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BMW F800 GS Adventure2014 review of the BMW F800 GS AdventureBMW F800 GS Adventure - bike review by Craig Marshall
The 2014 BMW F800GS Adventure - the same bike, but better, more features, more comfort, more fuel..... More Adventure
BMW Testing of the new F800 GS Adventure - Dualsport Africa, Craig Marshall
The 2014 BMW F800 GS Adventure

The new BMW F800GS Adventure in
most aspects is the same as before.
However, I really feel the Adventure version has now moved into the realm of
"Pure Adventure Bike"
Straddled up alongside its bigger counterpart, the 1200 GSA - one can see the similarity, and they both look formidable.
Craig Marshall - Rider
BMW F800 GS Adventure 2014
Test Ride Location
Our test ride location for all the technical stuff is as always, the DMTA (Dualpurpose Motorcycle Training Academy) at the Killarney Race Way in Cape Town. Then we moved out into the back tar roads of Contermanskloof and via Durbanville to the glorious Paarl region, up Jan Phillips Drive and onto Paarl Mountains its self.

In the Paarl Mountain Reserve, the gravel is fairly easy going, but there are loads of tight corners and slippery surfaces to give the F800GS Adventure a fair testing.
And not to mention the ridiculous vies from Paarl Rock allowing for photographic splendor.
Highlights of the new BMW F800GS Adventure compared to the standard F800 GS:
~ Based on the same versatile overall concept as the F 800 GS, with powerful twin-cylinder
engine and agile suspension, but with enhanced off-road and globetrotting abilities.
~ Robust and masculine GS Adventure bodywork styling.
~ Balanced proportions, despite large rear tank.
~ Larger, 24-liter fuel tank (+ 8 liters).
~ Extended range (by approx.160 kms).
~ ABS as standard, ASC as a factory-fitted optional extra or as a special accessory.
~ Enduro mode as a new optional extra, in combination with ASC.
~ Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) as a factory-fitted optional extra.
~ Reinforced rear subframe.
~ More comfortable bench seat.
~ Large windscreen.
~ Wide enduro footrests.
~ Adjustable, reinforced foot brake lever.
~ Engine protection bar.
~ Pannier rack also serves as a tank protection bar.
~ Wide range of dealer installed special accessories and factory options.
ASC, ABS control on the fly Automatic Stability Control (ASC)
With "On the Fly" adjustment, riders can easily switch from ROAD to ENDURO mode as the surface changes from tar to gravel or from gravel to sand.....
BMW F800 GS Adventure
BMW F 800 GS Adventure - Specifications 2014
Engine type Water-cooled 4-stroke in-line two-cylinder engine, four valves per cylinder, two overhead camshafts, dry sump lubrication
Displacement 798 cc
Bore x stroke 82 x 75.6 mm
Performance 63 kW (85 hp) at 7,500 rpm
possible reduction: 35 kW (48 hp) at 7,000 rpm
Max. torque 83 Nm at 5,750 rpm
possible reduction: 63 Nm at 4,000 rpm
Compression ratio 12.0:1
Starter/Battery Electric 
Fuel System Electronic intake pipe injection, digital engine management (BMS-K+) 
Emission Control Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter / emission standard EU-3
Performance / fuel consumption:
Maximum speed 193 km/h
Fuel consumption at constant 100km/h 5.71 litres / 100km
Fuel type Unleaded super, minimum octane rating 95 (RON); optional extra 91 (RON) available
Power Transmission:
Clutch Multiple-disc clutch in oil bath, mechanically operated
Gearbox Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox integrated into crankcase
Drive Endless O-ring chain with shock damping in rear wheel hub
Chassis / brakes:
Frame Tubular steel space frame, load-bearing engine
Front wheel location / suspension Upside-down telescopic fork, Ø 43 mm
Rear wheel location / suspension Cast aluminium dual swing arm, WAD strut (travel related damping), spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable, rebound damping adjustable
Suspension travel front / rear 230 mm / 215 mm  
Steering head angle 64°
Rim, front 2.15 x 21"
Rim, rear 4.25 x 17"
Tyres, front 90/90 - 21 54V
Tyres, rear 150/70 - 17 69V
Brake, front Dual disc, floating brake discs, diameter 300 mm, double-piston floating calipers , ABS
Brake, rear Single disc, diameter 265 mm, single-piston floating caliper, ABS
ABS BMW Motorrad ABS
Dimensions / Weights / Fuel:
Length 2.305 mm
Width (incl. mirrors) 925 mm
Height 1.450 mm
Seat height 890 mm (860 mm low seat)
Weight, road ready, fully fuelled 229 kg
Fuel tank volume 24 Litres
Reserve 4 Litres
Retail Price: ZAR139 100.00 as at 2014
(ESA, ASC, LED Fog Lights, Pannier Racks, Wide foot pegs, Crash Bars)
  Includes full Adventure Package.
  Available from DONFORD BMW +27 (0)21 888 4200
Click here to book a demo ride with Donford Motorrad Stellenbosch
BMW F800 GS Adventure, Donford BMW, Stellenbosch
Technical Differences at a glance:
  BMW F 800GS Adventure BMW F 800 GS
Tank volume: 24 litres 16 litres
Standard seat height: 890 mm 880 mm
Low seat height: 860 mm 850 mm
Low Suspension option: no yes, 820 mm
Curb weight: With Fuel 229 kg 214 kg
Max load: 225 kg 230 kg
L / W / H: 2,305/925/1,450 mm 2,300/920/1,345 mm
Fuel Consumption    
90/120 km/h: 4.3/5.7 L/100 km 3.8/5.2 L/100 km
Rider Features (Included in Standard Model)
BMW Crash Bars, BMW Hand Guards, BMW Touring Screen, BMW Pannier Racks
Automatic Stability Control (ASC) with new Enduro and Road mode
LED Fog Lights.
BMW F800GS Adventure new adventure styling
F800GS Adventure  in action in Africa F800GS Adventure - review BMW F800GS Adventure

Seat Comfort:
One of the initial smiles came from the new "Bum Hugging" touring seat on the new F800GS Adventure. A much improved and much welcomed upgrade to the old hard seat of the standard F800GS. Although the seat height is 10mm higher than the standard F800GS - The option of purchasing a "Low Rider" seat is available on order of the bike dropping the 890mm standard seat down to 860mm.

The new F800GS Adventure is listed at 15kg more than the standard F800GS - however its due to the addition of the massive 24 Litre fuel tank - so its all in the fuel. The bike does not handle any worse because of this additional weight. The centre of gravity feels a bit lower and more solid than the standard F800GS, all be it that there is an extra 15kg of weight - the position of the fuel tank under your bum, makes for a much lower centre of gravity - as appose to the regular fuel tank position of most motorcycles including the R1200GS Advenutre..

Wind Protection:
The BMWF800GS Adventure has quite a large standard screen - however, I personally still found that I was getting a fair amount of buffeting on my helmet at speeds over 100km/h.
In saying this, the other two riders with me has different makes of helmets and they did not experience the same buffeting.
I did feel that perhaps a fraction higher and it would be perfect. So maybe a add-on extension will be necessary for taller riders, with more aggressive Motor-X style off road helmets and Dualsport helmets with big flat square sun peaks. My Shoei Hornet was much more stable at the same speeds incidentally.

BMW F800 GS Adventure front view


Very similar to the older version F800GS - from above 130km/h and above 5000RPM, the vibration is noticeable. Its disconcerting at speeds of 150km/h and above... but I hope we all don't ride at these speeds on a regular basis.

Off Road Handling with (ASC):

ASC = (Automatic Stability Control)
BMW have had Off-Road ASC for some time now, and on the new F800GS Adventure riders have the ability to change it
"On the Fly", as the riding surface changes in front of you.
BIG advantage over competing manufacturers.

However, as advanced as the system is - I did experience something not quite right with the BMW ASC off road when testing the boundaries of the system - in that, you really have to make sure that you change it to suit the riding surface.
For example, if you are riding in "Road Mode" and you enter a section of very steep and loose gravel - the ASC will kick in instantly as the bike sensors the slip on the rear wheel - the result is that the bike is very "Jerky" and almost splutters along until either you d-cellerate - or change the ASC mode to "Enduro" which offers a little more slip and gives a more natural feel of riding on loose gravel or sandy surfaces.

Unfortunately even on "Enduro" mode - when you crank open the throttle to accelerate, the ASC will begin to retard the engine power again in a jerky fashion - resulting in jerky spluttering as it struggles to gain traction. So riding light sand or deep sand is going to be a BIG issue if you don't either select "Enduro" mode offering more rear wheel slip - or alternatively switch the ASC off totally.
Which defeats the purpose of having it in the first place ?
BMW have not quite perfected off-road Traction control or (ASC) yet in my personal opinion.
But its a vast improvement on the earlier models which didn't have ASC at all.

Off Road Comfort & Suspension:
I really did enjoy the "Wide Enduro Foot Pegs" - they make an amazing difference when you are standing for long periods of time on tough gravel sections. A a standard feature, this is a definite bonus.
With the older F800GS (2009 - 2011) in previous testing, we found the front fork suspension to be very hard, and in washboard type surfaces, it was very difficult to control. Now the new F800GS Adventure and all F800GS models from 2012 onwards have a far superior feel of stability to the front end. the suspension is much softer and better suited to off road.

With the factory optional extra of (ESA) Electronic Suspension Adjustment , all day touring either single riders and with pillions - you're going to have a much more comfortable ride indeed.
This is what makes a great touring bike - long distance comfort seat and plush suspension off road = Great "Tour-ability" - no monkey butt or fillings rattled loose from your teeth.

Off Road ABS:
In the previous review of the older BMW F800GS - back in 2010, the ABS system on the older models just did not work off-road and it was best to disable it for safer riding.
Now, BMW have an ABS system that truly works on both Tar and gravel, wet or dry road surfaces. You NEVER need to switch it off, because it simply works - and we pushed the limits in the testing.

We tested it in mud, loose gravel, light sand and even wet tarred roads - each and every time we grabbed a hand full of front brake, the F800GS Adventure came to a grinding halt - stable, efficient, and confidence inspiring. - Thats what you want.

BMW F800GS Adventure Dashboard

Road Handling:
It would be unfair to say that the F800GS Adventure is a road bias motorcycle, cause its definitely moved up a few notches in the "Adventure Capability" rankings with its new off-road technology.

It is however tremendous fun to ride on both tar and gravel surfaces. Besides the vibration at high RPM, the F800GS Adv will get you to your destination in comfort and well on time.

I personally found that the F800GS Adventure offered great seat comfort, fantastic fuel economy and provided you keep it below 150km/h - a smooth and relaxing touring machine.

Cornering felt great and power delivery was always pleasure play with, even at low RPM, the torque is admirable.
BMW F800GS Adventure review by Craig Marshall - Dualsport Africa General Opinion:
The F800GS Adventure takes the next step into the comfort zone.
Lets face it, when we plan a multi-day tour, the things that make the smallest things can make the biggest differences.
Fuel range, seat comfort and some extra bells and whistles can make a massive difference out there in the real world of adventure travel.
Although the retail price of the BMW F800GS Adventure is a little high in comparison to similar engine sized competitors - I personally feel that its justified, because the extras you are paying for are really useful and make all the difference when you're actually touring and riding in various situations.
The upgraded F800GS Adventure is not just a cosmetic kit to make it look pretty - its full functional and makes this bike very desirable in the long distance touring market.
Personally, I will be purchasing a few F800GS Adventures for our rental business - its a definate winner for Southern African Adventure Touring - Craig Marshall -
BMW R1200 GS Adventure BMW Hire in Cape Town
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