BMW F800R (2009-on) Review

Published: 08 May 2009

"The feel and ride of large capacity bike with a parallel twin engine that can be revved"

BMW F800R

"The feel and ride of large capacity bike with a parallel twin engine that can be revved"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

BMW placed the F800R as an entry-level, sporty, naked urban machine to slot in amongst myriad of 600cc middleweight bikes eg Yamaha FZ6, Triumph Street Triple, Honda Hornet and so on – even though its engine is 798cc! And we can cheerfully say it fits in. What the BMW conveys is the feel and ride of large capacity bike with a parallel twin engine that can be revved to give the excitement of a sports bike without intimidating anyone.

Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5

The feel of the BMW F800R is taut and precise. The chassis is stiff and the suspension has been developed to work in conjunction with the chassis. Under braking and through the turn the bike is settled and feels compact, solid and… great. The rear shock is a little soft for pillion use but adjustments made (spring preload, damping) actually work. Goodly amount of steering lock and low-ish seat height make the F800R a good traffic-buster.

Engine 4 out of 5

The 798cc twin lump delivers a sweet mixture of low rpm torque and accessible horsepower. The harder you work it the more the body produces adrenaline. Fuelling is perfect around town and will return a very pleasing 54mpg even when ragged on back roads. But with this excitement, from 5000rpm and on, comes niggling vibrations though the bars and pegs. You get used to this.  

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

One of the best put together BMW bikes we’ve seen. Everything fits perfectly and the coatings, paint and parts are sweet. But there again most bikes are like this from new. We all assume BMW has a reputation for quality, but there have been a few more complaints over the past 3-4 years, which BMW said it will address. On the plus side the engine is a known quantity because it figures in four other models and is well sorted now.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

Very, very competitively priced to start with and there’s the benefit of BMW machines retaining high resale figures even with high mileage, but only if the service record is up to date. Find a BMW F800R for sale.

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

Equipment 3 out of 5

To keep the cost down (at £5925 it is relatively cheap for a fun-time BMW) the F800R is as basic as its competitors, suspension and stunning front brakes aside. But if you’ve got the money to spare there’s a ruck of optional extras and accessories available from onboard computer, tyre pressure monitor, ABS, higher/lower seat option (FOC), fly screen, belly pan, panniers etc, etc. Compare and buy products for the BMW F800R in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

17 owners have reviewed their BMW F800R (2009-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 F800R (2009-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.4 out of 5
Engine 4.1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.4 out of 5
Equipment 4.4 out of 5
4 out of 5

BMW F800R 2011

25 June 2016 by Joe Bloggs

handlebars and foot begs buzz at 80 MPH Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
unusual parallel twin noise. vibration damper does not work as advertised
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
heated grip and starter switch required replacement
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
cheap as chips to run
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

The Easy Rider

20 August 2015 by B_Shultz

Overall it is easy to ride and will only ever become boring to speed fans. It's not the most beautiful bike, I'll admit, but the ride is easy and you never feel misplaced. Common driving school bike here in Germany. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Seat is comfy enough for 200 mile trips or even more, depending on your butt. However, the handle bar is quite café-racer-like. I swapped mine for a Rizoma, wider, flatter and straighter. If you have the urge to go nuts in corners the F800 will not deny you. The suspension is good all around, so from comfy to edgy/sporty is very well possible. No adjustments though except for preload on the rear shock. Comes with adjustment tool under the seat for adjustment on the fly. The brakes are more than enough for this bike. Two large 320mm discs with two calipers up front and 265mm single caliper brake in the rear by brembo will always stop you. Plus ABS, so deceleration is covered.
Engine
4 out of 5
The engine is usable between 1700rpm and 8500rpm, pulling steadily and without any surprises from 3500rpm onward. Speeds of 25mph in sixth gear are no issue, so it is useful for lazy shifters. It vibrates in the higher revs, but that was no surprise to me, since it's a twin. 360° ignition spacing are the main cause of vibration, which needs to be countered by a weight on a connecting rod. If high speeds are your regular goal then you should maybe look at the S1000R or MT-09 instead. With close to 90bhp it will get you up to around 140mph, but it will take some time. Acceleration is very sufficient though.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
I've only recently bought this bike, but a friend of mine has owned his from factory to now 30,000 miles and has not had a single technical issue whatsoever. Apart from some chipped paint and lacquer (MY 2009), which I cannot confirm on mine with 14.000 miles (MY 2011).
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Maintenance is genuinely easy on this bike, since the fuel tank sits underneath the seat rather than infront of the rider. Therefore the valvetrain etc. are easily accesible through the faux tank, which houses the battery and airfilter. Fuel economy is tremendous. I regularly clock in at about 58mpg when riding like a normal human. When I go nuts on open roads it's down to 48mpg, but that is still better than anything I've owned so far. Unlike most BMWs it's chain-driven, so die-hard chain-haters will have something to moan about. It doesn't come with a oil gauge, but with a dipstick as commonly found in cars.
Equipment
5 out of 5
I bought mine used and loaded with goodies nobody needs...heated grips, tyre pressure sensor, fuel gauge, gear indicator, LED signals (look much better than the standard ones, though), dash cowl, average fuel consumption, current consumption, average speed, thermometer..... MY 2009 also had a range calculator, but too many riders relied too heavily and complained about the function. MY 2010 and onward were delivered without the range calc.
4 out of 5

Secret enemy to a street triple

17 July 2015 by TezMcG

Best Features: This bike is an excellent first big bike to ride. Due to the low centre of gravity it is excellent to manouvre at low and high speeds. It really is an all rounder and is just as happy touring round north Wales and beyond or going for a... Read more little play round the twisties. It doesn't struggle to keep pace with bigger motorcycles. It has plenty of pull when required and returns a healthy 55mpg based on normal/playful riding. It comes with plenty of kit options and people consider it to be a much more expensive bike than it really is due to the badge. I have the BMW side panniers and a 12v battery port which covers luggage and sat nav issues. Bad points: It's a naked so don't expect excellent resistance from the elements. The stock exhaust makes it sound like a lawnmower and is put to shame by other bikes when involved in a shouting competition. This is easily remedied by adding an after market can and accidentally removing the baffles. Once this has been done then the shouting competition is back on!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Very very good all rounder - happy in any environment. Possibly weakest area is motorway riding due to it being a naked.
Engine
4 out of 5
Got plenty of grunt when required and has low down torque from the 800cc twin
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Due to be looked at by BMW to identify why won't start in gear with side stand up??
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Fuel economy is excellent
Equipment
4 out of 5
Really like the big gear indicator LCD display. Accessories to recommend would be 12v charger, side panniers and rear hugger
Buying experience

Bought from a dealer. Listed at £5000, bought for £4500 with additional options (panniers & 12v) fitted

5 out of 5

Best in blue.

24 June 2015 by Duncan Craig

Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
An improvement over the old bike, very chuckable.
Engine
4 out of 5
Has enough power for me just now, a torque delivery.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No issues as yet yet.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Very good mpg and reliable.
Equipment
3 out of 5
I added the touring and sport packages as well as tire pressure monitors and panniers. I didn't bother with either the Asc or the Esa as I didn't feel there would be a benefit. I opted for the black and matt blue colour scheme which cost me £45.00 initially but has reduced my monthly payments as the bike has a higher residual value in this colour.
Buying experience

Fantastic service from Harry Fairbairn Inverness.

5 out of 5

BMW F800R Thanks for German's Engineers

20 June 2015 by Mark

powerful and very easy to handle and ride 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
main dealer service cost £200 not bad at all
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
Buying experience

I bought it privately and I paid bit extra for the extra fitted equipment which for me much cheaper in total.

5 out of 5

F800r

10 July 2014 by olivier1015

Very easy to ride , great for commuting it has enough power when revved hard however easy to manage in London traffic when taken easy. Very Reliable bike so far so good ! 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
-
4 out of 5

BMW F800R

11 January 2013 by alfred53

I must agree that the bike can be a little snatchy at idle speeds but after some practice using the clutch to smooth things out it isn't an issue at all. Also agrees it can ping a little on heavy throttle at under about 2,800 but, again, no big deal... Read more here. I used a plug and play item that tricks the management system into thinking it's 20C cooler than it is (no problems here in Sydney) and that has richened up the mixture and helped a lot. No other issues though. A stable, great handling bike that inspires confidence, my friends on their 1000s and bigger are struggling to maintain pace in give and take situations. Top speed may be less but what does that matter on a naked bike. Fuel consumption can run to 70mpg doddling around. It is comfortable (for my 5'11 inches), well finished and has plenty of real world useable power. The vibrations they speak of are just no issue to those who are used to singles or twins. I have every factory option except panniers and flyscreen, plus centre stand, 12V socket and Oggie Knobs. If you can buy one with all the fruit it will sell better down the track. Best overall bike I've had

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

F800R(T)?

05 July 2011 by etienne_bear

I've had my F800R (with all the options ticked) for 6-months or so now and have almost converted it to a F800RT, including Autocom, DAB Radio, IPod connection and Satnav. The only way I could find to add a touring-standard windscreen that works was... Read more to combine three diferent aftermarket products, but it's sorted now. I've also added bar risers and just need to improve the seat comfort for longer journeys, but it's great already for my daily commute. It's a fantastic bike that combines the right amount of performance with frugal use of the juice. If it had a comfy seat and an option for a decent screen, it would get 5 stars.

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

18 month update...

01 March 2011 by Hedgehog5

This bike just gets better... at 20K miles the engine is fully run-in now & pulls much more smoothly. Only fault I've had was an indicator switch replaced without question under warranty. New Skidmarx screen (£68) looks the part (fits over the stock... Read more screen) & makes m-ways a doddle. Taken it 2-up across Europe & got better economy (60mpg) than my normal 40mile commute. Luggage/pillion no problem. Even the chain is no hassle lasting longer & without adjustment than any other I've had (no Scottoiler). Finish is good enough to withstand UK winter use. When this has done too many miles I'll have another.

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

Touring Tool too!

20 July 2010 by GarethOlley

I thought I would just add a further update on my F800R following a weeks touring trip around the Scottish Highlands. I've got the BMW panniers with my bike and, coupled with a Kriega tail pack and Baglux system, the bike easily carried all the... Read more kit I needed for a week away. Prior to heading up North, I had a pair of the new Bridgestone BT023 tyres fitted - they're awesome in both wet and dry conditions! The bike hasn't missed a beat in over 1300 miles of day after day riding - it's economy is awesome, handling tremendous and performance more than enough to leave every other bike behind on the twisties. (I went with lads on VFR's, GSX-R 1000's and a mixture of big tourers! If you're considering a naked street bike you must try this one before discounting it - BMW have created a revelation! ;-)

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 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
-
Read all 17 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued -
New price £7,595
Used price £3,300 to £8,500
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 12 of 17
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £200
Performance
Max power 87 bhp
Max torque 63.5 ft-lb
Top speed 133 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 54 mpg
Tank range 190 miles
Specification
Engine size 798cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, parallel twin four-stroke. Six gears
Frame type Aluminium dual beam
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Seat height 800mm
Bike weight 199kg
Front suspension Non-adjustable
Rear suspension Spring preload, rebound damping
Front brake 2 x 320mm disc with 4-piston calipers
Rear brake 265mm disc with one-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2009: BMW F800R UK introduction.

Other versions

The F800R’s chassis is based on half-faired sports F800S, but comes with a stiffer double-sided swingarm. There’s also the sport-touring version imaginatively called the F800ST. The same engine is used in the incredible F800GS Dakar-styled adventure bike and softer tuned F650GS (yes, yes confusingly it has the 798cc engine).

Photo Gallery

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