The BMW F 800 GS – Still the King

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. The F 800 GS is still the king, and for good reason.
By Ben Jackson   November 14, 2017 5:04 pm UTC

There is nothing that compliments an adventurous lifestyle quite like a motorcycle. When you are looking for the ability to commute in the city, venture on dirt trails, and travel long distances on the freeway, you need a certain type of motorcycle. BMW has been known for many years to have some of the best adventure motorcycles on the market.

The F 800 is one of the greatest touring and adventuring motorcycles available to those who want the most out of their motorcycle experience. When it comes to luxury, design, and reliability, BMW has stood out in the crowd for decades. What could be better than having a BMW sedan in your driveway for work and a matching motorcycle for your weekend adventures?

So what makes this bike the undisputed champion?

The Body

As you would expect with any F series from BMW, the 800 has an enduro-inspired design. Your clueless friends might even say, “Oh so you bought a high-powered dirt bike?” – at which point you can laugh in their face, and remove said friend from your life completely for displaying such ignorance. In reality, the F 800 GS is nothing shortly of an incredible looking beast.

Who is this bike for?

Riders who want an almost perfect blend of power and performance, but can’t decide between an offroad or a street bike. Like powerful machines, but also prefer to have flexibility? The BMW F 800 GS is in our opinion, the Range Rover Evoque of the motorcycle world. (Although in fairness my friend told me this was an absolutely wretched comparison). Capable enough when you want to veer right onto a dirt path, but subtle when she needs to be. BMW calls it the “sportiest member of the large GS family“.. which is the result of a marketing meeting that went horribly south and apparently no one realized it.

Function and Capability

If you’ve been graced with an opportunity to ride this bike, you know how amazing of a machine this is. When you’re on the road, it performs like a street bike. With a 798cc engine, the F 800 is capable to get you to and from work. But the real magic of the F 800 is when you take it off road, since it’s designed to do both.

One of the greatest parts of riding a motorcycle is being able to control it much more than you ever would a car. When searching for the right motorcycle, control is key. (If you’re questioning this, do a quick YouTube “motorcycle crash” highlight reel).

Speaking of control though, some have commented that there might be a little too much power in this bike for a pure off road experience.. but then again you’re buying an F 800 and not a dirt bike, so that’s to be expected.

The BMW F 800 gives riders control, power, and excellent design.. all in one package. The versatility of the F 800 means you can tackle all sorts of terrain. Try taking a CBR or anything on gravel and let us know how that goes. Whether your dream is to rip through a patch of desert mountains, or you’re simply navigating rush hour traffic on the freeway, the control of the F 800 will exceed your expectations.

Specifications We Care About

  • Engine: Water-cooled 4-stroke in-line two-cylinder engine
  • Capacity: 798cc
  • Rated output: 63kW (85 hp) at 7,500 rpm
  • Max speed: 125mph (also, what are you doing on this bike at 125mph?)
  • Fuel tank: 4.2 gallons in the base model, 6.1 in the GS Adventure model

Features

  • Rain and Road riding modes come standard on all models
  • ABS comes standard in all trims of the F 800 GS. Thank goodness. Electronic Suspension Adjustment and Automatic Stability Control are available options too
  • If you want to get real fancy, there are additional Enduro and Enduro Pro options to give your bike a little bit more offroad focus

Available Trims

After much debate and discussion, we’ve arrived at the conclusion that BMW is thoroughly trying to confuse the world with the various versions of the BMW F 800. At first glance, it appears that there’s only two versions – the base model, and the Adventure model. But then you start digging a little bit, and you realize that there are actually five marketed trims for the F 800 GS. You’re not confused either right? Good. Okay, here’s what we think we know.. in order of starting price:

*As far as we can tell, the Blackline and Trophy are exclusive to Europe. Sorry America. Oh, to make things even more interesting, the Trophy and Blackline both come available in low suspension (or low seat) models. You’re not confused either right? Good.

The BMW F 800 GS (Base Model)

Price: Starts at $12,795
Includes: ABS, a Rear-Light LED, Rain and Road riding modes, and BMW’s super fancy Ride-by-Wire electronic control system.

The BMW F 800 Blackline*

Price: Starts at slightly more than the base model. Sorry, that’s all we’ve got for you.
Includes: Everything from the base model. Adds heated grips, an on-board computer, a tinted screen, hand guards, and LED indicators. Fairly safe to assume it comes in black.

*Maybe only available in Europe. Probably.

The BMW F 800 GS Trophy Edition*

Price: Starts at slightly more than the base model. Sorry, that’s all we’ve got for you.
Includes: Everything from the base model. Adds heated grips, an on-board computer, hand guards, a racing red frame (if that’s your thing), engine protection bars, and a main center stand.

*Maybe only available in Europe. Probably.

  

The BMW F 800 GS Adventure Edition

Price: Starts at $13,895
Includes: ABS, a Rear-Light LED, Rain and Road riding modes, and BMW’s super fancy Ride-by-Wire electronic control system. The Adventure Edition also adds spoke wheels and pannier fastenings. Because you know, the important the things.

The BMW F 800 GS Adventure Edition TE

TE must stand for Touring Edition right? Or is that a “Travel Equpiment” designation? Right. Okay, glad that’s sorted out.

Price: Starts at slightly more than the GS Adventure Edition. Sorry, that’s all we’ve got for you.
Includes: Everything from the GS Adventure model. Adds Electronic Suspension Adjustment, Pro Enduro/Enduro Pro riding models, Off Road Mode ABS & ASC, a LED Fog Light, and Heated Grips.

The Verdict

Regardless of how you outfit your F 800 GS, the end result is an incredible motorcycle. Less expensive than the R 1200 GS, more capable than the F 700 GS or G 650 GS, the F 800 seems like the perfect dual-sport motorcycle. Looks incredible, and you can take this bike just about anywhere.

If you have fifteen grand in the budget for your next bike, the F 800 should certainly be on your list to check out. The BMW F 800 GS might just be the bike you’ve always wanted.  If it’s our money, we’re getting the Adventure Edition.

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