By Chris Maxcer
Only a handful of gadget lovers can afford sports cars, but that doesn’t mean wicked cool transport is out of reach — the bike I’m lusting after is the 2009 BMW F 800 GS. It’s a dual-sport/enduro/adventure bike designed mostly for the road but capable of off-road use with a competent rider.
Sure, it’s a BMW with great specs — and we’ll get to some of them — but here’s the deal: it’s got one of the sickest looks around. The rakish front fender screams that it’s ready to take on the world. In comparison, the fine 2008 Kawasaki KLR 650 has a front fender that looks like the designer bent the mold with his knee.
No, the F 800 GS exudes attitude. For starters, it has a bigger engine than its popular series of predecessors, the F650 Dakar, et al, and now it cranks out 85 horses and 62 ft-lb of torque for butt-clenching acceleration. The dry weight is just 392 pounds, and the gas tank is placed underneath the seat to give it a lower center of gravity.
Yes, Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman took the bigger R 1200 GS Adventure around the world in “The Long Way Round,” but the F 800 GS should be a much better bet for everyday versatile love.
Is That Fast?
The F 800 GS boasts a 4.1-second 0-60 mph time and a top speed of 125 mph — and this is a bike that ships with tires capable of scrambling around on rock. Is that fast? Let’s compare how a few sports cars accelerate:
The $198,000 2009 Lamborghini Gallardo comes off the assembly line not much faster than the F 800 GS: the Gallardo’s zero-to-62 is 3.7 seconds. And the $80,000 Ford Shelby GT500KR? 0-to-60 in 4.1 seconds. Heck, the latest Nissan 307Z — at a sweetly reasonable $30,000 — launches from 0-to-60 in 5.1 seconds.
Besides, as long as your bike isn’t a scooter, you get the cred you need to actually wear a cool jacket.
Filed Under: Desirous