Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Ventura County, California Republic
OK, on with the upgrades and things we're doing to the 800 R...
First, the single most important upgrade we've done is a Ohlins' shock and fork springs.
I called up Dan Kyle at Kyle Racing where I bought Ohlins for my R1200R and my F800GS and ordered the shock sprung for Nancy's weight - 125 pounds.
The install is very straightforward with excellent bike specific directions included, though I do have a BMW service manual (thanks ebay!) to give me the torque specs.
Remove the 4 bolts holding the subframe on, remove the preload knob on the Showa shock, remove the shocks bolts, and finally remove the screw to move the rear brake reservoir.
This is a two man job, one to lift the subframe and tank just enough to slide the old shock out. Once that's done the Ohlins' slides right in, after you remove the knob off the remote preload adjuster and sneak it though the chassis and out the left side.
I installed the shock bolts, leaving them loose as per direction, then bolt the subframe back together.
Remove the silencer hanging bolt, lose the washer, replace with bracket for preload knob, a couple of zip ties and it's in place.
Tighten shocks bolts, subframe, and brake reservoir to finish.
On to springs....
On the center stand I used a tie down to pull the front wheel off the ground, securing it to my 12R.
Super easy, on the right side I just removed the brake lever, not the whole bars, remove fork cap, remove spacer and washer, slowly pull out old spring, slide in new spring, add a tiny bit of 7 weight fork oil to make up for a little oil on the spring, install washer, spacer, then fork cap.
Repeat on left side without removing anything off the bars.
Done and done.
Of course, just like every other bike I've installed Ohlins' into the difference in handling is astonishing. Planted. confident. predictable. smooth. just how it should have been in the first place...
Now, I pay attention and notice these improvements, but as a new rider, Nancy probably isn't "feeling" the same thing, but now that the bike is actually sprung for her weight, the sag is correct, the suspension is working how it should and the difference for her is huge.
She says "it just feels right"...
It's too bad BMW just doesn't offer Ohlins as a option to save us a little cash that's waisted on the Showa, but we've gone this far with spending $$$ so having the bike sprung for her is a drop in the bucket and worth every penny, and when I get to ride, I crank up the preload and enjoy the Gold Bliss!
We have a seat cowling getting painted, a Ztechnik screen on the way and some Acerbis Dual Road handgaurds I'm putting in today, after I get the correct resistors to make it work with CANBUS.
That's what I love about this and my 12R Roadster, she can be naked and sporty, or dressed up in touring gear for some long adventures. Take the screen and handguards off, and back to a canyon carver that turns heads everywhere she goes.
It's my opinion that this bike is very similar to the 12R in many ways after having both in the garage for a while.
Sure the power delivery is different, the weight is different, but the Roadster heritage and feeling is very much there. ( I had a R1150R before the 12R)
I look forward to getting on the road for some proper long miles on this bike, as I think it will make a wonderful naked touring bike, after a few mods like the bar backs, and a larger windscreen. The seat seems OK, and far more comfy than any of my previous BMW stock seat, but I'm sure my Airhawk pad will make 600 mile days a little more comfortable.
I really hope everyone listens to the negative 8R opinions then goes and buys a beautiful red Ducati instead, would be fine with me if they discontinue this bike due to low sales.... I would love to keep it rare and one of those excellent bikes that the masses just don't get.
To me, the growling exhaust is a symphony, the handling is spot on, the power delivery is predictably awesome and all I need, plus the styling isn't just screaming for attention, only to be lost in a sea of flashy bikes.
Simply put, it's main purpose is to make you smile while riding it, and that is exactly what this fine German bike does very well in my opinion.
Old on top
remote preload cable
Lost Rider screwed with this post 03-16-2011 at 06:15 PM