Above: A week before I officially bought my bike
Six years ago I rode my 2008 BMW F800ST out of the showroom and into a life of adventure. It was October 11, 2008, and I’ve never looked back.
The process of acquiring it had started the previous January when I happened to sit on the “new” 2008 F800ST at a BMW dealer in Tucson, AZ. It fit me perfectly, and I knew it was the bike for me. I never had another sport touring bike fit me so well, and if I’d had the money, I would have bought it then and there.
It was the blue one I wanted, and I had to plan for it. Luckily, I was able the buy it by October, and it was the last blue one Victory BMW had. It happened that it was Oct. 11th, my mother’s birthday. I didn’t really say anything to her, though, because I knew she wouldn’t approve. There were a lot of things I should have done in my life that she wouldn’t have approved of, and I should have done every one of them, but that is another story. Fortunately, I made the choice to buy this wonderful bike, ignoring the fear of pursed lips and stinging, judgmental comments from my mother.
From the moment I rode my new bike out onto the street, I wanted to ride it everywhere. That first day, I rode it about 200 miles, and before the weekend was over, I’d ridden more than 600. Before I’d left the dealership, I’d made an appointment for the following Tuesday for the 600-mile service. The service department guys scoffed. She’ll never put 600 miles on that bike by Tuesday, they thought. That was before they knew me.
The rest, as they say, is history. The F800ST, named Pearl, now has just shy of 70,000 miles. For a while, I was putting 20,000 on each year, but since I got “real” dual sport bikes, I’ve been putting miles on those, too. I still put on many miles each year, but the miles are divided between the three bikes that I own. The latest trip the F800ST has been on is the one to Taos, NM, about a month ago.
I will never replace Pearl; the newer version of the F800ST (called F800GT) does not feel good to me at all, and so I plan on riding my F800ST for a very long time. I have had no major problems with it, and the only times it has been in the shop is for scheduled maintenance intervals.
Here are some of the photos I have chosen to represent the six years I’ve had with this great bike. It has been wonderful for me.
20,000 miles, Oct. 16, 2009:
LaSal Mountains, near Moab, UT, 2010:
Independence Pass, CO, August, 2010:
On the road to Mogollon, NM, Oct. 2010:
December, 2010, on the Mogollon Rim, AZ:
Flagstaff Rain, August, 2011:
50,000 miles, October, 2011:
Strawberry, AZ Schoolhouse, November, 2011:
At Mesa Verde National Park, near Durango, CO, July 2012:
Taos, NM, September, 2014:
This is not the end of the story of this bike. We have many more miles to ride together.