2009 BMW F800GS: Initial Report

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We went to the Sierra Nevada for the Adventure Rider Challenge this past weekend and spent an afternoon with the 2009 BMW F800GS in some of the harshest terrain in North America. We don’t think the bike could possibly be more amazing.

Click below for the feature:
Initial Report: 2009 BMW F800GS

  • generic1776

    While it may be grammatically incorrect, the Sierra Navada mountain range is often referred to as “the Sierras” or “the Sierra Nevadas”, pluralizing the name (although this may be technically grammatically incorrect, its what the region is called).

    If you wanted to refer to an area like the Mojave Desert in a regional term, you can call it “the high desert”.

    I don’t think I have ever heard anyone say “we went to the Sierra Nevada”. The phrase just sounded a bit off, like someone saying “we went to the Disneyland”.

    I can’t wait to hear the full report!

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Sometimes colloquialisms are best ignored and proper names used for those unfamiliar with the region. Not everyone lives in Southern California.

      • generic1776

        There are only two kinds of people, those that live in SoCal and those that want to live in SoCal. (and while they hate to admit it, this is true of people living in NorCal and NY as well.)

  • geonerd

    i wonder do the contents of your left side bag get cooked from the heat of the exhaust. i doubt you’d want the pipe any lower on a bike like that, so i understand why it’s there, i’m just imagining everything in that bag getting quite warm.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      Stock exhausts runs so cool these days you can put your bare hands on them, I can’t imagine much heat transferring from a warmish canister, through a centimeter of air, then through .5cm of plastic.

  • http://ohoh2.blogspot.com/ doubleoh2

    Thanks for such a positive report on the F8GS. The forums are full of mixed reports about the performance of the first model of this bike but there is one underlying constant: it’s a helluva lot of fun. It certainly fills out my criteria for my next bike, except for the lack of customising opportunities…

  • dave

    Very cool pic. The gs series is so good looking IMHO.

    doubleoh2 “customizing opportunities”??? What do you want? A harley?
    It is a dualsport. ALso try touratech for about a billion things to do to these BMWs

  • ISellMotorcycles

    Those hillclimbs in the background look like fun.

  • v

    i like it,like it a lot,i expect(hope) that the price will be even lower here in europe,personally i would preffer this to it’s bigger and heavier brother,another reason that i like the bmw is that they have a very good dealer/service coverage over here,basicly you can order parts and have basic tune-up done at every BMW car dealership,an owner told me that the dealerships need to have some basic bmw parts in stock even if they don’t sell motorcycles,so they are more than willing to sell parts like filter,oils,bolts even cheaper than list price just to clear inventory
    two questions
    1)how did the engine do in such an extreme enviroment?
    2)how tall is the rider in the initial report picture?

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      I’m 5’11″ and the engine did fine. It still put off some heat, but so does any engine making thousands of explosions per minute in extreme heat. In other words, nothing outside the norm.

  • Todd Andersen

    Spoiled executives? I wish…

    We actually ride all of the GS’s, including the 800. The F 800 GS is our middle-weight dual sport and it’s positioned as the most dirt-capable bike in the GS line. We don’t really consider it an entry-level bike as it’s a bit tall for most new riders because of its off-road focus. The F 650 GS and G 650 GS are better entry-level choices because of their lower seat heights and tamer power delivery.

  • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

    Spoiled executive is code for jealous journalist, Todd. And according to me, any executive who gets to have HP2 Sports and prototype S1000RRs sitting around the office is clearly spoiled.

  • http://pervasivelight.com/blog/ dave

    It handled my Crooklyn to Midtown commute for 8 months like a champ. That’s some harsh terrain.

  • http://www.bikeexif.com Chris Hunter

    Some other folks aren’t too taken with the GS.


    • Core

      That was pretty funny.

  • Dan

    Maybe a silly question:

    If the power/weight ratio is the same for the 800 and 1200, what is the advantage of the bigger bike?

    I thought that maybe the extra mass would calm things down at speed, but on a bike designed to be taken off piste, that doesn’t seem like a good value proposition.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Grant Ray

      Dan, I didn’t spend a terribly long amount of time on the two of them, but from my experience the R1200GS tracks better due to the weight and has tons of low-end to mid-range usable torque.