BMW continue their rapid expansion with the F800R. With a specification to rival Triumph’s mighty Street Triple, the twin-cylinder BM looks set to lead from the front
Click to read: BMW F800R owners reviews, BMW F800R specs and to see the BMW F800R image gallery.
BMW know that the market for this bike in the UK is limited. By their own admission half of their worldwide middleweight sales are made up of customers in France, Spain and Italy alone – the UK market is comparatively small at just 4%, prompting you to wonder why they’re putting effort into a class already saturated by bikes like the Yamaha FZ6, Honda Hornet and Suzuki Gladius. But, as we’ve seen with their S1000RR superbike, BMW appear to relish a challenge right now.
The F800R fits into BMW’s Urban Sports category, which also includes the mighty K1300R, the naked monster on which the 800R’s styling is so clearly based. Designed to offer class-beating performance at a competitive price, BMW say the 800R’s been two years in the making. Despite displacing 798cc, the engine doesn’t make as much power as its smaller capacity middleweight rivals. That said it does produce more torque and, on the road, that translates into smoother, more effortless drive and a less manic ride.
The engine pulls from as low as 2000rpm and even tickling along in top gear at 40mph, it’ll pull surprisingly hard, without ever feeling laboured. During running-in, BMW UK claim they got 195 miles to a tank, which is on a par with an R1200GS, and I don’t doubt this. On my ride, after 80 miles the fuel gauge wasn’t even at half empty.
The gearing is spot on for this kind of bike and the style of riding it’s designed for. First gear revs out at 60mph, second at 80mph and third at 105mph. In top gear, the F800R will cruise comfortably at 80mph showing 5,500rpm, with another 3,000rpm to go before you hit the redline. The maximum speed I saw was 120mph on the speedo and, although the flyscreen is good at deflecting the wind, at speeds over 100mph you really do feel exposed.
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