High_Sides F800S experience

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High_Side
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High_Sides F800S experience

#1 Unread post by High_Side » Wed May 09, 2007 8:53 pm

I finally got to take out the Beemer F800S today. I ducked outta work for a couple of hours to take the test ride on the 800S and the 800ST only to find out that they "lost" my reservation for the ST......
The 800S turned out to be a decent ride with good bottom end power for an 800 twin, a comfy seat, good ergos and light handling. The suspension feels compliant over Canadian frost heaves but in 45 minutes of follow the leader I never really got the chance to really get an impression of how it would take 200+ lbs of relentless spurring High_Side on a proper ride :twisted:
The downside was that I was reminded of how truely awful BMWs switchgear can be. It's hard to believe that such a small thing could be THE leading decision for not buying a bike. It was actually getting downright comical watching a parade of 15 weaving Beemers with misc. blinkers flashing on a straight road with horns accidently beeping and riders cursing inside their helmets. Sure, I could get used to it but why should I have to?????
The other noticeable downside to the Beemer was the sound of the engine. Picture a 25 year-old Honda Twin-Star with a cam-chain so loose it could crater at any moment. Thats the sound of the new F800s :P
Overall though it really IS a nice bike. Not nice enough that I would turf any of the old rusty nails outta the garage though....
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Re: High_Sides F800S experience

#2 Unread post by Gatineau_Guy » Fri May 11, 2007 8:08 am

High_Side wrote:I finally got to take out the Beemer F800S today. I ducked outta work for a couple of hours to take the test ride on the 800S and the 800ST only to find out that they "lost" my reservation for the ST......
The 800S turned out to be a decent ride with good bottom end power for an 800 twin, a comfy seat, good ergos and light handling. The suspension feels compliant over Canadian frost heaves but in 45 minutes of follow the leader I never really got the chance to really get an impression of how it would take 200+ lbs of relentless spurring High_Side on a proper ride :twisted:
The downside was that I was reminded of how truely awful BMWs switchgear can be. It's hard to believe that such a small thing could be THE leading decision for not buying a bike. It was actually getting downright comical watching a parade of 15 weaving Beemers with misc. blinkers flashing on a straight road with horns accidently beeping and riders cursing inside their helmets. Sure, I could get used to it but why should I have to?????
The other noticeable downside to the Beemer was the sound of the engine. Picture a 25 year-old Honda Twin-Star with a cam-chain so loose it could crater at any moment. Thats the sound of the new F800s :P
Overall though it really IS a nice bike. Not nice enough that I would turf any of the old rusty nails outta the garage though....
High_Side
I just signed up for 3 demos on May 28th. I am riding the F800ST, the F650 X-Country and the HP2. I will watch out for the switchgear. :D I have a similar problem with my wife's sportster. The left signal is controled with the left thumb and the right signal with the right thumb. This is compared to the single control on my bike. I have accidentally honked the horn more than once on the first couple of rides on her bike. :oops:

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Re: High_Sides F800S experience

#3 Unread post by High_Side » Fri May 11, 2007 9:20 pm

Gatineau_Guy wrote:
High_Side wrote:I finally got to take out the Beemer F800S today. I ducked outta work for a couple of hours to take the test ride on the 800S and the 800ST only to find out that they "lost" my reservation for the ST......
The 800S turned out to be a decent ride with good bottom end power for an 800 twin, a comfy seat, good ergos and light handling. The suspension feels compliant over Canadian frost heaves but in 45 minutes of follow the leader I never really got the chance to really get an impression of how it would take 200+ lbs of relentless spurring High_Side on a proper ride :twisted:
The downside was that I was reminded of how truely awful BMWs switchgear can be. It's hard to believe that such a small thing could be THE leading decision for not buying a bike. It was actually getting downright comical watching a parade of 15 weaving Beemers with misc. blinkers flashing on a straight road with horns accidently beeping and riders cursing inside their helmets. Sure, I could get used to it but why should I have to?????
The other noticeable downside to the Beemer was the sound of the engine. Picture a 25 year-old Honda Twin-Star with a cam-chain so loose it could crater at any moment. Thats the sound of the new F800s :P
Overall though it really IS a nice bike. Not nice enough that I would turf any of the old rusty nails outta the garage though....
High_Side
I just signed up for 3 demos on May 28th. I am riding the F800ST, the F650 X-Country and the HP2. I will watch out for the switchgear. :D I have a similar problem with my wife's sportster. The left signal is controled with the left thumb and the right signal with the right thumb. This is compared to the single control on my bike. I have accidentally honked the horn more than once on the first couple of rides on her bike. :oops:
Let me know how the others turn out. You obviously have great taste in bikes :mrgreen:

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Re: High_Sides F800S experience

#4 Unread post by CentralOzzy » Fri May 25, 2007 6:40 pm

High_Side wrote: You obviously have great taste in bikes
Well....you both did until you both started test riding BMW's!! :stickpoke:
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#5 Unread post by QuietMonkey » Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:08 pm

switchgear aside, the bimmer 800 looks like a great bike.

i've become so lazy with maintenence now having my first shaft-drive bike... too bad the bimmer costs an arm-and-a-leg compared with something like the new Kawi Concours that'd walk all over it for the same $$$... not that you need anything more than the 800, but for the same amount of cash, heck, why not!

Kawi here:
http://www.kawasaki.com/Products/Detail.aspx?id=220
and here:
http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/Article_P ... 746&Page=1

I think modifying an SV650, or taking an older inline 600 (CBR600f4, YZF600R) and spending some bucks to make it even more sport-touring friendly would be a better use of $$$. Or if you want the torque, TL1000/SV1000 and the usual touring mods for ergos and luggage... lubing chains seems worth it then :D

what about an ST4 Highside?
http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/Article_P ... ticleID=34
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#6 Unread post by High_Side » Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:06 pm

QuietMonkey wrote:switchgear aside, the bimmer 800 looks like a great bike.

i've become so lazy with maintenence now having my first shaft-drive bike... too bad the bimmer costs an arm-and-a-leg compared with something like the new Kawi Concours that'd walk all over it for the same $$$... not that you need anything more than the 800, but for the same amount of cash, heck, why not!

Kawi here:
http://www.kawasaki.com/Products/Detail.aspx?id=220
and here:
http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/Article_P ... 746&Page=1

I think modifying an SV650, or taking an older inline 600 (CBR600f4, YZF600R) and spending some bucks to make it even more sport-touring friendly would be a better use of $$$. Or if you want the torque, TL1000/SV1000 and the usual touring mods for ergos and luggage... lubing chains seems worth it then :D

what about an ST4 Highside?
http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/Article_P ... ticleID=34
Thanks for the suggestion but the mid-sized beemer seems far more appealing than the new Conny. That thing is the size of a whale and having spent a little time on a ZX-12 I have to say that it is FAR more than I could enjoy on the street. If you try to have fun on a bike with 160 hp you find yourself at stupid speeds very quickly, and that has lost a lot of appeal for me.

As for kitting out a 600 for sport touring, I gave that a pretty good go in the early 90s on couple of Kawi 600s. I had a lot of fun and it's not a bad way to go for younger wrists and backs. I then I did the big twin thing with the VTR too, kitting it out with hard luggage. Now I've stepped it back a notch or two with the VFR and am happy for the moment, but the new stuff still makes me drool.

And the ST-4 does make me drool. The ST-3 caught me off gaurd as one of the nicest bikes I have ridden, but on my touring ride I need less expensive maintenance. It's fine on our S2R that has only seen 16 000km in two seasons but for something that I want to put big k's on the maintenance is a little steep. A used ST-4 that was at Rev a while back required $1000 worth of valve adjustments every 10 000km!(their quote, I didn't make this up). The ST3 should be cheaper but it's a touring bike WTF? I could get the book and do it myself yes, but in all reality I don't have the time. Makes the old viffer look better all of the time.

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#7 Unread post by QuietMonkey » Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:15 pm

High_Side wrote: ... more appealing than the new Conny. That thing is the size of a whale...

kitting out ... Kawi 600s.... I've stepped it back a notch or two with the VFR and am happy for the moment, but the new stuff still makes me drool.

And the ST-4 does make me drool. The ST-3 caught me off gaurd as one of the nicest bikes I have ridden, but on my touring ride I need less expensive maintenance... A used ST-4 that was at Rev a while back required $1000 worth of valve adjustments every 10 000km!...

Makes the old viffer look better all of the time.
Re Kawi: a buddy rode a ZX600D (or E model, i think, the late 80s early 90s version that was the chubby-chassis design) for quite awhile as his daily rider. Big enough to be comfy and a great motor. I guess the Concours may be a bit chubby too. never looked at one in person. I always prefer smaller bikes too, but horsepower I can control with the wrist, so i never mind having more as the temptation on the street is rarely there. Insurance might be worse on the big-bore stuff though.

Re Ducati: even as I wrote that, I was thinking, "I'd hate to be the guy adjusting the valves though." :laughing: and still no shaft-drive. I still prefer the air-cooled engines in Ducati's anyhow... picky about the looks... a monster looks really good in air-cooled guise, etc, but I'm sure a 1098 wouldn't offend me, being clothed a little better :mrgreen:

ah yes, the VFR still wins in spades for sport-tourer over many things... 'cept for us anti-honda guys ;) but the newer models looks are just wrong for a sport-tourer in my mind... i prefer the more conservative styling for a s/t bike, just can't believe the BMW800s cost what they do. Seems like a really nice balanced bike, sans telelever even, and they're just up against stiff competition from many sides at the price on that thing. It doesnt really have enough *soul* to warrant the price... it needs to have SOMETHING more than loads of practical value. I'd rather have a bike with quirks that has some soul rather than one that is just really good all around but costs an arm and a leg. maybe Yamaha's TRX850 will roll into town, most of the practicality of the BMW at lower cost,

except shaft-drive is what really makes it *civilized* for huge miles (snicker/chuckle). damn... well, this is why the kawi seems like the only match for the bimmer. shaft. guess one could build a nice auto chain-lubing system :roll: and voila.
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#8 Unread post by feliz » Fri Nov 09, 2007 6:38 pm

I have an F800ST and so far I've found it great with not too many negatives besides the usual BMW over the top pricing. Worse thing for me has been the indicator controls, the Japanese got it right 35 years ago but the Germans just don't get it. Even in their own line of bikes they're confused, I recently sold my F650 which believe-it-or-not had a different control arrangement than the F800. Maintenance is quite reasonable, still not in line with the Japanese but cheap for a BMW.
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#9 Unread post by High_Side » Fri Nov 09, 2007 8:35 pm

feliz wrote:I have an F800ST and so far I've found it great with not too many negatives besides the usual BMW over the top pricing. Worse thing for me has been the indicator controls, the Japanese got it right 35 years ago but the Germans just don't get it. Even in their own line of bikes they're confused, I recently sold my F650 which believe-it-or-not had a different control arrangement than the F800. Maintenance is quite reasonable, still not in line with the Japanese but cheap for a BMW.
You sir, do have good taste in bikes looking at your signature. Do you do any touring on the ST? How is the GT1000?

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#10 Unread post by feliz » Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:17 pm

High_Side wrote: You sir, do have good taste in bikes looking at your signature. Do you do any touring on the ST? How is the GT1000?
I'd like to say I tour but having red your travel blog my touring is pretty whimpy, not even worth mentioning after reading about your adventures.

I'm retired from 35 years with the BC Ministry of Highways and browsing through your great pictures of touring in BC brought back a lot of memories, I recognized the location of every picture. Good job.

Just got the GT1000, I wanted one since they came out but they were always a little too pricey, with our rising dollar I got it for $10,000 though which is about $3500 off MSRP, I couldn't refuse. That's CAN$ of course.

How did you like riding the Duc?

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#11 Unread post by High_Side » Sat Nov 10, 2007 12:23 am

feliz wrote:
I'm retired from 35 years with the BC Ministry of Highways and browsing through your great pictures of touring in BC brought back a lot of memories, I recognized the location of every picture. Good job.
Thanks.
feliz wrote:
Just got the GT1000, I wanted one since they came out but they were always a little too pricey, with our rising dollar I got it for $10,000 though which is about $3500 off MSRP, I couldn't refuse. That's CAN$ of course.
Congrats on the new ride. Same colour that I would go for. They look pretty good with the Ducati optional bags too. Did you import it for that price or does you dealer have a closer grasp on reality than the dealers here in Calgary?
feliz wrote:
How did you like riding the Duc?
Still got it, still love it (actually it's the wifes bike and she still has it, still loves it). :righton:

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F800ST

#12 Unread post by tbob » Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:43 pm

I've put 2500 miles on a 2007 F800ST that I chose for the wrong reasons. I appreciated the 800cc displacement and ABS, but I find the bent over position uncomfortable for my forearms and neck, forcing me to stop for a break every 25 miles. I also find the throttle kind of twitchy, especially when letting off the gas, making the gears knock. Lastly, for a smallish bike, it's so top heavy that low speed manuevering e.g., parking lot figure eights, are harder than they should be for a bike this size. I'm dissapointed, and will probably sell.

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