I have finally had to admit defeat and accept that, after fracturing my scaphoid and having it pinned, my wrist is not as strong as it used to be. Therefore, riding my 749 has become increasingly painful even on the shortest of journeys. Once I finally got passed my stubborn streak and realised that perhaps I should be looking at something with a less sporty bias, I started with my wish list for the bike; something like this:
- I must be able to ride it longer than 5 minutes without being in pain;
- I want to be able to go Court and go touring on it so good luggage is essential;
- It must be fun;
- It must start every time you push the button and be considerably cheaper to run than a Ducati.
I very quickly started considering BMW’s because of their ‘bullet-proof’ reputation and I know they do good luggage designed specifically for their bikes. Initially, I considered the old R1150GS. However, there is a problem with this bike for men like me who aren’t blessed with the longest legs in the world. I looked at Mr. Dalton’s R1200GS. The length of the leg was not so much of a factor with this bike, but it does weigh about 4.5 tonnes. At this point I was thinking I would have to look elsewhere, but before I did, I was reliably informed that BMW had a relatively new model which would probably suit me more: The F800GS.
When looking into this bike, I found that at last BMW were starting to realise that not all their riders are 6’6” with a 42” inside leg. They do a lowered seat. Off I trundled then to BMW Wollaston in Northampton where I test rode the 800 with a lowered seat. Whilst manageable, I did think I could do with it lowered just a little bit more. When mentioning this, I was told that you can get an aftermarket replacement shock spring which lowers the bike about 1” further. I was so taken with the bike on my test ride that I put in my order for a yellow and black one a couple of days later. I took delivery of the bike last week.
I have just ridden my F800 all weekend and have to say that it was a cracking choice. The bike is awesome as an all-rounder and loads of fun to ride. I will shortly write a blog about the first 600 miles spent running in the bike, but I can already say that the 3-piece hard luggage is really good and really easy to take on and off. It has a nice touch of being easily expandable.
A quick plug here: I have to say that Steve Nash of Wollaston Motorrad has been very helpful throughout the purchase of this bike. He managed to source me one, get all the extras fitted etc and through to me in under a week. I am impressed and grateful.
Finally (and worryingly) Andrew says that I am two years ahead of him in buying my first BMW. How many gadgets and devices I will have attached to my bike by the time I reach his grand old age?