First Ride: 2006 BMW F800

This is the bike BMW hopes will snare them a new generation of customers. And guess what? It's pretty damn good.






The F800S and ST are BMW's first entry into the middleweight market. Both are aimed squarely at newer riders who hanker after the kudos and quality associated with the German firm.

These slender middleweights are the most user-friendly bikes BMW has ever built. Powered by an 85bhp, 798cc Rotax-developed parallel twin, top rpm is only 8500rpm but 5000rpm is where this engine works best. The six gears need working to maintain momentum - normally fun, but I did find false neutrals, which became frustrating.

I'm obsessive about fuelling and throttle response but the 360-degree twin is hard to fault. From pulling away to maximum revs the engine feels sweet. There's a tiny amount of vibration although most is cleverly eliminated by an extra pivoting conrod helping to balance engine forces.

Engine spec is identical on both models but the minimalist S appealed to me more with its lower bars and half-fairing. The slightly sportier riding position also makes it more responsive to rider input giving a more engaging, satisfying ride.

The more sensible ST comes with luggage racks and a centre stand, but these can also be fitted to the S. Tyres are Metzeler RoadTecs; the S gets Conti Sports. An excellent ABS system is also available, but I wouldn't bother if you're mainly into sporty riding.

Suspension on both bikes comes via 43mm telescopic forks, not the bulky Telelever system. The rear suspension is also conventional with a superbly engineered single sided swingarm incorporating the toothed belt drive.

From some angles I thought this bike looked attractive, from others it's definitely very German. Go to your local BMW dealer, have a look for yourself and, more importantly, go for a blast. Many boxes are ticked: price quality, functionality but, most important of all, fun. A BMW for the youth of today! Whatever next?

VERDICT 5/5


BMW has pulled a real blinder out of the hat. Aimed at a younger market this could be the bike that makes BMW cool for kids

SPECS


TYPE - SPORTS TOURER


PRODUCTION DATE - 2006


PRICE NEW - £6495 (ST), £5995 (S)


ENGINE CAPACITY - 798cc


POWER - 85bhp@8000rpm


TORQUE - 63.4lb.ft@5900rpm


WEIGHT - 182kg


SEAT HEIGHT - 820mm


FUEL CAPACITY - 16L


TOP SPEED - 130mph


0-60 - n/a


TANK RANGE - N/A

Click to read: BMW F800 owners reviews, BMW F800 specs and to see the BMW F800 image gallery.

THE F800S AND ST are BMW's first entry into the middleweight market. Both are aimed squarely at newer riders who hanker after the kudos and quality associated with the German firm.

These slender middleweights are the most user-friendly bikes BMW has ever built. Powered by an 85bhp, 798cc Rotax-developed parallel twin, top rpm is only 8500rpm but 5000rpm is where this engine works best. The six gears need working to maintain momentum - normally fun, but I did find false neutrals, which became frustrating.

I'm obsessive about fuelling and throttle response but the 360-degree twin is hard to fault. From pulling away to maximum revs the engine feels sweet. There's a tiny amount of vibration although most is cleverly eliminated by an extra pivoting conrod helping to balance engine forces.

Engine spec is identical on both models but the minimalist S appealed to me more with its lower bars and half-fairing. The slightly sportier riding position also makes it more responsive to rider input giving a more engaging, satisfying ride.

The more sensible ST comes with luggage racks and a centre stand, but these can also be fitted to the S. Tyres are Metzeler RoadTecs; the S gets Conti Sports. An excellent ABS system is also available, but I wouldn't bother if you're mainly into sporty riding.

Suspension on both bikes comes via 43mm telescopic forks, not the bulky Telelever system. The rear suspension is also conventional with a superbly engineered single sided swingarm incorporating the toothed belt drive.

From some angles I thought this bike looked attractive, from others it's definitely very German. Go to your local BMW dealer, have a look for yourself and, more importantly, go for a blast. Many boxes are ticked: price quality, functionality but, most important of all, fun. A BMW for the youth of today! Whatever next?

VERDICT

BMW has pulled a real blinder out of the hat. Aimed at a younger market this could be the bike that makes BMW cool for kids.

BMW F800 Specs

SPECS
TYPE - SPORTS TOURER
PRODUCTION DATE - 2006
PRICE NEW - £6495 (ST), £5995 (S)
ENGINE CAPACITY - 798cc
POWER - 85bhp@8000rpm
TORQUE - 63.4lb.ft@5900rpm   
WEIGHT - 182kg
SEAT HEIGHT - 820mm   
FUEL CAPACITY - 16L   
TOP SPEED - 130mph   
0-60     - n/a
TANK RANGE - N/A