braking. My first upgrade was going to be Hyperpro progressive springs, ahead of another exhaust can, but I ended up selling the bike.

I didn’t find the handgrips to be particularly comfortable.

The speedo on the bike is an analogue display and the separations between speeds are tiny making it hard to determine with any degree of accuracy how fast you are travelling. My friend has a Suzuki with a digital speed readout which is far superior.

I found the clutch lever required some effort to pull in and this left me with a sore wrist on long rides of 2.5+ hours, after 5 hours I was in pain.

Why they did not think of this is beyond me, but there are no helmet hooks on the bike, so you will have to carry an extra cable to secure your helmet to the bike.

The vibrations through the bars make the mirrors ineffective once you started to get above 4000 rpm.

There is very little in the way of storage space under the seat. Removing the top of the tank is a real pain, you need to do this to get to the puncture repair kit, but there is no space under the tank either.

At speeds less than 10km the bike requires considerable effort to control the turn; it has a tendency to understeer on itself if you don’t put the effort in. I suspect this is because of the steering damper.

Overall this was a very enjoyable bike to own and ride. I think the testament of this is that I would consider owning another one. If you are considering this bike then I would recommend changing the front fork springs (about $150 in parts) and check if you are comfortable with the clutch pull. Make sure you get tyre pressure monitoring, heated grips and centre stand with it. Enjoy.

Good commuter, good handling

I have owned two f800r's, previously I had Ducati's, so I can only compare this to my previous Ducati 900 Monster.
Like the Monster, it is an excellent handling bike, where I live the roads are twisty and this, and the Ducati are/ were faultless for this type of riding.
Where the BMW is better is fuel economy, for a similar powered bike the BMW will get approx half as much again, also there is a steering dampner, which the Duke should have had and the BMW's heated grips are a blessing if you live in a colder climate (coming from Scotland they are essential).
The Ducati had a better engine roar and was a bit more 'sexy'.
Overall this is a fine bike, good linear breaks, great fuel economy, great handling, good looks and relatively affordable.
I cannot find fault and although I wanted the BMW r1200r, finances and the mrs dictated the f800r.


Basic bike? Think Again!

This is my wife's bike, a replacement for her former NINJA 250R. My wife is a short lady and needed a bike with a low seat and good for both commuting and touring, as we travel on our bikes. This BMW was the only fit, and we order one with some touring related add-ons: a tall aftermarket windshield, luggage rack, panniers, LED lights and blinkers and some other goodies. The low seat option was not readily available (a low seat was delivered 2 weeks later), and my wife asked me to ride the bike from the dealer to our place. I usually ride a KAWASAKI VERSYS 1000 (115HP), and I'm very used to that 1 litre bike, which is a two-wheeled wonder.

First thing I noticed, after the pleasant roar of the engine, was the long (high) gears: even on 2nd, you struggle to keep the bike under 60 km/h. The bike runs smoothly and flawlessly at 2,500 to 4,000 rpms all the time: no need to rev the engine too much ever! I had never seen a more perfect match between an engine and a gearbox on a road bike before. The 87HP really look like 100. I thought the fuel tank was a bit too small (16 litres) for touring, but... In city traffic, the bike was doing 3.2 to 4.3 l/100km, which gives it a range of more than 350km. So, no problem in this department,too. Breaks and tyres are usually a bit slippery in the beginning, but the superb BREMBO breaks could stop the beast really quickly and the rubber was a pair of MICHELIN PILOT POWER. Well, I was riding in the city, but nothing seemed to be slippery at all! And ABS takes care of the "getting used to period" we all need.

In a nutshell, the bike is light (200kg) and has a good engine, with enough power to get you anywhere (engine is made by ROTAX, an Austrian company), superbly good breaks (with ABS), brightly visible lights (especially if you order the LED blinkers and tail light) and a comfortable seat. The fuel tank is below the seat, which lowers the centre of gravity even more, making it very well balanced and good to handle. On the other hand, it doesn't have any electronic aids and the clutch is a bit too stiff to my taste, although my wife says it's ok.

This bike won't please the ones looking for brute force and performance on the race track, but is extremely smooth on the road and very good on petrol. It's a simple package, with not many electronic aids (no traction control, for instance), but will do the job for a fair price if you want a commuter. As it's a roadster, with very little protection against the elements, you will have to fit accessories to make it into a suitable tourer, of course, but this can be done for a total cost that is smaller than that of a fully fledged tourer.

So, if this is the intended use (commuting + limited touring), one should consider this one, especially if one is "vertically challenged" and doesn't like cruisers (such as my wife). It's worth pointing out that BMW has a tourer version with the same engine, the F-800GT, which is fully faired and has many more gadgets on; but you pay a dearer price for it.
fuel efficiency is fantastic for a 800cc, gearbox + engine are a nearly perfect match for ordinary road use, breaks are great, engine sound is pleasant (looks like a boxer's)
a bit pricey (it's a BMW), original accessories are expensive (but there are many aftermarket options), front suspension not adjustable

Questions & Answers

the plastic surround on my tacho under the speedo is melting , could it be that when the N neutral light is on for a while, that there is heat there?? Anyone had this or heard of this problem ??
1 answer
My bike is a F800-GT and I fitted a tall windscreen many months ago, as I travel on that bike and usually do long rides. Problem is: that windscreen acts as sort of lenses, too, and what you've described happened to me, as well. If you fitted a tall windscreen, that may be the cause. Otherwise, it's hard to spot, as my wife's bike is a F800-R; she has an aftermarket windscreen fitted (not that tall, however) and nothing like this has happened to her. Since I noticed the melt down, I've been covering the instruments with a piece of cloth, but it's sort of too late.

Details

F 800 R
Release dateJun 2010
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