2009 BMW F800R First Look

November 7, 2008
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

2009 BMW F800R
The BMW F800R is an all-new model to join the Bavarian marque’s growing roster of two-wheeled option.

The big BMW news at the recent 2008 EICMA Milan show was its Concept Lo Rider. But the Bavarian marque also pulled the cover off an all-new motorcycle that is more than just a concept – the 2009 F800R.

A naked roadster joining BMW’s 800 lineup, the twin-powered F800R has been long rumored. In fact, European stunt rider Chris Pfeiffer has competed aboard a similar-looking, specially-prepped F800S for the past few years. (See footage of Pfeiffer’s show at the 2007 BMW Motorrad Days in the accompanying video).

The new R sources the same liquid-cooled Parallel Twin powering its F800S sibling. Displacing 798cc, the 4-valve, DOHC design is claimed by BMW to produce 87 horsepower at 8000rpm and 63 lb-ft torque at 6000rpm. Changes fom the S model include a different exhaust and modified gearing, with gears 4-6 using a shorter ratio. Unlike its belt-driven S and ST siblings, the new F800R utilizes a chain drive.

2009 BMW F800R
A naked middleweight for the F800 lineup, the R model features a chain final drive and new double-sided swingarm.

Borrowing the S model’s aluminum frame, the R motor is a load-bearing element of the chassis. A slimmer cast aluminum double sided swingarm is original for the R (the S sports a single-sided unit) and is suspended by a central spring shock – adjustable for pre-load and rebound damping. A conventional 43mm fork takes care of suspension duties up front with 4.9 inches of travel (same as the rear shock). A steering damper comes standard on the F800R.

Similar to the G650 series, the F800R stores it fuel (4.2 gallon with 1 gallon reserve) under the seat for better weight distribution. BMW claims a fully-fueled weight of 449.7 lbs (204 kg) and dry weight of 401 lbs (182 kg).

Sporting a 2-inch longer wheelbase (59.84 in – 1520mm) than the S model, the seat height is almost an inch shorter at 31.5 inches. Two other seat options are available, with a lower 30.5 inch and higher 32.5 inch.

2009 BMW F800R
The BMW F800R will be gracing European shores in Spring of 2009. No official word yet on its US debut.

Owing to the minimalist front end, the all-new R model uses of a different display than the S. And, like the redesigned K1300 lineup, the F800R makes do without the quircky Beemer left/right/cancel turnsignals paddles, opting instead for conventional switchgear.

The new Beemer features top-line braking components with Brembo 4-piston calipers up front pinching a pair of 320mm steel discs. A single-piston/265mm disc is responsible for rear braking, and, as expected from a BMW, ABS is available as an option.

Speaking of which, riders can customize their ‘R’ with plenty of extra goodies from the BMW accessory bin. Heated grips, on-board computer, anti-theft system and luggage are standard fare upgrades for Beemers, but 800 owners can also select from two other seats heights and a sport windshield. The F800R comes in three paint options – Alpine White with black, Fire Orange and White Aluminum.

BMW F800R Spec Sheet
2009 BMW F800R
Engine: Parallel Twin, 4 valves, DOHC
Displacement: 798cc
Bore and Stroke: 82 x 75mm
Cooling: Liquid
Horsepower: 87 horsepower @ 8000rpm
Torque: 63 lb-ft torque @ 6000rpm
Wheelbase: 59.8 in
Seat Height: 31.5 in (30.5 and 32.5 optional)
Front Suspension: 43mm fork
Rear Suspension: Single shock, adjustable adjustable for preload and rebound
Front Brake: Dual 320mm disc, 4-piston Brembo calipers
Rear Brake: Single 265mm disc with single-piston caliper
Claimed Weight: 449.7 lbs (with fuel) 401 lbs dry