Spy Photo: BMW F800GT

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Late last month, an EPA spreadsheet revealed details of new Kawasaki models like the Ninja 300 and the 636cc ZX-6R. That was the big news, but tantalizingly, there was also mention of a BMW F800GT, a model not currently in the manufacturer’s portfolio in the US or abroad. Well, that’s the bike you see above.

A more touring-oriented replacement for the old BMW F800ST, you can see that this new GT shares that model’s frame and motor (also shared with the currently on-sale BMW F800R), but fits a new, full fairing complete with more contemporary lines and larger cut outs to vent the radiator. The exhaust is also now a high-mount unit and there’s new wheels. Like that old ST, but unlike the R, there’s a single-sided swingarm with belt drive.

The old F800ST never sold terribly well, but was popular with its owners. Is the time now ripe for a new, more affordable BMW touring bike?

That EPA spreadsheet’s now been amended to exclude the F800GT, but before it was, it listed the power as 84bhp. A figure more or less inline with the 87bhp F800R. So don’t expect any big engine upgrades or the rumored inclusion of the Husqvarna Nuda 900′s larger version of the BMW parallel-twin.

You can see a larger version of this image in the gallery below or by clicking this link: http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2012/09/spy-photo-bmw-f800gt/?gal=1#/0

  • http://cynic13th.livejournal.com/ cynic

    Looks to me like it’s keeping the Belt of the ST. No shaft drive.

    It’s better looking than the ST.
    I loved my F800S until it tried to kill me.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      ah, thanks for pointing that out.

  • Glenngineer

    Belt drive.

    I liked the ST..hopefully this doesn’t put on too much weight.

  • BMW11GS

    Yeah definitely the same belt drive as in the ST. Can I be you’re BMW consultant?

  • Kevin

    They blacked out the engine and transmission casings… once you notice that, it’s not apparent that the fairing is much larger than before, absent a bit of a belly pan.

  • John

    I see the sheep skull :),
    but photo credit?

  • John

    I like the idea of the F800 series. 700-800cc is my ideal engine size. Plenty powerful for the street. Not overly big and heavy for power that just really isn’t needed. Though I didn’t really like the ergos of the BMW F800ST so much, like I did the bigger R bikes.

    • Wereweazle

      After having owned an f800s for two years and 18,000 miles I can say that while, on paper, this bike checks a lot of the options (awesome mpg, comfy ergos, decent power, maintenance free belt drive, heated hand grips,) as a package it just doesn’t work. The engine is a dog and is only really comfortable in a slight 2k rev range (3k – 5k), below that and it bogs down/lurches/shudders and above that it rattles the fairings and your teeth. That said, I can’t really find it in me to get rid of it either because it just does so many things decently.

      Biggest complaints: Front forks are vague leading to huge brake dive and very little feedback while cornering, heated hand grip failures, stalling issues (look it up, 2007-2008 models had HUGE issues).

      • Scott-jay

        See the ‘middle BMW’ lineup as junior executives.
        If Wereweazle nailed ‘em, maybe its more like Sportsters.

      • http://www.TroyRank.com Troy R

        I understand your criticisms considering the cost of the bike. I thought the motor was a blast, but I can see why you would expect more for 10+ grand.

        • Wereweazle

          10+ grand? Then I’d REALLY be upset. I picked mine up with 1,700 miles for $7,200. They sold dirt cheap once they stopped making them and no one knew what they were. If you drove one of the 2010+ bikes then the motor is significantly smoother and more useable, but still has the power delivery of something agricultural. I’m not trying to say it’s a horrible bike. I’ve obviously ridden mine plenty. It’s just… unique.

          • BMW11GS

            I never got along with BMWs 800 engine either. It was just too soulless and cheap feeling to me. I can’t quantify these things because the numbers are good. But I never got into it like their boxer motors. Also their freeway vibes make me unhappy.

  • Johndo

    Man those legs look cramped. Im 6’1″ and was always surprised at the low level of comfort on some of the BMWs. You’d think these tall Germans would get it. I toured on a rented K1300GT and even the ergonomics on that bike weren’t good (not to mention the warning lights made the dash look like a christmas tree at times). I was more comfortable on my 2009 Speed Triple. Just by looking at that picture, there’s no way I’d even sit on that bike.

  • http://Meilaushi meyer@zoominternet.net

    I can’t see much difference save in the fairing, and I like the old ST’s better. If they WERE going to do an F800GT, they need:
    taller windshield, much more pull-back on the bars, and above all BIGGER side cases. The spy photo above just don’t make it as a tourer. Sorry BMW!