BMW F800GS (2008-on) Review

Published: 17 April 2008

"A 750/800 class adventure bike, that, to most degrees, offers the best of both worlds"

BMW F800GS bike review action

"A 750/800 class adventure bike, that, to most degrees, offers the best of both worlds"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

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

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 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.   

Engine 4 out of 5

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.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

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.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

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 group: 12 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

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.

Owners' Reviews

16 owners have reviewed their BMW F800GS (2008-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your BMW F800GS (2008-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.9 out of 5
Engine 3.4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.5 out of 5
Equipment 3.6 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great bike, not quite 'do it all' for me, but does such a bike exist?

15 April 2016 by Kwaka Pants

Great bike, not quite 'do it all' but does such a bike exist? I wanted to find a bike that can do the singletrack lanes, light trails, roads, and everything else in between. Initially wanted a KTM 690 Enduro R, but were sold out everywhere so I... Read more tried a GS. If you can manage the weight, and have the leg length as well you'll probably manage it better off tarmac than I do. However, it is a great bike all round. With the exception of the seat. Awful, bloody awful, kills my backside after just an hour, agony by the end of a day. Bought mine (well, borrowed really, it's on a PCP lol) from BMW dealer with just 800 miles on it, in pristine condition. Has the centre stand which is handy, if a bit rattly off road, heated grips, active rear suspension, abs, and traction control. Which I personally find annoying. Can catch you out by killing the engine if you set off on a bit of gravel which wouldn't normally be a problem. If I was buying again, I'd make a point of getting one without the bells and whistles, but that's just me and my opinion. Handles great on road, yes it gets a bit weavy as speeds increase due to the 21" front, but off tarmac that comes into it's own. Off road, well, initially I was disappointed, as was hoping i could use this to replace both a road bike and an enduro bike. Way too heavy for that, weighs twice that of a lightweight off roader. However it has it's place, I use mine for recce'ing off road runs I'm putting together, I just keep away from anywhere particularly slippy as my little legs and porky body get overwhelmed by it's mass! Can stick a passenger on and not notice them there, or a load of camping gear etc. I actually wish I'd bought an older, tattier example, simply because I know I could do more off road with it, and the bike is up to it, but I don't want to knacker it, after all, it's not really mine! Would I buy another? Yes, I reckon I would, but only once I've tried a 690 Enduro R to see if that can really do it all.....

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Find the front brake a tad snatchy, though the abs works well. Took me a while to get used to it as first bike I've had with abs. Can be switched off if req'd while off road. Rear pedal travels too far before biting. Suspension works well, if under damped off road, and no adjustment at all up front, which on a bike of this price, is pretty poor. On road, it feels fine, even with the TKC80 semi knobbly tyres you can still get a wriggle on, if it's dry at least!
Engine
4 out of 5
Never been a fan of twins in general, but this does have plenty of go. Only thing I'd mark it down for is it has very little flywheel effect and can stall easily at low throttle off road where you'd normally expect a bike to keep going. Can be ridden around, but a slight change in gearing or heavier flywheel would help.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
So far, no issues in 6000 miles, other than a 12V socket that packed in, and an occasional engine quit while changing gear, that was sorted with ECU reprogram while under warranty.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Normal service between 120 and 140, next one will be a tad more I guess.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Can't fault it, good spec on mine and no problems with any of it so far bar the 12v socket playing up. Was replaced under warranty and all ok since.
Buying experience

I paid £8000 in October 2014, was 6 months and 800 miles old from a BMW dealer, with 18 months warranty remaining. They were great, and service and warranty work I had done at a different dealer were also spot on.

4 out of 5

Love my F800GS

04 June 2015 by Steve Parry

Looks great, lovely motor. Throttle a bit snatchy at low speed off road, but in all fairness worked well in the snow when commuting last winter. I have other bikes, a K12GT and a BoxerCup. Both of which are obviously a lot faster than the F8GS but... Read more the GS is so flickable and easy to ride it never fails to please :) I've not taken it over 80 mph and seems fine at that.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Rides well on the road, seat initially felt a bit uncomfortable but after a couple of thousand miles it beds in (or my backsides got tougher :) )
Engine
4 out of 5
Really like the engine, nice delivery up to 5000 rpm, which is 80mph in top gear. I've not taken it over 5000 revs as it goes well enough without doing so :) The fuel economy is fantastic. Normal A road riding brings around 60+ MPG. Motorway about 55 mpg.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
Been flawless so far, and with the help of FS365 weathered the winter ravages and came out unscathed in spring.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Only had the 6000 service so far but seems reasonable, especially compared to other marques servicing costs
Equipment
4 out of 5
The underseat fuel tank takes 16 litres, of which 2 are reserve, so 14 litres of normal tank. This can give a range of around 180 - 190 to reserve. Would be nice to have a bit more range I guess but there's always the adventure version if that's an issue. Thing is the mates I ride with tend to need fuel at 150 miles so the range is adequate anyway as I'm limited by their bikes range.
Buying experience

Bought new from Williams BMW Motorcycles Manchester. Great people to deal with and very friendly.

4 out of 5

Keeping on keeping on

14 November 2014 by rnshelton

17 months, 17,000km, still going well. Mostly used for 30 minute daily commute, with weekend rideouts, and one weekend trip of 2500km in 3 days. Easy to live with, peppy enough for most of what I want to do, excellent fuel economy, 10,000km... Read more servicing, nothing gone wrong. Before buying I also rode the Triumph, they are really similar, I just preferred the sound of the twin.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Great Bike

31 May 2012 by Anonymous

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... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

great

15 April 2011 by magnet1234

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 Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
2 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Great bike

21 November 2010 by dd1965uk

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!! Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Perfect

03 September 2010 by wazowski

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 Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
1 out of 5

Death Trap!

19 August 2010 by andromeda

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... Read more 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!

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
1 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
-
1 out of 5

Death Trap!

19 August 2010 by andromeda

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... Read more 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!

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
1 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
-
1 out of 5

Death Trap!

19 August 2010 by andromeda

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... Read more 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!

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
1 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
1 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
-
Read all 16 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2008
Year discontinued -
New price £8,685
Used price £4,300 to £10,500
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 12 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £140
Performance
Max power 85 bhp
Max torque 60 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 140 miles
Specification
Engine size 798cc
Engine type 8v parallel twin, 6 gears
Frame type Tubular steel
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Seat height 880mm
Bike weight 185kg
Front suspension 45mm inverted forks, no adjust
Rear suspension Single shock, preload and rebound damping adjust
Front brake 2 x 300mm discs
Rear brake 265mm disc
Front tyre size 90/90 x 21
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 21

History & Versions

Model history

2008: BMW F800GS launched.

Other versions

F650GS. See seperate review.

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