I wrote about the monster a while ago and I figured I should talk about the BMW before it all fades into memory.
It is hard to write about this bike. There was so much about this bike that I loved, but it betrayed me and I will never really be able to let that go.
Let’s start at the end. The rear while locked up, for reasons still unknown, while I was riding down Highway 101 just north of Santa Barbara. This was September 30th 2010, and I haven’t forgiven BMW or the bike for this attempt on my life.
Details of the crash, my injuries and my eventual recovery are elsewhere in this blog. I will now try and focus on the bike itself.
It was a BMW 2007 F800S. It was red. It was the most practical bike that I could want. Especially when I was given a top case for it (oh I love top cases). It made decent if not amazing power, enough that I was never really wanting more. The delivery of the power was a bit boring and a bit buzzy. The dealership put slight handle bar risers on it I don’t know how much of a difference it made but the riding position was plenty comfortable as was the seat. I did several long trips in the year and a half I had it and put over 20,000 miles on it.
It got great gas mileage. Over the life time of the bike I got 55 mpg. With a 4 gallon tank this range was plenty and definitely one of my favorite things about the bike. I put a Top Case on it after having it for a year, and this was one of the best things I’ve done for the utility of a motorycle. Being able to take home groceries easily as well as having a place to stick your helmet etc is amazing.
It was decent if not good for carrying passengers. I did so more than I ever have on my Monster. It was never overwhelmed by having the extra weight on it, and it still handled ok too.
I took it to my first and so far only track day. Which was tons of fun as well as a huge confidence and skill building day. The ground clearance was quite good (much better than that of my monster) and it was fun to zip around on it.
It was a belt drive which, though are often much maligned, I loved. The belt had 25, 000 miles on it when the bike died, and I had never had to adjust or even really think about it. For someone who is bad at and dislikes chain maintenance, this was one of the best things ever.
There were only a few major flaws (beyond the obvious failure).
One was the vibrations at highway speed that tended to make your hands and feet a bit numb after a long day in the saddle.
The second was the styling, in typical BMW fashion, it wasn’t the most amazing looking motorcycle. Perhaps the ugliest in the whole F800 range.