BMW Motorrad Oz is more than a bit chuffed about its new parallel twin, the BMW F 800 GS. (It must be, the press release bashed on for 14 pages ? that's the spirit; give the media monkey a raise.)
Got to admit, the F 800 GS looks interesting: new steel tube frame, new suspension with new spring and shock absorber units, long suspension travel, razor-edge handling, a Bombardier-Rotax built 798cc twin delivering the squirts from 3000rpm to a 9000rpm redline (same donk, dirt hounds, as found in the BMW F 800 S/ST), rigid upside-down forks with 230 mm of travel, a sturdy aluminium double-strut swing arm and solid wire-spoke wheels.
Unlike the 800 S/ST however, the F 800 GS uses a light chain drive. Here, BMW is looking for traction advantages in off-road riding. (The proof of that will be in the riding kiddos ? better look for the TMR bike reviews coming up pretty soon.)
So, on paper, nothing missing. All the ingredients, according to BMW, of a true adventure bike with "excellent off-road riding and excellent long-distance performance".
Those of you familiar with the BMW range may have expected a boxer-twin. After all, the R 1200 GS is BMW Motorrad's single biggest seller is Oz. The Bombardier-Rotax twin however, has won a good following in the F 800 S: the liquid-cooled four-valve (with a unique balancer shaft for smoother running) produces a respectable 63kW at 7,500rpm and 83 Nm of torque at 5,750rpm. (It also sounds like the boxer because there is one firing cycle for each crankshaft rotation, an identical firing offset to the boxer twin.)
With a low dry weight of 178kg, the F 800 GS should be well up to the task as a dual-purpose adventure bike.
The ideal machine, you'd have to aver, for that round-Australia adventure. (Might be approaching time to saddle up with the gorgeous Dolores ? she of the kitchen sciences - and hit the vast expanses of this wide brown land. Of course, that will also mean having the vast flesh-coloured expanses of 'the gorge' on the back ? for that, a serious machine is called for. Something with a bit of grunt. Something like the F 800 GS.)
How much? The BMW F 800 GS is priced from $16,750 (NZ$19,958) plus dealer delivery and on road costs. If, of course, you'd desperately like to spend a bit more, BMW Motorrad will be more than happy to suck the stuffing out of your wallet with a cubit or two of optional extras (including switchable ABS at $1,265, anti-theft alarm $505, Vario pannier and Vario topbox, waterproof tank bag, waterproof, BMW Motorrad Navigator II and a low seat (a no cost option ? now that's better).
BMW F800GS Specification at a glance:
- Valve timing derived from F800S
- Off-road-style fairings
- High windscreen
- USD telescopic fork
- Spoked wheels, 21-inch front /17-inch rear
- Double-disc brake, floating, front
- Aluminium handlebar
- 880/850mm seat height (high seat option available 920mm)
- Ready-to-ride weight 207kg