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Thread: BMW F800R? anyone riding or have ridden one? Thought and opinions?

  1. #1
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    19th April 2012 - 10:16
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    BMW F800R? anyone riding or have ridden one? Thought and opinions?

    its new bike time for me! iv spent the past few months test riding bikes and obsessively reading on the internet. The only bike that really seems to tick all the boxes for me is the BMW f800R(2015+ models). The only problem is its the only bike that i haven't yet been able to test ride.
    I currently ride an 07 Er6N and previously had a CB750.

    bikes i test rode:

    Ducati scrambler - fun but a bit to basic, didnt really feel like a step up in power, not enough room for luggage or pillion

    MT07 - felt like i was just riding fresh clone of my er6n but with funny feeling suspension and no ABS which is something im looking forward to in a new bike

    Street Triple - ok am i the ONLY person that doesn't like this bike? riding position was a bit too forward for me and the steering lock was terrible making low speed traffic manoeuvring quite awkward. I was actually really surprised at how much i didnt like it at all, felt very unnatural. The only time i liked it was at highway speeds.

    Hornet 900 - boring and lethargic around town, good on highway, bad on gas

    CB1000R predator - Fun bike, decent handling, but not really practical for what im looking for. lots of power but not where i want it which is why im sticking with a twin.

    I was able to find a guy with a 2016 f800r who is going to let me test ride next week as the stealerships dont have a "demo" model available. Just looking for thoughts or opinions from people who own or have ridden one.

  2. #2
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    Had one on loan when my bike was in for a first service. The Beemer was the most stable bike I have ever ridden in poor weather, high crosswinds and heavy rain. Also amazing on fuel. Excitement in dry weather was ok but not mindblowing. I liked it and was tempted to buy one

  3. #3
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    25th June 2007 - 21:21
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    Have you considered MT-09? F800R looks like it's a great bike too but MT-09 has more power and sounds awesome.


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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJK View Post
    Have you considered MT-09? F800R looks like it's a great bike too but MT-09 has more power and sounds awesome.
    ....and is crap in comparison

  5. #5
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    13th July 2008 - 20:48
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    Similar format to the F800ST , of which I've had two.

    The second one I had was fitted with Ohlins. The difference was stark. BMW bikes have good suspension, but if you can afford the upgrade, it's worth it.

  6. #6
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    19th April 2012 - 10:16
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    Quote Originally Posted by KawasakiKid View Post
    Had one on loan when my bike was in for a first service. The Beemer was the most stable bike I have ever ridden in poor weather, high crosswinds and heavy rain. Also amazing on fuel. Excitement in dry weather was ok but not mindblowing. I liked it and was tempted to buy one
    Hey thanks this is good news as i do a fair amount of all weather riding. and if i was going for mindblowing excitement i would probably be looking at a different style of bike


    Quote Originally Posted by EJK View Post
    Have you considered MT-09? F800R looks like it's a great bike too but MT-09 has more power and sounds awesome.
    this bike was on my radar for a bit until my brother test rode one and said the engine was strong but the suspension was so bad it actually didn't feel safe.
    plus the BMW is apparently much better on petrol and has a lower seat height(i am not vertically gifted) and comes with a few more options.

  7. #7
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    I would agree that they do not sound the nicest but I am sure an aftermarket muffler could change that. Look for the full computer, I got an ST with just the basic display so has no fuel gauge & gear indicator along with a whole lot of other stuff which would be nice to know.

    Rastuscat, with having had the ST did you happen to investigate screen mods?
    I am thinking that when it gets a bit wetter it would be nice to have more protection
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    Quote Originally Posted by milktown View Post
    bikes i test rode:

    Ducati scrambler -(not enough room for luggage or pillion)
    + MT07 - (funny feeling)
    + Street Triple - ( steering lock was terrible , The only time i liked it was at speed.)
    + Hornet 900 -( bad on gas)
    + CB1000R predator -( not really practical)
    The addition of these equals MV Agusta. You should get one.
    I have evolved as a KB member.Now nothing I say should be taken seriously.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mossy1200 View Post
    The addition of these equals MV Agusta. You should get one.
    Nah. He wouldn't like them. He tried some bikes that are generally considered brilliant but they failed to meet his expectations.

    Apparently he is the only guy in the world who doesn't like the Street Triple. I can save him the trouble of testing the Speed Triple though, they've got crap steering lock as well.
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  10. #10
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    19th April 2012 - 10:16
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    well i took the plunge and am quite happy so far, two days in!
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by milktown View Post
    well i took the plunge and am quite happy so far, two days in!
    Looking great!


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  12. #12
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    19th April 2012 - 10:16
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    so I've had the f800 for 7 months now and just ticked over 10,000 k I thought I would give a bit of a long term review on my thoughts and opinions on the bike. The things I like. The things I don't like, and the things that have taken a bit of getting used to.
    When I first jumped on my er6n from years of riding a cb750 I was instantly in love. It was lighter, peppier, handled better, more comfortable, and was better on petrol. I was figuring moving from the er6n to the f800 would have been an equal to or even more exhilarating experience...

    I'll start of with the positives:
    First and most important is the handeling. Turning in and out of corners is next to effortless on this bike. All I have to do is think about the direction I want to go and it feels like the bike does the rest. It's a few kg heavier than my last bike but it feels lighter on the road.

    Second are the features. I've never had many of them before but I find them to be useful and helpful. Heated grips work well. I like the covienience of a gear indicator, digital fuel gauge and tire pressure sensors as well as a display of a average and current fuel consumption and speed, outside temperature gauge and electronic suspension controll. Could I live without all these? Absolutely but it's nice to have so much real time information available right at my fingertips.
    Third is the fuel consumption. This is the most powerful bike I've owned yet returns the best fuel mileage. Generally getting between 4.5 - 4.9 litres per 100k (according to bike read out and my own calculations)

    The ABS and traction control are nice to have as well. I'm an all weather commuter and it's nice to know that they are there if ever comes a time. In the few months of riding this bike they have both helped me out in tricky situations.

    Pillion seat and tail. In the modern fashion of bikes having tiny passenger seats and little to no tail I actually like the fact that it has a big butt and large grab rails. When pushing the bike around the garage or driveway it's nice and safe having big rear rails to grab and balance with. Passengers feel safe and comfortable and there is plenary of room to strap on a large bag without having to get a rear rack.
    Speaking of passengers, The rear preload can be adjusted by the turn of a dial which comes in handy.

    Now some things that aren't nesesarly bad but have taken a bit of getting used to(as most new bikes do).
    Steep gearing. First gear seems quite steep to me and that combined with a very light flywheel took a lot of getting used to. On my er6n and cb750 I could just let go of the clutch and the bike would happily start rolling forward without any throttle. I've found on the f800 I have to give it sufficiently more throttle and clutch slippage for a smooth take off without stalling. This also means that when manoeuvring in parking lots and heavy traffic I have to constantly slip the clutch rather than just letting the bike plod along in 1st. Not the end of the world but something I had to re learn.

    Riding position. I'd say it's on the sporty side of neutral. Even though it's a bigger bike than my last one, my legs have slightly less room and it's a further reach towards the handle bars. This was easily solved with hanle bare risers but I still think I might want to lower the pegs a wee bit. I'm not a super aggressive rider so I'm not worried about peg scrapes.

    The electronic suspension control is a cool feature but to be honest I can't tell the difference between the Sport, Normal, and Comfort settings. Apparently some say as I put more Ks on the bike the suspension will settle in a bit and the riding modes will become more apparent but I guess we'll see about that.

    Throttle. Some have complained about this bike having a twitchy throttle at lower speeds due to very lean tuning. I haven't found this to be a problem but I have often found that when I twist the throttle to pass another vehicle or I'm just having fun in the twisties, I often have to reach for more. As in ill twist the throttle as far as I can but then I have to re grip and twist even more before I hit the full throttle stop. Never had a bike where I've had to do this.

    The f800R hits the red line at 8.5k and tops out at 10k. My last parallel twin red lined at 11.5 and topped out at 13k so I have bounced off the rev limiter a few times thinking I had heaps more to go.

    Now to the few niggles I have about the bike and most of them are common complaints.
    First off this bike sounds absolutely terrible. It has to be one of the worst and most boring sounding stock bikes I have ever heard. I make a living as a sound engineer so I know a thing or two about tone and this thing sounds dreadful. like a baby pig quietly farting into a paint can. I installed an aftermarket slip on a few weeks ago and it instantly increased my riding pleasure and character of the bike.
    Next is the petrol cap. These bikes have the petrol tank under the seat so the fill cap is in a similar position as it is on a car, back rear panel. The problem is that the cap is on the opposite side of the kick stand, so effectively when the bike is on the stand the highest part of the gas tank is the fill cap. But if you fill the tank to the point where you hit the shut off on the gas nozzle, the tank will overflow when you stand the bike back up straight. This may be a faulty gas cap but it was annoyingly messy the first couple times. I have now learned to simply not fill the tank all the way.
    This combined with an odd shaped tank brings the actually usable fuel capacity from the listed 16L down to just under 12L. Like I said before the bike is great on gas but with that small of usable tank space I have to fill up annoyingly often.

    The last and possible the most deramental characteristic of this bike is the incredibly noticeable flat spot in power delivery between 4 and 5k. The bike feels like it looses a good quarter of its grunt between those revs. This is really noticeable when cruising on the highway. At 100kph the bike sits at about 3800rpm in 6th. Roll on the throttle to pass and you instantly hit the flat spot making the need to down shift almost a necessity. Ive read a lot about people putting on full exhaust kits and dyno tuning their bike to fight this flat spot but to me it's not with the $$ and something I can live with.

    All in all I can say that I am quite happy with the bike. Is it the be all end all perfect bike? No. But it's handles like a dream, has lots of features, superb breaks, and with the addition of the slip on can its quite fun to ride. It's has a good amount of low down torque and once you get over the 4-5k rpm flat spot the power really opens up. I wasn't super keen on the looks at first but they have really grown on me and I get more complements about this bike than any other I've owned and that's the most important thing after all right?

    Happily just another boring ol white guy on a BMW.

  13. #13
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    Enjoyable read....especially this bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by milktown View Post
    I make a living as a sound engineer so I know a thing or two about tone and this thing sounds dreadful. like a baby pig quietly farting into a paint can.
    Shame about the fuel fill issue. I'd be pissed if my claimed 16ltr tank was really 12ltr. As it stands, my 18ltr (claimed) is really 19.3ltr (usable).
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  14. #14
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    Having test ridden a F800 and have a Streety as part of the home fleet, all I can say is are you on drugs?

    The biggest problem on the F800 was i feel asleep in it by the end of the road.

    I own a couple of great bikes but my beloveds streety is a stunning bike to ride.
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  15. #15
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    25th March 2018 - 16:51
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    Also ride an F800R. Great review and I agree with every point but I personally don't care at all how it sounds as long as it rides well, which it certainly does.

    I am not so sure about the 'flat spot in power delivery between 4 and 5 k'. Mine certainly does not do that and I have never seen another mention of that. Wind mine open and it just accelerates harder and harder. .

    M



    Quote Originally Posted by milktown View Post

    .... First off this bike sounds absolutely terrible. It has to be one of the worst and most boring sounding stock bikes I have ever heard. I make a living as a sound engineer so I know a thing or two about tone and this thing sounds dreadful. like a baby pig quietly farting into a paint can..

    ....The last and possible the most deramental characteristic of this bike is the incredibly noticeable flat spot in power delivery between 4 and 5k. The bike feels like it looses a good quarter of its grunt between those revs. This is really noticeable when cruising on the highway.

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