MCN Fleet: Adventure on your doorstep on the F800GS

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After spending a day learning to ride off-road at the Adventure Bike Academy previously, my next long-term adventure with my BMW F800 GS started on the doorstep of Snowdonia’s National park.

With nothing but my GS, a tent and the bare-necessities strapped to my bike, I took a gamble on the weather and set off for some camping and riding through the Welsh mountains.

As soon as I reached the picturesque landscapes and tucked the GS through the national park, I came to the realisation that the bike was absolutely made for these roads.


It isn’t intimidating in the slightest, yet it gives enough back to leave you feeling satisfied with each ride. It will quite happily go anywhere, do nearly anything you ask of it and I’ve yet to find it limited in any capacity to my everyday riding in normal conditions.

After tackling the Adventure Bike Academy, I left the GS in Enduro mode and have done ever since. It reduces the interference from the ABS and gives a much better feeling form the brakes. I found myself exploring every crevice and opening I came across, discovering some glorious roads (and tracks) in the process. Stumbling across the B4407 and B4391, I ended up having some of the most fun I’ve had in years. With minimal traffic given the glorious weather and beautiful sweeping bends, the GS was in its element.

Pure bliss

Camping under Mount Snowdon was absolutely spectacular and waking up there was good for the soul, it definitely beats most places I’ve stayed. The best part was that it cost next-to-nothing too.

When packing-up, I found the expandable panniers to have ample space for my everyday essentials when coupled with a 40-litre Givi roll bag that housed my compact tent, roll matt and sleeping bag.

Get a grip

The Continental TKC70’s that I’ve been previously struggling to get on with began to make a lot more sense to me too. They feel unstable at high speed, especially with the panniers fitted to the GS and I would definitely not recommend them for commuting on. But for use on gravel tracks and for my trip through the Welsh Mountains they coped a lot better than I expected, finding decent grip where I thought there would be none and remaining stable under 80mph.

After three-days of pure bliss, reality began to sink-in as I headed back home, despite wanting my excursion to last forever. However, discovering the B4391 on my way back was a good farewell bid and made it a certainty that I will return soon. Thank you Wales, it was brilliant.

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James Archibald

By James Archibald

Former MCN Junior Web Producer