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"

  • At a glance
  • 798cc  -  87 bhp
  • 54 mpg  -  190 miles range
  • Low seat height (800mm)
  • £7,595

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.

Value & Running Costs 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

12 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.

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 4.3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.3 out of 5
Engine 4.1 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.3 out of 5
Equipment 4.5 out of 5
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

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
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

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
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.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
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.

Overall Rating 5 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 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! ;-)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
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
5 out of 5

Warning

08 April 2010 by Hedgehog5

Headlamp replacement £240!!!... it's very vulnerable on today's post-winter, gravel strewn roads... get a protector or petition BMW to sell the lens separately. Read more

Overall Rating 5 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 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Covers every angle

09 March 2010 by TopScot

I have owned my F800R for one month and I am loving it. I have added quite a lot accessories to it- ABS, heated grips, Akrapovic end can, fairing, R & G protection, BMC air filter, Ilmberger carbon hugger, luggage..... This means it covers every... Read more angle. The strong points are the brakes, low weight, nice exhaust growl, comfortable seat and funky looks. There are no down sides. I did consider a Ducati 696 and Triumph Street Triple R but the Ducati is awkward in slow moving traffic and the Triumph makes a horrible supercharger like squealing noise. Also, the Triumph Street Triple R has the worst looking headlights of any bike I have seen in the metal.

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 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great for what I want...

07 March 2010 by Hedgehog5

Done 6000 winter miles on mine now & I can't fault it... rock solid engine, good handling, great OEM kit. I'm surprised BMW don't do a higher screen for it & the aftermarket suppliers haven't quite cottoned on yet tho there are some. Engine hasn't... Read more quite got the low rev punch of the singles or boxers but once you get it spinning it's fine... roll on the summer!

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 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Most practical in class!

23 February 2010 by GarethOlley

I have had numerous bikes from Supermoto's to a Honda SP-1. Prior to my new F800r I was running a Triumph Sprint ST (1050) as my main bike. Although very good it just didn't really stir my soul enough so I was planning on getting a Speed... Read more Triple. However, following an impromptu visit to Southport Superbikes I saw my F800r sitting there with panniers, ABS, heated grips, Acropovic can, BMW rear raxck etc, etc..... I took it for a test ride and what a surprise! O.K. so it's never going to be 'set your pants on fire' fast, but how fast do you want to go on a naked bike - believe me, 133mph is quick enough when your head is bouncing around in the wind!! All I will say is if you're thinking about it, give it a go - you might like it!! ;-)

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 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great all-rounder

04 January 2010 by Fenderdog

@owensj Your review is so over the top and such a fabrication that I really have my doubts about your intentions. Let me tell you that I did make several test rides and have a completely different experience. The bike is very smooth, comfortable... Read more and easy to ride. Great fuel economy. At the end I did not yet go for it ($$), but its absolutely #1 at my shortlist.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
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 5 out of 5
Read all 12 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued -
New price £7,595
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 12 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
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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