BMW F700GS (2013 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£160|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
If you want something light and easy to ride, which makes a great commuter and is backed up with excellent ABS then your first choice should be the F700GS. It’s not quite as much fun as other middleweight adventure bikes, but it’s a good compromise. The only sticking point is the price. The BMW is the most expensive bike in its class, especially if you start to include all of the extras available. That said, when you do invest in a BMW you are far less likely to lose on depreciation as they tend to hold their value well in the used market.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The GS comes with an excellent chassis that can be ridden surprisingly hard through the corners. It’s so easy to ride fast, or slow, and you can merrily throw it around until the pegs start to scrape. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fare that well over long distances. The standard screen is too low, and the seat is too hard and thin. After 100 miles I was hoping the fuel light would come on so I could get off the bike and have a rest… There is an optional comfort seat and we’d certainly suggest you add it to your spec list.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The new F700GS engine, which confusingly is actually the same 798cc parallel twin as the F650 and F800, has four more bhp compared to the older F650 model thanks to improvements to the cam timing and fueling, which have also improved the amount of torque available. The parallel twin has some punch to it, however it never felt that exciting. Quick yes, and it loves to be revved, but the actual power and speed felt diluted. Competent but lacking a bit of the thrill factor to make it stand out.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The GS is built to a budget, but is still fairly well finished. The engine is solid and is in a very low state of tune.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
It’s more expensive than other middleweight adventure bikes, but is finished better and should hold its value.
The GS only comes with ABS as standard. Electronic suspension, heated grips and traction control are extra.
|Engine type||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 8v parallel twin|
|Frame type||Twin-spar aluminium|
|Fuel capacity||16 litres|
|Front suspension||41mm inverted forks, non-adjustable|
|Rear suspension||Shock, adjustable spring preload|
|Front brake||2x300mm discs. Two-piston calipers. ABS|
|Rear brake||1x265mm disc, one-piston caliper. ABS|
|Front tyre size||110/80ZR19|
|Rear tyre size||140/80ZR17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||65 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||£160|
|Used price||£4,500 - £6,700|
8 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||75 bhp|
|Max torque||57 ft-lb|
|Top speed||105 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||140 miles|
Model history & versions
2008 – BMW launch the F650GS.
The F800R is a naked roadster, F800GS an adventure bike that comes in basic or Adventure format. The F700GT is a lightweight tourer.
Owners' reviews for the BMW F700GS (2013 - on)
6 owners have reviewed their BMW F700GS (2013 - 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£160|
This is the third one of these bikes I've had. I keep returning because it does both short (local rides) and long journeys (e.g. York to Russia) so well, it is very economical (200+ tank range), it is relatively light (209kgs), and reliable (except for one of the bikes needing a new clutch/gear-box - under warrantee). It could do with more top-end power but it overtakes quickly and smoothly. BMW's Vario luggage is easy to put on and off but too heavy and the left case too small unless opened to it's full extent (which then restricts filtering).
Buying experience: BMW York (Kevin and Martin - okay, and Barry!) provides an excellent service.
I've owned almost every style of bike in my 40+ years of riding, and engine sizes upto 1200cc. 3 years ago i was riding a BMW R1200RT, and although it was a superb bike, it was just too bulky for me. I went to my local BMW dealer and test rode a 1200GS, which i nearly bought until i spotted an F650GS (800cc twin) with very low miles at a very low price (compared to the 1200). A short test ride & the deal was done. Two years later as the used warranty was about to expire i traded the F650GS in for a 2015 F700GS in Matte Racing Blue. The 700 has slightly more power than the 650, better brakes & updated styling, and does absolutely everything I want a bike to do. I no longer need a bike to commute, so now it's just a toy for riding around the fabulous Yorkshire dales. I can't think of any other bike I'd rather have right now.
I have added BMW's excellent comfort seat, hence 5 stars. Would have been 3 for comfort with the original item. I've also added 30mm handlebar risers & a slightly taller screen, these alterations have hugely improved the ride quality. Brakes are ABS as standard, and perform very well.
The 75bhp is just fine. The Rotax made 800cc parallel twin is a peach. Unlike the newer Chinese made 750/850 GS engines with an 'offset 270degs' crank (to make it feel like a V-Twin), the 700/800GS's use a traditional 180degs crank, making it much smoother. Power delivery is smooth throughout the rev range, it loves to rev & makes a fantastic sound over 6500rpm. I replaced the 17t front sprocket with a 16t, this simple & inexpensive modification transforms the bike. The gears are all a little closer together, which not only improves acceleration, but helps low speed maneuverability, and actually increases the bikes top speed. Mpg is unchanged at a phenomenal 72mpg, Shell V Power is worth every penny.
Never let me down, so far it's been 100% reliable. No signs of any corrosion anywhere. I fitted new chain & sprockets a couple of weeks ago at 10,000miles.
Serviced & mot'd at local BMW dealer yesterday, total cost £158, very reasonable.
Superb handling, always puts a smile on my face. All day long comfort with the minor modifications i have made. Michelin Tourance tyres (the originals, not "Next") suit the bike perfectly, I've tried others & these are by far the best. Mine has tyre pressure monitors, on-board computer, heated grips, ABS, centre stand, all of which are a huge benefit.
Buying experience: Purchased from Allan Jefferies at Shipley. Steve & Simon are a credit to the company, if i ever change, it will be the only place i go.
Excellent first big bike, very easy to adapt to. The price is high but BMW has good financial solutions and the overall quality of the bike (when compared to its competitors) completely justifies it.
Very decent all-rounder, capable of light off-roading and excellent on the road. Very nimble and stable at high speeds. Comfortable, though mine is equipped with the comfort seat (mandatory).
Torquey bike, not much at the top end but pretty consistent up to such point. I don't miss any power on my daily commute, perhaps only on long distance motorway driving. The noise from the stock exhaust is not the best, I must confess.
Excellent finishing details, the bike feels solid as a whole and hasn't give me any reliability problems. The fifth star is missing because of the annoying noise coming from the front brake discs on harsher terrain. You eventually get used to it but at first is really upsetting. BMW says it is normal because of the floating discs, but other bikes with the same feature do not present us with the referred noise.
The annual servicing would depend on the amount of miles you put in. Services every 10.000 kms, between 200 and 300 euros each. 5.0 l/100km.
It is not a "buy-standard" bike. Comfort pack (central stand, heated grips, onboard computer, pannier bars) and the comfort seat are mandatory. You don't really need the upgraded suspension modes and traction control.
Annual servicing cost: £160
Perfect bike if you look at its core - Not great to show-off but it will make you ride more than you were used to do
Must change the standard seat for a comfort seat and put a higher windshield if you ride a lot - Nice all-round bike if you are honest with yourself (i.e. you're buying an ADV bike but you know you will be riding 90% on roads) - Lightweight and very nimble, it could take you from the UK to the Alps in a day and let you party once you get there.
It does a great job - but it is just without character - I still don't understand why they didn't give the 85bhp of the F800GS. Anyway, 75bhp available soon and with a good progression
From a non-BMW fan I have to admit that the standard is high - built to budget, it is still few steps ahead of the competition
Reasonably OK - with 160-180 GBP per annum you can service it - Avoid BMW official dealers though!! There are lots of qualified BMW mechanics to do the job
The panniers are the best ever (in less than 10 secs they are on/off) - not too keen on the ESA but it's a nice-to-have - If you have a chance look for a Scottoiler for the chain
At the time of writing I have done just 250 miles so my comments must be considered within my limited experience of the bike. Overall a great bike as long as you value comfort and quality above outright pants burning excitement. The bike just feels "right".
Usable flickable bike. Great cornering speed and just soaks up road shortcomings. I added the comfort seat which I considered an absolute necessity as the standard seat is too uncomfortable. Comfortable with great high riding position.
More than adequate for my needs with a distinctive buzz over 65mph and nice engine note. Not exciting but just good. My first fill up indicates in excess of 70mpg
Everything screwed nicely together as one would expect. Finish is superb
Relatively expensive to buy although I managed to get a reasonable discount from BMW. The Rallye edition came with nice extras included especially as I did not want the adjustable ride option that I considered to be a gimmick. I bought vario panniers and a high screen via EBay as BMW prices were rather high. To date I have not bothered fitting the high screen as I find the standard small screen adequate for my needs.
I did not bother with the adjustable suspension but the Rallye came with everything I wanted...............centre stand, computer, heated grips and luggage rack. For £100 I added the comfort seat, which was money well spent. It is also very pretty!
Buying experience: BMW dealership was excellent. Informative, helpful, dealt with enquirers efficiently and effectively
This is just a personal opinion and there are many other great bikes out there. For me, this bike fits a great niche who aren't so tall (I'm 5'9" or 1.75m) and like riding a mid-sized machine in a near vertical position. After owning a dozen different bikes, I like this one the best. It's a bit expensive but the selling point for me was the engineering as proven first rate for me and it has excellent handling. Transmission is smooth, balance spot on, and enough power for two-up riding. The engine pulls nicely and is plenty enough for me and is flawless in its operation and I have high confidence in its braking capability. My package included all the accessories (Comfort, ESA, ABS, ACS), to include luggage racks, center stand, crash bars, skid plate, oil filer protection screen, a larger windshield, hand guards, mirror extenders, headlight protector and headlight shield, vario panniers and top box, 2.5" or 6.3cm handlebar extender (to get that upright position) and finally the comfort seat (a must for those wanting to ride long distances). I've ridden 6k miles or 9600km on it and remain eager in finding time to ride this machine.