BMW F800 GT Motorcycle Ride Review; Full Package Lightweight Tourer
It was in 2013 that the BMW F800ST was revamped to become the BMW F800 GT. I recall enjoying the ST through the twisting Austrian Alpine roads. Indeed I’m familiar with the model. Outside of all I’m going to share with you here about the 2015 F800GT model, there’s one major factor which carries through from the ST to the GT.
It’s exceptionally agile, easy to steer, corner, and manoeuvre. I’ve found few motorcycles, outside of a couple other BMW’s- I’ve ridden which so effortlessly drop into corners – literally! Be it a fast highway curve or a sharp urban turn the BMW F800GT is remarkably easy to steer. It might be its low centre of gravity and wide turning radius – the BMW F800GT is for certain just one of those motorcycles that is way more than meets the eye.
In 2013 BMW Motorrad changed not just the name of the F800ST to F800GT but its character to represent slightly less sport and more touring – a light tourer – just like a Coca Cola light so to speak. The BMW F800GT has refurbished platform to reflect what research showed – customers wanted. This indeed was a little more tourer – a little less Sport (S) and more Grand (G) touring.
The BMW F800GT is one of BMW’s more affordable models and a heck of a lot of bike for your money. It’s not what I view as a sexy head turner motorcycle and it’s really quite simple in design. But then again, BMW motorcycles tend to get respect. Notable is its tank “hump” but that’s not really the tank. It reminds me of a camel which may be a good comparison as similarly the BMW F800GT is great on fuel. I was able to get around 320 km’s to the tank – that’s 20L to 1 litre fuel. And with a somewhat smaller 15 litre capacity fuel tank (4 litre reserve). It only weighs 213 kg (470 lbs) unladen. As an onlooker the BMW F800GT appears heavy – maybe part of that is its front fairings and hump tank.
You get a terrific package with BMW F800GT model. A water-cooled 2-cylinder in-line engine has a capacity of 798 cc with around 90 hp and you see this in the power avail and smooth riding. When stopping you’ve a dual-channel ABS the most sophisticated system in a mid-range motorcycle. There’s a longer rear-wheel swinging arm than the earlier F800ST and tighter suspension which gives you a high level of ride stability. And you can select from three different seat heights – 800 mm (comfort seat: 820 mm, low seat: 765 mm) – a usual standard in many BMW motorcycle models – providing the right ergonomics for each individual rider.
The BMW F800 GT I had was fully loaded inclusive panniers. Command controls on the handlebars activate heated grips, ASC (traction control), and Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA); all at the switch of a finger or thumb. I particularly liked the fact of being able to adjust the rear rebound-stage damping to my road conditions – at the press of a button.
For those looking for an even higher level of safety, assistance is provided by the optionally available ASC.
The BMW F800 GT Ride
Extremely composed throttle response—you have to be horribly careless with the grip to get anywhere near abrupt acceleration. There’s a wide, steady power curve that’s linear. The engine never really feels like its making all the 90 claimed horsepower. Torque is sufficient, but I found the grips and pegs feel a little buzzy. This was most notable at higher speeds.
When it’s time to slow down or brake, the BMW F800GT floating brake discs, 4-piston fixed callipers squeeze 320mm floating rotors up front, (rear single disc, diameter 265 mm, single-piston floating calliper) provide big stopping power – even with just one finger on the lever. ABS is standard and cannot be switched off, unlike the optional ASC.
Standout Features on The BMW F800 GT
- Low-maintenance toothed-belt drive.
- Magical front end turn/manoeuvrability
- Light weight but this is truly felt when on the bike. Seat height options
- Not too “tourer” looking; style still looks sporty.
- Gel seat. I succeeded in riding an Iron Butt challenge on the bike and was in the saddle for 22 hours.
- ABS – anti-lock brake system
- ASC – Automatic stability control
- ESA – electronic suspension adjustment
- RDC – type pressure monitoring on screen.
- Heated hand-grips.
- Rear wheel spring pre-load adjust with on board tool!
As BMW say, hit the road – the journey begins! Truly the BMW F800GT offers impressive dynamic performance on every ride – suburbs, winding mountain passes or endless highways. And in my case, add metropolitan city jungle.
TIP: Get all the optional features, you won’t regret the avail of these master controls.
The BMW F800 GT is available in three colours:
Montego Blue Metallic (the model I tested); Light White and Monolith Metallic Matt / Sapphire Black metallic
View the FULL SPECS here on BMW Motorrad’ s website.
And GO HERE to find a dealer near you for pricing – and a test ride!