BMW F800S (2006-2010) Review

Published: 22 November 2006

"A bike you could learn to ride on yet keep and enjoy"

BMW F800S motorcycle review - Riding

"A bike you could learn to ride on yet keep and enjoy"

  • At a glance
  • 798cc  -  84.5 bhp
  • 38 mpg  -  135 miles range
  • Low seat height (820mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

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

 

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 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.

Engine 4 out of 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.

Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5

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 & Running Costs 4 out of 5

… 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 group: 11 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 5 out of 5

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.

Owners' Reviews

23 owners have reviewed their BMW F800S (2006-2010) 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 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4.6 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.2 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.2 out of 5
Equipment 4.4 out of 5
3 out of 5

poor reliability and service

27 May 2014 by leighvaughton

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... Read more 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.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

F800ST beamerbrian

25 March 2014 by beamerbrian

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. Read more

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

Very good overall...

05 October 2011 by Andy949494

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... Read more 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...

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 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

Light and Perky

04 August 2010 by nss5pjs

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... Read more 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!

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 3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Hmmm

13 March 2010 by Anonymous

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... Read more 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.

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

Nice bike, shame about the build

18 November 2009 by foulis

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... Read more 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.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

BMW's best kept secret

21 October 2009 by Graphitan

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.... Read more 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.

Overall Rating 5 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 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

ST version

06 August 2009 by andy938

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... Read more believe what a brilliant package Bee Em have come up with.

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 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

my f800st

05 May 2009 by justpassedmetest

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... Read more 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

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

Ticks all the boxes

02 February 2009 by beegrich

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... Read more 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.

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 4 out of 5
Read all 23 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2006
Year discontinued 2010
Original price £7,450
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 11 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 84.5 bhp
Max torque 59.5 ft-lb
Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.1 secs
Average fuel consumption 38 mpg
Tank range 135 miles
Specification
Engine size 798cc
Engine type 8v, parallel twin, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium beam
Fuel capacity 16 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 182kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload and rebound
Front brake Twin 320mm discs
Rear brake 265mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17

History & Versions

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.

Photo Gallery

  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Engine
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Engine
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Instruments
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Engine
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Engine
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Instruments
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Riding
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Side view
  • BMW F800S motorcycle review - Side view
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