For nearly a decade, BMW has had one of the most diverse motorcycle product lineups in the industry. Centered around a handful of key chassis and engine combinations, BMW has delivered focused sub-models that serve particular niches within motorcycling. With the 2015 refresh of the F800R, BMW renews its entry into the midsize naked sportbike category, and yes, they’ll be bringing it to America.
The new F800R is the latest update in the inline twin F-series of motorcycles. BMW say they’ve focused on all-round improvements for the F800R, making for a more dynamic, compelling ride. Like the F800GS and F800GT, the R utilizes the a liquid-cooled, four-valve twin-cylinder engine with 798cc displacement. In the F800R, output has increased to 90 hp at 8,000 rpm, an increase of 3.4% over the previous model. To better access that power, the 2015 F800R has shorter ratios for first and second gear, giving the bike greater punch off the line without sacrificing cruising mpg. Peak torque remains 63 lb-ft at 5,800 rpm.
Improvements to the F800R’s suspension and ergonomics promise a more engaging riding experience. For example, upside-down front forks replace the traditional forks found on the outgoing model. Given that there are upside-down forks on the front of the C-Series scooters at this point, this upgrade seems well overdue. For stopping, double-disc front brakes also check the basic boxes for any midsize sportbike these days, but the addition of true radial calipers are a nice upgrade over the outgoing F800R.
Ergonomically, the F800R features a new, lower seat that after dropping 10 mm now provides an overall seat height of just 31.1 inches. Combined with new handlebars and foot pegs, BMW is hoping to create better rider ergonomics overall. We’d wager BMW is hoping the lower seat height will help the F800R appeal to an ever growing population of female riders where inseam can make many bikes challenging to ride with confidence.
BMW is positioning the aesthetic design of the F800R, at least partially, toward novice riders. With redesigned fairings, radiator shields, front mudguard and wheels, the F800R has left its previous look behind. This was long overdue in our opinion, as the outgoing F800R looked about two generations old in terms of its design language. A new range of colors for the F800R also hope to widen its appeal. While the bike still retains that now signature BMW asymmetrical face, the new bike definitely shares more of the current family resemblance with bikes like the S1000R and the R1200R.
As with all BMW motorcycles, the new F800R comes standard with ABS, however it can also be spec’d with ASC (Automatic Stability Control) and ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) to provide both stopping confidence and rider-controlled modes for different activities and riding conditions. These systems are typically seen in liter-segment bikes, so having ASC and ESA available in a midsize sportbike is a key differentiator for BMW when compared to other bikes in this segment. As with most optional extras, don’t expect to see many “basic” versions of the F800R to show up in USA dealer showrooms. For all practical purposes, its best to ignore the base MSRP (TBD) and plan to fork over the extra money for the fully-spec’d version, as that’s likely all we’ll ever find for sale on dealer lots.
BMW’s list of new features for the BMW F800R: • Higher output than its predecessor – 66 kW (90 hp) at 8,000 rpm (previously: 64 kW (87 hp) at 8,000 rpm). • Modified ratios for first and second gear. • New body features with an even more dynamic design. • New colors. • Symmetrical main headlight arrangement. • Upside-down fork. • Radial front brake callipers. • Lighter wheels with dynamic design. • Rider foot pegs. • Seat height reduced to 790 mm (previously 800 mm). • New tapered aluminium handlebars. • ASC (Automatic Stability Control) – optional / special accessory. • ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) – optional. • Output reduced to 35 kW (48 hp) – special accessory / optional.