14 November 2012

Interesting New Bike

I'm not certain what happened during the last year, but somehow, somewhere, someone must have heard me. Or maybe I had one of these rare moments of enlightenment and understood what the motorcycle market, especially the US market is missing.

I asked for a medium displacement bike, touring capable with good quality luggage, a not too small fairing, under 220kg weight, no chain, at least two cylinders, good ergonomics, decent range per tank.

And see what we got, the BMW F800GT:

2013 BMW F800GT

2013 BMW F800GT white

2013 BMW F800GT in full touring trim

I have to admit, I really like what I see there. It's an 800cc twin cylinder bike, less than 215kg fully fueled (though without the luggage), belt final drive, 90HP, very frugal engine (I regularly got 4L/100km (58mpg) with my F800GS and I think the GT will be even better because of better aerodynamics), sport touring ergonomics.

It might be a bit sporty from the seating position but other than that, I absolutely love what BMW has done here. They have taken an excellent bike, the F800ST, and refined it in all the major points:

  • More comfortable seat
  • Higher handlebars
  • Better luggage
  • Slightly bigger fairing
  • More stable (longer swing arm meaning a longer wheel base)
And they kept the excellent touring characteristics the bike already had:
  • Roughly around 400km (250 miles) range on a tank during relaxed touring due to the extremely efficient engine
  • A maintenance free belt drive (Why can't more manufacturers jump on that?)
  • A lively engine that feels nice and smooth at normal touring speeds, but has the grunt and the power to ignite some real fun on the back roads
There is certainly more to say about this and the above points are just what comes to my mind when looking at the press material for the bike, but I really have to say: BMW nailed a great sport tourer. This is the first worthy successor to the mighty Honda VFR750F of the 90s. I'm very excited about this bike!

I'd love if they had one at the IMS in San Mateo so we can take a closer look at it.

Oh, and there's more - but that's for another post. At least Honda and Ducati are bringing bikes that hit a nerve with me. Great times to be a motorcycle enthusiast. 

And no - the Tiger is not an endangered species here. No worries. I'm just excited that manufacturers are finally adding some really nice bikes to the medium weight and displacement market. About time.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Guido,
    I was at the MOA Rally in West Bend, WI a few years ago and saw for the first time, the then-new ST800 and was very impressed. Like you, I'd be more in the market for this new 800GT than anything else.

    I'm way past needing or being interested in liter-plus machines.