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2007 BMW F800ST

Competence Personified

Classic Velocity

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In the good old USA, we have been duped into thinking that something north of a liter of displacement is what you need in order to travel around the country, ride two-up, or even to commute. The F800ST destroys that notion. Case in point, a recent weekend. To begin, a 200 mile sprint on the interstate to make an appointment early one evening. It was threatening rain, but only a few miles of light rain developed. The rain protection kept me and the uncovered tankbag perfectly dry. The trip was mostly at speeds above 80MPH, with many instances of rapid 70MPH roll on passes. Triple digits were seen more than once. At the stop, I stashed the helmet in the top box, and the jacket in the stock luggage which looks strange, but functions pretty well in instances like this. 

After the stop, dark had descended, and the rain was light but steady. The stock headlight is surprisingly good, and rain protection with the ZTeknic shield and Rain-X was excellent. The machine was sure-footed and the 40 remaining miles in the dark and rain were without drama. The next day, the F800 was the errand runner. Light and easily maneuvered around town, it was an efficient pleasure. Fast forward another day, and it blasted 200 miles back home over interstate with some twisties mixed in. Other than situations where outright power is king, it would stay with most sport bikes. Great handling. 

By the way, it did all of this averaging 56.8 miles per gallon ! The fuel range was under 200 miles, but I have no doubt that at a more reasonable pace, it would easily last 200+ miles to the tankful. This machine is not in any sport tourer shootout, or sport bike contest, or commuter challenge, but I am duly impressed.

First Outing 2016

Classic Velocity

The temps were in the 60s, the skies were blue, and there was a little daylight remaining. So out comes the ST for the first ride of spring. The roads are dry, but full of gravel or silt, so it was easy going in the corners. Regardless, it was great to be out on two wheels, and to get the new tires scrubbed in.  

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Luggage Enhancement Part 2

Classic Velocity

There is no substitute for a tankbag. It is convenient for gas stops and quick items when on the go. A tankbag and a top case can also be enough to avoid the panniers and keep the bike slim. In the case of the F800ST, there is not a lot of room, so a Chase Harper item seemed about right. It is also the right size to fit the G650X Challenge which has a pretty flat profile in front. This piece of kit should solve two problems. It has a nicely padded interior, and features a convenient mesh and bungee area on top for gloves. It has a velcro attachable full map pocket.  

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Luggage Enhancement

Classic Velocity

The workhorse Top Box is added to the F800 to provide some added carrying capacity. This is followed by a 150 mile test ride. No issues and everything was stable up to triple digit speeds. Some rain along the way proved that the side cases are not waterproof and they really need those inner dry bags. They did benefit though from some reflective strips for visibility. 

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Maiden Voyage

Classic Velocity

A run of mixed riding with some highway some B roads, and some in-town. The bike feels like it has a very light flywheel, and it needs some revs off the line. It feels more relaxed on the highway at about 4K with normal speeds. It is also nice to have info like outside temp, gear, time of day, and range visible at a glance. The stock windshield is definitely a problem, as it directs wind and noise directly at my helmet. Other than that, a happy upgrade on all fronts.

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Commuter Upgrade

Classic Velocity

The problem was the bars on the R850R. They were at an angle that pained my hands if riding for any significant length of time. On top of that, they were non-adjustable, since they were not a regular handlebar. While looking around for solutions, I stumbled across some machines for sale, and began to think. It would be nice to have a 6th gear on the highway, and heated grips would be really nice...and waterproof luggage......

And then I stumbled across a local deal on this F800ST, a bike that I had never even considered before. It checks all the boxes, and was priced to move. I called about a trade, and boom, the deal was done. Althoug it is a clear upgrade in jumping 10 years forward, it is not perfect. The windscreen is still buffeting city, and the tank is not much bigger. The very good news is that they are still produced today, and an aftermarket exists ! Minimal Ebay cruising should have it fettled in short order. 

BMW Stock Photo

BMW Stock Photo