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BMW F 800 R test

New BMW Roadster

The BMW developers have put a lot of effort into their new roadster, the third in the range. The result was a motorcycle with a high level of experience.

The German language lacks a nice word for what comes out of it. Exhaust or muffler sounds technical and dry as dust, noise pipe derogatory and discriminatory, bag too flippant. Sound emitters would have a certain luminosity, but the term sound tube most likely possesses the necessary poetic and phonetic qualities.

BMW F 800 R test

New BMW Roadster

F 800 R spreads harmonious and stimulating parallel twin music. At constant ignition intervals of 360 degrees at low revs, it hums comfortably, bright and lashing up to the torque peak at 6000 / min, and turns into an impressive roar near maximum revs, the two-cylinder distinguishes itself as a talented brass player. In a part-time job. Because the engine built by Rotax not only has sounds, but above all a lot of pressure. It is the version with an inclined cylinder bank, which debuted in the F 800 S and ST with a nominal 85 hp. In the R version, it should be good for two more horsepower, thanks to the new, as project manager Rudi Schneider called it, exhaust system. On the test bench, the test machine even exceeded the specified 87 by a hefty 7.5 hp. But the two-cylinder already generously surpassed the factory specification in the past, as also confirmed by the endurance test F-800-S from MOTORRAD with a measured 94 hp.

The impression of a lively engine always remains, which, thanks to the shorter gear ratio of the upper three gears, develops a lot of temperament even at higher speeds. The best example: if you want to know how fast the R is running, you don’t need to run too hard on the autobahn. In no time at all, the 798 turns into the red area and on to the limiter that kicks in at speedometer 220. The vibration damping by a counterweight in the crankcase that oscillates in the opposite direction to the pistons works better in the very high and very low speed ranges than in the middle. The engine vibrates in a rustic way, especially between 5000 and 6500 rpm. On the other hand, the load changes are smoother than before, which is not only attributable to the chain drive, but also to a revision of the throttle valve kinematics. The in-line two-cylinder, which sounds like a boxer, is still content with little gasoline. Measured according to the MOTORRAD standard, it needs four liters per 100 kilometers. Driven with great performance on the country road, it still remains well below six liters.

Chassis and handling

As far as the chassis is concerned, the F 800 R takes what is most suitable for it from the extensive F modular system and receives a number of modifications specially tailored to it. The aluminum bridge frame comes from the S, but instead of a single-sided swing arm and belt drive, the R received a specially designed double-sided swing arm, which extends the wheelbase by 48 millimeters. At the same time, the front and rear suspension travel was shortened by 15 millimeters each, which serves the same purpose as lengthening the wheelbase, namely to reduce the vehemence of the dynamic wheel load distribution when accelerating or braking. A steering head that is 1.2 degrees steeper, as well as the caster that is four millimeters shorter, should improve handiness.

In fact, these changes are proving to be a direct hit. Nobody would describe the F 800 R as sluggish because of the longer wheelbase, and nobody would find it wobbly because of the dynamic steering geometry. It always proves to be wonderfully balanced. Its butted handlebars are not excessively wide, but are easy to hand and offer enough leverage for easy cornering. The F 800 R waves across the country like a whole heart full of motorcycle-turned spring fever. However, if you let yourself be unreservedly, you will quickly find out why a steering damper is mounted on the lower triple clamp. If the nimble roadster accelerates quickly over bumpy roads, the tightly coordinated damper prevents the steering from wedging. When driving briskly on undulating roads, the soft starting area of ​​the fork is quickly penetrated, after which it becomes quite taut thanks to a small air cushion and rebounds with a click when the load is released. Harder, less pretensioned springs and more damping would, on balance, perhaps even bring more comfort, but definitely more reserves.

Drivers from a height of 1.70 meters and athletically motivated pilots in general are recommended to choose the highest of three bench seats. It sits enthroned at the specified (and measured) 825 millimeters high and creates, on the one hand, an active, forward-oriented seating position and, on the other hand, a more comfortable knee angle than the 25 millimeter lower standard bench. Another 25 millimeters lower is the lowest variant that MOTORRAD was unable to test in such a short time. What time would it be for the graduation praise? it is due to the brake system together with the 710 euro ABS. Without being annoying with excessive biting, the four-piston calipers decelerate vehemently, the ABS allows them to work as long as possible, even on bumpy roads.

Technical data – BMW F 800 R


Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, dry sump lubrication, injection, Ø 46 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 400 W alternator, 12 V / 14 Ah battery, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain.

Bore x stroke 82.0 x 75.6 mm
Displacement 798 cc
Compression ratio 12.0: 1
Rated output 64.0 kW (87 hp) at 8000 rpm
Max. Torque 86 Nm at 6000 rpm

landing gear
Bridge frame made of aluminum, telescopic fork, Ø 43 mm, steering damper, two-arm swing arm made of aluminum, central spring strut, directly hinged, adjustable spring base and rebound damping, double disc brake at the front, Ø 320 mm, four-piston fixed calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 265 mm, single-piston floating caliper.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.50 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 180/55 ZR 17
Tires in the Metzeler Sportec M3 test

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1520 mm, steering head angle 65.0 degrees, caster 91 mm, spring travel f / h 125/125 mm, seat height * 825 mm, weight with a full tank * 205 kg, load * 200 kg, tank capacity / reserve 16.0 / 4.0 liters.

Warranty two years
Service intervals 10,000 km
Colors black / white, orange, metallic silver
Power variant 25 kW (34 PS)

Price 7850 euros
Price test motorcycle ** 9.525 euros
Additional costs around 264 euros

Top speed (manufacturer information) 210 km / h

0 100 km / h 3.7 sec
0 ?? 140 km / h 6.4 sec
0 200 km / h 15.8 sec

60 ?? 100 km / h 4.0 sec
100 ?? 140 km / h 4.6 sec
140 180 km / h 5.1 sec

Speedometer deviation
Effective (display 50/100) 50/98 km / h

Country road 4.0 l / 100 km / h
Fuel type super
Theor. Range of the country road 400 km

* MOTORCYCLE measurements; ** including ABS (710 euros), heated grips (195 euros); Tire pressure control RDC (205 euros), on-board computer (145 euros), windshield (100 euros), white LED indicators (95 euros), socket (20 euros)


+ Performance: more than promised
+ Brakes: extremely strong, easy to dose
+ Consumption: very low
+ Chassis: handy, balanced

– Brake fluid reservoir: carelessly mounted
– Kickback tendency: Requires tight steering damper

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