Review date: 7 May 2015
Time used: 2 years, 77,700 km / 48,300 miles
The BMW F800GS is an adaptable and sporty adventure bike, which simply offers the best of both worlds as regards to on and offroad capabilities. It is lighter and slimmer than its bigger brother BMW R1200GS/GSA, but yet very well suited for long distance travel and competent enough to be a reasonable off-roader.
Petra is riding a white 2013 model that has been factory lowered and has a low seat, which gives a seat height of 820 mm. I’m on a 2012 triple black standard bike. Both bikes have the BMW’s aluminium panniers and top box, hand protectors, engine bash plate and crash bars. We have also equipped both bikes with Touratech’s windscreens and Petra’s bike with Touratech’s crash bar extension. Other than that, I recon they are pretty much standard equipped.
For the last couple of years we have, more or less, been riding our bikes every day and accomplished over 77,700 km through 30 countries. During this long distance traveling, on everything from nice newly paved roads to rugged terrain that pushed our bikes (and us) to its limits, it has been surprisingly few issues with the bikes. They have proven to be very reliable and BMW have really succeeded to build and designed a motorcycle that can manage and cope with the tough conditions required for an around the world tour. The only few problems we have had so far are: a couple of fuel pump failures, one fried stator coil and a faulty start button. However, the start button will be replaced for free by BMW according to their servicebulletin ”SI 22/2013”, which we are very happy about. In this context I must also take the opportunity to mention that the support we got from BMW Motorrad Sweden has been absolutely outstanding; instant email reply on any questions we have had, helping out fixing parts we needed, connecting us with the “right” people overseas when required, etc.
Petra and I have never regretted that we chose a F800GS for our around the world trip. Of course it has been moments when I wished my bike was lighter and others when I miss to sit on a super comfy R1200GS/GSA with a big windscreen to hide behind, but in reality it doesn’t exist a perfect bike for an around the world tour. Having said this, I strongly believe that the F800GS is probably one of best option there is on the market for the kind of tripp we are doing. Therefore I can without any doubt highly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a great UNSTOPPABLE adventure bike.
Pros & Cons
- Comfortable to ride long distances on.
- Mechanically reliable and a solid design.
- Tall with high ground clearance.
- 21” front wheel, which make it easier to control when riding off-road.
- Spoked wheels with inner tubes, stronger and less damage when hitting rocks, potholes etc. The rim may bend, but at least they don’t break.
- Heated grips, a life saver up in the Himalayas.
- Good and sturdy luggage system, aluminium panniers and top box.
- Great brakes, ABS
- 85 horses might not sound like much, but its more than enough.
- Relatively affordable adventure motorcycle.
- Last but not least, it has got the look 😉
- Can feel a bit top-heavy on technical and challenging rides. It doesn’t help with all luggage we carry with us.
- Doesn’t come with a center stand on factory lowered bikes (2013).
- The rims are slightly too soft.