I’ve not ridden much these past few weeks. A combination of school holidays, work load and a general feeling of malaise has forced me to leave the trusted F800GT in the garage for longer than I would have liked.
Upon opening the garage door for the first time in several days, and on looking at the white gloss and black frame of the BMW, I start to understand what the naysayers have been offering me and my bike by way of criticism. Perhaps my lack of riding isn’t so much to do with the need for four seats and comfortable air-conditioning for the kids, but instead can be attributed to the beginnings of a little lull in mine and the F800GT’s relationship?
Time to spice things up a little then.
The first thing on anyone’s list always seems to be a new, shinier and throatier exhaust, and who am I to contradict this logic of the motorcycling majority? So a browse around the Internets and with a shortlist of possible candidates to hand, I speak to our Products Editor Tony, to see if he can arrange a purchase. The next day, an innocuous but exciting white box appears with a familiar wolf logo emblazoned along the side. Things were about to get growly.
‘Are you ok with fitting it yourself?’ I was asked - by everyone - as it sat next to my desk awaiting me taking it home. This is probably a nod to my innocence around the office towards all things mechanical, but I answered eagerly with an affirmative without never really thinking about how I was supposed to get it onto my bike. It’s just a few screws and springs, how hard can it be? Secretly I was wondering if I had bitten off more than I could chew…
The answer to that is actually; it isn’t hard; at all. And I didn’t underestimate the job. Fitting this Titanium and Carbon ‘Hexacone’ exhaust was one of the easiest and quickest things I’ve ever done to a bike and it’s telling that I still had half a mug of tea left to drink by the end of the job.
Once I’d find the right size and shape screwdriver, applied a little lubrication to the rustier main bolt that holds the exhaust onto the frame and taken my first sup of tea I was almost half way finished. Just two springs, a couple screws and one, main bolt are responsible for affixing the old exhaust to the F800GT and once these had been removed it was simply a case of putting on the new ‘can’ and tightening everything back up again.
Within twenty minutes I was ready to spark up the engine and listen to my new, huskier travelling companion.
Cosmetically the new exhaust, with its angular lines and carbon-fibre cone, looks immeasurably better. Instantly the bike takes on a sportier look and this extends into the aural and physical aspects of its use too. The exhaust-note is definitely louder, but not in a hooliganistic way; it’s meatier, deeper and irons out some of the more agricultural ‘thumps’ that come from out of the parallel twin in front of it.
This also means that within five minutes of my first test-ride that smile that I had feared lost was recovered, and I found myself riding with a little more spirit and gusto than I remember from before. I could go on, but as I write this I find my eyes drifting towards my helmet and jacket hanging on the door beside me.
I’m just popping out for a few minutes…
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