I am looking for a "next bike" for my wife. She started riding (after decades as pillion) a year ago, with a cruiser (Honda Shadow), and is feeling comfortable enough to start venturing out with me on longer rides on her own bike, instead of as pillion (I have an R1200RT). I have been considering the F800ST for her. My R1200RT (understandably) intimidates her because of the seat height, compared to the Shadow. She can hardly tip-toe both feed at the same time on my bike!
She is 5' 4" tall. My question is: from your experience, with the lowered suspension on your F800ST, can you offer an opinion how flat footed or not would she be? I'm looking around locally for such a bike so she can try it out and see, and last weekend we went to the BMW dealer and she sat on several bikes, but none had the lowered suspension. We liked the F800GT and were disappointed to find that BMW is not (according to the dealer) offering it with the lowered suspension option, which is hard to understand. But the ST still seems a very viable option, if the low suspension is low enough for her.
Enjoyed your post and travel-log.