Skip to content

BMW F800GS Adventure Motorbike Review

Find By Make/Model

1 of 12
BMW F800GS bike review action
Click to enlarge
Previous image Next image

MCN overall verdict rating is 4

BMW's new F800GS is virtually unique: a 750/800 class adventure bike, that to most degrees offers the best of both worlds. It’s light, slim and perky enough to be a credible off-roader yet it’s also substantial, grunty, roomy and potentially sufficiently well equipped to tackle crossing continents. It’s also got a price that’s hugely tempting too.

Video: BMW F800GS first ride

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

Derived from the F800S unit, but with a more upright block, the BM parallel twin is intoxicatingly invigorating. 85 horses might not sound like much, but its more than enough. It’s perky and fruity, has a deliciously raspy exhaust note and is responsive, progressive and yet yearns for more and more revs up to the redline. Wring its neck and duck yours behind the reasonable screen and you’ll see 125mph, which is more than ample, thankyou. The rest of time it just delivers what and when you want it.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

Unlike the 1200GS the 800’s no monster. Though tall and ‘proper’ the 800GS is lithe, slim and light, enough to both remind of conventional, single cylinder enduros, from, say KTM, and to make it a doddle, at least compared to the 1200, to manhandle and manouvere, thanks to masses of steering lock, decent suspension, lightness and assured weight distribution.   

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

Being a BMW the F800GS's fairly basic standard but with the usual myriad of accessories and factory fitted options available. Different seats, screens and bars are available; as are the usual sophisticated luggage systems plus creature comforts like sat nav, heated grips and the like. Compare and buy parts for the BMW F800GS in the MCN Shop.

BMW F800GS (2008-current)

Detail Value
New price £8,685
Dealer used prices
£5,180 (2008) - £9,710 (2014)
Private used prices
£5,000 (2008) - £8,740 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 798 cc
Power 85 bhp
Top speed 130 mph
Insurance group 12 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 3
Engine rating is 4 rating is 3
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 3
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 3
Value rating is 4 rating is 3

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

BMW rules again. Although there have been occasional hiccups in recent years, there should be little to worry about with the new F800GS. The F800S/ST upon which it’s based has proved mechanically reliable and solid and the engineering is proven. Unusually, for a BMW though, you’ll have to maintain a drivechain.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3

At £6999 the price is possibly the new GS’s biggest trump card of all. That represents fabulous value compared to the £2000 dearer 1200 version and there really is nothing else close to it in terms of all round ability. But if you want better value still, got for the in many ways identical £5495 F650GS. Find a BMW F800GS for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 12 of 17

Compare motorcycle insurance quotes now

Model History

2008: BMW F800GS launched.

Other Versions

F650GS. See seperate review.

Specifications

Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 85 bhp
Max torque 60 ft-lb
Weight 185 kg
Seat height 880 mm
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 140 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 12 of 17
Engine size 798 cc
Engine specification 8v parallel twin, 6 gears
Frame Tubular steel
Front suspension adjustment 45mm inverted forks, no adjust
Rear suspension adjustment Single shock, preload and rebound damping adjust
Front brakes 2 x 300mm discs
Rear brake 265mm disc
Front tyre size 90/90 x 21
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 21

See all BMW F800GS motorcycles for sale

BMW
F800GS

18400 miles

£5,400

BMW
F800GS

2368 miles

£7,895

BMW
F800GS

325 miles

£10,915

BMW
F800GS

10166 miles

£4,495

BMW
F800GS

3849 miles

£6,399

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3(13 reviews)

  • Great Bike

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I've had my F800GS for 11 months now and absolutely love it. I'm surprised the average rating isn't higher. The engine has loads of character, far more than the Tiger 800XC and it isn't as rattlely as the R1200GS. The fuel economy is excellent and the grin factor is off the scale! On the negative, i've had issues with the right heated grip not heating up correctly, my seat split after just 3 months and there's paint currently coming off the engine casing but, so far, I've found the BMW warranty excellent and things have been sorted out quickly. My bike's going in at the weekend to get the paint sorted out. The outcome of that may change my opinion but so far all the issues haven't put me off and I would recommend it to everyone.

    31 May 2012

  • great

    magnet1234

    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    What an amazing content is this and surely it makes realize each and everyone who read this. Thanks for providing so fantastic and sweet suggestions ....i really appreciate it. Norway

    15 April 2011

  • Great bike

    dd1965uk

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Had my F800GS for 6 months now. Superb bike. Took it to europe and found it wanting for nothing. Only thing i've changed is the seat, as the standard was really uncomfortable past 100 miles. Still think it looks better than the new Tiger 800 too!!

    21 November 2010

  • Perfect

    wazowski

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    It is just the kind of bike I was looking for...light, powerfull, good handling, good for long and short trips...I does everything and does it all well...besides, it's BMW

    03 September 2010

  • Death Trap!

    andromeda

    Average rating rating is 1.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Just got rid of my F800gs after 13,000mls & 18 mths. After 7 recalls, numerous warranty issues of my own and finally my 3rd survival of electrical breakdowns whilst riding in traffic, I traded it last week. In my experience, this is a seriously flawed and dangerous bike to ride due electrical and mechanical failures. I've had 3 complete electrical and fuel supply related breakdowns whilst in heavy traffic and lucky to have avoided being run over by a tanker last week near Loch Lomond and at home in Ireland. I'd lost all faith in the safety and reliability of this bike. I've had more trouble with this bike than all of the Japanese bikes I've had in 25 years of riding - never had a Jap bike breakdown either! Having spoken to other BMW owners and recovery operators, the vast majority of breakdowns is ALWAYS BMW'S! They sell you the myth of cutting edge technology but negate to tell you they have 'stone age' reliability. No doubt the BMW 'Brand Slaves' will denounce my posting! All I can say is if you value your life, don't buy one!

    19 August 2010

  • Death Trap!

    andromeda

    Average rating rating is 1.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Just got rid of my F800gs after 13,000mls & 18 mths. After 7 recalls, numerous warranty issues of my own and finally my 3rd survival of electrical breakdowns whilst riding in traffic, I traded it last week. In my experience, this is a seriously flawed and dangerous bike to ride due electrical and mechanical failures. I've had 3 complete electrical and fuel supply related breakdowns whilst in heavy traffic and lucky to have avoided being run over by a tanker last week near Loch Lomond and at home in Ireland. I'd lost all faith in the safety and reliability of this bike. I've had more trouble with this bike than all of the Japanese bikes I've had in 25 years of riding - never had a Jap bike breakdown either! Having spoken to other BMW owners and recovery operators, the vast majority of breakdowns is ALWAYS BMW'S! They sell you the myth of cutting edge technology but negate to tell you they have 'stone age' reliability. No doubt the BMW 'Brand Slaves' will denounce my posting! All I can say is if you value your life, don't buy one!

    19 August 2010

  • Death Trap!

    andromeda

    Average rating rating is 1.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Just got rid of my F800gs after 13,000mls & 18 mths. After 7 recalls, numerous warranty issues of my own and finally my 3rd survival of electrical breakdowns whilst riding in traffic, I traded it last week. In my experience, this is a seriously flawed and dangerous bike to ride due electrical and mechanical failures. I've had 3 complete electrical and fuel supply related breakdowns whilst in heavy traffic and lucky to have avoided being run over by a tanker last week near Loch Lomond and at home in Ireland. I'd lost all faith in the safety and reliability of this bike. I've had more trouble with this bike than all of the Japanese bikes I've had in 25 years of riding - never had a Jap bike breakdown either! Having spoken to other BMW owners and recovery operators, the vast majority of breakdowns is ALWAYS BMW'S! They sell you the myth of cutting edge technology but negate to tell you they have 'stone age' reliability. No doubt the BMW 'Brand Slaves' will denounce my posting! All I can say is if you value your life, don't buy one!

    19 August 2010

  • Death Trap!

    andromeda

    Average rating rating is 1.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Just got rid of my F800gs after 13,000mls & 18 mths. After 7 recalls, numerous warranty issues of my own and finally my 3rd survival of electrical breakdowns whilst riding in traffic, I traded it last week. In my experience, this is a seriously flawed and dangerous bike to ride due electrical and mechanical failures. I've had 3 complete electrical and fuel supply related breakdowns whilst in heavy traffic and lucky to have avoided being run over by a tanker last week near Loch Lomond and at home in Ireland. I'd lost all faith in the safety and reliability of this bike. I've had more trouble with this bike than all of the Japanese bikes I've had in 25 years of riding - never had a Jap bike breakdown either! Having spoken to other BMW owners and recovery operators, the vast majority of breakdowns is ALWAYS BMW'S! They sell you the myth of cutting edge technology but negate to tell you they have 'stone age' reliability. No doubt the BMW 'Brand Slaves' will denounce my posting! All I can say is if you value your life, don't buy one!

    19 August 2010

  • F 800 GS

    mark2jag

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    This review based on test ride only (4 hours worth though) I'm currently a Fazer 600 owner, its an 08 plate, and although i had a test ride its completely different in real life to what i was ALLOWED on the test ride. Its too revvy and vibratey for me, and i hate it big time. I'd heard good things about the 800 GS. I originally wanted a GS1200 but funds didnt allow. I found the 800 GS to be very quick,with an exhaust note that you wont really forget, nor want to. It's light quick, goes well stops well, and i can see myself readily ditching the FAZER if the finance company stop taking ADVANTAGE,LOL.Are there any down sides, err yeah unfortunately, the standard screen is too low to be really comfortable on the motorway. The seat height is also a bit of a bone of contention as im 5 ft 9 tall, and at a few traffic light stops i had worried looks from some car drivers as they thought i was gonna lose my footing and make a bike shaped dent in their cars.I also noticed that the seat is quite uncomfortable after a few hours , but I'm gonna get some sort of air cushion seat affair, and see if that helps. If i can get rid of my Fazer then my name is going on a new F 800 GS. As an afterthought i should mention the fuel consumption,which after several hours of errr spirited (sorry OFFICER,LOL)riding had dropped to the appalling figure of 57 MPG!!! Perhaps it was over reading but guesstimated on tank at start and refill to tank level at the end of the ride I dont think its that far out.

    12 October 2008

  • after a test ride

    stormrider79

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Today I spent two hours on the 800GS on a test ride and was definatly impressed. To start of with I felt quite precarious sitting right up there and the brakes felt like they have too much grab for the forks (this is commuting through heavy traffic, say 15-20 mph). Get myself introduced to the indicator switches and get moving properly and it's just great. I find myself toying with the MPG readout, how high can I get it (109 mpg in 6th at 40 mph), how low can I get it (37 mpg excelarating to the red line). The engine first felt weak until I started taking note of the speedo. It shifts well but you don't feel it surge forward, maybe down to a good shock and not much 'squat' or just a really smooth power delivery but it does move. Then I start playing with the roads doing everything I don't on my GSX, aim for the bumps, aim for the man-holes and go straight over the speed bumps (no need to slow down). I tolk it to one of my favoured roads which is very bumpy and it loved it! The tyres the the chassis the brakes the suspension, everything was ideal. After a play with the hand warmers it was time to turn back, onto the dual carrageway. It was a VERY windy day and upto 70mph felt fine with a bit of buffeting from the screen. 80 mph felt ok but alot of buffeting. 90 mph and above the vibes kick in, quite bad at 120. Back into traffic it felt brilliant, now that I'd got used to it, it's good at slow speed and the stearing lock is massive. After two hours my butt didn't want too much longer in the seat which dissapointed me. After the test ride I'm going to get one! I'll put a taller screen on and get a gel pack put inside the seat, which was the low one and even at 5'10" I needed the low one really. I'll get used to the indicators and definatly will take it off-road even if it's just to get dirty! Definatly recomended.

    11 October 2008

Page

Discuss this

Add your comment
ninjasquaddie

User's Badge

ninjasquaddiesays

I'll be flying past you on my Gixer. :D

I actually like the look of the Tenere, just not the engine.

08 April 2009 21:05

mac'o'bolton

User's Badge

mac'o'boltonsays

That really hurts!

Yes I do have feelings and some are inadequacy…

To set the record straight I do like BMW bikes and don’t have a beef with them or the people that ride them. I was posing a specific question to the MCN writer of the article suggesting he might address the issue. I am really hurt about your comments about my inadequacies so have decided to share my deepest feelings with you as after all we are both bikers.

Late last year my missus (bless her) bought me some long johns so I didn’t get to cold cycling to work. Of course I had to model them but glancing downward was horrified at how tight they were around my flattened crotch. Reaching out wildly (inadequately motivated) I grabbed her cotton wool tube and stuffed it in. I turned to face her pleased with the effect (if not a little ambitious) but she laughed so hard… Then she took a picture with her camera phone and sent it to her mate who laughed too. I thought I might just ride out the humiliation but then as I got into bed she farted so loud long and smelly she frightened our pet cat. I tried to come back with something explosive but it was so squeaky and pathetic she thought the cat had done it and kicked it off the bed. I rocked myself to sleep that night feeling so inadequate that no imaginary overtaking manouvers or new BMW bike could patch me up. I was left broken and inadequate.

So when you inevitably do come flying past me in fine style on one wheel spare a thought for my feelings. Not all of us have got amazing imaginations and new BMW's….
 

25 February 2009 12:42

ninjasquaddie

User's Badge

ninjasquaddiesays

Mac - Feel Inadequate then?

What's your beef with the Beemer?  I have had my F800GS for 8 months now and not a hiccup, despite 6K miles through the worst winter in a while.  You picked a Tenere ( god knows why ), so stop feeling inadequate about it, and enjoy your single cylinder throbber.

 

I'll be the one flying past you.

20 February 2009 21:32

mac'o'bolton

User's Badge

mac'o'boltonsays

Who wrote this review?

looked at this bike at the NEC to compare it to the Yamaha Tenere (which I bought). I was told by someone in the know that the BMW quality wasn't up to much and the quality of materials used was questionable. In my first year of Tenere ownership I have had a first service and put petrol in it. Thats it. No problems from our Japanese friends whatsoever. However I have heard of one owner who bought this bike returning it to BMW 11 times at the last count because of issues with supsension, cables and electrics. Also while I'm at it... to the writer of this review did you watch the Long Way Down? Have you spoke to people who own BMW trail bikes? All I hear of is routinely experienced problems eg. suspension arm bushes. So with reference to the phrase above "BMW Rules Again" in the quality and reliability section... would you like to clarify just what it is your talking about?

12 February 2009 14:00

JohnG.

JohnG.says

BMW F800GS

Goodone Pissedoff,That vid must be done to death by now. Seriously,this BM-F800GS could be a good thing...lighter,with enough herbs. Must check it out when it arrives at our Dealer.

10 May 2008 09:05

Show all comments

Most popular

Rate my bike

Related News