BMW F800 ST      

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May 2011

On a whim, I put the Harley up for sale and it sold within 6 hours. To be honest it wasn't expecting such a rapid response to my ad so I wasn't really sure that I wanted to sell it. The thought of selling it first struck me when I was riding over the Yorks Dales a few days previously. It looked like it was going to pour down, so I thought I'd best start getting a shuffle on and headed for home. That was the defining moment when I realised how impractical the Harley was. An hour on the cruddy rain soaked British roads meant a week cleaning it. I was starting to fancy something a bit lighter and more manoeuvreable anyway, something that wouldn't leave me feeling like I'd run a marathon when I got home. Harleys make great sense in America where they have no bends, but here in the UK they're damned hard work - fun but hard work. So, enter the BMW F800 ST -  800 cc belt drive and rather good handling, these have quite a few reliability issues so I looked long and hard before settling on this one, a 2009 model which I bought from Williams' BMW Motorrad in Manchester with just 4k miles on it.  

Like most BMWs these days, this model comes in a factory lowered chassis version - for shortasses like myself with little legs!  Unfortunately I couldn't find a low bike that was in good enough condition to make me want to buy it, so I settled on the normal height one and bought a lower seat for it. That's something else BMw do now - offer different seat heights, why more manufacturers can't do this is beyond me, we pay enough for the things so you'd think they'd offer more than just the "one size fits all".  This is the reason I went for a BMW, I'd like to have stayed with Jap bikes but there's not that much out there that fits me now. This is a great little bike to ride, I do miss the "grunt" of the big 1450cc Harley motor though. How long I'll keep this, I don't know - I would like to get back to something bigger at some point, but 64mpg average isn't to be sneezed at - a huge difference to the 25ish of the Harley that's for sure.


The forest of Bowland on a day run


Day out to get rid of a tankful of crappy petrol. That's a bit of a problem with this bike, the high compression ratio makes it very susceptible
to run rough on low grade fuel. BMW specify 95RON but it's best to stick with the more expensive 98RON. Another gripe with the bike is the
 front suspension - it's horrible! It's easy to see where the savings have taken place to make it an affordable machine, hit a bump mid
bend and things can pretty soon go pear shaped.
This is at Rivington on my way home.


Horton-in-Ribblesdale road


Drinkies & ice cream stop at Horton



Dark screen fitted, which looks far better than the clear standard one


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