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Thread: Long Tours with F800ST

  1. #1

    Long Tours with F800ST

    I have a 2007 F800ST, equipped with GIVI side bags and top box.

    I bought this thing to travel on, but have since had LOTS of people tell me that it is only good for short trips. Too small, they say, for a multi-thousand mile vacation.

    I love my bike and really want it to take me a lot of places (I'm retired and widowed so its just me - 1 up).

    Anyone out there doing long tours on an 800ST? If so, can you offer any advice??

    I'm heading out in early Spring. and hope to make the BMW event in Wyoming.


  2. #2
    You won't have any problem traveling with your 800ST. I have an 800S and have done a 1006 mile day. On one trip I did a 870, 750, and a 950 mile days. Last year from April to October I put 18,000 miles on it. I have had a lot of BMWs and it is as comfortable as any of them. So many people think you have to have a big bike to travel with and that just isn't true. Have fun!!

  3. #3
    Still Wondering mika's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Fly Over Land
    No direct exprience with the F800; however, I think it will be a fine long distance bike if you are willing to deal with travel on a lighter bike and its nuances.

    My first 20 years of motorcycle travel were on bikes from 500 to 750cc's. World famous, Ted Simon did his world tour on a 500cc Triumph. An aquaintance at the U of Mn, when I was an undergrad, road a Honda 90s between his home in Kentucky and college 4 times a year.

    I suspect your F800ST is a far superior than any of our bikes were for the task.

  4. #4
    Thanks folks -- I'll keep you posted.

  5. #5
    My riding is mostly limited to commuting, but I've done several 500 mile days on my wife's F800ST and it was no problem. There are LOTS of people who have ridden them from here to there (1,000s of miles) without complaint. It's every bit as capable as my R12ST. Enjoy the ride!
    Last edited by bricciphoto; 01-31-2008 at 10:53 PM.
    Ben Ricci

    Rides & Drives: '07 BMW F800ST Low, '07 Porsche Cayman, '06 VW Jetta TDI & '05 BMW R1200ST

  6. #6
    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Southwestern Ontario
    Who cares what the other people think? It's what you think that matters. When I got my first K bike in the 80's some of the boxer crowd said it wasn't a real BMW. Now the K75 is a 'classic' in some people's eyes. When I got the first F650 to arrive at the dealer in 1997, the same type of skeptics were putting it down, knowing absolutely nothing about them. Look at the loyal following the 650's have now.

    As soon as someone offers one of those "universal truism" opinions like you "can't tour on a so-and-so", their opinion is immediately suspect in my mind.

    My F800ST (with GIVI's by the way) has a better power to weight ratio than most of the boxers, outstanding handling, light weight, and is smoother than any of the boxers and some of the K's I've ridden. My wife says the pillion accommodations are more comfortable than the oilhead it replaced (including a 600 mile day), and I specifically chose it because of its small feel, which to me is a huge advantage.

    There are a lot of people in this club with more miles under their belts, but of the couple hundred thousand miles I've accumulated on 7 BMW's I think the F800 is by far the best one I've owned, for my purposes. Your F800 is capable of touring just fine.

    '06 Triumph Scrambler (Trans-Labrador veteran)

  7. #7
    Rally Rat
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Bridgeton, NJ
    Sir: It always cracks me up when I hear people say that a 800cc bike is too small for touring. In 1976 I traveled across our great Country on a 10 speed bicycle. My first motorcycle had 750 CC's and yes I toured with it just fine. Second Motorcycle was a 800CC BMW R80/7
    and it too was fine on the open road and loaded down. Enjoy your Bike and our great Country.


  8. #8
    We have people in Australia that go all over the country on Postie bikes(110cc Hondas)
    It is the ride that you enjoy, not what you do it on.
    I have an F650GS, and while I havnt been long trips, I am sure it would be great.
    Listen to yourself, not others who have probably never been out of sight, let alone a big trip.

  9. #9
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    I toured 80,000 Kms on a Honda 750 before I got my RS. It did not have as much HP as the F800ST and I never had any trouble doing so. My wife has a new ST on order for delivery this spring as well as a set of Givi bags. We have a trip planned for late June and hope to get a few thousand Kms on it then.

    For what its worth, my R1100RS has 90 HP and weighs more than the ST with 85 HP. Add my extra weight over my wife's and I'm concerned I'll have to go buy a faster bike now. I think I'll handicap her with all the camping gear from now on.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
    2008 K1200GT, 2009 F800GS
    I can't wait to retire and have a fixed income. The one I have now is always broke.

  10. #10
    Slowpoke & Proud of It! BRADFORDBENN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    State of Confusion
    I have a Honda VFR750, which is "smaller" then your F800. The key question, is it comfortable for you? Does it meet your speed and packing needs? Then why not use it if you are happy with it.

    It isn't what you ride, it is if you ride

  11. #11
    Rally Rat PAULBACH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Ballston Spa, NY; South of the Adirondacks, North of the Catskills and West of The Berkshires and Green Mountains
    Traveled through New Zealand on an F650GS - plenty of power but you learn to shift and to anticipate the bike's needs. An F800ST has a lot more power. Another advantage of a medium displacement bike.

    Another undocumented feature: sooner or later for some reason or another you will need to get it up off it's side.

  12. #12
    They are wrong. I traded in a honda cb600f (hornet, honda 599) for this bike. I am a taller person with an equally long inseam. I couldn't go 40 min on the honda without knees and butt hurting. I would go on long rides and everyone knew I was miserable. I started riding 2 up with the boyfriend on his goldwing because I couldn't get through the long rides even with some modifications to the honda.

    I rode the st for over 2 hours a few weeks ago and didn't feel a thing until I got off of it for a break. My butt hurt, but it was the same hurt if you wouldn't have moved for over 2 hours in a movie theater seat. Once I got back on the back (only after a potty break) I still didn't feel a thing, not even in the butt.

    I think it depends how the bike fits you. If the ergonomics are right - then you will only have the general soreness after a long ride. If it doesn't - then you will know.

    I absolutely can't wait for my first long trip on it (in May). So far, as comfort goes, it is worth every penny I will pay for it. I love my Honda, but the comfort was like having a beautiful gf, but having to put up with all of her high maintenance crap. The ST is beautiful too, but practical. I 100% sold on this bike. If it fits you ergonomically, there is no limit to your ride.

    Take care and post back and let us know how you like her.

  13. #13
    Give it a try but work up to a long trip in smaller increments. Nothing worse than being on a multi-day trip and finding out your rear end can't handle the seat, the position of the bars make your shoulders ache, or you left behind something you can't do without in place of stuff you could!

    Part of long distance touring is the bike. Part of it is you. It's making sure your body can do it, so you have to train for it.

    The other part is packing. I've not got this sorted out myself, so I can't answer this authoritatively. I tend to overpack, but I've got a bigger bike too. Still not a good thing.

    Anyway, point is, try some overnights, longer day rides, mix up freeway and two lanes, and see how it works for you. That's what matters most, not what other folks say.

    PS: I guy in our club did a couple month's tour on a 650 GS. From San Diego to Alaska (yeah, the End road) and to Nationals and places in between. He never did more than 400 miles a day. That's not very many miles, but it was what he was comfortable with and he had plenty of time to explore that way. Food for thought - nobody says you have to do 1000 miles a day.

  14. #14
    2-up and havin' fun sugarhillctd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Just above the Notch, NH
    I see that this topic has already been answered by several folks, but I wanted to add in my 2 cents after my experience last Fall.

    We are getting back into riding after 20 years away. Our last MC was a 1981 Honda 900F SuperSport decked out for "sport touring" before anyone used that term. Our most memorable trip was 4000 miles in 10 days through the Gaspe Peninsula, Nova Scotia and Cape Bretton (sp?). That bike had (IIRC) about 80hp and was more than enough for us to travel very easily.

    This Fall we went to a BMW dealer to test ride a few used and new bikes. Cathy and I took out a lightly used R1150RT then a new R1200RT. Then we rode a demo F800ST and we both liked it the best! She actually felt like there was more room for her on the F bike. Other than the $$$ that it would have taken to bring one home, that would have been our choice.

    Since when does a long distance sport touring bike have to be 1200+cc and 800+ pounds?
    John & Cathy
    '92 K100RS4v 2009 R1200RT
    SS1000, BBG, 50CC- NYC to SF

  15. #15
    I'm picking up my F800st tomorrow, and I'm looking forward to some long rides. I plan to make it to the rally in Wyoming (from Arkansas). I'll be sure to build up to the long ride. Based on the comments, it should be a great ride on the 800...

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