BMW F800S (2006 - 2010) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
… 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.
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.
|Engine type||8v, parallel twin, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Aluminium beam|
|Fuel capacity||16 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||38 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£250|
11 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||84 bhp|
|Max torque||59.5 ft-lb|
|Top speed||140 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||12.1 secs|
|Tank range||135 miles|
Model history & versions
2006: BMW F800S Model launched, along with the BMW F800ST (sport touring) version. ABS available for both motorcycles as an extra.
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.
Owners' reviews for the BMW F800S (2006 - 2010)
28 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Annual servicing cost: £60
Beautiful to look at, lovely torque curve. Yes, I would recommend to a friend. I love this bike but it always tests my commitment in hot weather. It's so comfortable and goes beautifully when it goes properly but when you're filtering down a crappy motorway tailback on a hot weekend in July the last thing you need is the problem described in the next section.
A bit snatchy but that's a modern bike with all the electronics and EFI isn't it? It's very easy to ride, almost too easy as it leans almost too easily into bends. I think that's why it's considered a good first big bike, low centre of gravity with under seat tank, but by no means a novice bike only. I've been riding for well over 30 years and though it's a bit disconcerting around bends sometimes compared to my old ZX9R, it's always a pleasure to ride, it's up to the rider to master isn't it? :-)
Nice torque curve, uses a good range of power. Love it!
Still looks beautiful after 10 years but quite often, in hot weather, it'll go for miles on the A and M roads but then when you slow down for a break or to exit the main road, it just loses power and then dies! MAJOR ISSUE!!! I bought it for renowned BMW reliability and good looks, a classic, in my opinion. But this issue is a pita! It dies, you switch off and on again then lo it starts up again, it'll go for another few miles without issue, then dies again! filling up to a full tank of super unleaded helps but it will still die again albeit quite a few more miles further on down the road. I think that there is a resolution but I'm yet to try it. I think it's to do with the airflow management but needs to be tested.
The cost includes, oil, air filter, oil filter and spark plugs. The coil removal tool is a one off £12.00 but not essential. Not too expensive and certainly not difficult to service myself. DO NOT use a BMW service centre! No need to be scared of the electronics as they're the most reliable aspect of this bike. Easy service and about 58 miles to the gallon. Belt is good though I did snap one whilst giving it the beans one time last year, but it was probably the original at about 40K miles. It was easy and not too expensive to replace compared to a decent chain and sprocket set.
Great! Great to have a gear selector monitor and particularly the tyre pressure monitors, I wish we both of those years ago.
Buying experience: Easy
Annual servicing cost: £500
I want a bike that makes me want to ride it. This bike makes me want to ride it!
I've not taken it on a track, so my rating is for the road only. I weigh about 10 st and just find this thing to be so precise. It's really easy to manoeuvre in town and in the twisties at speed. The riding position for me is super comfortable. I regularly do 2 hour stints before a break and have no issues. Taller riders (I'm 5' 8"), or those who have already given up on life and who like tourer style riding positions, may find the foot-pegs a bit high. I found once I got used to them, comfort was excellent.
It's punchy, tractable and willing. It has all you need for the road and because you can use a lot of what it has, rather than a tiny % of some "super" bikes, it makes you feel totally Barry Sheene!
Owned for 2 years so far and approx. 18,000 miles and the only thing that has gone wrong is a broken horn wire. I do keep the bike garaged, so that helps, but it's ridden all year, all weathers.
A BMW garage will charge around £750 for a (do everything) 24,000 mile service! It includes valves, belt drive replacement and brake fluid replacement; but even so that's a lot of money. Most jobs are easy ish enough to do yourself, or find a good non-franchised dealer for much better value. I changed the belt myself which was easy, although the cush drive rubbers are a bit of a faff. If you are not too well off for tools/ confidence in doing your own servicing then an independent dealer should charge reasonable amounts as these are not particularly high spec/ difficult to work on. I do most things myself, so it's super cheap to run.
It's got heated grips, a clock and a fuel gauge; that's all I need or want. Thankfully there is no traction control/ launch assist/ pit lane help etc, so you can be sure it's you riding the bike and not some software engineer sitting in Munich!
Buying experience: Bought from a dealer on Ebay without viewing first. I had recently ridden the newer GT version though, so knew I was going to like it. I haven't regretted it one bit.
Version: Review is for a 2012 F800ST, which isn't on this list for some reason
Light, decent handling bike let down by every other aspect.
Brakes are good. Front forks too soft. Lots of vibrations. Only comfy for about an hour at a time.
Puncy engine, but lots of vibrations...and not nice vibrations like a V twin...horrible, shake parts loose type of vibrations.
Worst build quality of any bike I've owned. Engine paint flaking off; considerable amounts of rust on various fixings; corrosion of mirror stems; oil cooler heat exchanger corrodes, causing it to leak. Belt drive failed at 20k miles (stripped teeth).
Dealer servicing costs very expensive. Reasonably easy to DIY service. 56mpg average.
Heated grips work well. Indicator switches are different to most other bikes and take some getting used to. I had to fit a higher touring screen to avoid uncomfortable wind buffeting.
A very good back-to-biking/1st big bike. On the other hand, competence does not equal brilliance and there are are few irritations. Therefore, it gets a better than average grade, but I would give it 3.5 out of 5 if I could.
Gears are very clunky, and around town its a top-heavy pain. But on a winding road up the mountains with the revs at 4.5k +, its good fun and zips past the traffic without fuss or bother. For the daily commute (35 km) it works very well for winding through slow moving motorway traffic, 3rd - 4th gear rolling past semi-stationary cars, with abs when someone lurches across lanes without indicators. On the odd day when the motorway is not overcrowded, it rolls along easily and comfortably at the limit (120 km/h) and in Germany on the autobahn it can do much more.
It is a modestly powered vertical twin. Smoother than some but nothing remarkable. And it is NOT a BMW engine. Built by Austrian company Rotax. Good solid, etc, but nothing amazing.
Stock battery had a short life - despite following all the rules. Apart from that, the indicator stalks are very fragile and snap off easily, especially in the cold when the plastic becomes very brittle and you need to check the bolts holding the fairing together as they can become loose. These are small (but irritating) details and the engine, drive belt, etc, all behaved perfectly.
I live in Switzerland so my running costs are not much use to anyone. But for the record, the local garage services the bike each year for CHF400 standard service, petrol consumption is 3.8-4.2 l per 100 km, and I do 15k km per year.
Discounts for Switzerland mean BMWs are not as daftly prices as elsewhere. Also the dealers are faster to offer additional discounts. So led indicators, heated grips, bag holders, etc are all available for not too expensive and it holds its value very well compared to most other bikes.
Buying experience: Bought from dealer Chuard Motos in Geneva. Very competent, friendly, helpful, etc.I get it serviced in a local non-BMW garage because its closer and easier to get to.
Annual servicing cost: £200
This bike is quite economical on fuel, I get about 65 mpg. The mirrors are poor and need extenders. I would not recommend this bike to my worst enemy, let alone a friend. BMW's are not as well made as they used to be.
The standard seat is OK for about 200 miles. Which is about what you get from a tank of fuel. The pillion footrests are too high. Why do most bike designers think that all pillions are contortionists?
The engine is quite punchy and you don't have to rev it too hard. But the gearbox is quite notchy, I had trouble selecting 6th gear. The BMW dealer replaced some of the outer selector mechanism under warranty. It made a slight improvement, but only for a few hundred miles. I now don't use the clutch when changing from 5th to 6th. This has resolved the problem completely.
Most of the paintwork on this bike is powder coated. I used ACF50 all over this bike. But after 1 year, had replaced under warranty, the swing arm, both footrest plates, both mirrors, and the horn, plus half the engine screws because of corrosion! The sump and centre stand now both need to be done, plus more screws are going rusty! :-(
I would like to service this bike myself. But you need a GS-911 gadget to reset or adjust the service reminder etc. This costs £250! One for a car costs about £35. It seems that if you own a BMW, people think you're loaded.
This bike is a good all rounder and good on fuel. But a hugger and fender extender are a must. Although you will have to strengthen the underside of the front mudguard because its too flimsy. When you go over bumps, the fender extender hits the tyre and it sounds like the headrace bearings are shot. The OE Bridgestone Battleaxe tyres were rubbish! Poor grip in the wet and a short life too, I replaced them with Avon 3D-XM, which the front lasted 10,000 miles, the rear has still got a few thousand miles left.
Buying experience: I bought a black Touring model new in 2012 from my local BMW main dealer and got a small discount. I wanted a lupin blue one, but this was a £300 option! Now different colours are a no cost option.
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 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.
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.
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 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...
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 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!
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 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.
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 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.
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. 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.
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 believe what a brilliant package Bee Em have come up with.
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 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
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 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.
On my second f800 now, First did 21,500 miles went down to south of Morocco on an "S" model kitted out, 67 mpg in all weather and climate. Unfortunately had a head on crash 2,100 miles from home, bike saved me, no injuries but after riding it all way home it was written off,(100 pc to Carole Nash). Now on second bike, f800st, same attributes, very safe and comfy and very economical. Have you noticed what high mileages owners of this model cover?
We have got a 800ST for our mobile service engineer and we have had it for 2 months,so far we have been averaging 60+MPG and on a metzler Z6 rear we got just over 7000 miles!great bike,great handling,very cost effective
It had been 25 years since owning my last motorcycle. I had always wanted a BMW so I started to do some homework. I read all the reviews of the different BMW bikes. I wanted a motorcycle that was fun to rideand easy to handle, it had to have many safety features I was looking for (ABS, self-canceling turn signals). I wanted it to be smooth, reliable and great on gas. Well, I found the perfect bike, a 2007 BMW F800S. It is all of those things and more. It is also sporty. I even added the side bags and top case for touring. This bike is a dream. It is VERY comfortable as well. It gets great gas mileage. The specs say 38 mpg, but I get 60 mpg doing 70 mph. If I get on it I still get high 40's to low 50's. It handles like a cat on carpet. Love the torque curve on this bike, not too touchy, very smooth and fast. If you are looking for one GREAT motorcycle the F800 is is a very terrifc motorcycle. I can't stay off it :-).
I have owned the bike now for over a year and have done over 9000 miles across europe, a few 9 hr days and its done everything I have asked of it, great tourer, I wont be selling it !!
What a rush. When you hit 5-8k revs from 2nd to 3rd to 4th and are doing a fair whack in the blink of an eye, you know you made the right choice. I bought a one year old S version, and bought full luggage kit to boot. Tob box is small which is annoying (had old givi E52 on my old SV). Engine cuts out when you whang the throttle open at traffic lights, or popping the revs to hold your balance at low speeds - can be VERY annoying and embarrasing. Customer service is fantastic.
I've had my F800s nearly a year now and i love it more and more every time i go out for a ride. Stick it in fourth gear on a nice sweeping country lane and you can just play with the throttle as the response from the sublime parallel twin engine gives you so much feed back. Just fitted a skidmarx double bubble screen and an akrapovic exhaust. The screen is a massive improvement over the stock version and the exhaust gives the bike a little more punch with a great sounding note. I have also found the the new exhaust has cured the low speed stuttering that i used to get. I use this bike all year round and find it can handle anything i ask of it. Great value too.
It's not perfect. I agree with all the positive comments so far, but must say 1) the gearbox is sh*te, 2) the ST screen directs wind (and flies) straight onto your visor and the noise even at modest speeds can be deafening - and yes I wear plugs, 3) 2nd gear roll-on/off is snatchy as hell. However, I commute 60 miles per day with plenty of overtakes and still average 66 mpg!
Tried the ST preferred the S. Can ride it like a tourer or sports bike. First bike from direct access - 4500 miles in 4 months, 63 mpg, £250 insurance - no oil added. Goes and corners better than I can - don't think I'll reach its limits any time soon. Definitely recommended for first medium/big bike.
Top bike. Quality build, fantastic ride. Just going in for a 6k service after 6 months. I find it an easy commuter bike, superbly balanced and easy to flip around. Gearbox and drive pulley mods are essential [warranty]. Highly recommended.
I bought this bike new two months ago and currently I would not exchange it for anything else. It is a joy to ride. Twisty roads are a delight. And it's rather eye-catching if you like that sort of thing. Still running it in and it's getting better! <br>Strengths: It has splendid balance. I swear it could stand up on its own without a side stand. Light and manoeuvrable. Much torque. Weaknesses: Very minor weaknesses like uncertain first to neutral, false neutrals - the usual!
This is a fantastic bike and you're getting a lot of quality and value at a pretty decent bike (especially for BMW). If you've never been interested in the usual BMW motorbikes than I would recomend taking a look at this one before your next buy - it's not what you would expect. It's great fun to ride, solid and very stable on the road. Strengths: The best part is it's low down torque that just pulls and pulls when you open the throttle - a wonderful feeling! Weaknesses: If only it had full fairing for less cleaning...
Comfortable, powerful with bags of torque and useful computer readouts.Characterful sound. I just love this bike. It's forgiving way of handling has helped me after such a long time away. Had ABS, centre stand, computer trips and panier mounts added. Strengths: Engaging looks, torque, quality and comfort. Weaknesses: Fairing and screen could give better protection. Expensive add ons.
<p><br><br>Strengths: Great handling, superb engine, easy to handle. Weaknesses: Wind protection from screen is poor at motorway speeds. Mirrors are almost useless.</p>