- Named Rider’s 2009 bike of the year by Rider Magazine..........We
found out why.
The BMW F800 GS
There is a reason why the F800GS
was names Bike of the year.....
This machine has outstanding road handling, its powerful, fast,
smooth and confidence inspiring off road. If you have never
ridden the F800GS,
you've missed out.
Craig Marshall - Rider
Our 560km bike review route started and ended at Peregine
Farm stall in Grabouw.
We went along Viljoenshoof through the Apple orchards
and up onto the Highlands Trail Pass which is gravel until
we met with the R43 back to Botriver and into Van der
We then zig zagged across the dusty Overberg farming region
on Boointjiekraal and Middleplaas Road - the backroads
to Genadendal, Greyton and Riversonderend.
After a short 7km section of tar on the N2, we cut through
the gravel roads to McGregor, Robertson and the overnight
stop in Montagu at De Bos Farm camping site.
Early the next morning from Montagu, we headed up onto
Ouberg Pass and Langkloof Pass to Hoek Van Die Berg and
Touwsriver – All gravel and dusty. From Touwsriver
it’s Tar all the way to Ceres, Wellington, Bainskloof,
Franschhoek, Theewateskloof and back to Grabouw, giving
us a chance to push some long distance on tar.
was really an educational experience on this 560km ride
- I had a chance to ride the standard 2010 BMW
F800GS and a "Customized Version"
with a full Öhlins suspension
modification front and rear, and heaps of extras from
At spec rating the 16 litre tank has a range of 304km.
We were riding conservatively at an average speed
of 130km on tar and 80-100 off road - and these consumption
figures seem to be very accurate. Don't rely on the
fuel gauge because you can do at least 85km before
the the gauge show any usage on the display.
One might consider replacing the standard seat with
a gel seat or a gel cover. The seat is very hard for
a bike intended for long distance touring. However
it is perfectly narrow in just the right places for
stand up riding off road.
up weight of 209kg with fuel, the bike certainly handles
with the agility of a much lighter motorcycle. The
BMW F800 GS
has its fuel tank under the seat, like in the F650
models, and this is what attributes the low center
of gravity and improved handling.
needs a bit more than the standard fearing. At speeds
of more than 60km / hour, you going to have to point
your helmet peak downwards to avoid catching the wind
and having your helmet whip backwards. But then again,
if you are standing your should be used to this.
Lets face it, it's a parallel Twin, there is very
little or no vibration on tarred roads, even at high
Power to Weight:
This is one of the selling points of this
great motorcycle. The bike quickly accelerates
from pull off to 160kmh and beyond without any lag
The 62.5 kw may be a bit too much off road - and one
will find that the throttle is EXTREMLY sensitive
and if you are not used to it, you will have difficulty
riding slowly and standing up. The slightest of twist
on the throttle and it thrusts forward.
Off Road Handling:
Brutally honest.... the F800GS
is predominately a road touring bike, but I will add
that it does have very confidence inspiring handling
on the hard pack gravel despite the over sensitive
What was most notable is that the font end
becomes unstable in corrugations, repeating potholes
and patches of soft sand. The result is that your
arms have to work much harder and a higher level of
concentration is required. Experienced riders will
have less of a concern with occasional instability.
performs like a sport bike on road. It's powerful,
smooth and has the acceleration to get your adrenalin
pumping. The F800GS
is a fun and head turning motorcycle to ride. It's
a perfect balance of power and agility, and at no
time did I ever get board on the tarmac.
Riding the F800GS
was a pleasurable experience and within minutes of
first mounting the bike, i found myself hanging on
the throttle and climbing through the 6 speed gearbox.
cruises comfortably at 140kmh and when you want to
open her up to 180kmh.....she delivers.
Blasting through the old Bainskloof Pass on a standard
sport bike can be a kidney shaking experience - on
the BMW F800GS
the suspension soaks up the bumps and uneven road
surface and allows for smooth hard cornering.
The overall impression we got with the standard "Off
the Floor" BMW
F800GS was that it is definitely one of, if not
the best Dualsport touring motorcycles on the market
in it's class. If you are an experience road rider
and you move across to Dualsport riding - you are
going to enjoy the presents of sport bike road handling
with the ability to go off road and discover new places
that only gravel roads will take you.
On the other hand if you are a hardcore enduro rider
with lots of off road experience - and you looking
to cross Africa - you might want to consider doing
a few modifications, starting with the suspension
and perhaps a stearing damper to stabilize the front
end on rough terrain.
Taller fearing - Wider foot pegs - and perhaps a gel
seat. For off road a decent bash plate, hand guards
and set of crash bars will protect the engine and