The BMW F800GS is virtually unique: a 750/800 class adventure bike, that to most degrees offers the best of both worlds. It was replaced in 2018 by the BMW F850GS. In 2016 we spent a year living with a BMW F800GS - check out the long-term test here.
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. Its main competition comes in the form of the 2010-2014 Triumph Tiger 800.
BMW F800GS updated for 2017
In July 2016 an update was announced for the F800GS. The 798cc water-cooled parallel-twin motor was updated with a new exhaust which also get a new design of stainless steel silencer. An HP sports exhaust made by Akrapovic was also redesigned and was available as an accessory.
The whole F700GS and F800GS and F800GS Adventure range also now got ride-by-wire throttle control of the engine which means they can have rider modes made available. Each bike had the choice of pre-programmed Rain, Road, Enduro and Enduro Pro modes to suit the riding conditions. Enduro and Enduro Pro modes were only available as accessory options on the F800GS and F800GS Adventure models and are intended for lighter and more demanding off-road use.
The entire range gets new instruments which BMW claim are more easily readable. The dashboard also gets a mandatory Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) which warns of something amiss with the engine. Riding mode information is also displayed on the dash too.
BMW F800GS Trophy and Triple Black special editions ridden
Ever since I rode the brilliant Triumph Tiger 800 I've known with complete certainty that it was the best 800cc motorbike on the planet. Until now. Now I'm not so sure. I've just ridden the BMW F800GS Triple Black and F800GS Trophy Special Edition and they're very, very good.
The F800GS Triple Black comes with a deep black paint finish, with fork tubes and rims in anodised black counterpointed nicely by chrome spokes. The frame is granite grey and the swingarm is a colour BMW calls Nurburg Silver.
All this costs £8145 compared to £7950 for the standard model. It's undeniably stylish, but if all that black isn't your thing, a more colourful choice is the £8345 F800GS Trophy, inspired by the biannual GS Trophy enduro event for ordinary riders.
What you get with the Trophy is an aluminium bash plate, handguards with spoilers, a two-tone black and grey seat and a tasty blue and white paint job.
The power delivery in first and second is a mite snatchy until you get used to it, and the nose dives under hard braking. But it's a bike you grow to love very quickly, and before long it's bounding around corners like an excited hound, dragging you with it.
Keep the revs above 4000rpm, crank the throttle and it takes off like a nun on a trampoline. The handling is not quite as precise as the Tiger's, but there's not much in it, and the BMW's lightness and slimness works in its favour when filtering through traffic and manoeuvering at low speed, particularly with a featherlight clutch and steering lock which city commuters will adore.
BMW F800GS 30 years GS
It doesn't take a brain surgeon to work out what this GS was all about: celebrating 30 years of the GS brand. It got BMW Motorrad Motorsport three colour stripe,"30 Years GS" decals on the airbox cover, hand and protectors with stainless steel hoops and bigger spoilers, red seat with embossed GS stamped into it and a tinted windscreen.
Watch: BMW F800GS video review