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Thinking about an F800S


pbbeck

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I've been thinking a lot lately about adding a small, lightweight bike to the stable. The GT is a fantastic bike, but city riding is not exactly its "cup of tea."

 

I have been considering Big Four bikes for the first time - something like the new Ninja 650R or Versys - but am wary about buying without being able to test ride first. In addition, the whole Japanese aesthetic is a turnoff to me. I just don't like the way they look, I've stumbled across an opportunity to get good deal on an F800S. I would be using it for city riding and shorter romps through the countryside. I've searched this forum for info/impressions of the F800S, but have not found much.

 

Does anyone here own an F800S/ST? Can you share your impressions? As with all BMWs, I am aware of the grocery list of recalls/TSBs/other issues, so I'm not in need of that kind of feedback. What I am interested in are overall impressions from experienced riders about performance, rideability, customizeability. longevity, etc.

 

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While my 1200 was in for service, I took out an F800ST. Frankly, I was disappointed with its motor. IMO, the motor on the (admittedly ugly) Suzuki SV650 "feels" better. It was as if the F800 has more moving parts than it needs. Yes, I know about the crankshaft and its third con-rod. Maybe that's it, or maybe the example I rode was particularly bad.

 

Bob

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After talkking wit someone that has a F800ST, the main gripe was heat. Appearntly the ST and presumably the S get very very hot to the point it burned this person leg. I would look more into that. There is a F800 forums site I believe and you can find out more. I am not sure that the heat is an issue on all bikes or just the first few. I have talked to some other and everyone seems very happy with the bike.

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Only difference in S and ST is the fairing and top triple clamp/handlebar configuration.

 

That being said, Jamie had the ST. Great bike overall but ergonomically challenging for Jamie. The S would be even more so due to the more forward lean. MYRP is a must on these bikes.

 

The S was discontinued for lack of sales. There is no issue as it is, as I stated above, the same in almost all reagrds to the ST.

 

Jamie got rid of her ST in favor of an F650GS. I now also have the F800GS. For what you are talking about doing the S would be fine, and if the price is anything like the one up her at A&S for sale it isn't a bad deal.

 

The heat is definitely something you will feel. We always ride with riding pants and that minimizes the effect but on the couple occasions Jamie or I rode it with jeans, we both came back with red leg from the heat given off.

 

For the cost of the deal, prolly a good deal. If it were me and I could in any way afford to do it, go with the F800GS!! Though it is essentially the same motor it is totally different in feel and operation. Much more smooth and easier in the take off and low rpm compared to the S/ST. S/ST were much more abrupt and "snatchy".

 

Turning radius is going to be limited on the S as well. A consideration in the environment you speak of.

 

I have always stated though that I would own an S as a track bike. It is fun in that element.

 

Hope this helps a bit.

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Phil,

 

I was interested in your stable of bikes... an F800GS and a GT. I've been tempted by the 800GS. Lusting after one would be a more accurate description. As I see it though, as different as these platforms are, the GT and a GS have a significant similarity of purpose. I encountered this when I owned an RT and a 1200GS. Both bikes were capable tourers, so one had to go. If I were to go with the F800GS, I would have to let the GT go. I love the GT so much, I'm not willing to do that.

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You're really underestimating the F800GS for its utilitarian purpose, IMO. The GS is the perfect commute, run about, canyon carver, hey what's down that dirt road bike I've come across. Yes, it's tour capable but not in the fashion of the GT. It's the perfect AK bike but a compromise for a 'round the country tourer.

 

Spend some time with it.

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You're really underestimating the F800GS for its utilitarian purpose, IMO. The GS is the perfect commute, run about, canyon carver, hey what's down that dirt road bike I've come across. Yes, it's tour capable but not in the fashion of the GT. It's the perfect AK bike but a compromise for a 'round the country tourer.

 

Spend some time with it.

 

I am not seeing at how a F800GS is too much like the GT, but a F800S isnt? I would think that as Phil said, the 800GS would be an ideal bike as a second bike. I was drooling over the 800GS myself and I would love to have one in addition to the RT.

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I don't know. Maybe I'm the only one that thinks the GS and GT are redundant in purpose. Of course, I mean this only in the broadest sense. Since I only have room (physically and financially) for two bikes, I want to diversify as much as possible. If one of my bikes is a big sport tourer, the other needs to be something small, lightweight, naked and sporty (and not necessarily practical).

 

Right now, the most attractive thing about the f800s is the price. They're trying to blow 'em out, so for the price of a new UJM or a used European bike, I can have a new BMW with a 3-yr warranty.

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If it's for 'around town', save your money and get the F650GS.

The F800S is very hard on the wrists due to its forward lean, think twice about that for commuting. The F800ST much more comfortable.

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When my old LT was in for service, the shop let me use an F800S as a loaner for 48 hours. I really liked it.. It carved the canyon's nicely, had good power worked well in traffic and the gas mileage was fantastic at about 60 mpg.. I have a buddy in our local club (BMWMCC) that is on his second ST and has been very pleased with both his first and second bike.. The dealer made him a trade in deal he couldn't refuse. So, he now has an '08..

 

For the price they were asking at the time for a new one, I wouldn't consider it. But, if you really want to stick with BMW, and the price is right, it makes a nice around town bike. You do have to get use to the forward lean on the S. The ST is more upright..

 

I might consider looking at other bikes like the Yamaha FZR or the Kawi Z1000. Also, the F800R is coming right down the pike soon... But, of course, that will cost you.. I personally wouldn't consider the F650GS.. Something about purposely tuning down the 800 engine just doesn't do it for me.

 

 

 

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I have an 800S which I purchased in April of 07; before that I had an 04 1150R and before that a 99RT etc. Anyway, I have 37,000 miles on it. I have done a 1000 mile day followed by a 400 mile day. I have also did an 870,750 and a 950 mile three day trip. I have done several other several hundred mile days. I find the bike as comfortable as any I have had. I have a little taller windshield on it and a Bob's wristrest and Givi bags. I had a battery quit while I was going down the road and an idle control unit go bad but other than that just a couple recalls. I have had the valves checked every 12,000 miles and no need to be adjusted yet. My wife just got a 650GS in October after having BMW RS and S style bikes since 89 and loves it. I know there are a lot of 800S good deals out there and am tempted to buy another. I don't know if this engine has the longevity genes that the oilhead or K bike has so I am a bit nervous. Anyway, I like the bike; I know it isn't the head turner that some of the other BMWs are but it works for me.

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I got a f800s loaner bike when my r1200rt was in for a repair. I missed the wind protection and riding position of my rt, but found the bike fun to ride. It had plenty of power, and it's lighter weight made it a blast to ride in the canyon. I think with som saddle bags, it would be a fun commuter or weekend canyon blaster. I was glad to get my rt back, though.

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Test rode the 800 ST and it was a fun bike. Great handling and low weight. Riding position was a little aggressive for me. I probably would have traded the GT for one except for the heat issue. I felt it as soon as the bike warmed up, and living in FL I can not put up with more heat. If I felt it on a test drive how in the hell did engineering not notice it. Do they think the roundel is that impressive.

David B

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Well... I went to the dealer today to test ride the F800S. I'm glad I did. I did not like the bike at all. It was my first experience with TPM. I really like the feature, especially considering that when dealer set me up for my test ride, it was the TPM that warned me that the tires were down to 28/34.

 

In other news though, as I was leaving the dealership I glanced over the G650X Country. It intrigued me, so I took it for a short jaunt. Hey - I'd already filled out the test ride paperwork. What a blast! I was only on the bike for about 10 minutes, but I was giggling the whole time. This is a light, nimble, vibey, and just too much fun motorcycle. Maybe this is the way to go.

 

 

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Well... just too much fun motorcycle. Maybe this is the way to go.

 

 

Way to go!

Life surprises every now and then?

Those all terrain bikes are over looked too often, with no reason.

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I have ridden the F800S a few times, and although it's a likeable bike, it's just not "enough" of anything to make me recommend it. My biggest issue is the weak brakes. The first time I rode it, coming off the KS, I was surprised at the brakes. Felt like I had to plan twice as far ahead. Still miles ahead of my old Dodge Dart though. So it's all relative! :)

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too old to care

I bought a new F800S (07) because I thought it would be more reliable than the 6 year old Ducati Monster (900cc) that I was riding. I was wrong.

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What became immediately apparent on my 30-minute test ride, and what disappointed me the most about the F800S, were the brakes (as stubble pointed out) and the front forks. The whole front end was soft, spongy, and vague, and with no adjustability, that was the deal breaker. I had no problem with the motor or transmission. The clutch, on the other hand, was noisy to the point of sounding defective.

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I considered the G650XCountry when I decided to get the GS. There weren't many accessory options available 6 months ago, but I think there are now.

 

You might also consider the G650GS---I don't know which is more expensive, though.

 

Edit: You could go test ride some used Japanese makes like the V-strom from private sellers. Might find a nice deal, too.

 

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