Living with the BMW F800GT

By Steve Hunt -

First rides & tests

 17 April 2013 11:45

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After a month of ownership and a few emails and messages coming in from people who’ve read my longterm reports in the MCN paper I thought it would be a good start to this blog if I responded to these queries here – mainly because I am sure that the questions asked and their answers would be of interest to anyone looking into owning a BMW F800GT.

What is the windshield like for buffeting?
One particularly vocal commenter has expressed the view that the windscreen is ‘useless’ but I honestly haven’t found this to be the case. I’m 5’ 8” and unless I get particularly excited on the motorway I haven’t experienced any major discomfort at all. As I mentioned in my last paper report, the positioning of the pegs really lends itself nicely to a bit of tucking-in when you’re feeling particularly sporty.

Why isn’t the comfort seat standard?
Again, I’ve found the standard seat more than adequate. I’ve covered a few hundred miles in one sitting and haven’t particularly suffered in that area.

Why is the fuel capacity so low?
This is an interesting question, because I guess it depends entirely on your point of view. The ST that the GT replaces did indeed have an extra litre in the tank and the same 4 litre reserve, but the fuel economy from the ST returned around 50mpg (looking at figures from use on the Internet) as opposed to my personal figures of around 59mpg so far. So compared to its predecessor the 800GT makes far better use of its fuel and should cover similar ground.

Why is the seating position still sporty? This is a tourer isn’t it?
Again, this is a subjective view really. Certainly this is a far more traditional set-up than the ST which placed you in a sporty stance from the moment you placed a foot on the pegs. The GT is a little softer in this regard but still offers a nice, sportish position if you want to take advantage of its nimble handling.

What are the ‘real’ servicing costs?
The simple answer to this is that I honestly don’t know at the moment – having only covered 600 miles on this machine so far. However, I fully intend to found out, so watch this space!


How good are the headlights?
Again, with delivery of the bike to coincide with the advent of British Summer Time I’m yet to really find out. But from the few little trips to the friends out in the country of an evening I’ve not had any cause for concern so far. They’re bright, pretty easy to adjust and the high-beam does offer a good spread of light across the floor in front.


What are your plans for the bike?
I’m looking at covering as many miles as my spare time (and hopefully some work time I can blag) as possible! I have a speculative trip to Brno in August planned – alongside Ian Jubb on his R1200RT – and I’m also looking at a few other UK-based jaunts to see how the 800GT holds up against the cruel, British summer!

This weekend the bike is getting the Panniers and hopefully the BMW satnav fitted, so once I actually have room to carry my gear – and a vague idea of what direction I’m heading in – I’ll have no excuses not to ride.


I’ll let you know how it goes but in the meantime feel free to post any other questions etc below.

 

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