BMW F800R


The moment you look at the F800R, you will immediately recognise it's resemblence with the much bigger K1300R. Both bikes carry the latest mutation of BMW's evolving DNA strain. But while the resemblences are uncanny, underneath the skin, both species of naked bikes diverge drastically. The F800R is powered by a parallel twin which is tuned to feel like a boxer, and displaces as it's name suggests - 800cc. The K1300R on the other hand is powered by a phenomenally powerful in line four with 1300cc. While the F800R is a lot less powerful, it is by no means any less fun.


For starters, it has sweet, light handling. Although it's 800cc, it feels nimble - almost like Kawasaki's Er-6n. With a dry weight of 184kg, it is just a few kilos heavier than the Kawasaki. Looking at the bike, you can see that BMW did make a few exceptions to keep the bike's cost down. For example, the front end is a conventional fork. The equipment level is basic, but the brakes and suspension are of brilliant quality. Despite a totally different layout compared to the boxer engined bikes, the bike imititates it's sound at idle and low revs.

Rev the engine higher though, and the engine spools up eagerly with a growl. The engine provides loads of useful torque at medium revs. The abundance of torque means you don't have to work the gears so frequently, making the bike a joy to ride.
In town the bike is light enough to weave through traffic like a kapcai. Out on the highway, it is powerful enough to cruise with the big boys. Therein lies the attraction of the F800r. Just like the F800 GS, it is a well balanced machine, powerful enough for long distance trips, but at the same time - not too heavy and cumbersome.




All out speed is not the F800Rs strong point, but if you gun the engine to the redline in sixth gear, you still get more than 200kmh on the clock. The bike was in it's element when I rode it to Kuala Selangor. Exiting the North-South Highway, I proceeded to make short work of the twisty trunk roads. The bike I was riding on was in Alpine White, but it still attracted a lot of admiring glances from motorists as well as the locals. The bike also comes in a radical shade of orange known as Flame Orange.

There is also another option known as White Aluminum Metallic. If you are used to riding BMW bikes, you will also notice that the F800R no longer uses the right-turn switch on right handlebar and left-turn-switch on left handlebar layout. Instead the bike has conventional switchgear - which is a shame really. I always thought BMW had better common sense when they were the only ones to use these signal switches. They were really much easier to operate when wearing thick leather gloves.

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