As part of the BMW Motorrad program of special accessories, the new F 800 GT can
also be fitted with an Akrapovič sports silencer. This slip-on silencer provides
a particularly earthy 2-cylinder sound. Made of titanium and stainless steel it
enables a weight reduction of approx. 1.7 kg as compared to the standard rear
Overview of new technical features:
Increased output of the F 800 GT as compared to predecessor model.
66 kW (90 bhp) at 8,000 rpm. (F 800 ST: 62.5 kW (85 bhp) at 8,000 rpm).
Newly designed trim in more dynamic look with further improved wind and weather
protection. New paint finishes.
The latest generation of BMW Motorrad ABS, now as standard.
Automatic Stability Control ASC (ex works option / special accessory).
Electronic Suspension Adjustment ESA (ex works option / special accessory)
Convenient adjustment of rear spring mount using handwheel.
Suspension optimised in terms of ride stability and comfort.
New, lighter wheels in dynamic design.
Adapted ergonomics for increased touring comfort with higher handlebars and
Enhanced seating comfort for rider and passenger.
New handlebar switch panels and front brake fluid expansion tank.
New vibration-free and double-butted aluminium handlebars.
Cockpit with new dial faces for speedometer and engine speed display as well as
an extended range of information.
Load capacity increased by 11 kg to 207 kg.
New exhaust system with optimised heel protection.
Turn indicators in smoke grey.
Newly developed luggage system (special accessory).
New connection of BMW Motorrad Navigator IV to handlebar clamp (special
Power reduction to 35 kW (48 bhp) (ex works option / special accessory).
It’s all in the initials.
With the F800ST that
BMW has been producing since 2007, the “ST”
stands for “sport-touring.” But for 2013, the company rethought
and redesigned the ST to provide a little less of the “S” and
more of the “T,” then renamed it “GT” for “grand touring.”
If any model sold as poorly as the F800ST has in recent
years, most companies would have punted it from the lineup for
good. But BMW stuck to its guns, still convinced there is a
viable market for a sporty middleweight with long-ride
capabilities. “Rider feedback told us they liked the idea of the
F800ST,” says Sergio Carvajal, BMW’s Motorcycle Product Manager.
“It’s a ‘right-sized’ bike. But they wanted something more
comfortable and practical.”
Based on my 200-mile ride over a wide variety of roads as
part of the U.S. press launch of the F800GT, BMW seems to have
succeeded. The GT is more accommodating than the ST, with
revised ergonomics that prop the rider in a more upright,
relaxed position. The aluminum frame is unchanged, but the bars
are higher, the footpegs are 10mm lower and farther forward, and
the seat is about an inch-and-a-half lower (thanks in part to
15mm-shorter suspension at both ends). Plus, a taller windshield
and reshaped fairing offer better protection from the elements.
Snap on a set of optional hard saddlebags with more total
capacity (51 Litres) than their predecessors and you have an
excellent, easily manageable middleweight for touring, sport or
At a claimed 470 pounds (without bags) when its 4.0-gallon
gas tank is filled to the brim, the GT is light and lithe, with
easy, accurate, predictable steering. In a straight line, it’s
rock-steady, thanks in part to a 50mm-longer swingarm. But the
GT also slashes through corners with confidence-inspiring ease
that makes fast-paced backroad rides more fun and less work.
This is no sportbike, to be sure, but it’s more composed than
the ST when it comes to spirited cornering.
It’s more comfortable in the process, too, offering a
slightly taut but pleasant ride despite its reduced wheel
travel. The only standard suspension adjustments are manual
preload and rebound damping at the rear, but a simplistic
version of the company’s ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment)
is optional. It allows rear damping to be adjusted on the fly to
any of three settings (Comfort, Normal, Sport) with a
dual-function button on the left handlebar switchpod; the same
switch also toggles the optional ASC traction control on and
off. Rear preload remains manually adjustable with a plastic
Among the GT’s numerous other options are two seats: a
Comfort version that’s ¾-in. taller than the standard unit and a
Low seat that sits about 1¼-in. closer to the tarmac. The bike I
rode wore the standard seat, which felt comfy enough, but my
time in the saddle was limited to just a few hours.
Although the counterbalanced, 798cc parallel-Twin’s engine
internals remain the same as on the ST, refinements in
fuel-injection and ignition mapping allow it to pump out a
claimed 90 horsepower, 5 more than before. The engine feels
peppier throughout the rpm range, with sharp throttle response,
brisk acceleration and good midrange torque for its
displacement. But it is a middleweight, after all, so don’t
expect it to run with the big dogs if loaded with two large
occupants and saddlebags jam-packed for weeks on the road.
BMW also offers a wide range of other options for the F800GT.
They include heated grips, a centerstand, an onboard computer, a
Garmin GPS, a 28-liter top trunk and even an Akrapovic Sport
Silencer. The GT is available in three colors—Valencia Orange
Metallic, Dark Graphite Metallic or Light White.
Sticker price for the base F800GT is $11,890, which is the
same MSRP asked for the 2012 F800ST. Carvajal says that BMW is
not likely to import many—or perhaps any—of the base model,
however, but instead will offer the bike in two packages that
include certain options for less dough than if those accessories
were installed separately. The Standard Package gets the heated
grips, centerstand, onboard computer and saddelbsag mounts for
$12,395. The Premium Package adds ESA, ASC and a tire-pressure
monitor for $13,190. That’s a steep buy-in for a middleweight,
although the GT is the most well-equipped sport-tourer in its
Still, whether BMW’s vision for middleweight grand touring is
clearly focused remains to be seen. But if it isn’t, don’t blame
the motorcycle. Despite its shift in focus, the F800GT not only
is much improved at the T end of the sport-touring spectrum,
it’s better at the S than it was before.