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BMW F800S Naked Motorbike Review

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BMW F800S motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

A revolutionary addition to the BMW stable, the BMW F800S has filled the yawning chasm between the marque’s 650 motorcycles and 1200 motorcycles with power, style and charisma. The BMW F800S has an excellent engine, superb handling and everyday usability to make it a bike you could learn to ride on yet keep, and enjoy, a very long time after you’ve got your motorcycle licence.

 

Watch the BMW F800 take on Aprilia's 850 Shiver, Suzuki's SV650 and Triumph's Street Triple

 

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The BMW F800S is a wonderful motorcycle out on the open road, less inspiring in town. At a pace, there’s huge torque and acceleration but stick the BMW F800S in traffic and it labours as you struggle to minimise the jumpy throttle response. It’s a real powerhouse motorcycle though: fast riding is a dream on this motorcycle while overtakes will make your hair curl. Roughly equated to a decent, 600cc sports motorcycle's performance.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The BMW F800S' sporty riding position encourages silliness but it’s not too extreme: you can do sane too, if you like, and it won’t complain. The motorcycle is heavy but holds the road well, handling’s brilliant and the BMW F800S takes off like there’s no tomorrow. The gearing’s a bit stroppy but the brakes are great. The BMW F800S is a more agile motorcycle than you’d imagine.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

Ooooh, lovely! Fuel gauge, gear indicator, adjustable levers, and a bar-mounted control button to run through the endless digital readouts on your comprehensive dash: superb! Fuel goes in at the rear of the motorcycle and pillion provision is good, too. The BMW F800S' belt drive is great for the non-mechanics among us.

BMW F800S (2006–2010)

Detail Value
New price £7,450
Dealer used prices
£3,250 (2006) - £4,750 (2009)
Private used prices
£2,950 (2006) - £4,280 (2009)
  View full used price info
Engine size 798 cc
Power 84.5 bhp
Top speed 140 mph
Insurance group 11 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 5 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 5 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 4

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

Unquestionably good. BMW’s build quality is excellent and the BMW F800S doesn’t let it down one bit. Reliability is equally revered, and with good reason. The BMW F800S is a well put together motorcycle and accommodating loads of well thought out little extras, the motorcycle is built (not just marketed) to really last.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

… Which is why it costs so much. Compared to rival motorcycle, the Suzuki SV650, the BMW F800S is a wallet-crusher, but you get that reliability, peace of mind and extra-special aftersales service which makes the whole motorcycle ownership shebang one hell of a lot more satisfying. Still, the really rather nice Kawasaki Z750 is quite a bit cheaper than the BMW F800S too. Find a BMW F800S for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 11 of 17

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Model History

2006: BMW F800S Model launched, along with the BMW F800ST (sport touring) version. ABS available for both motorcycles as an extra.

Other Versions

BMW F800ST: Fully-faired, sport touring motorcycle. The same bike but with a few little changes: taller screen, higher bars, luggage rack and a more upright riding position.
ABS VERSIONS: Both the BMW F800S and BMW F800ST come with the option of ABS. It’s a good system, although can prove a bit “on and off” where you actually want more smooth progression. Standard brakes on both motorcycles work well, however.

Specifications

Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.1 secs
Max power 84.5 bhp
Max torque 59.5 ft-lb
Weight 182 kg
Seat height 820 mm
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Average fuel consumption 38 mpg
Tank range 135 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 11 of 17
Engine size 798 cc
Engine specification
Frame Aluminium beam
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload and rebound
Front brakes Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 265mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

See all BMW F800S motorcycles for sale

BMW
F800S

18000 miles

£2,995

BMW
F800S

15000 miles

£3,300

BMW
F800S

10166 miles

£4,495

BMW
F800S

14754 miles

£3,695

BMW
F800S

11558 miles

£4,299

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(23 reviews)

  • poor reliability and service

    leighvaughton

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Don't but this bike if you actually need it on a daily basis. Multiple recalls and unbelievably long lead times for servicing/recall work mean you're likely to be off the road for months, like me. Poor engineering and quality control have led to issues with the fuel pump sensor (let me down in the middle of Bristol) and rear bearing (replacement needed at 24k miles with two months wait to book it in). Don't believe the hype with BMW 'quality'- they just don't match up to their Japanese competitors. Shame - otherwise a good and economical bike.

    27 May 2014

  • F800ST beamerbrian

    beamerbrian

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Best bike i have owned. Where are MCN testers coming from 182kg is heavy? mpg 38 I get 68 and flying. Smooth comfortable, handles really well, very torquey, very little vibs. Brilliant bike.

    25 March 2014

  • Very good overall...

    Andy949494

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    This is my fifth bike and I have bought a lot of new Japanese middleweights before. I use it for commuting where the belt drive is really useful - why bother with chains and their short life, frequent adjusts and continual requirement for lube? (Even when I had a scotoiler I didn't find it as good as this). Running costs are very low. Servicing is every 6000 miles and many services are fairly basic checks whilst the economy of this is better than my old 250R. Quality is way better than Japanese and it just doesn't rust even when left a few days with winter water and salt on it. I also appreciate the advanced electronics ABS, Tyre pressure monitoring, calculation of mpg and miles left etc. It goes very well but I would prefer a Hornet. I know because I have ridden one and back to back the Hornet handles slightly better and I prefer the exhaust note and the real kick at the top end. That said the engine in the F800 is very good and provides much better low end drive with a real rasp and push at the top end. But the hornet would cost more to run (economy is lower and servicing is more frequent and expensive) and would be colder and wetter in the winter. Range isn't bad and since the fuel tank is below the seat it is easy to fill to the top even on the side stand. It is a bit uncomfortable when riding below 50 because of the bars but this adds to the character. I like its physical size. Its good for commuting (not too big for filtering) and is easy to touch the ground but isn't CBR125 small. Overall very pleased. Its a keeper...

    05 October 2011

  • Light and Perky

    nss5pjs

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I have a 2007 F800S. I go out to my garage every morning and out of five bikes I usually pick this one to commute on. Light, responsive, good in-town manors a plus. At the other end of the scale, it's got too much back lash in the gearbox and the water pump weeps a bit every now and then. Lots of weird mechanical noises from engine but didn't break yet. Uneven clutch release makes me feel like I'm beter off to just drop it and leave slipping to a minimum. Crap tyres.. i lost both ends in the rain. Good riding position, good brakes, perky engine and nice exhaust sound. It's a keeper!

    04 August 2010

  • Hmmm

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
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    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought this 2006 bike unseen ( silly me), though I had sat on one at the bike show at the NEC and felt it was a comfy riding position. How memories can fool you or perhaps its the fact I have 2 years riding under my belt. The thing that reviews dont point out is that if you are a taller person say over 5'11 then the handlebars are too close and the pegs too high. Whether its this but the balance of the bike doesnt feel right. This combined with a very soft front fork and engine like a thrappy diesel means I cant whizz smoothly round tight roundabouts like I could in my cbf 600. Low speed commuting is also a chore because the engine is gutless at low revs, Ist gear feels like 2nd ( easy to stall), the mirrors are poor and theres the awful bmw indicators. Accessories are painfully expensive. I havent had any reliability issues but the corrosion on the engine is shocking for a premium brand. On a plus note paint quality is otherwise good and the bike has impressive style. Fuel economy and tank range are very good ( see Fuelly). I'm overall dissapointed with it though, the ergonomics, handling, corrosion are worse than the middle of the road Honda I had and I long for a nice smooth reliable Japanese bike. If you are commuting a lot you just dont want the distractions that this bike has given me. If you are a leisure sort of biker or like touring then I expect the bike will suit you better.

    13 March 2010

  • Nice bike, shame about the build

    foulis

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I have a 2006 model, I say this because I would hope that the problems have been ironed out for the newer version. This is a lovely bike to ride, the engine is punchy with great midrange, though snatchy at low revs which takes a little getting used to and gentle throttle control. The ride is great for a bit of everything, but don't be fooled by the s in it's title it's no thoroughbred sports bike. I want to love it because it is so capable but I can't. The downside is the build quality, this bike has had problems, check the forums. Engine cutting out for no reason (now resolved, fault unknown), piston slap (only resolution is a rebuild), rear wheel bearings going at around 15000 (modified bearings fitted, had to pay labour only), and a few smaller niggles, corrosion is a problem. These are not uncommon faults and you should check the mods have been done before buying. Incidentally BMW will not directly admit to these faults (except the rear wheel bearings), but will try to resolve. I can only assume they are reluctant to except responsibilty due to a lack of backup from Germany. Overall a good bike, but be warned make sure any problems have been fixed on your bike, check the forums for details of common faults.

    18 November 2009

  • BMW's best kept secret

    Graphitan

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    BMW is missing a trick with the F800ST - it is a superb all-rounder but relatively few people seem to know about it. Having tested the usual all-rounders (VFR800, CBF1000, etc), I found the ST completely by accident through BMW's low seat range. Vines of Guildford were excellent (as were most of the competitor brands I spoke to), offering an extended test ride despite having passed my test just one week earlier and doing a very competitive deal on their ex-demonstrator. A recent ride to Switzerland was a revelation - 550 miles in one hit and felt completely fresh when I arrived. The alpine roads were well worth the trip, although the high altitude revealed that the coolant had been over-filled at the factory, forcing the excess to leak out. Occasional false neutrals between 5th and 6th seem to be a common problem on the forums but a heavier boot up the gears seems to have fixed that. I regularly ride the bike two-up with full panniers and it is never short of performance or comfort while delivering over 55 mpg in all conditions. The optional expandable panniers are ample for touring and will each hold a full face helmet to save carrying them around on day trips. Insurance and servicing costs(6K intervals) are very reasonable, while the belt drive minimises maintenance. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the ST - it has certainly raised eyebrows amongst my more experienced biking mates.

    21 October 2009

  • ST version

    andy938

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Engine

    Just returned to biking after 25 year absence. Last bike a Z1B, middling brakes and very suspect handling. What a refreshing change the ST is, it goes and stops brilliantly. Comfort good with plenty of space at the back for the larger lasses. Cannot believe what a brilliant package Bee Em have come up with.

    06 August 2009

  • my f800st

    justpassedmetest

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    im not the tallest guy in the world with only 29" inside leg but the bike is a nice height for me (standard height seat) i bought mine from a bmw dealer in grimsby and found them most helpful. The ride and handling are a delight and the engine is a treat, especially when sha gets busy at over 5000 revs. the quality and finish are top notch as you would expect for a beemer but the worst thing is the gearbox talk about kerrunch!! im sure ill master it its comfy nice riding position and VERY economical (66mpg). Its my first bike for 25 years and im pleased i bought it sure it was more than the equivalent jap bike but its worth it love it to bits

    05 May 2009

  • Ticks all the boxes

    beegrich

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    Being a tall rider [all leg] and coming back to two wheels after a gap of 18 years this bike ticked all the boxes for me. It looks big, but feels just right on the bike, its got lots of low down grunt and nippy through town. The local dealer lent me one for the day and after 3-4 hours [avg 55 mpg] in the seat I was still up for some more riding. Compared to the VFR 800, which was high on the list this bike excels in every area and is right up my street and shows that its in a different league altogether. I've order in 2008 colours for 09 plate delivery, just 26 days to go and I can't wait. The only down side for me was the location of the indicator cancel button, in winter with thick gloves this proved to be a little tricky, especially around town but will come with practice. Ive also ordered a slightly higher aftermarket screen, as per the demo bike as this made the high speed journeys slightly more bearable with the wind going round instead of into the helmet face area.

    02 February 2009

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huntley53

huntley53says

Poor finish quality

I scratch my head at the designers from BMW. They design a bike thats perfect for everyday use the whole year through. Belt-drive, heated grips, very ecconomical, fast enough, ideal riding position,ABS, outside temp guage, long distance riding, commuting, it does everything and is still fun for the weekends and does what you ask of it. Sooooo, why does various screws and bolts RUST? Why does the engine block and covers show corrosion, and the coating flake off after ONE winter?
I have owned this bike since 2008, riden 40,000kms everywhere and have enjoyed it immensely. But I am so bitterly dissapointed with the corrosion problems. My local dealer here in Germany was equaly annoyed and infromed BMW of the lowering of standards by them. They didnt want to know, and said I should rinse it down after every ride in winter!! Ha ha ha, ever tried that when its dark and -5°C when you go to work and the bike stands there all day in the weather? You come home in the dark and its below freezing again......rinse it down again??? Get real BMW, we are not all hobby bikers. I have owned several bikes since the 70s, and this one suffered the most in winter.
BMW, improve your finish in what is really a great bike.

09 April 2011 15:27

UnluckySaxon

UnluckySaxonsays

@ geoffrobbo

@ Geoffrobbo

 

It sounds like something to do with the Idling switch/air hoses/airbox. I had something sounding similar after my 12k service when BMW replaced air hoses and stuff. They said it was something to do with the idling switch, but it was clearly a knock on from something they had done.

 

Check F800riders.org for all your F800 queries and you'll find what your looking for definitely.

 

Rory

04 March 2011 10:59

geoffrobbo

geoffrobbosays

BMW F800 ST Cutting Out

I have a BMW F800ST which I ride in Thailand. After a short run of about 20km it starts cutting out. Then it cuts out almost every couple of km particularly at low revs. I note that some comments say that the problem is now solved. What is the solution? The BMW Bike agent in Bangkok was unable to fix at the lst service. Any ideas??

10 February 2011 09:37

chocolateman

chocolatemansays

f800s mpg

I have read the review and stat's for the F800s, the review is great but the details on the stat's for mpg are wrong. I have the first f800s in Northern Ireland (june 2006) and have all the extras so have been able to check the mpg. On a easy trip to sligo from a full tank not going over 70mph I got 250miles to a tank (16litres) and on motorways up to 68mpg.... Hard ride about 50mpg(at over70mph) One of the best sport and touring bikes I have ever had and so user friendly..

05 February 2009 20:40

John_N

John_Nsays

F800S

Had a VFR (vtec model) before buying the F800S. Talk about chalk and cheese! The wee beemer is light, torquey, mega comfortable and even with "spirited" riding returns about 55MPG. Recently had a few days oop North with the bird on the back (and luggage) and the handling was still bloody excellent! Build quality appears first class. The mirror stalks could do with being a bit longer and the brakes (ABS option) feel a wee bit 'wooden' initially, but they do the business! In summary it's a bloody good bike. A belly pan would finish it off nicely though!

07 June 2008 22:52

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