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BMW F800GS Adventure Motorbike Review

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BMW F800GS (2008-current)



Detail Value
New price £8,685
Used price range View BMW F800GS bikes for sale to see current asking prices
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

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.

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

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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

6985 miles

£6,994

BMW
F800GS

10792 miles

£6,450

BMW
F800GS

2934 miles

£7,950

BMW
F800GS

875 miles

£7,795

BMW
F800GS

8573 miles

£6,995

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 3(13 reviews)

  • 5 Months on

    Bradders68

    Average rating rating is 5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I have just passed 5 months with the F800GS and am still as enamoured as ever. I have splashed out some extra cash and bought a powerbronze high screen and rear hugger. The screen has made a massive difference to both the looks and buffeting whilst the hugger stops the rear shocker and engine getting covered. As for riding, this bike has got me riding at night and in the wet and loving every minute of it. The bike has plenty of torque and just loves going up the gears, you'll soon be over the speed limit before you know it and thats at just 5000rpm. A and B roads are where this bike comes into its own, it is so easy to tip it into a corner and accelerate out with ease. Its sheer grin factor everytime I go out to do this. As for the motorways, the bike will cruise comfortably along two up with no problems and no aching wrists at the end of a decent journey. Around town, its a joy, very nippy and easy to handle. The seat, I am 5'11 and can get my foot down at traffic lights no problem and thats with a standard one. Does my rear go numb after a long ride ?, a little but thats what an airhawk is for ! The aftermarket bits and pieces are slowly trickling through and adorning my bike as and when cash dictates. I intend to have the bike fully laden with extras ie hand guards, bash plate and aluminium luggage early next year so me and the missus can do some grand touring. As for off road, I cannot comment as not been there...........yet. To sum up, if you want a lightweight alternative to the excellent GSA for considerably less money this is the bike.

    06 October 2008

  • Flawed Fun

    Libtechdescent

    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    (Review based on test ride) I was looking forward to this bike enormously. The quirky looks of the bigger GS without its enormous bulk seemed appealing for me at 5'10. Initially I was really impressed, the motor pulls well from low down and only runs out of guts and feels a little vibey at fast motorway speeds - perhaps 6th could be longer. It was quickly evident that its native territory was back roads where the power was plenty and punchy, overtaking and cruising with ease. Gearchanges and braking faultless. After the initial "its very different" transition from my usual rice-rocket, I discovered quickly that its so rideable. You can flick it through bends with a heave on the wide bars and you can see over all the cars and hedges... It gives you the impression that you're in control of the bike - and perhaps even the road. However, the little screen offers scant motorway protection and after only about 15 miles in the close wakes of swathes of weekend travellers I was aching to get away from the buffet and finger numbing vibrations. A desire I haven't experienced since the 100cc commuter I left behind in my teens. This was disappointing because on A-roads at similar speeds the bike was entirely composed and the buffet much reduced. Anyway, as soon as I was back on the A and B roads, the GS was happy again. Soaking up the ripples of the poor road surface and whipping along country lanes. Its a long way down though - stopping at junctions I found my leg sometimes wafting about helplessly rather than planted on the tarmac...but some careful planning when you stop sorts that out. I imagine the health and safety warning stickers on the packing crate read 'Not recommended for use with less than a 29" inside leg'. An optional lower seat is available, which brings us conveniently on to the torturous device that BMW have applied for your seating enjoyment. A fair old slope on the saddle ensures that your buttocks are inexorably tugged towards your shoulder blades unless you sit at the front of the seat, where the curve up to the tank hoists your uhm, nether regions, forcibly upwards and outwards. Neither solution was tolerable for very long. Half an hour at a time was about all I was prepared to endure with frequent standing-on-the-pegs intermissions. Perhaps if you're several stone heavier than me (11st / 70kg) you might flatten the angled seat with the assistance of gravity. I enquired with the dealer whether this issue could be fixed with the suspension settings but he didn't seem hopeful. So, all in all. Great looking (confirmed by child and father at crossing), fun torquey performance (unless you want warp speed), seemed good economy maybe 40-50mpg from what I could tell. But not a friendly saddle. The BMW switchgear is largely OK, with a dash of bizarre. Not sure why they persist with 3 controls for the indicators. Very odd. My recommendation: Ride it for more than 30 mins before you buy it. If you find it comfy, I reckon you'll love it. Otherwise you won't want to spend days on it. Loaded up with touring gear, it might be a different story... As for me, I'll be testing the 1200 next. I spied a flatter saddle there. I truly wanted to love the 800GS, but it definitely wasn't for me.

    01 July 2008

  • After 1500KM on the GS

    LaRana

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    some pictures http://www.flickr.com/photos/25539574@N00/

    29 April 2008

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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

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