Make Model.

BMW F 800GS  




Four stroke, parallel twin cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder


798 cc / 47.7 cub. in.
Bore x Stroke 82 x 75.8 mm
Compression Ratio 12.0:1
Cooling Liquid cooled


Electronic intake injection, ∅45mm throttle bodies


Knock control and oxygen sensors.   
Starting Electric

Max Power

62.5 kW / 85 hp @ 7500 rpm

Max Torque

80 Nm / 8.2 kgf-m / 59 lb/ft @ 5750 rpm
Clutch Multiplate-plate in oil bath


6 Speed 
Final Drive Chain
Gear Ratio 1st 2.46 / 2nd 1.75 / 3rd 1.38 / 4th 1.17 / 5th 1.04 / 6th 0.96
Final Drive Ratio 1:2.6
Frame Tubular frame in steal partly carrying the engine




117 mm / 9.1 in.

Front Suspension

43mm Marzocchi. Upside down forks
Front Wheel Travel 230 mm / 9.1 in.

Rear Suspension

Double strut swing arm aluminium coast in one piece,
Rear Wheel Travel 215 mm / 8.5 in.

Front Brakes

2 x ∅300mm discs, 4 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

Single ∅265mm disc, 2 piston caliper
Wheels Wire spoke
Rim Front 2.15 x 21"
Rim Rear 4.25 x 17"

Front Tyre

90/90 - 21 54V

Rear Tyre

150/70 - 17 69V


Length  2320 mm / 91.3 in

Width      945 mm / 37.2 in (incl. mirrors)

Height   1350 mm / 53.1 in (excl. mirrors)

Seat Height 880 mm - 850 mm / 34.6 in. - 33.5 in.
Wheel Base 1577 mm / 62.1 in

Dry Weight

177.8 kg / 392 lbs
Wet Weight 207 kg / 456 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

16 Litres / 4.2 US gal.

Consumption  Average

5.1 l/100km 19.6 km/l / 45.9 US mpg

Average Tank Distance

312 km / 194 miles

Standing ¼ Mile  

12.5 sec

Top Speed

199.0 km/h / 124 mph
Reviews  /  Motorcycle

Even when it’s parked, the amazingly offroad-capable F 800 GS adventure-tourer, with its sturdy appearance and long spring travel, indicates what it can do off-road. The signals it gives off are clear yet diverse: fun driving on all types of road, and stamina on journeys even when the destination can only be reached by gravel tracks.

A high level of stability combined with playful handling are features of the new F 800 GS, as is high-quality workmanship, a strong chassis and impressive engine performance for maximum riding enjoyment.

The inline two-cylinder engine comes from the well-known F 800 model series, but beyond this, the enduro model has been completely redesigned. A completely new frame and new wheel suspension with new spring-shock absorber elements are used, for example, which will surpass the expectations of even the most demanding enduro riders. The belt drive and single-strut swing arm, which are ideal for pure on-road use, have been replaced by a light chain drive, which, in combination with a very stable, attractive aluminum profile double-strut swing arm, offers particular advantages in offroad riding in particular. The new GS is thus not only in its element on roads – it will also always find a way through off-road too.

The F 800 GS combines road and touring capabilities with superior offroad characteristics. It thus combines the two worlds in a way that has never before been achieved in this class and offers the maximum possible freedom in terms of its areas of use. BMW Motorrad has positioned the dynamic adventure-tourer at an attractive price, thus adding a real asset to the market.

For BMW Motorrad, the abbreviation “GS” is not an empty promise. This will be demonstrated in the future by the F 800 GS too, in continuation of a long tradition. The new model not only offers the typical qualities of an adventure-tourer – it also offers superb offroad riding capabilities. While large-capacity enduros sometimes reach their limits because of their weight and overall design, the new F 800 GS is completely unstoppable. The overall package combines balanced power and weight, excellent ground clearance, long spring travel, precise wheel guidance and sophisticated ergonomics, giving excellent offroad riding and excellent long-distance performance.

The chassis combines all the ingredients that a real enduro needs: a sturdy steel tube frame that allows a steering lock of 42 degrees, a rigid upside-down fork with 230 mm spring travel, a sturdy aluminum double-strut swing arm with a path-dependent cushioned spring strut and 215 mm spring travel and solid wire-spoke wheels. A 21-inch front wheel in the classic enduro dimensions of 90/90-21 gives running stability in slow offroad riding, while the rear wheel, with dimensions 150/70-17 ensures that the engine power is always transferred securely to the track.

The engine is the parallel twin from the F 800 S modified for the new usage, with its cylinders now only inclined 8.3 degrees forward. The strong, liquid-cooled four-valve two-cylinder is particularly convincing because of its spontaneous response, its impressive torque and its low fuel consumption. Nominally, the engine provides 85 HP at 7 500 min–1 and, at 5 750 min–1 sends a torque of 61 pound-feet to the sliding bearing based crankshaft. Thanks to the regulated three-way catalytic converter and secondary air system, the twin releases its power in a way that is absolutely environmentally friendly. The mass balance is provided by a system that is unique in standard motorcycle design: an additional swivel con-rod balances the first and second level mass forces and ensures that the two-cylinder functions with the minimum of vibrations.

The low dry weight of 178 kg makes a major contribution to the dynamic riding properties. When filled with fuel and ready to ride, the F 800 GS weighs in at just 207 kg.
The F 800 GS offers an excellent level of seat comfort for both rider and passenger, along with a high standard of safety features. If required, it can be fitted ex factory with two-channel ABS that can be switched off. In addition, the extensive range of BMW accessories meets the further individual wishes of our demanding customers, as always.

Overview of the main features of the new F 800 GS:

  • F 800 GS as mid-class adventure-tourer with excellent offroad properties and long-distance capabilities.
  • Liquid-cooled parallel twin with 798 cc capacity, four-valve technology and unique mass balance.
  • Rev-proof DOHC valve drive via cam followers.
  • Manifold injection with electronic engine management BMS-KP, lambda probe and regulated three-way catalytic converter plus secondary air system.
  • Closely stepped six-speed transmission for excellent riding performance.
  • Dirt-resistant secondary drive via O-ring chain.
  • Torsion-resistant tubular steel frame with unusual gusset plate reinforcement of steering head.
  • Easy handling and extremely tight turning circle.
  • Stable telescopic fork, USD fork with upright tube diameter 45 mm.
  • Double-strut swing arm in die-cast aluminum.
  • Spring strut with adjustable spring pre-tension and adjustable rebound damping; WAD function (path-dependent damping as in the R 1200 GS).
  • Long spring travel for comfort and offroad suitability.
  • Excellent seat comfort for rider and passenger.
  • Tank underneath seat, for best center of gravity, with easily accessible fill opening.
  • Powerful braking system, with ABS if required.
  • Air filter and battery positioned behind steering head for easy maintenance.
  • Wide range of accessories for offroad and touring use.
  • 85 HP   
  • Valve timing like F 800 S  
  • Wide radiator  
  • Offroad-look fairing  
  • High windscreen  
  • USD telescopic fork  
  • WAD spring strut  
  • Spoked wheels  
  • 21-in front wheel  
  • Double-disc brake, floating, front  
  • Aluminum handlebar  
  • 880/850 mm seat height  
  • Ready-to-ride weight 207 kg  

Road Test

There’s a stray African dog that looks dead (but only resting) just metres in front of me. I lift the front slightly using the throttle, and change to the right hand trail avoiding the dog. I notice a lazy yawn just as I pass. Better watch out doggie, there are more GS coming.

Once upon a time, back when the big adventure tourer market had its feeble birth (late eighties-early nineties) BMW had the boxer-twin GS, Cagiva the Elefant and Honda the Africa Twin. All derived from Paris-Dakar racing successes. With the introduction of the mammoth 1000-1200cc soft adventure touring motorcycles, the midrange bikes have largely disappeared from the market. Honda and Cagiva stopped making 750cc twins a long time ago, and the BMW GS have just grown bigger and bigger.

The first indication of a revival in the mid-displacement adventure segment came in 2006 when BMW introduced its new F 800 range. It started with the F 800 S and ST, but BMW have been fairly open about the fact that there would be an F 800 GS. A lighter more agile GS was a mouth watering prospect, and here it is! I had the privilege of being in the first group of journalists testing the new GS in various terrains in South Africa.

Last night upon my arrival in South Africa, lively Zulu music was accompanied by the smell of grilled lobster, but it was interrupted by some torrential rain. We all feared that what promised to be the most exciting experience on the GS, the offroad part, could be jeopardized. All the F 800 GS test bikes were fitted with the standard Bridgestone Battle Wings. They were not designed for deep mud or wet grass!

Luckily, the next day was cloudy but dry. I chose to do the more challenging “black route” for a proper enduro experience on the F 800 GS. Slightly daunting it was as I soon realized the route was particularly challenging on a Trail Wing shod F 800 GS. I never regretted it, as that part of the ride is what sticks to my memory more strongly than the road riding. The route was fantastic — with miles and miles of unpaved roads leading onto a steep mountain trail filled with challenging terrain.

But to get there we had to do about 60 miles on country roads. The seat height is quite tall at 880mm. A lowering kit (850mm) is available at no extra cost when ordering. At 6 foot nothing I had both my feet firmly placed on the ground. The seat is narrow at the front and along with a very streamlined chassis there’s no problem reaching the ground despite the tall seat height. If you are much shorter than 6 foot though the 850mm seat option might be a good idea. The foot pegs are low enough for comfort and placed correctly for stand up enduro riding. They are rubber mounted, but the rubber can be removed for safe grip riding offroad on a rainy day.

Gear lever and foot brake were ergonomically correct for my offroad boots. The wide aluminum handlebar is made to absorb vibrations, however some low frequency vibrations do come through. The handlebar provides excellent control and the turning radius is both quick and good for slow speed maneuvers and tight offroad corners. Without having tested it, the pillion seat looks even more comfortable than the rider’s seat, and the foot pegs seem to provide enough leg room for comfortable touring.

The 798cc parallel twin engine comes directly from the F 800 S. But for the F 800 GS, BMW have used modified camshafts to allow for an even torque response. While the F 800 S engine is tilted 30 degrees forward, the F 800 GS only tilts 8.3 degrees. This has obviously forced quite a few modifications to the engine. Efficient cooling while riding for miles in first and second gear terrain is one of the main developments. Room has been made for a much wider radiator, and the new placement of the cylinders provide ideal conditions for the lubrication system. It has also allowed quick steering as there is plenty of space in front of the engine both for exhaust tubing, wide radiator and the 21-inch front wheel without using excessive rake.

The fuel injected twin cylinder engine produces a maximum 85hp @ 7,500 rpm and 83Nm @ 5,750rpm. The F 800 GS also features air suction snorkels on both sides of the fuel tank dummy. This allows the engine to receive the air volumes required for the torque output. The actual fuel tank is positioned under the seat and carries a total of 16 liters (4.2 U.S. gallons) of fuel.

I did get a couple of chances to try the top speed on the quiet South African roads. Even when having time to push for several seconds in fifth and sixth the F 800 GS didn’t accelerate with any authority above 200km/h (124 mph). You may be able to push to 210 or something in favourable conditions, but not with any ease. I was also slightly disappointed in the fact that the lower gears were not punchier. I couldn’t help but think that I would rather have the F 800 GS accelerate quicker to, let’s say 180-190km/h, than struggle asthmatically to 200+. Lucky for us the F 800 GS has chain final drive, so some sprocket modifications could address this. Paralever or shaft drive lack that adjustability.

As for road handling, the F 800 GS is very stable. The handsome new double swingarm is made from die-cast aluminum. It is long for good traction, and attached to it is an adjustable mono shock with a massive 215mm spring travel. At the front, we find a solid 45mm upside down fork with 230mm of spring travel. Attached to the suspension are new aluminum spoked wheels. The tires fitted are Bridgestone Battle Wings in 90/90-21 at the front and 150/70-17 at the rear. Knobby tires can easily be fitted.

The F 800 GS has two 300mm brake discs and 2 piston calipers in front. On our test bikes, we also had ABS. ABS is good when you ride on unfamiliar roads and when it’s wet, but for the offroad part I made sure to turn ABS off. This is done by pushing the ABS button while the bike is in neutral until the ABS warning light stops blinking. You need to do the same thing again each time the ignition is turned off. There was no doubt that some of the roads we were riding were very slippery, as the ABS worked hard when braking and I had some slides when ABS was turned off.

Riding in the South African countryside in the Valley of 1000 Hills was a very special experience. For that reason, I wasn’t racing through too fast, as I wanted to enjoy the view. But when I did use the throttle through the many bends, the suspension felt a tad soft with the standard settings. I added more preload with the easily accessible adjuster wheel. That was all I needed to feel more comfortable through the bends.

Although a narrow front tyre is great for quick steering, but naturally less stable at high speed than a wider road tire, on the 800 GS I could cruise effortlessly at the same top speed of a typical single-cylinder 650 with much more stability.

The F 800 GS is definitely more of a long range motorcycle than any single cylinder enduro. The M-shaped fly fairing didn’t protect that much from the wind, but helped minimize any headshake or buffeting to my offroad helmet. Fitted as standard is the mid-sized fly fairing in the GS programme. A taller touring screen is available. In sixth gear, which works mostly as an overdrive, I was quite happy with the response from around 100km/h (62 mph). This is all you need to pass a slower car on the motorway. For a really fast overtake on a single-lane road, I would click down a gear or two though.

I heard moaning from some other journos about the F 800 GS having too little power. I agree that the GS feels a bit asthmatic on top, and that the three lower gears could be lower still for more punch, but I feel that the F 800 GS is a good package despite this. I believe that 85 horsepower in a travel enduro that is much lighter and more agile than one with 100 horsepower is a lot more useful to a lot more people.

After lunch, a few of us psyched ourselves up to do the “black route” up a mountain and down the other side. BMW had on all of the bikes the semi road/gravel Bridgestone Battle Wing tires. Our South African guides were on machines such as the G 650 Xchallenge and HP2 Enduros with knobby tires. We did reduce the air pressure in the tires for more grip. After a few miles, I was aching for some knobby tires and I know that would have been a huge confidence boost for me and it would have allowed me to go much faster. At probably the trickiest place along the route, I got stuck in a steep uphill rut. With knobbies and some more punch in that first gear, this wouldn’t have been a problem at all. I could have paddled through and lifted the front wheel out with the engine power. However, the F 800 GS in standard shape isn’t quite that kind of bike. So I really was stuck and had to back up with some help. At that point, I swapped the F 800 GS for a G 650 Xchallenge that easily criss-crossed the rut and provided real grip on the grass next to the long rut on the narrow path. At the top of the mountain, I swapped back to the F 800 GS.

Further down the mountain I passed that wild dog having his nap in the trail. It got steeper and steeper from there on, and momentum was important. Passing some big rocks and horizontal trenches was no problem at all on the F 800 GS. The suspension action, riding position and controls are all very suitable for this type of riding. Low down torque was lacking though, so I had to keep it going on momentum. But really, with some knobby tires it would have all been cheesecake.

You don’t really get a true feeling for a bikes Dry Weight until you are stuck and have to move forwards and backWards to get out. The F 800 GS is a claimed 185 kilos (407 lbss.), roughly twice the weight of me, and neither light nor heavy in this segment. Sliding into ruts is mostly rider error, but with some knobbies it would have been easier to make some mistakes and get out again. I am not sure of the exact mileage we did on gravel and trails, but it took us about 5 hours to get out and onto paved roads again. Only shame about it is that none of the photographers managed to get up there in their 4×4’s, so we didn’t get any shots of the action until we were down from the mountain on normal gravelled roads.

I am quite impressed with how the new F 800 GS tackled all this on road tires. One thing that I am absolutely convinced of now is that the F 800 GS is a much better offroad motorcycle than the big 1200 Boxer. On well maintained gravelled roads the F 800 GS is the best travel enduro I have ridden since the KTM 990 Adventure. The handling is sublime, the suspension action predictable and the big 800cc engine doubles as a touring machine of some class. The F 800 GS really works better as an all-rounder than the big 1200cc Boxer mainly because it is narrower and lighter.

The most versatile motorcycle in the F-series
Decent suspension and handling
Really works well offroad

The F 800 engine lacks a little bit of oomph in lower gears for the enthusiast.

Source Motorcycle Daily