Ever since I rode the brilliant Triumph Tiger 800 I've known with complete certainty that it was the best 800cc motorbike on the planet. Until now. Now I'm not so sure. I've just ridden the BMW F800GS Triple Black and F800GS Trophy Special Edition and they're very, very good.
The F800GS Triple Black comes with a deep black paint finish, with fork tubes and rims in anodised black counterpointed nicely by chrome spokes. The frame is granite grey and the swingarm is a colour BMW calls Nurburg Silver.
All this costs £8145 compared to £7950 for the standard model. It's undeniably stylish, but if all that black isn't your thing, a more colourful choice is the £8345 F800GS Trophy, inspired by the biannual GS Trophy enduro event for ordinary riders.
What you get with the Trophy is an aluminium bash plate, handguards with spoilers, a two-tone black and grey seat and a tasty blue and white paint job.
The power delivery in first and second is a mite snatchy until you get used to it, and the nose dives under hard braking. But it's a bike you grow to love very quickly, and before long it's bounding around corners like an excited hound, dragging you with it.
Keep the revs above 4000rpm, crank the throttle and it takes off like a nun on a trampoline. The handling is not quite as precise as the Tiger's, but there's not much in it, and the BMW's lightness and slimness works in its favour when filtering through traffic and manoeuvering at low speed, particularly with a featherlight clutch and steering lock which city commuters will adore.
Read the full test in the March 28 edition of MCN.