It should come as no surprise that BMW is offering a naked version of its popular F800 series, but it speaks to the growing popularity of niche models that it’s the last of five models to be offered from that series, two years after the F800S debuted the 798cc parallel twin. Where once naked roadsters like this were the bread and butter of most bike companies, they’re increasingly seen as being less sexy variations of their oddball counterparts.
Think of the F800R as an F800S with K1300R styling and you won’t be far
wrong. Bu that belies the effort BMW has put into engineering in a
level of on-road ability unique to the model. At 182kg (dry) the F800R
is the lightest model to use BMW’s punchy 87bhp, 63lb/ft parallel twin.
It also uses shorter ratios for gears 4 through 6, meaning it should
easily be the fastest. Combine that with wide bars, an upright riding
position and high-quality suspension and you have a bike with
performance that should belie its basic looks.
Uncommon for BMW is the double-sided swingarm and chain final drive.
Choices that defy corporate doctrine, but should help make the F800R a
more capable motorcycle.
With the addition of the F800R, we’d be hard pressed to name a
family-member that we wouldn’t be happy owning. It joins the completely
awesome F800GS, cheap and cheerful F650GS (which uses the 798cc
engine), F800S and F800ST sports tourer. Can you think of a stronger
single-engine model range?