The new BMW F800 S/ST
BMW Motorrad’s new F800 sports middleweight machines are designed to offer serious fun to just about anyone – from commuters to tourers and even those starting out in biking. Having launched new generation contenders in the superbike, enduro, touring and sports touring categories, BMW Motorrad has turned its attention to the sports middleweight class. The F800 features a powerful, torque-rich 800 cc parallel-twin engine (the first in BMW’s history), a new suspension system and maintenance-free belt drive.
Previously BMW had a gap in its range between the single-cylinder F650 bikes and the 1200 cc Boxers and four-cylinder motorcycles. This has now been filled with the new F800 S and ST models. The 798 cc twin-cylinder machine is available in two versions – the sporty half-faired F800 S (£5,995) and the sports touring orientated F800 ST (£6,495) – both of which are designed to provide a thrilling ride for novice riders and experienced bikers alike.
At the heart of these machines is an all-new 798 cc twin-cylinder engine that produces an impressive 85 hp and a punchy 63lb/ft of torque. A well-balanced combination, enabling the rider to ‘surf’ the torque curve rather than constantly needing to change up and down the gearbox. This is just one of many factors that will endear the F800 series to all types of rider.
The chassis is as impressive as the engine. Attached to the rear of the aluminium frame is a single-sided swing-arm while the front end uses conventional telescopic forks in place of the Telelever suspension usually fitted to BMWs. This all means a lighter, more straightforward chassis design that will naturally appeal to those more familiar with Japanese or Italian machinery. The aim of producing a light responsive chassis has worked well, as the F800 S only weighs 182 kg dry (187 kg for the ST version.)
To make the F800 S ownership as easy as the rest of the BMW range (while keeping weight to a minimum) the engineers have fitted a belt-drive system. This is far more practical than chain drives common to most bikes, negotiating he need for a chain’s regular lubrication and adjustment. It is also lighter than the shaft-drive BMW generally favours.
The F800 S and ST are bold entries into the middleweight category. They will raise the stakes in this important class by matching their competitors abilities whilst adding BMW quality, reliability and ingenuity. Competitively priced, the F800 S and ST motorcycles will be in BMW dealerships from mid-May onwards. A special BMW Finance and Insurance package will also be available for both models.
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