Far and fast on my beautiful blue bike


I’ve spent so much time lately riding, and talking about my dirt bike. So, I was thinking I should probably give “equal time” for the street bike, my 2008 F800ST. I haven’t been riding it a lot lately, but it isn’t because I don’t love it dearly. I do. This is the only bike I have that I bought new. I was able to literally ride it out of the showroom, something I would never have been able to do if BMW hadn’t started to make “lowered chassis” bikes with low seats.

This bike is one of the best BMW has made lately. The engine is notoriously reliable, and easy to maintain. The only design flaw is the placement of the oil filter – right down there behind the front tire, almost at street level. You can see what I did to fix that, I had a mechanic friend fabricate a metal “cage” to cover the oil filter. On my very first ride, a rock hit the oil filter and made a dent in it. Fortunately, no oil leaked out, but I knew then that I would have to fix that.

How I fixed it:

The first few years I had the ST, I put many thousands of miles on it because I just could not stay off of it. It was easy to pile on 20,000 miles or more each year, but the last couple of years we’ve been doing mainly dirt riding. I managed to put 67,000+ miles on the F800ST, but I would have ridden it over 100,000 by now if I’d kept up the pace I started when I first got it. That’s okay, it will last longer if I distribute the miles more evenly between the bikes I own.

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of riding it for the first time in a couple of weeks. It was a short ride, only 167 miles or so, but enough to make me appreciate it again. I was so used to the dirt bike that the ST seemed to take off like a rocket. I stopped to fuel up for the day, and I was glad I didn’t have to fill up those stupid fuel bottles! I didn’t even have to think about fueling up again all day.

The range of this bike is a good 250 miles or so. I like that because I hate stopping. I mean, I really hate it, and the ST allows me to ride until I feel like I need a brain break. This is the bike to ride when you want to go far and fast.

I enjoyed riding last Sunday. I was riding alone for most of the day, didn’t even have Hal in front of me for most of it, which I normally don’t like, but it was kind of peaceful. I was in the zone of being on the road; I wasn’t thinking about anything but traffic and being on the bike.

When I got home, I thought, I should do that more often! I was remembering how much I like to ride the “big” miles, how much I love being on the road for mile after mile after mile of just riding. With the wide-open spaces here in Arizona, that is easy to do. In equal measure, there are the wonderful twisting roads to joyfully fling that bike into. I’ve always felt that I never really learned to ride well until I got the ST.

No wonder all the bikes in my “stable” remain with me. They are all unique in their specialties, and I love them all for their own talents. I love to look at them all lined up in the garage, especially this one! Even my Dad thought the ST was beautiful when I turned up at his house with it last Sunday, and that’s saying something! 😉

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3 thoughts on “Far and fast on my beautiful blue bike

  1. My stable:
    2012 Yamaha WR250R. You seen this one.
    2010 BMW R1200GS. It gets the most miles .
    2011 Ducati Monster 1100S. Dripping with carbon fiber. I bought it for $5,000 brand new (long story).
    1985 Beta TR32. Trials bike, street legal. This was my winter project. It’s completed and I’m not sure what I’ll do with it.

    I really need another bike.

  2. Have you ever talked to Victory or anyone about that design issue with the filter? It seems like they would pass it on for you and maybe alter it in the future? I’m glad you found a workaround, though.

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