RideApart Review: 2013 BMW F800GT

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When BMW introduced its midsize sports tourer the F800ST in 2006 it immediately sparked a debate amongst owners and aficionados as to what exactly it was. Some felt there was too much emphasis on sport and too little on its tourer abilities. Nobody, it seems, could really agree on the what it was, including BMW. So, to settle the matter ST has been kicked into touch and replaced by the 2013 BMW F800GT. New look, a little more power, a different riding position, plus a host of improved technical changes and a huge list of accessories. Has BMW done enough with the F800 GT to create a proper midsize Sport Tourer?

What’s New
First off, the new F800GT (Grand Tourisimo) is not just a rehash of the ST. On the face of it the changes may only look skin deep but some of them really do go a further than just that.

In a typically German approach to efficient engineering, BMW methodically went back over the ST and ditched a lot of things it (and its customers) really didn’t like. Gone is the ST’s fairing, seating position, suspension settings and overall riding performance that veered towards the sporting and less to the touring.

BMW has up-rated almost everything else that it kept and then added a whole bunch of technical improvements to help propel the F800GT back into the midsize sport touring sector as a serious contender.

So what makes a GT different from an ST?

The F800GT still uses the same 798cc water-cooled, DOHC, parallel-twin engine, but its fuelling has been re-mapped to produces 90bhp at 8,000rpm. That’s an increase of just 5bhp over the ST. Not an earth shattering change but enough of an upgrade to compliment all of the F800GT’s new features and a slight weight increase over the recently departed ST.

The six-speed transmission that was used on the ST is still in place along with the same ratios, as too is the belt final drive.

There is a also a new exhaust manifold and rear silencer taken from the BMW F800R and some heat shields in the passenger heel area. None of these are massive changes either but maybe in hindsight these are all things that BMW should have considered for the ST at its initial launch.

The light aluminum bridge frame is carried over but BMW has extended the swing arm by two inches for the F 800 GT to improve ride comfort. And the suspension has been tweaked with spring travel reduced by 0.6 inches to 4.9 inches to help stability and sharpen up the ride and reduce any wallowing.

There’s also an easy to get to hand wheel for adjusting the spring mount on the rear strut that is unobtrusive and straight forward to use.

The rear frame on the F800GT has been slightly revised as well to accommodate an increase in load capacity to 456lbs, some 24lbs more than the previous ST.

A big change is adoption of the latest dual channel BMW Motorrad ABS as standard. It’s smaller than the previous generation — around 5lbs lighter according to BMW — and uses an additional pressure sensor in the front circuit to improve performance, but you can’t turn the system off.

The F800GT has a new windshield and a completely re-designed fairing that is wider than the ST’s and offers better weather protection for rider and passenger. And, to our eyes, it makes the F800GT look better and more purposeful. It’s a good-looking bike.

The instrument and switchgear has also been given a makeover with the on-board computer display, previously available only as an option, and electronic bar readings for fuel level and engine temperature now included as standard.

Tank capacity for the F800GT drops a little to 4.0 gallons compared to the ST’s 4.2 gallons. But despite the slight power hike, BMW’s engineers have made the parallel twin engine slightly more efficient and the company claims 69mpg at an average 55mph. That should, in theory, give it a reasonable touring range of 250 miles plus, depending on how you ride.

The top half of the F800GT’s tank, like the ST, is taken up by the induction system, which means gas is still stored under the rider’s seat and in the lower portion of the tank.

With a revised model comes a new color palette but don’t get too excited as there are just three – Valencia Orange and Dark Graphite Metallic. Plus a mundanely named Light White, which we thought looked terrific and really suited our F800GT test bike.

There are also new lighter, re-designed cast aluminum wheels that are an uncomplicated design and look good and are equipped with Continental Tires — 120/70 ZR17 front and 180/55 ZR 17 at the rear.

So in a nutshell that’s the standard 2013 BMW F800GT which replaces the outgoing BMW F800ST.

However, it’s normally only at the end of a review that we start to talk about pricing but at this point we need to get into dollar numbers as it’s important to see what we’re really looking at and riding is not all what it seems.

The good news is that even with all of the new equipment and changes the F800GT comes in at a reasonable base price of $11,890. That’s the exact same price as the outgoing ST.

However, in standard form the F800GT could be something of a rare bike as BMW says it’s expecting more than 70 percent of all sales to include some pretty comprehensive — and pricey — options.

If you want to add BMW’s Comfort Package, which includes heated grips, center stand, on board computer and saddle bag mounts, that sees the price rise by $505. And you’ve still got to buy BMW’s hard bags at $826 a pair to put on it.

BMW is claiming a first in the midsize touring bike sector with Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) available only as an option on the F800GT. It allows you to adjust the rear shock on the move with three choices – ‘comfort’, ‘normal’ and ‘sport’.

You can also tick the options box for the Automatic Safety Control (ASC) that prevents rear wheel spin and is really useful in the wet or bad road conditions and, unlike the standard ABS, it can be turned off. BMW has tied ESA and ASC in with a tire pressure monitor and you can take all three as the Safety Package for $795.

The Ride
The F800GT is a competent and capable motorcycle. BMW has taken the criticisms of the ST to heart and come back with a bike that has better touring capability and increased rider and passenger comfort.

It’s also a blast to ride and makes a lot of sense as an entry level bike for the novice who wants some touring capability, but doesn’t yet need or want all the power of a bigger bike.

Out on the road, the F800GT has a far better riding position than the ST. Compared to the ST, the pegs have been moved 0.4 inches forward and the same amount down so you sit more upright, but it all feels more comfortable and the re-designed windshield and fairing work well too on the freeway and in strong cross-winds.

The parallel-twin engine is no slouch either. It’s not the most powerful motor out there but does have a couple of really good aspects — low down grunt makes it reasonably quick off the line and if you keep the throttle wide open it will keep going all the way up to rev limiter with little complaint. It sounds good too. Gruff at low speeds and pretty raw when you start to press on hard.

The F800GT is a likeable motorcycle to ride. It’s not intimidating and it will pull along in every gear, even in top, at almost anywhere in the rev range. It won’t, though, satisfy the customer who is used to a bigger or more powerful engine in their bike as there’s just 63 lb/ft of torque on offer at 5,800rpm.

That’s probably fine with BMW as those buyers are not the type customer it’s after with this 800 anyway.

On the move the F800GT feels taut and lithe and you can ride it hard and aggressively. Although you would have to be doing something pretty stupid to get the ASC to step in and take over.

But it was definitely nice option to have as we wound our way around the BMW test route outside of Temecula, California on damp roads through morning mist and drizzle.

The route was an assorted mass of different roads surfaces, a few dry river crossings covered in sand and some very narrow, tight twisty roads. Throughout, the F800GT felt composed, stable and never once missed its footing.

Handling is definitely one of the F800GT’s strong points. It’s aluminum frame and wheels have helped to keep the weight down. Even with a full gas tank it comes in at 470lbs, a couple less than BMW’s mid-size ADV bike, the F800GS.

It stops well too, with 320mm twin discs up front and a single 265mm disc at the rear. A good combination when you include the latest BMW dual channel ABS that comes as standard. It’s smooth and progressive and you get none of that feedback ‘chatter’ through the brake lever that you used to expect on earlier ABS.

If you go with the ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) option on the F800GT you can select which suspension set-up you want either to suit your frame of mind or the type of roads you’re riding. At the touch of a switch you can adjust the damping while on the move to alter the rebound stage of the rear spring for ‘comfort’, ‘normal’ or ‘sport’.

For us, it was hard to notice any real difference between the three. So we mostly kept the ESA in ‘normal’ mode and found it to be the best balance for the bike. So ESA is a nice to have rather than an essential and going without it isn’t going to make a huge impact on the F800GT’s ability or the overall ride experience.

In fact, when you’re riding the F800GT, you never feel you’re hauling the bike around and, despite the impression of size with its new fuller faring, it feels agile and light and changes direction far quicker than you think it should or possibly could.

What’s Good
The F800GT is a big step forward by BMW in the midsize sports tourer class. After the launch of the ST, BMW told us it went away and listened to all of its customers’ likes and dislikes about the bike and has come back with a refined, more focused version that seems lights years away from the original ST.

It looks good to us too. It handles well; is fun to ride and is eager and willing. Plus, when you really want to take that long road trip, it can accommodate two people and 22lbs of luggage in each of the hard bags and would have absolutely no problem doing that for mile after mile.

What’s Bad
The F 800 GT is not an inexpensive motorcycle for its class. Nor are the numerous options you can choose to put on it exactly cheap. But there’s a lot to select – everything from a titanium Akrapovic sports silencer at $993 to a center stand at $184.95. Our advice is make your choices wisely and go for the options you only really need on a bike of this type. The aftermarket, too, should quickly have some more affordable accessories.

The Price
In entry-level specification, with ABS as standard and BMW’s three-year warranty, the F800GT, at first glance, seems fairly reasonable at $11,890.

However, on top of this base price we’d take just the standard no cost option seat and then add stability control (ASC), detachable hard case bags and mounts at $1376. That brings the total up to $13,266 for what we think makes the best version of the F800GT for us.

This means the F800GT is several thousand dollars more expensive than anything that the Japanese manufacturers currently have to offer in the midsize sport touring segment.

Compare it also to ADV-style bikes like the $7,500 Honda NC700X or $8,500 Suzuki V-Strom — both also all-day comfy, surprisingly quick and extremely versatile — and it seems even more expensive.

What Others Say
“At times I felt like I was being overly aggressive with the GT, riding it the way it was never designed for, by braking too late and hard into roundabouts, being ham-fisted on the gas to entice the traction control to show its hand and trying to clutch up wheelies but the GT, like a trusting, loyal but slightly dopey dog, didn’t question any of this, it just got on with it.” — Visordown

“After two days in the saddle, the F800GT started to warm on me. As I said at the start, it’s never going to get the adrenaline racing but then it’s never meant to either. It’s a great do out all sports tourer that will be friendly to new riders or offer plenty of bike for more experienced riders too.” — Bennetts

The Verdict
BMW appears to have got the balance right with the F800GT. It has just the right blend of sport and tourer for a motorcycle of this size and type. It also makes a sensible proposition for anyone considering taking up motorcycling for the first time and it even has appeal for the more experienced rider who wants a light, but robust sports tourer that will happily eat up the miles in a no nonsense sort of way. And where this BMW really scores is you’ll have a lot of fun doing that and just getting out there and riding it.

BMW hasn’t changed the world with the introduction of the F800GT but it has upped the game in the midsize sport touring class.

RideApart Rating: 8/10

Gear
Helmet: Bell Custom 500 ($100)
Jacket: Alpinestars Viper Air Textile ($199.95)
Gloves: Alpinestars Scheme Kevlar ($59.95)

Tim Watson is RideApart’s new Cruiser Editor. A veteran of the auto industry, Tim also writes motorcycle travel books. There & Back Again To See How Far It Is tells the story of his travels around small town America on a Harley-Davidson.

  • Stephen Mears

    Nicely done review. Keep them coming. Seems like a very good DD road bike. MPG’S? Valid concern for this segment.

    • Tim Watson

      Thank you Stephenn. BMW is claiming 69mpg at an average 55 mph – so somewhere in the upper 50′s mpg on mixed roads would be my guess.

    • http://www.facebook.com/scott.otte Scott Otte

      I got 54mpg on my F800S. I personally had a very bad experience with this engine, but good gas mileage.

      • http://www.facebook.com/benadbak Benjamin Baker

        I’m still riding my 07 F800S that I’ve had for three years. I average around 62 mpg on trip, right around 55 like you said if I’m in town. I’m also having TERRIBLE experiences with this engine, but the newer F800R I test rode felt like an entirely different machine; especially the revised engine.

        I think it’s interesting they say the new GT has moved away from Sport, but reduced some of the “wallowing”, which is my biggest complaint with the old F800S/T suspension and what really keeps it from being sporty.

        • http://www.facebook.com/Hamburglar4ever Maggio Slooter

          Funny you both mention engine issues. A buddy had one and traded it in to avoid having to repair a 3rd time. He’s glad he traded too,. There are 2 bargain priced S/t’s on local classifieds in my hometown and both need rebuilds.

          • orthorim

            This engine has a really bad reputation I suppose. Friends of mine called it listless and boring compared to the 650cc Versys/Ninja, even though it has more HP on paper.
            Another friend of mine with an F800GS blew out his clutch off road – good fun getting that bike carried out from a remote Jungle path…

            • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1220775270 Christopher King

              I rode the F800 ST when I had a Ninja 650 (now I have 955i) and thought the Ninja could put the motor on it. But I still love that little Beemer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-PSKLgyI0E

        • http://www.facebook.com/scott.otte Scott Otte

          My engine seized and threw me down the freeway.

          • http://www.facebook.com/benadbak Benjamin Baker

            Did you find the cause? Mine seems to be exhibiting the cam chain issues seen in some of the GSes and offroad/snowmobile applications of this engine.

            • http://www.facebook.com/scott.otte Scott Otte

              Nope, I was too busy trying to figure out my life with a broken leg and arm to try and sort out why. Money was stupid tight and not lawyers wanted to talk to me.

              I’ll just never trust a BMW again.

  • BillW

    Nice review, but why is the new Cruiser Editor reviewing a sport-tourer? Since he’s new, we don’t really know whether he has relevant experience.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Tim was just in the right place, at the right time. Experience isn’t something he lacks.

  • TestSalad

    Good review!

  • Stuki

    Had no idea that bike could look so beautiful in white. It’s the Beemer to get for those who don’t mind keeping their bikes clean!

    I got a test ride on one, unfortunately on a non windy day, so I couldn’t verify that it is a substantial step up from the VStrom as far as handling strong crosswinds go. But around a few larger cars, it did feel more settled, as it very well ought to with that long swing arm, forward seat, bigger fairing and more forward canted riding position. The biggest issue people seem to have with the Strom, is buffeting and being forced to slow down in crosswinds, so here is a bike that tentatively solves those problems, yet still weighs the same, hauls the same and has an engine that is a bit stronger and just as flexible (pulled away it top at below 2000 rpm without issue). And at only twice the cost to boot.. :(

    The belt drive line is almost Buell like in it’s complete lack of slack, which is a big plus compared to shaftie Beemers in traffic. Compared to the Buells (at least the 9) in particular, and the ‘Strom as well, there is more compression braking. So even with the taut driveline, it isn’t quite as smooth, easy and comfy flowing in very slow traffic as the Buell, but it’s still nothing like a Boxer Beemer. Also, the engine note is just a drone, with a flat powerband I’m sure any red blooded Ducatisti would consider more boring than a scooter’s. A personal peeve is that it gets vibey on top, so it doesn’t have that endlessly long gears feeling than the Vstrom 650 does, which allows the Strom to be ridden in a low gear for extended periods, to always sit right in the band. On the Beemer, long drones are best done at lower revs, requiring a downshift when you want the full thrust for a spurt. For someone used to driving around in an ITR and an S2000 in 4th on the freeway, that is a bit of a letdown…

    My biggest personal issue with the bike, like with most Beemers, is the darned hug-a-grain-silo width of the handlebar. And on a bike with a slight forward lean to boot. It’s just bloody awkward. (For reference, my all time ideal bike as far as ergonomics goes is the Honda 919.) It’s not quite GS wide, but then again nothing short of a beach cruiser bar Custom is. Also, there’s still not that much room for the legs. Compared to a Vstrom, your knees have quite a bit of bend, although nowhere near as severe as on a Street Triple (or a Supersport).

    Also, I’m not aware of any aftermarket windscreens for it yet, and the stock one was designed in a windtunnel to direct all oncoming air directly at my ear drums, in the Sport Tourer/VFR fashion. Not buffety or anything, just neither at my chest nor above the helmet. I’m sure Parabellum will have a barn door available soon, though.

    And lastly, despite how good this one looks in white in your photos, none of the F bikes feel as “expensive” as the R’s. And even those aren’t all that anymore, as far as tactile feel goes (The new GS feels like a plastic toy. My old GS, the 1150, felt like a Sherman Tank in comparison. As does the Yamaha ‘remake’ of the 1150:) ) Compared to the new, much maligned (but posh, posh, posh) VFR1200, the GT feels like it has been slapped together of Mattel plastics in a low cost country; to be sold at everyday low prices at America’s favorite retailer.

    Anyway, I may still get this bike once the aftermarket puts out a decent windshield for it, and I can find some narrower and slightly lower bars or clipons. Perhaps ST or S leftovers? For hacking through town, and going up to SF (and then hacking through that town), it’s quite a package. Although so would be an ST version of the new Honda 500s, for half the price……..

    • Mark Desrosiers

      That price really is a killer. I’m sure they’ll sell a bunch, but seriously, who would want this over the road-based Tiger 800? Sure, the Tiger doesn’t have electric adjustable suspension, but when the settings don’t even seem to make a difference, what’s the point? Unless you just really have to have a BMW (sorry for the stereotype, but the theoretical wife buying a bike to ride with her Husband’s GS1200), I can’t see either not getting the much cooler Triumph for the price, or getting a Versys/V-Strom/etc for half the price, and blowing the rest on farkles/gear/expensive hookers and scotch.

      • Stuki

        The extremely upright position on adv bikes, doesn’t lend them to sustained high speed work as well as slightly forward leaning ST ergos do. Being a bicyclist, I’m kind of partial to more forward lean. Bolt upright is harder on my aging lower back.

        Also, bolt upright and required fairing clearance for adv bikes’ wide bars and lots of lock, means large distance between fairing/screen and rider. Making wind management more of an issue. Anything less than a barn door, tends to mean the calm bubble behind the screen is collapsing into buffeting before it hits the rider.

        And, with the rider sitting upright, behind a fairing that allows him to relax completely when wind comes head on; if a gust comes from the left, the potato sack rider will be knocked to the right. At which point the natural reaction is to pull himself straight by pulling on the left bar. Which will lean the bike more right……… Negatively dampened response to crosswinds of the rider/bike complex, in technical jargon :) The Vstrom with a decent windscren, and the GS (absent Aeroflow fairing at least), are both susceptible to this. Once the fairing is big enough, no amount of crosswinds will reach the rider anyway, although above some size, the fairing itself will start meaningfully acting as a sail.

        With narrower, lower bars offering less leverage to yank on, and canting the rider closer to the fairing, crosswind effects are smaller. Which is relaxing when hauling though the desert in a serious blow. Or even just up though the Central Valley, late for a boring meeting in San Jose. The R1100/1200S is a train in crosswinds compared to their GS counterparts, for example; despite much more aggressive geometry.

        Which is why I’m seriously considering this GT instead of Stroms and Tigers, despite the seemingly somewhat out of whack pricing.

        • http://twitter.com/Daviddotzip David

          *I prefer the aerodynamics of a sport tourer like the F800GT to that of adventure style bikes like the vstrom and tiger*

          Fixed it for ya.

          • Stuki

            ……on open roads in the wind, at least.

        • Mark Desrosiers

          All valid reasons. I’ve had limited experience on Adv bikes, though I’m looking at old tigers for a new ride (decent 955cc ones for about $4k!), so that’s an interesting concern. I do don’t really do dirt, I like like the touring capacity of the tall-rounders.

          • Tyler 250

            Valid, but not terribly significant, based on my experience. I ride a Tiger 1050 with a short windscreen and I don’t have any problems with the wind or riding position. I came from an old BMW sport-tourer and the Tiger is more all-day comfortable, for sure. I don’t feel like I get blown around any more than on any other bike and I don’t feel like a sack of potatoes in the seat. I don’t think the 800 is any more upright than the 1050. The pegs are a little further back, but the reach to the bars is the same.

  • Versys Jake

    I can’t tell if you are being serious with that helmet/jacket combination?

    • HammerheadFistpunch

      You’d think that after that C90 review, they’d take advantage of the plethora of fine headwear available to HFL/RideApart Co. Inc.

      Or it’s all just an elaborate troll. Either way, I lol’d too.

      • jp182

        Well, I think that they try and wear different gear for every review so they give impressions on it later. I doubt they would wear some of this stuff on a day to day.

  • Cameron Rogers

    So you mention cheaper Japanese competition, but what bikes in particular are you referring to? I have a VFR800 and I’m seriously eyeing this BMW, but I can’t think of any other sport-touring bikes that are ideal for splitting lanes besides the VFR800 and the F800GT.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Ninjas 650 and 1000, Honda NT700V, Suzuki V-Strom, Honda NC700X, Kawasaki Versys, Triumph Tiger 800.

      • Stuki

        And the VFR1200. Everyone rags on it, but if you don’t mind the weight of the 800, I doubt you’ll mind the 1200. All the extra pounds seem to have gone waaay low, in the shaft conversion or somewhere. Compared to the GT, both VFR’s are overweight, gluttonous (for gas) pigs, however. Nice, smooth engines though. And oozing of tactile feel that the GT can’t match. Going from the VFR1200 to the GT, and being told they cost about the same, you almost feel the Beemer dealer is insulting your intelligence. But then you ride them, and in almost all scenarios, the VFR is complete overkill, while the GT is just about right. Or at least less overkill.

        Or, you can get the new ZX1400 and have it stolen, like everyone else :)

        Suzuki could make an incredible solo sport tourer off of that Vstrom 650 motor, if they could only be bothered. Come to think of it, the GSX1250 Abs they sell is another option. Never ridden one, or even sat on one, bu it looks neat on paper if big bore power is acceptable. An ST version of the new Honda 500s would be cool, too.

        • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

          Shamu is awful. 470 to 591lbs is a huge leap and $16k is a huge price premium.

          • Stuki

            The 800 couldn’t have been that much lighter than 591 (I didn’t know the 1200 was that heavy. Doesn’t feel like my preconception of a 600lb bike. Compared to an FJR, it feels like a 600.)

            But compared to the GT, the 800 was a pig as well.

            And, while Beemers go for MSRP or so, unpopular Hondas go for below invoice, to put it mildly. Coming up with use cases where even a discounted 1200 is the optimal use of bike funds, ain’t easy, though. Perhaps if you live 2-3 hours east of the Rockies, and your riding consist of droning to the mountains, riding twisties for a few hours, and then droning home? Replace the Rockies with the Alps, and perhaps it makes more sense, for more people, in Europe…..

            • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

              If your riding includes twisties at all, ever, then you definitely don’t want a VFR1200.

            • Kevin

              Wet weight on the VFR800 is about 525 pounds.

    • Kevin

      My main bike is the VFR800 (2007), and I test rode the F800GT a couple of weeks ago out of curiosity. It feel much lighter than the VFR, but get on the F800GT and you’ll appreciate what an absolute gem of a motor you’ve got in that VFR. The F800′s parallel twin gurgles, groans, drones and vibes, none of it in a particularly pleasant way, at least not to me. at 65 on the freeway I tried kicking up a gear to reduce the vibes, and I was already in 6th. That would be a big problem for me.

      Wind noise is about on par with the VFR. The ergos were better if you prefer the more upright riding position, but you can get bar risers and peg lowering kits for the VFR that gets you pretty close.

      I was actually really disappointed overall because the rest of the package is really attractive–ergos, handling, convenience, controls, all really nicely done for the price point. It’s just that motor… couldn’t abide with it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1220775270 Christopher King

        I kind of feel you… I ride a Gen2 Sprint 955i but I love the Rotax BMW. Just couldn’t get rid of the Triumph for it though, too hooked on that motor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tketteridge Tim Ketteridge

    “” kicked into touch “”

    Great to see a Rugby reference, do you play?

    • Tim Watson

      Used to – I’m an old geezer now.

  • G D

    I recently put around 500 miles on the F800GT and found it to be fun and uncomplicated to ride on sinuous back roads. It’s got pretty close to the right amount of power; any less and it would feel slow, any more and it would tax the chassis and suspension too much. The wide bars makes the bike dart in and out of turns like a lightweight adventure tourer.

    It seemed a bit buzzy at high revs, but it got better as I put more miles on it. I wish it had more legroom, but that’s the fault of my arthritic knee more so than the bike’s.

    BMW bags are pricey, but super high quality pieces so you won’t feel buyer’s remorse after paying for them.

    On the highway, I ride like an asshole but I still averaged just under 50 mpg. If I could ride more like a mid-level jerk, I think I’d get around 55 mpg. This impressed me greatly.

    Overall, I’d say it’s a well-made machine and worth its price. I wouldn’t consider buying a Ninja 650 or V-Strom 650 over the Beemer just to save some money. They’re so cheaply put together I would curse myself repeatedly for focusing on price more than quality. But I’m older and a bit more affluent than I once was, so compromising quality for price isn’t my thing anymore. Your budgetary requirements may dictate otherwise, though.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001888346947 Michael Martin

    Looks like a good bike for loop like touring from home, about 100 mile out and back, plus city riding. Honda beats it to death on pricing with their NC700X by thousands of dollars! The BMW looks better but not $4000.00 better.

  • karlInSanDiego

    Nice Review Tim. Very comprehensive. This line, “It’s also a blast to ride and makes a lot of sense as an entry level
    bike for the novice who wants some touring capability, but doesn’t yet
    need or want all the power of a bigger bike.” reminds me of my constant rant to all who will listen: Why does anyone need more than [insert middleweight displacement here]cc’s? Seems like 800cc is a LARGE bike by anyone’s standard outside of the USA, land of the giant heavy bikes. Also 800cc’s is huge displacement for a novice, but BMW doesn’t really do small displacement and this is their second smallest motor. Bimmer riders are usually not pulling wheelies on the 405, so why don’t they downsize their entire line and save their riders even more fuel? Just an industry peeve, and and BMW’s at the sharp end of import bloat.

  • Trevor2

    I am looking to replace my 10-year old Honda Deauville (NT650V) with a similar size touring bike that has ABS. The BMW F 800 GT seemed to tick the boxes for an affordable, low weight, comfortable and under 1000cc touring bike, which didn’t have a high maintenance chain drive. So I had a test ride and was impressed with the power, rider and pillion seat comfort, optional detachable panniers, instrumentation and re-assurance of having ABS. However I would like to see a lower 1st gear for riding in slow traffic, a higher screen to direct the air over my helmet, a top box to hold 2 helmets, and higher handlebars to take the weight off my wrists. However I am a bit concerned about the reported lack of reliability of BMW motorcycles.

    • http://RideApart.com/ Wes Siler

      Just get a V-Strom 650 ABS, bolt on a Scottoiler and call it a day.