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"

  • At a glance
  • 798cc  -  85 bhp
  • 45 mpg  -  140 miles range
  • High seat height (880mm)
  • £8,685

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.

Value & Running Costs 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

14 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.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.2 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.9 out of 5
Engine 3.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.4 out of 5
Equipment 3.4 out of 5
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.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
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.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
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

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
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

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
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

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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!

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
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!

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
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!

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
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!

Overall Rating 1 out of 5
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
4 out of 5

F 800 GS

12 October 2008 by mark2jag

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... Read more 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.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
Read all 14 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2008
Year discontinued -
New price £8,685
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 12 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
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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