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2012 BMW F 800 ST

2012 BMW F 800 ST

BMW Motorrad’s F 800 Sports middleweight machines are designed to offer serious fun to just about anyone – from commuters to tourers and even those starting out in biking. Having launched new generation contenders in the superbike, enduro, touring and sports touring categories, BMW Motorrad has turned its attention to the sports middleweight class. The F800 features a powerful, torque-rich 800 cc parallel-twin engine (the first in BMW’s history), a new suspension system and maintenance-free belt drive.

Previously BMW had a gap in its range between the single-cylinder F 650 bikes and the 1200 cc Boxers and four-cylinder motorcycles. This has now been filled with the new F 800 S and ST models. The 798 cc twin-cylinder machine is available in two versions – the sporty half-faired F 800 S and the sports touring orientated F 800 ST– both of which are designed to provide a thrilling ride for novice riders and experienced bikers alike.

At the heart of these machines is an all-new 798 cc twin-cylinder engine that produces an impressive 85 hp and a punchy 63lb/ft of torque. A well-balanced combination, enabling the rider to ‘surf’ the torque curve rather than constantly needing to change up and down the gearbox. This is just one of many factors that will endear the F 800 Series to all types of rider.

The chassis is as impressive as the engine. Attached to the rear of the aluminium frame is a single-sided swing-arm while the front end uses conventional telescopic forks in place of the Telelever suspension usually fitted to BMWs. This all means a lighter, more straightforward chassis design that will naturally appeal to those more familiar with Japanese or Italian machinery. The aim of producing a light responsive chassis has worked well, as the F 800 S only weighs 182 kg dry (187 kg for the ST version.)

To make F 800 S ownership as easy as the rest of the BMW range (while keeping weight to a minimum) the engineers have fitted a belt-drive system. This is far more practical than chain drives common to most bikes, negotiating he need for a chain’s regular lubrication and adjustment. It is also lighter than the shaft-drive BMW generally favours.

The F 800 S and ST are bold entries into the middleweight category. They will raise the stakes in this important class by matching their competitors abilities while adding BMW quality, reliability and ingenuity. Competitively priced, the F 800 S and ST motorcycles are in BMW dealerships now and a special BMW Finance and Insurance package is also available for both models.

Technical features and highlights

After a development period of just 47 months, the new F 800 S sports middleweight, and the more touring-oriented F 800 ST, now form BMW Motorrad’s fourth model series. They also set the standard for more models within the series and fill the gap in BMW’s model line-up between the F650 singles and the Boxer-twin models.

The 798cc engine is a brand-new parallel-twin with four-valve technology, developed by BMW Motorrad in close cooperation with Austrian specialist Bombardier-Rotax GmbH. The power unit is built in the Rotax plant according to BMW standards and specifications, from where it goes straight to BMW’s factory in Berlin for final assembly.

The performance potential of this new model series is impressive. The S-model, for example, accelerates from 0 – 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds, offering a high standard of engine flexibility at all engine speeds. The slender, aerodynamic fairing works well at high speeds, and combined with the bike’s low dry weight makes an important contribution to the F800’s dynamic performance.

The key to this low weight is consistent use of lightweight technology, including an extremely stable aluminium frame and aluminium single swinging arm.

Offering superior steering precision, the suspension and run¬ning gear is designed for a high standard of tracking stability and excellent handling. Other classic BMW virtues such as rider and passenger comfort, and exemplary safety features aim to redefine the standard in the midrange motorcycle segment.

Both F800 models are available straight from the factory with BMW Motorrad’s new, optional two-channel ABS, in addition to a wide range of special equipment and accessories.

Key features of the new F 800 S/ST

  • Compact sports/sports touring machine with excellent riding qualities and superior agility.
  • Liquid-cooled 798cc parallel-twin, featuring four-valve technology and unique mass compensation.
  • Max output 85 hp at 8,000 rpm, max torque 86 Nm (63 lb-ft) at 5,800 rpm.
  • DOHC follower valve drive as on the new K-generation.
  • Intake manifold injection with electronic BMS-K engine management, oxygen sensor, fully-controlled three-way catalytic converter, and secondary air system.
  • Close-ratio six-speed gearbox.
  • Low-noise, long-life rear wheel belt drive.
  • Torsionally stiff aluminium frame.
  • Stable telescopic fork, outer tube diameter 43 millimetres or 16.9´´.
  • Single swinging arm made of die-cast aluminium.
  • Easy handling and superior steering precision.
  • Dry weight/weight in road trim with full tank: 182/204 kg (S), 187/209 kg (ST).
  • Superior seating comfort for both rider and passenger.
  • Good protection from wind and weather, excellent aerodynamic qualities.
  • Fuel tank located beneath the seat for a low centre of gravity and with easily accessible filler manifold.
  • High-performance brake system, as an option with ABS.
  • Wide range of special equipment for the sports and touring rider.

Like the new generation of K-engines, the parallel-twin power unit also features two overhead camshafts driven by a toothed chain and operating four valves per cylinder via follower arms. Valve drive wear is reduced to a mini¬mum by the follower arms despite the large valve lift, with frictional losses also being kept very low and the entire drive system remaining sturdy and stiff – even at high engine speeds. Valve play only has to be checked after 12,000 miles at the very earliest.

Other features typical of BMW are the fuel supply system featuring intake manifold injection with BMS-K engine management and two throttle butter¬flies each measuring 46 millimetres in diameter. The volume of fuel injected is determined by the engine management system not only as a func¬tion of the injection period, but also in accordance with the pressure built up by the fuel pump depending on the power and performance required by the rider.

The entire fuel supply system operates without any reflow, delivering only the amount actually needed by the engine. Saving electric power, this fuel supply control is able to vary fuel pressure over a wide range in the interest of optimum fuel/air mixture formation.

This unique principle has been patented by BMW Motorrad. To precisely measure the amount of fuel injected, the system considers not only the usual parameters such as load, engine speed and temperature, but also the residual oxygen content in the exhaust gas. The information required for this purpose comes from an oxygen sensor positioned behind the manifold joint essential for a really effective conversion process in the three-way catalytic converter.

The air required for the right fuel/air mixture formation enters the intake air silencer through a funnel positioned conveniently in the flow of cool air rushing by. This favourable position above the engine as well as the large size of the air supply funnel (in the interest of superior torque) is made possible by moving the tank beneath the seat.

The lightweight exhaust system is made of stainless steel and is split up into two units at the end of the manifold. A secondary air system enriches the exhaust gas with fresh air – an afterburning process in conjunction with the catalytic converter, which reduces harmful emissions to a minimum.

Fast-revving and with lots of torque

As well as modern fuel injection making the parallel-twin fully responsive to the rider’s commands; the reduction of oscillation masses to a minimum also plays a part in the interest of agile power and performance: With a bore:stroke ratio of 82.0 : 75.6 mm, the four-valve power unit revs quickly from low engine speeds, reaching 90 per cent of its maximum torque at just 5,000 rpm. In the range from 5,000 to 8,000 rpm, the engine maintains a very smooth and dynamic power curve accompanied by a truly unique sound.

The BMW F 800 S accelerates to 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds and has a top speed of over 125 mph. However, it’s not only the acceleration of the F800 models that is impressive, but also their superior pulling force at all speeds – quite simply because BMW’s development en¬gineers have focused in particular on smooth rideability and
superior power at medium engine speeds, rather than extreme performance right at the top.

This is why the rider of an F 800 S will be thrilled by the immediate response of the engine to the accelerator, with the motorcycle accelerating quickly and powerfully at all speeds. And at the same time the touring rider will enjoy the high-torque in the ST version, without having to shift gears too often.

BMW’s new parallel-twin not only bridges the gap between dynamic acceleration and excellent agility, but also proves that outstanding performance need not be achieved at the price of high fuel consumption. On country roads, for example, the rider can expect a return of more than 56 miles per gallon. And on request the F800 models may also be converted for the use of regular unleaded fuel, albeit with a reduction of maximum power by 2 hp and a slight increase in fuel consumption. This modification is made possible by activating a different control map in the engine manage¬ment software. This special programme in the control unit may be subsequently reverted at any time.

Yet another sign of BMW Motorrad’s flexible policy in accommodating customer wishes is the availability of a low-output model developing 34 hp at 7,000 rpm and 55 Nm (41 lb-ft) at 3,500 rpm. This reduction of engine output, which comes as a no-cost option, is ensured by a second throttle butterfly adjuster (already featured in the production model) that limits the opening angle on the throttle butterflies.

Further highlights in technology boasted by the refined engine concept are the water pump to the right of the cylinder head driven by a gearset on the camshaft. Placed directly behind the radiator, the water pump requires only very short coolant hoses, which helps to keep the engine very compact.

An oil/water heat exchanger above the easily accessible oil filter enables the power unit to warm up particularly quickly when started cold, while at the same time the heat exchanger limits the temperature of the engine oil to a reasonable level.

Rear-wheel drive via high-technology toothed belt

The modern toothed drive belt first seen on the F 650 CS has been carried over to the F 800 S after having impressively proven its ease of maintenance and reliability. On account of their higher loads, the F 800 models feature a wider belt specially protected by a cover on top – and as on the F 650 CS, there is no need to re-tighten the belt or conduct any special maintenance. The only requirement is to check the belt after 600 miles and to verify its tension every 6,000 miles during regular services. No lubrication is required.

Should the toothed belt have to be re-tightened, the entire operation is straightforward. Secondary belt drive guarantees a smoother and softer load change, sets off peak loads, and runs smoothly and quietly even after substantial mile¬age. The rear belt gear is made of matt stainless-steel plates, and interacts with the four-piece damper integrated into the entire system. This set-up efficiently eliminates any undesired load change reaction and allows smooth acceleration from even the lowest engine speeds.

Experience shows that the secondary drive system in the F 800 is able to run smoothly and without the slightest problem for a distance of over 25,000 miles, again contributing to the low cost of ownership of BMW's new F 800 models.

Engine and running gear – a perfect team

Benefiting from the compact configuration of both the engine and suspension, the F800 models have been designed to set new standards in handling and tracking stability. The extremely strong and torsionally rigid aluminium frame (made of welded extrusion-pressed profiles and die-cast components) ensures a direct connection between the steering head and the pivot point on the swinging arms.

To optimise both weight and dimensions, the engine is integrated in the suspension as a load-bearing element, the engine housing acting as the swinging arm mount with a total of four needle bearings. Directly above the swinging arm mount, the engine block is bolted firmly onto the frame, and the rear frame section made of steel piping is fastened to the aluminium frame by four extra-sturdy bolts. The fuel tank is positioned beneath the seat to lower the centre of gravity.

Compact sports/sports tourer with an extra-stable telescopic fork

Both F 800 models feature a stable telescopic fork. Measuring 43 millimetres in diameter, the outer tubes make a further contribution to the high standard of flexural stiffness of the telescopic forks.

Stable wheel guidance and suspension of this calibre not only benefits the machine’s tracking stability, but also helps to optimise steering behaviour. Both the F 800 S and the F 800 ST change direction smoothly and precisely, always giving the rider a direct feeling of the front wheel and its behaviour. The damper setting and 140 millimetres of wheel travel help to ensure superior riding comfort and security on the road. A steering damper comes as standard.

The rear spring strut features adjustable damping and preload. A special spanner that comes with the bike serves to enlarge the hand-wheel’s grab surface when required, enabling the rider to quickly and easily adjust spring preload. Pivoted directly on the single swing-arm made of die-cast aluminium, the spring strut also
provides 140 millimetres of spring travel, contributing both to riding comfort and the sporting possibilities of the motorcycle.

The large, high-tech single swing-arm not only contributes to the attractive looks of the machine, but also offers a number of design benefits. For example, the silencer is positioned on the left-hand side, running closely along the motorcycle and highlighting its slender silhouette. Further benefits are the excellent stiffness of the entire structure as well as sophisticated detailed solutions for superior ease of service and assembly.

Wheel design carried over from the K-model series

While the F 800 S comes with the same wheel design as the K 1200 S, the F 800 ST features wheels matched in their design to those of the R 1200 ST sports tourer. All of the cast aluminium wheels feature side-mounted valves for easy and convenient tyre pressure control.

Uncompromising brakes

With their two 320 mm discs and four-piston brake callipers on the front wheel, the new F-models boast a brake system more suitable for a big bike than one in the midrange segment. The brake callipers have sintered metal brake pads and the main brake cylinder comes with an adjustable lever and a separate brake fluid reservoir.

The rear brake system combines a single-piston floating calliper with a single brake disc measuring 265 mm in diameter. High-quality, steel-reinforced brake lines (standard on both models) ensure a stable pressure point the rider can easily feel for smooth and safe control.

Light and modern two-channel ABS

As an option the F 800 models are available straight from the factory with Bosch two-channel ABS. Thanks to the low weight of the motorcycle, this ABS brake system (as on the single-cylinder model series) does not require brake power assistance or an integral function.

This new generation of BMW Motorrad ABS not only combines compact dimensions with low weight, but also offers control and braking quality enhanced to an even higher standard over the previous generation. A direct comparison shows that the size and weight of the pressure modulator has almost been halved, with the weight of the ABS system adding up to just 1.5 kilos.

The new pressure modulator masterminds optimum brake pressure with ABS operating actively via intake valves with linear control, ensuring very fast and fine control intervals. The new valves with their infinitely variable cross-sections also minimise the noticeable effect of ABS for the rider, which is reduced to a mere pulse feeling on the brake levers.

BMW’s new motorcycle ABS also offers an enhanced range of diagnostic functions. Wheel speed sensors automatically supervise the distance to the sensor wheel and thus contribute to the system’s supreme standard of all-round safety.

Electrical system with CAN-bus technology and immobiliser

The electrical system featured in the new F-models also offers the highest standard of technology, featuring a cutting-edge CAN-bus concept. And as in BMW’s new K- and R-Series, the single-wire system (SWS) offers numer¬ous benefits, reducing both the number and complexity of wires, networking all control units, and thus facilitating a comprehensive process of diagnosis. A further point is that this new technology no longer requires conventional meltdown fuses, with the system switching off the component involved automatically in the event of malfunction.

An electronic immobiliser is standard. Starting the engine therefore requires more than ‘just’ the right key profile. The chip integrated in the key transmits the right code to the ring aerial in the combined handlebar and ignition lock. Only when this is done will the engine control unit enable the rider to start the engine and set off. This technology is currently the safest and most reliable way of protecting a motorcycle from theft.

The electrical connectors are watertight and therefore immune to any damage or interruption. A 14 Amp battery and 400 W alternator, finally, ensure reliable supply of electric power at all times.

Cockpit CD headlights

The cockpit with its analogue instruments gives the rider all the information he needs instantly. An on-board computer is also available as an option. The asymmetric dual headlight gives the new models in the F 800 range the well-known face of BMW's latest generation of motorcycles. Two H7 headlight bulbs ensure good visibility at all times for the rider and other road users. When switching over to the high-beam headlight, the low beam remains active, avoiding any sudden decrease in light intensity that might disturb the rider.

New design concept for a particularly dynamic look

Launching this new model series, BMW is introducing a new and young design concept clearly linked in its looks to BMW’s current four-cylinder mo¬dels. Through their design alone, the most outstanding technical features are moved into the foreground as distinctive BMW elements. The beautifully designed aluminium frame, for example, connects the handlebar head and swing-arm mounts in one direct line, forming a harmonious and sophisticated unit together with the aesthetic single swing-arm on the right-hand side.

While the F 800 S – with its low polycarbonate windscreen and short upper fairing made of ABS plastic – exudes a particularly sporting look, the F 800 ST (with its higher handlebar and windscreen) clearly places the emphasis on its touring qualities.

Both F 800 models offer excellent aerodynamic qualities and, despite their slender profile, provide a standard of protection from wind and weather quite unparalleled in the midrange segment. Special guidance of the air flowing by the sides of the screen deflects the wind around the rider for extra comfort, particularly on the ST. And with its luggage bridge (featured as stand¬ard) the ST offers all requirements for fitting the baggage rack and support system.

A choice of colours not available on any other BMW also serve to accentuate the special character of these new models. The F 800 S enters the market in Sunset yellow non-metallic or Flame Red non-metallic, while the F 800 ST is available in either blue metallic or Graphitane metallic.

Apart from their attractive looks, both models offer a wide range of practical features. The mirrors, for example, come with a special rest posi¬tion enabling the rider to quickly find his perfect setting after folding them back. The various fairing sections can be quickly removed for maintenance and service, while the lockable tank cap on the right-hand side leading to the 16-litre fuel tank is always within easy reach. This is good news above all for the touring rider, who no longer has to worry about removing his tank bag when filling up.

Seating comfort typical of BMW

The F 800 model series also offers the very best when it comes to seating comfort. An important factor is that even the relatively short rider (170 centimetres or 5´ 5´´ in height) is easily able to reach the ground despite a seat height of 820 mm (32.3´´). And the shorter rider is able to opt for an even lower seat (790 mm or 31.1´´) straight from the factory. One of the reasons why the rider is easily able to reach the ground with his feet is that the seat has a particularly slender waistline at the front.

The flatter handlebar on the F 800 S allows the sporting rider to lean further forwards than on the ST. And although the two short handles on the S-model are mounted separately to avoid vibration, this does not impair steering precision. Hand levers for the brakes and clutch are also adjustable for span.

Range of equipment

Optional extras and special equipment

BMW Motorrad enables the discerning rider to customise his or her motor¬cycle not only with optional extras fitted from the factory but also special equipment retrofitted either by the dealer or the customer himself.

Factory fit options

Heated Grips* - £195.00
ABS - £510.00
On-board Computer - £135.00
White Indicator Lenses - £25.00
Anti-Theft Alarm System - £135.00
Power Reduction to 25kW/34 hp - No Cost
Riders low Seat (790mm)* - No Cost
White Indicator Lenses* - £25.00
Main Centre Stand* - £75.00
L & R Pannier Fastenings (ST only) - £50.00
Tyre Pressure Control - £155.00

Products marked with an * are also available as special equipment from BMW motorcycle dealers.

On-board computer

The on-board computer adds a number of important details to the information provided by the easy-to-read display in the instrument cluster. This includes the level of fuel and gear selected; coolant temperature; average speed; average fuel consumption; current fuel consumption; the range remaining on the fuel in the tank; outside temperature; and a stopwatch function.

All the rider has to do to retrieve the information desired is press a button on the left handle and select the specific item. This is also where he controls and operates the stopwatch.

A further feature – which may be deactivated if required – is the bright LED telltale, warning the rider as soon as he reaches the engine speed limit marked red.

Anti-theft warning system

Once activated, the anti-theft warning system responds to any change in the position of the motorcycle when parked by setting off very clear optical and very loud acoustic alarms. Highly effective in safeguarding the motorcycle, the electronic warning signal is deactivated either by remote control or by the ignition key.

Special equipment

  • Heated grips*
  • Luggage rack
  • Sports cases (installation kit)
  • Case supports (installation kit, only in conjunction with luggage bridge on the S-model)
  • Sports cases with variable capacity
  • Topcase, small
  • Tank rucksack
  • Tankbag
  • Main stand* (with installation kit for the S-model)
  • Paddock stand with adapter
  • Service toolkit
  • Low seat*
  • White direction indicators*
  • Cable for helmet holder.
  • BMW Motorrad Navigator
  • Navigator holder, cables and installation kit
  • Passenger seat cover
  • High and low windscreen

Products marked with an * are also available straight from the factory.

Lots of storage space in sports cases and the topcase

The sports cases (variable in capacity from 17–25 litres and already featured on the K1200 S) have been specially modified at the bottom to fit perfectly on the F800. And thanks to the very inconspicuous carrier system, the cases with their dynamic and sporting look can be fitted and removed within a matter of seconds. Watertight interior bags are integrated as standard in the sports cases. For even more luggage capacity, the rider can also opt for the 28-litre topcase, which is large enough to stow a helmet.

Paddock stand and passenger seat cowl

The sports rider will be thrilled by the paddock stand for quickly changing tyres and by the passenger seat cover. Once fitted at the rear, the passenger seat cowl gives the motorcycle an even more sporting touch.

Retrofittable main stand

In addition to the side stand featured as standard, both the F 800 S and the F 800 ST may be fitted with a main stand.

Tank rucksack and tankbag

Both the tank rucksack and the tankbag are highly practical companions, particularly as they do not have to be removed when refuelling.

Offering 12-litres capacity and featuring a watertight, lockable inner bag, the tankbag is also a perfect match for the BMW Motorrad Navigator GPS system. The much larger tank rucksack offers ample capacity variable from 14–26 litres and also comes with a watertight inner bag, meaning that there is no need for an additional cover when riding in the rain. Further features are a watertight pocket for maps and a smaller pocket for odds and ends accessible via the main pocket from inside.