07 August 2010

KingCast reflects on another brilliant Wagner Motorsports/BMW Motorrad demo day!

The reviews are in the comments section.

I can't believe I saw a Toaster there today! That set the theme for the rest of the pictures even though it was the last picture I saw/took. Life is funny that way. Video and road test reviews of the BMW S1000, F800 ST and R1200R later.

Here's last year's event.

Here is this year's Flickr photo set.

And the winner is.... The F800 ST, which is not surprising given that last year I realized the 650R is basically an F800 on the Cheap. I know I will own one. To me, and for how I ride and where I ride it is the perfect motorcycle.

Top photo: Moira Zinn/Elite Trackdays breaks it on down for the fellas.


Christopher King said...

The winner: F800 ST

84 hp
64 lbs. torque
400/450lbs Dry/Wet

At home feel: Immediate.
This bike is everything last year’s F650 wasn’t. The power is there – even thought its top speed is actually a tad lower than my 650R. The BMW revs out much lower, no point going past 7,500 or so whereas the Kawi I shift at 9K when I'm in a hurry.

Anyway, it clearly has more power and torque and a magnificent exhaust note. It’s not a hot rod per se, but it really scoots, trust me on this. The throttle response is instantaneous, the seat is perfect and the suspension is smack on for me, at 165lbs.

In fact, the suspension is so good I found myself seeking out rough spots in the road to feel it work. This bike is quite flickable and just loves being tossed into a corner. This is the perfect do-it-all bike, a bigger 650R with better components, basically. And belt drive is always a plus.

In the interest of full disclosure:
I love parallel twins. The midrange torque hit is perfect for most riding environments, while a V twin will have more pull in bumper-to-bumper environments, that’s not where I need my power. And unless it’s a liter class bike, I find an inline 4 is a gutless wonder in the city unless you’re screaming around at 7k, no thanks I’m too old for that nonsense.


Second Place: S1000RR
193 (likely more than that)
83 lbs torque
403/450 Dry/Wet

At home feel: 10 minutes.
This is a 200hp, 190mph scalpel you can use on the public highway, and then proceed immediately at the track with little to no modifications depending on your weight or preferences. At one point I overcooked a corner and got on the brakes and the bike didn’t even stand up, it just slowed down with no problem. Which is not to say it suffers fools gladly: I never got it over 7,500 rpm, and just on the far side of that fence is a caged tiger because by 11,000 there is maximum hp at the rear wheel. This bike is thoroughly at home on public roads in spite of its potential if you can tolerate the race tuck riding position. It’s got a great exhaust note for a stocker, and surprise surprise, the seat is even well-padded and comfy.

Bonus: Shift Assist. Look Ma, no clutch... by design. It's not like banging a dirt bike around with no clutch, BMW actually designed this bike and the K1300 to be upshifted with just your foot, it works better the more throttle you give it, and it is an awesome thing how fast it happens. The attending bark you get when you do it is just plain hooligan nasty and made me grin every time I used it.


Third Place R1200 R
110 hp
85 lbs torque
438/490 Dry/Wet
At home feel: 5 minutes.
The tall bars are a trip when you’ve been riding other machines. That, coupled with the hello! peak torque delivery will have you looking skyward at the top of the lower gears. Having maintained a ’77 R100 S for a year I will always be fond of the classic boxer, just not fond enough to place it higher in this year’s comparison. Last year I liked it more than the K1300 and F650 GS, which is a detuned version of the F800.

Christopher King said...

PS: Yes I rode the S100RR in "rain," "sport" and "race" modes. In the race mode it's really not so bad, you just have to be very precise with the throttle, good training actually.

The "slick" mode you have to turn a key that hooks up with the ECU in order to disable traction control and whatnot so you can wheelie/stoppie -- or even back it into turns if you're that advanced of a rider. I'm not (at least not yet) so I was fine with "race."


Moira said...

Chris, Thanks for putting together a great summary of the weekend! I had a great time out there.


Christopher King said...


My Pleasure my Sister, I'll check you out from time to time, and if I ever got down your way again we'll get some track vids cooking ;)


KingCast said...

In the end the 650R turned into a Triumph Sprint ST with RS bodywork, 2002 with uprated engine and Powermax exhaust.

Not the suspension of the F800 ST but substantially more engine that's for sure.


Christopher King said...

Here is Bessie: