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An upgraders review, two weeks in....(long)

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by Tiff, Jun 4, 2007.

  1. So two weeks ago I picked up a shiny (not new) blue F800ST. This is only my second bike. I traded in my Hyosung GT250 as part of the deal and, like a lot of people, what I had first played a big part in my decision to get the beemer - also a twin and a similar riding position. So, I'm only two weeks into it, but thought I'd share my thoughts so far. To give you some context, I use my bike to commute everyday, mostly in pretty heavy traffic.

    In summary, it's very easy and smooth to ride. It inspires confidence to the point of needing to stop myself being reckless going into and powering out of corners, it just doesn't feel twitchy at all. The power surge is addictive, I keep hoping to get red lights so I can give it a squirt. It's effortlessly faster than all the cagers. Rather than having to ring it's neck (GT250) to get away/in front of WRX's etc, I can just keep alongside them or dissappear if I feel like it.

    I've listed out some things I like and others I'm getting used to below for those who can be bothered to read. Couple of pics too...

    Things I like straight away:
    - Sounds silly to say, but the power. I rode a few other bikes (Fireblade, VFR, Bandit) and the beemer is really smooth, no lumps which is great for a relative noob like me, particularly in traffic.
    - The riding position is very similar to my old Comet, so easy to get used to and it carries the weight very well, it's easy to flick around relatively slow corners, e.g. traffic lights.
    - The horn is really loud, which makes up for the quiet exhaust (more later) and has justifiably scared the crap out of some sleepy drivers when they're merging on me.
    - The brakes are great. It's got ABS, but I haven't managed to get it to kick in yet (I've tried, but only in the dry!). It just stops straight away and tries to throw you off the front. I've quickly learnt to check my mirrors before putting on the anchors, had a couple of close calls with cars who didn't realise I would stop so quickly.
    - The computer display, but for two pretty naff reasons - I like the indication of which gear I'm in, and the outside temperature readout (it's important conversation topic in Melbourne!)
    - Heated handgrips are great - yes it's embarrassing to admit, but I haven't even thought about my winter gloves, just flick the switch and toasty warm in about 2 mins
    - Automatic choke. my Comet used to take a bit of warming up, but this is just turn the key, press the starter and go.
    - Belt drive - it's smooth and no maintenance.

    Things I'm getting used to/might eventually annoy me enough to do something about:
    - The engine note - my GT250 had the factory sports pipe and sounded great. The beemer sounds like a sewing machine (a smooth one!) until it's pushed, but it never roars. It sounds like a tractor in neutral at tickover.
    - I've hit neutral a couple of times when trying to push quickly from first to second, but mostly I put that down to lazy footwork.
    - No one nods at me anymore! I've read on these forums that BMW riders are up themselves, but this one isn't!

    I'm going for a longer ride this weekend, so will let you know about comfort levels etc, but from what I've experienced so far, should be just fun and trying to keep within loss of licence speeds! :shock:


  2. Nice write up. I read a review in a recent Two Wheels which also piqued my interest in this bike. It sounds like you're really enjoying it which, of course, is the main thing.
  3. Nice review, glad to hear you're liking it.

    It is great on a bigger bike, the effortless power. One must be careful though, it gets a bit addictive ;)
  4. hey Tiff, was yours the blue Comet? If so I think we have said g'day at the lights a few times, you are no the first person to go from a Hyosung to a BMW.

    I really really want one of these bikes in grey of course. :grin:
  5. First up - http://www.bmwmccvic.org.au :)

    Congrats on the F800, I was lusting after a K1200S but really I suspect that the F800 would be a far more practical bike (and a lot cheaper).

    Usually I'd recommend Staintunes for BMWs but I don't believe they've produced one yet since it's too new.

    For the present, Remus are making something but I don't have any info on it - a quick google search turned up quite a bit.
  6. Tiff, a very succinct and accurate report, no emotive fluff, just good solid information.

    Glad you like the bike; there IS someting nice about a twin, isn't there?

    BIKE magazine in the UK tested the bike against the VFR-800 and said that the VFR had been dethroned as the best all-round bike; high praise!
  7. Thanks for the comments and recommendations! Have thought about the REmus pipes TonyE, but I'll just settle into it for now.

    Yes matti-san, that was me on the Blue Comet - keep an eye out for me on beach road! When I bought my bike from Southbank, they also had two ex-BMW fleet silver f800st's with all the fruit and about 10k kms on the clock. Plenty of warranty and about $14,500 on the road - pretty good saving on a new bike when you consider the cost of all the options. Not sure if they've still got them though...
  8. If you are really worried about the exhaust note, aftermarket items from the likes of Staintune will add a nice, but not too loud note to the bike.
    I find on a longer run that a louder exhaust note gets irritating after a while, but that may be just me.
    If you are worried that people are not acknowledging you out on the road anymore, wave to them anyway. I know some people are narrow minded, but thats their problem, not yours. 99% of us are a friendly bunch.
  9. Nice ride. I wanted one (still do) as my upgrade. It's good to see that the hardwork BMW have put in to producing this new model has been rewarded with happy customers.
  10. One thing I am curious about though, What are there service costs like?
    I have seen the service costs on BMW can be quite high.

    I do like this bike also and it has recieved high praise in just about every review I have seen on it.
  11. yeah they were nice pipes, have to wait for the restrictions both legal and financial to end! :grin:
  12. Hey Mkey

    I heard the servicing costs were high too, so asked about that. A standard 1 year service is $195. Fixed service interval is every 10,000 k's, and that service is $245.

    BMW Southbank said that they charge these fixed prices as they're set by BMW. They also have loan bikes for free which is handy.

    The belt drive doesn't need any maintenance, so just a check of the oil every couple of months and the annual service - running costs are ok I think.
  13. Thanks for the info Tiff :)
  14. I would upgrade to an F800S/ST myself but only when black becomes a standard colour
  15. That's pretty good value, I would get it serviced 3 times a year. What is the annual service for? I suppose I wouldn't need this if getting serviced reguraly.
  16. Annual service is only if you haven't done 10,000 k's. It's one year, or 10,000 kms whichever comes first.
  17. Thx Tiff so three services a year, hmmmm and no greasy chain and socket replacements, starting to sound almost sensible, well for a motorbike anyways. :grin: