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Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by talon, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. The BMW F800S/ST bikes were talked about quite a bit when the first came out, but not much has been said about them since.
    Is it a case of German design? That is, very efficient at everything but just a bit dull?

    I would be interested in the opinions of anyone who owns one, as it is on my short list for my next bike. Thanks.
  2. search is your friend.

    There are at least 2 reviews of the bike posted here
  3. Hey :) My dad has been riding the f800st for 2 years now, has got over 32000ks on it now and he has not had one single problem with it. He has the blue one. I have been a pillion on it a few times before and its a really nice bike, very comfy, looks very good and has alot of go. The only thing to keep in mind is the cost of fixing it as new panels are very very expensive to get from germany. If oyu want a bike with everything from heated grips, ABS and a instrument panel that tells you if a globe is not working the f800st is for you :)
  4. I've had mine for a couple of months and just clocked up 3000 km with, as expected, no problems. I wanted a mid size sport tourer or adventure tourer or naked bike for daily commute with some touring.
    Other bikes I considered were:-
    Kawasaki er6f
    Kawasaki Versys
    Suzuki VStrom
    Triumph Tiger
    Aprilia Shiver
    Moto Guzzi Breva
    Honda VFR800
    Things I really like about the F800ST are
    Belt drive is clean, maintenance free and cheap to replace (I think its at 50K)
    Really flat torque curve from 3000 rpm is very easy to ride.
    Factory panniers are great.
    Amazingly frugal. 100kph = 3500 rpm = 3L/100km. 1st service cost me around $120. Service intervals are 10k / 12 months.
    Sales and service has been very professional.

    Things I don't like are
    Clunky gearbox which is getting better with mileage. Interestingly gearchange is smoother when cold. I think the bike would have been better with 5 gears instead of 6.
    Access to radiator cap involves stripping half the bodywork. Really stupid design here.
  5. Hey Al, great to hear your opinion on a bike I've considered myself, just wondering two things.

    First, what is the range you get for (a) commuting, assuming a fair bit of stop and go traffic, and (b) touring, assuming a mix of twisties and highways?

    Secondly, do the weird Bavarian blinker controls annoy you after 3000km, or have you adjusted to them?

    Thanks in advance, Alex.

    P.S. For anyone interested, another NetRider F800ST review.
  6. My bike came with the optional trip computer. I've never reset the consumption average since day 1 and that reads 4.8L/100km. This is mostly for 11km commute with lots of stop/start. Steady 100km/h freeway speed reads around 3.1. Throw in a few curves and its more like 4 - 5. I just fill it up when I tells me there's around 60 - 80 km left in the tank which is around $20 of 98RON. The trip computer range would be more useful if it could gauge range from a full tank. It can't and just tells me I've got >205 km and it reads this for about a week.
    The indicator on switches are very good to use. The cancel switch is awkward, especially when you're trying to accelerate and change gear.
    One other minor grumble is the centrestand pedal is smooth and very slippery when wet.
  7. So just let them self cancel :)

    I do all the time
  8. Thanks Al, much appreciated. Looks like around 330-350km range when riding around town and racing through the twisties. It's a shame they settled for a 16l fuel tank when many sports tourers have a few litres more, but evidently the excellent efficiency compensates a fair bit here.

    Thanks for highlighting the quibbles, if they're the worst of it, then looks like Beemer built a great bike.

    Self-cancelling blinkers? Wow! I need to get a modern bike!!
  9. Interesting list of bikes....I considered almost all of the above (already owned a V-Strom a few years ago and loved it). For me it came down to the Bimmer and the Viffer. Both EXCELLENT bikes.

    In the end I bit the bullet and bought a second hand FJR1300 and have never looked back. The BMW / VFR are probably slightly better for commuting but I just couldn't go past the deal I was offered with the Yammy. I must admit to looking at the BMW's whenever I see them with a certain amount of envy.
  10. I've got one - great bike!

    I recently bought a 2008 F800ST (Graphitan) and absolutely love it. I got it optioned up with ABS, OB computer, tire pressure monitors, clear signal indicators, etc.

    I've had the bike for approx. 3-4 months and have done about 4300km's on it and have had no problems whatsoever. I'm a fairly inexperienced bike rider and it was on my short list of upgrades once I got off of my restrictions. It was up against the VFR800, Sprint ST, Bandit 1250S, GSX650F, even the ER6F/N, Z750/1000. All up I was looking for a mid-sized all rounder, do it all type of bike that that I could commute on, have some fun in the twisties and that my wife would be comfortable to sit on for more than 1 hr for light 2 up touring (e.g. maybe the Barossa in Adelaide).

    Some of my thoughts to date so far:

    1) The first thing that surprised me was how good the brakes were. They are really excellent with fantastic stopping power. ABS is very unobtrusive though it engaged a bit when I first got the bike, though I believe that this is more due to me being too heavy on the rear. For not too experienced riders I would recommend ABS, as I think its help me out at least once in an emergency stop situation
    2) The indicator switches. I was expecting to hate them, but the actual L/R indicators are good and easy and natural to use. It's the cancel switch on the right that is tricky, but after a couple of weeks I got used to it. I like the indicator system now and its second nature. Don't let them put you off the bike. It took me just as long to get used to the system that the Japanese bikes use.
    3) Gear change. I expected it to be notchy and was pleasantly surprised. I've heard that the 2008 have had some of the problems ironed out or improved from the 2006 and the gear box is one area. The throw seems a little longer than some of the bikes I rode, but it's easy to shift and not hard. Now that the box has loosened up, the gear change is pretty good and I never find false neutrals now.
    4) One thing I learned to love is that this bikes handles great...I had to experience it even though I had read this in reviews, but it's a joy through the twisties. I feel I'm a better rider and feel alot more confident through turns.
    5) Fuel tank under seat...gives the bike a low centre of gravity making tight U-turns surprisingly easy. Easier for me than a GS500F for example. Probably contribute to the great handling.
    6) The engine...really torquey. There is a nice mid range torque kick that comes in from 4500 RPM (peak trq @ 5000RPM) that just keeps going. There are alot more powerful bikes out there but you can rev the ST and use what's available and only be way over the speed limit, as opposed to insane! :) Engine is very friendly and useable in the traffic with good low down trq as well. The engine note gives a nice drone that sounds a bit like a twin prop plane that turns into a growl when you rev it. You can get an after market exhaust if you want more, though it will never sound like a Harley or Ducati.
    7) Build quality. Noticeably better than the Suzukis and Kawasaki's I looked at. Everyone thing is well made and finished nicely.
    8) Comfort. I can ride this bike all day and all night. Perfect for me and my build (not small). Most comfortable bike I've ridden and about the final clincher for me.
    9) Very economical as said by many others.
    10) Believe it or not, it gets lots of "nice bike" type compliments. I was riding home yesterday after work and while stuck in the traffic a guy in a nearby car asks me how I find it..I said great, he mentioned that it looks really good. To me...it's a great looking bike!
    11) Lots of fun gadgets to play with if you like on board computers, tire monitors, etc. I love it. Heated grips are good when it gets cold.


    Price - it's expensive but nice. I think you get what you pay for and it's a long term keeper for me.

    Minor niggles -none really. Took a bit of time to used to the indicators, side stand is a little fiddly.

    I hope this helps with your decision. I love mine and find any excuse I can to ride it. There is something stoic and German about it (especially in the panzer grey version)...which adds to its appeal for me. It's never boring, though. :cool:


  11. Good info here, thanks.

    Question: Those who compared the Beemer to the V-Strom, what were the important differences for you?
  12. I chose the F800ST over the VStrom because
    I really wanted to get away from chain drive if I could.
    Build quality.
    Good range of factory options and accessories.
    I really like to have a centrestand.
    Very impressed by local dealer.
    Is it really worth the (considerable) extra cash? For me, yes on a bike I intend to keep for a long time.
  13. I'd argue the V-Strom is a very utilitarian bike. It's ugly, cheap, will run forever, no complications, do what you ask of it. Like a tractor.

    The BMW is more refined. Stylised. A bit more complicated. Engine's have no issues so far, so really the only thing that could bugger up is electrics. The BMW has a CANBUS system: two wires connect up everything on the bike, instead of the loomed mess on a standard bike.

    I suppose the choice is clear cut.
  14. Thanks for all your advice guys.

    Its time to start buying the bank manager a beer or two.
  15. AlGroover & saba.

    Thanks for that.

    Getting away from a chain drive would be nice. (That's putting it mildly.)

    Only if your budget covers both options. :wink:
  16. has anyone on here purchased an F800S?
    i think look awesome and i prefer the semi naked look than the F800ST.

    sat on one the other day and it felt great. very similar seating possy to the ST, not much difference at all.

    big contender for july next year when i'm off restrictions.
  17. You can get a lot of bike for $15k from other manufacturers. I like it, but not that much.

    My 2c.
  18. As far as I know, the only differences between the S and the ST are
    S has a smaller fairing and slightly lower screen
    ST has a carry rack as standard
    ST has a centrestand as standard
    ST costs $500 more
    ST has conventional clamped tube type handlebars, S handlebars are slightly lower and integral with the triple clamp.
    This last point is significant because you can fit different bars or risers to the ST if you want to and if it should fall over and bend a bar, its a whole new triple clamp for the S.
  19. I went and purchased myself the F800S. I would agree with most of the comments relating to the ST and say that they are applicable to the S. It's probably the gear box that creates the most controversy. Neutral can be a bit sensitive to find and a firm kick to engage is desirable but really it function nicely.

    In terms of comfort I have noticed some high frequency vibrations in the handle bars of the S that tend to numb my hands at certain speeds on trips up to Sydney from Canberra but that's being picky.

    The heated hand grips are a god send for snowy blizzards.
  20. Yeah, up until recently Honda were liquidating their CBR1100XX Blackbirds at $14,990 + ORC. 112kW, 119Nm, 223kg. I find those kind of numbers awfully persuasive, and would have bought one on credit in a heartbeat were it not for my restricted licence. Having said that though, servicing and insurance costs were probably less persuasive ... not to mention the anticipated court appearance to explain why I was doing 240kph on the Eastern Fwy!! :LOL: