Remember the old F800ST? Of course you don’t. It was something of a VFR rival based around BMW’s 800cc parallel-twin platform that never sold terribly well. Blame mild performance, high price and the wrong (pre-recession) timing. Now that nobody’s got any money any more and fuel economy is a big concern, BMW figures the time could be ripe for its return, updating the sports tourer with a new fairing, better luggage and en vogue rider aids. It’s called the BMW F800GT.
Upgrades over that old ST include:
• Increased output of the F 800 GT as compared to predecessor model.
66 kW (90 bhp) at 8,000 rpm. (F 800 ST: 62.5 kW (85 bhp) at 8,000 rpm).
• Newly designed trim in more dynamic look with further improved wind and weather protection. New paint finishes.
• The latest generation of BMW Motorrad ABS, now as standard.
• Automatic Stability Control ASC (ex works option / special accessory).
• Electronic Suspension Adjustment ESA (ex works option / special accessory)
• Convenient adjustment of rear spring mount using handwheel.
• Suspension optimised in terms of ride stability and comfort.
• New, lighter wheels in dynamic design.
• Adapted ergonomics for increased touring comfort with higher handlebars and repositioned footrests.
• Enhanced seating comfort for rider and passenger.
• New handlebar switch panels and front brake fluid expansion tank.
• New vibration-free and double-butted aluminium handlebars.
• Cockpit with new dial faces for speedometer and engine speed display as well as an extended range of information.
• Load capacity increased by 11 kg to 207 kg.
• New exhaust system with optimised heel protection.
• Turn indicators in smoke grey.
• Newly developed luggage system (special accessory).
• New connection of BMW Motorrad Navigator IV to handlebar clamp (special accessory).
All that sounds worthwhile, if somewhat underwhelming. Think of this mostly as a do-over rather than an all-new model.
The BMW sport-touring range is pretty swollen, now running from this model all the way up to the mega-buck K1600GTL, with models like the K1300S and R1200RT in between. Hell, bikes like the F700GS, F800GS and R1200GS or even an R1200R with a fly screen make pretty convincing sports tourers too. So, for around $12-13k, is there a gap for another, albeit 55mpg, sports tourer in the range?