Zonko’s attack on the BMW F 800 R.

Zonko’s attack on the BMW F 800 R.

Not a revolution, but well tested

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Tea diving goggles were no majority. But the new headlight is not unmistakable. No matter. The BMW F 800 R is the goat of Erzberg winner and world stunt champion Chris Pfeiffer. What can the new one?

The bloody north wind made the air look even colder than it already was. The asphalt temperature was freezing. I don’t know if the BMW is F. 800 R imagined life after birth on the Chinese assembly line, but we both just had to go through it now. Wrapped in heavy lambskin, I looked into the Bavarian’s new, big eye and said: “Whatever happens, please don’t take it personally. It’s certainly not up to you, and not me either, but this terrible freezing cold. "

Zonko’s attack on the BMW F 800 R.

Not a revolution, but well tested

Footrests a little lower and a little further forward

I noticed that the footrests of the BMW F 800 R are now a little lower and a little further forward (one centimeter each). Not uncomfortable. Still sporty, but with a more comfortable knee angle. Then I let my gaze wander over the elegant butted aluminum handlebars, lingered on the asymmetrical cockpit and asked myself whether I was missing my diving goggles at the front. The new headlight is certainly less conspicuous and, in keeping with the spirit of the times, more likely to attract a majority, but does it have anything unique, BMW-typical? To make sure, I dismounted again. 

Mr. Riedmann didn’t like that at all. With the cameras around my neck, maltreated by the north wind, with fingertips tending to freeze and the foresight that I would have to retract the BMW F 800 R for several laps before even thinking about knocking it down worthy of horsepower he grips with a certain impatience: “Start the engine. It is clearly too inhospitable here for meditative delay. The fingertip for the shutter release needs at least the idea of ​​residual heat. " 

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798 cm³ twin of the BMW F 800 R at the push of a button

He was right. At some point I had to explore the more or less fine line of tire grip anyway. Which ones were actually on it? Aha, Metzeler Roadtec Z8. A perfect choice in and of itself (very sporty touring rubber with a relatively high level of grip in wet and cold weather). But virgin flank, zero kilometers! Boom We all know it: The ambitious fetches his machine from the workshop after changing the tire and is immediately on the flap the first time it is riveted because new rubbers are terribly slippery and have to be run in. Riedmann lost his composure: "Stop fantasizing, finally drive!" The 798 cm³ twin of the BMW F 800 R was there at the push of a button.

I didn’t expect anything else. Since the injections, the cold start is no longer a challenge. The sound is not soporific, but also not incredibly erotic. My thoughts stole to the Akrapovic briefs from the BMW accessories. Then I put in the A and leisurely sled into the world until after a kilometer I had the feeling that the engine of the BMW F 800 R was warm enough. The first, incredibly ingenious test unit followed: Throttle to the stop, full speed ahead!


"Oh Maria, he tears, the stove!" – Zonko’s thoughts freely quoted.

The two-cylinder BMW F 800 R now delivers nominally three hp more (90 hp at 8000 rpm) than in its predecessor thanks to a modified set-up. With the best will in the world, I can’t say how much that will bring. There may be people with ultra-fine sensors that can feel the difference between 87 and 90 hp ("Oh Maria, this is a world! The stove heats up significantly more now!") – I don’t. 

But I can confirm that in the first two gears the machine now tears more than the old model due to the shorter gear ratio. It can be felt. For me too. Well, there will be people who would not utter “trouble” and “90 hp” together, but I would ask you to consider two things: First, the BMW F 800 R weighs 202 kilos with a full tank and is therefore just as light as the best series super sports cars, and secondly, it’s a question of full throttle. Anyone who vehemently uses the throttle grip in the 1s on a plus 160 hp, slender thousand, will either flip over backwards terribly or – this is much more likely today – the electronics will reduce the dynamics so far that de facto half-throttle remains. And then the 90 hp of the F 800 R are already within striking distance.

You have to do without power wheelies

There are no power wheelies in the BMW F 800 R in second gear, and neither in first. This is not only due to the lack of torque, but also to the relatively long wheelbase, the relatively flat fork and the seating position close to the steering head. No question about it, Chris Pfeiffer wheelts with the machine in every situation, but that’s a different world. The significantly shorter gear ratio of its F 800 R does not play a major role here. It is the incredible skills of the multiple stunt world champion that make him perform figures like in figure skating. His four victories at the Red Bull Hare Scramble on Erzberg, one of the toughest enduro races on this planet, prove how great the Pfeiffer’s driving ability is. There are many very good stunt drivers, but the Erzberg is not won by artists, only by the best racing drivers in the world. 

In this respect, one can congratulate both of them: So BMW that they were able to get the Pfeiffer on board (he celebrated his first big stunt episode with a Ducati Monster 1000), and the Pfeiffer that with BMW he got a really loyal, proud and financially strong partner. It is important for stunt professionals that the engine depends very precisely on the gas, does not show any idiosyncratic reactions and attacks linearly. And then everyone benefits from it. It doesn’t matter in which league he drives or wheelt. The 800 twin of the BMW F 800 R is a really loyal and reliable companion that also has a certain aggressive sharpness in the sound at the top (from 7000 rpm). Good for me. And I think it’s good that the machine easily surpasses the 200 km / h mark.

The BMW F 800 R engine is a great buddy

Since the icy wind had found its way through the lambskin, I didn’t try the speed orgy (does the iron bring you 217 or 228 km / h?), But stopped when I reached 200. The small windshield of the BMW F 800 R in front of the dashboard certainly has a soothing effect, but of course it does not replace full cladding. But there is also a larger shield in the accessories. It’s just visually a heavy defeat. Fortunately, tastes are different. I get out of round when I see a suitcase, and with a topcase it’s all over. Maybe I just have a plastic phobia.

The engine of the BMW F 800 R is a great buddy and has no weaknesses. Tea fact that Bayern have now given him an electronic anti-slip control doesn’t bother me because I can simply switch off the ASC at the push of a button. If you rivet too hard in an inclined position on a smooth or graveled area, the electronics reduce the drive power and save the situation. Not exactly supple, however. The ASC is not a gently intervening traction control that has its origins in MotoGP, but is reminiscent of a limiter. Personally, I don’t need the stuttering rattle. This time I didn’t feel it at all in the radii, but rather when I engaged it hard for the gallery. A defeat. But as I said, you can turn it off.

Brembo anchor visually a feast for the eyes and technically top

In contrast to ABS. The radially mounted Brembo anchors are a feast for the eyes and technically top-notch. If they bite into the two 320 mm panes, one can speak of a serious delay. The ABS function may start a touch too early, but since the new system works with shorter intervals and only shows slight pulsations in the lever, I was not unhappy with it. In general, the electronics on the BMW F 800 R are manageable: ABS is always included, ASC, RDC (tire pressure control) and ESA are optional extras. The latter makes it possible to adjust the rebound of the shock absorber in three stages on the handlebars while driving: comfortable, normal, sporty. The most important electrical feature for me would have been the heated grips. Unfortunately I forgot to turn it on. Madness, actually. I didn’t excel there. 

Despite the long wheelbase, it was great when turning in. Only two things bothered me about the BMW F 800 R: The main stand installed from the accessories program, which represents unnecessary weight, and the routing of the exhaust near the left footrest. You clink glasses with a 43 mm slipper if you prefer the sporty ball position. 


Playful handling, as you would expect from a street motorcycle.

I was really impressed and surprised by the handling. Purely from the technical data (1526 mm wheelbase and 64 degree steering head angle) I would have rated the BMW F 800 R as rather sluggish, but the turning and cornering worked so wonderfully unpretentious and playful that after a few laps I got fully into the flow. As a matter of course, the Bavarian ruffed through the radii. There was no stubbornness, but neither was there any hyperactivity, just the kind of handling you would want a street motorcycle to be. Beginners (the F 800 R is also available in the A2-compatible 48 HP version) will have just as much fun with it as professionals.

The mighty, new fork, which is optically miles above the old one, has, in my opinion, a very good setting (more tight than soft) and “gets along” perfectly with the shock absorber. It’s a round, homogeneous thing. A nice, practical feature is the handwheel for adjusting the preload of the rear cushioning. So you can adjust the basic setting to the application at any time without an open-ended wrench (alone, in pairs, fully packed). I mean, there will be people who do not share my phobia and who will drive the BMW F 800 R south with the full range of suitcases, and there will be those who want to hunt and annoy super sports cars on the home track. With the handwheel you are there promptly, with ESA even more nifty.

200 sound barrier loosely broken

Of course, the BMW F 800 R does not work miracles. But as I said, it easily passes the 200 barrier and officially takes 3.9 seconds to zero to 100. We measured the predecessor even faster. In the car league you put a six-digit euro amount for this. Nevertheless, the 800 series will not find any laudatory mention at the “Everything under 150 HP is totally unworthy” regulars table. Homo sapiens sapiens needs demarcation – the brain has to organize, classify, categorize. Outsiders might think that the motorcyclists are a uniform group, all of whom have a more or less pronounced bang and a relaxed attitude towards risk, and assume that they respect each other.

In fact, there are countless camp supporters within the group who label each other as complete idiots. We all know it: Convincing high-visibility vest wearers with ten-layered clothes scold the scantily clad smokers and vice versa, athletes despise chopper drivers because they stand in their way, cruisers think the stokers are egg bears because they have no idea of ​​Enjoyment and never see the landscape, Euro racers smile at Nippon freaks and vice versa, yes and then of course there are fans and opponents of luxury brands like BMW, for example. You could go on and on. And even if you are built like me and value a priori almost anything that has an engine and two wheels, you will have things that you categorically reject. For me, for example, it’s a safety vest. Old father, what kind of dreadful aberration is this ?! I just can’t do that. Before I go out in a reflective vest, I prefer to ride with a flat tire. Official! But to get back to the point: The BMW F 800 R will be ridiculed by the uncompromising super sports freak, and even drivers with big touring booms won’t take the "little one" seriously, but the 800 has what it takes, its opponents a blue and white miracle to let experience. You definitely shouldn’t underestimate them. That would be a real mistake.

Technical data BMW F 800 R


The two-cylinder in-line engine with its almost 800 cm³ delivers 90 hp.

BMW F 800 R.

Two-cylinder in-line engine, four valves / cylinder, 66 kW (90 PS) at 8000 / min *, 86 Nm at 5800 / min *, 798 cm³, bore / stroke: 82.0 / 75.6 mm, compression ratio: 12.0: 1, ignition / injection system, 46 mm throttle valves, mechanically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, chain

Light alloy bridge frame, steering head angle: 64.0 degrees, caster: 100 mm, wheelbase: 1526 mm, upside-down fork, Ø not specified, central spring strut, directly hinged, adjustable in spring base and rebound, spring travel front / rear: 125/125 mm, Light alloy cast wheels, 3.50 x 17 / 5.50 x 17, front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 180 / 55 ZR 17, 320 mm double disc brakes with four-piston fixed calipers attached to the front, 265 mm single disc with single piston – Rear floating saddle, ABS

k. AT..

0 – 100 km / h: 3.9 s               

n / A.

200 km / h

202 kg with a full tank,
Tank capacity: 15 liters

not adjustable

Rebound: standard, level: standard


8900 Euro plus utilities

all damping settings counted from completely closed; static negative spring deflection standing vertically without driver; U = revolutions; K = clicks * manufacturer information ** PS measurement



The measured values ​​of the predecessor model of the BMW F 800 R..

The diagram shows the predecessor model and already shows it to be stronger than BMW officially states the new BMW F 800 R..



The new BMW F 800 R is the further development of a tried and tested mid-range machine.

"The BMW F 800 R is not a sensation, but an honest iron for a wide range of people"

The new BMW F 800 R is not a revolution, not a radical change, not a new beginning, but simply the further development of a tried and tested mid-range machine. The new fork and the radially mounted Brembo anchor with the 320 mm washers will be good for even the aggressive ones, the "commonplace" headlights might not. In any case, this Bavarian was impressively good to drive. The F 800 R was made public by the gifted Chris Pfeiffer. With this iron he collected world and European championship titles in stunt driving like the Kalblinger Zenzi Eierschwammerln. The ASC certainly doesn’t need the “whistle”.

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