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Old 03-18-2017, 05:22 PM   #1
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BMW F800GT Questions

So I've had an interest, for some time, in the BMW F800GT, which first appeared in 2013. It gets good reviews as a midsized tour bike, and is described as having a more upright, tour friendly seating position than its predecessor, the F800ST. Also seems to be known for good gas mileage and reliability, though a few people complain it puts out too much heat.

So I'm soliciting opinions from those who have owned, or at least ridden, one. Is it in fact comfortable to ride long distance? How's maintenance - hard? Easy? What did you like or not like about it? Does the stock windscreen get the wind up out of your face?

If you have NOT ridden one: no offense, but I really am not soliciting guesses, or general pro-or-con prejudices about BMWs. Thanks.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:01 PM   #2
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

I generally get 40mpg with my Kawasaki ZRX, one pie run reddogbmw Brian rode with me on his F800GS.
When we stopped for gas my kowasaki took 3 gallons, his GS took 2, the GT will get better mileage than the very dirty aero GS.
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:14 PM   #3
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

Marked for comments about F800ST.


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Old 03-18-2017, 08:48 PM   #4
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

Watching.
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Old 03-18-2017, 09:59 PM   #5
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

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Originally Posted by Downs View Post
Marked for comments about F800ST.


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You had the ST right? Not much difference to the GT. It has hard bags and seat is a tad lower. Peoples on the F800 forum stated if you had a ST, it wasn't worth it to get the GT.

My ST was fine. Didn't like the bags or OEM topcase that came with mine. Felt a bit cheaper than their other products. Some complained about the cost of replacing the belt. I had the extra low seat and it was not too comfortable. Sold mine to get the RT which seemed to eat batteries. BMW service was expensive if you don't do your own.

You can find some decent deals on the GT, they don't seem to be big sellers.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:45 AM   #6
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

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Originally Posted by tshelfer View Post
So I've had an interest, for some time, in the BMW F800GT, which first appeared in 2013. It gets good reviews as a midsized tour bike, and is described as having a more upright, tour friendly seating position than its predecessor, the F800ST. Also seems to be known for good gas mileage and reliability, though a few people complain it puts out too much heat.

So I'm soliciting opinions from those who have owned, or at least ridden, one. Is it in fact comfortable to ride long distance? How's maintenance - hard? Easy? What did you like or not like about it? Does the stock windscreen get the wind up out of your face?

If you have NOT ridden one: no offense, but I really am not soliciting guesses, or general pro-or-con prejudices about BMWs. Thanks.
My current ride is an F800 ST, which is really close to the GT. It's comfortable on long rides, but does have a few interesting issues.

As for the heat, my inner thighs do get a bit toasty in the summer, but only at stops. If I'm moving, I don't feel it that much. That said, if your gear includes overpants, though, you won't feel a thing.

Another issue it has, and this is a thing on some STs and GTs, is the mysterious stalling issue. There's an informative ongoing discussion about it on the F800 Riders Forum. My bike (a 2007) has only recently started doing this, so I'm still in the process of looking into solutions.

I like that it's a nicely balanced, smooth ride. It's not a bear to wrestle in traffic, and it's got some respectable acceleration, even at highway speeds. It's comfortable for long or short rides. I primarily commute on mine, but I've taken it on day rides, and don't feel either beaten up, or cramped when I get home. On highway trips, I can get ~50 MPG, give or take. I'd say, if the GT is an improvement on the ST, and it piques your interest, take a test ride.
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Last edited by Lezbert; 03-20-2017 at 10:47 AM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:11 AM   #7
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

Tim get a hold of RichK he has a newer one. If you get to the KOA Strom-a-thon camp out you might see his there.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:36 AM   #8
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

At this point, ST comments are definitely welcome; their bones are very similar, and GTs are even less common than I realized. Downs, you've had an ST and currently ride a VStrom. Can you compare ride comfort?
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:43 AM   #9
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

My BMW you rode before should be close to the GT but minus 10 HP or so and no fairing. I have been getting mileage in the mid 50s.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...FyFs40ln-ZcpHg
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Last edited by kickstand~prophet; 03-20-2017 at 12:39 PM. Reason: add review link
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:55 PM   #10
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

I found the Strom to have a more comfortable riding position. I'm only 5' 8" and to be honest if you are much taller than me you may find the ST/GT a little tight. It was just about right for me bordering on too small as far as ergos go. The issues that the ST had (pulley/rear axle bearing failures, stator failures, ect) seem to have been fixed on later models of the ST and as soon as the GT hit the market.

The electronic suspension system on the GT is worthless. It only adjusts the rear shock damping and nothing else. No preload and the front fork is still non adjustable.

Overall I really liked the ST. The engine was quite tractable and had good power, great on long trips even though the ergos were a tiny bit tight they worked well with the bike. Makes nice noises too other than the cam chain on start up. It doesn't use a ratecheting system on the tensioner so when the oil pressure bleeds down the chain goes slack. When you first start it up in the morning it makes a **** of a racket for a quick second until the pressure builds up. This is one thing I'm unsure of if they "fixed" on the GT or not but even if they didn't it's a non-issue.

Also while I'm here I need to get your bike cover backto you lol.
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:00 PM   #11
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

Good info, thanks. As for the cover, pay it forward. I have a newer one, and it rarely gets used.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:22 PM   #12
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

Tim, you really need a K1600GT instead of that little 800.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:12 PM   #13
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

Nah, I'm a mid-sized guy and I like mid-sized bikes.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:24 PM   #14
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

Tim, would the belt drive work well on gravel roads? I know they are great on pavement. My V-Strom chain gets filthy, but has wax on it.
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:07 AM   #15
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BMW F800GT Questions

I rode my ST on gravel roads a lot and never had issues. Granted the possibility is still there. And the st/GT belts aren't cheap (about 400 dollars) and are proprietary to the bikes and only BMW has it. I (and many others)searched everywhere from Harley to McMaster Carr and couldn't find a non BMW replacement.

It does have quite a few guards in place to keep stuff out of it.

I started carrying a spare once my bike got past 50,000 miles but never had to replace it. Before BMW changed the specs for belt tightening quite a few folks were snapping belts on the road.

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Last edited by Downs; 03-21-2017 at 05:08 AM.
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:19 AM   #16
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

That is a good point - gravel roads. Given my pretty low skill level with the Strom off pavement, I would be effectively giving up non-pavement riding if I bought an F800GT. Not that I do much of it anyway. I certainly wouldn't do Kebler Pass with pure street tires.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:04 PM   #17
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

sorry, late to the thread. I purchased the 800 GT last July. I'm loving this bike. I did keep my Vstrom for times that I want to do dirt road days, but I wouldn't hesitate taking the GT on most the dirt roads around here that are in good shape, save for having to clean it up. The GT has a longer wheelbase/swingarm than the ST. Belts for the ST can be had for about $200 now that BMW gave up the exclusive rights to it, they're still in the $400 range for the GT, but you can change them yourself without removing the swingarm. They say a range of 30k miles, but most go 50k or more. The riding stance is a bit sportier than the Vstrom, but I cured that with risers, and I also put on a peg lowering kit, not that my legs need more room but to ease the knee angle. The wind screen is lower than the Strom. Overall body protection is great tho, once rode in torrential rain and remained amazingly dry. Just last weekend I nabbed a Madstad screen and put it on. Like with my Strom, it made all the difference in the world for buffeting around the head. Most of my day rides are in the 200 mile range, occasionally hitting 300, and I find it fine for that so far. I haven't been on an extended tour yet. I'll get near 60mpg if I keep it under 70, but even at a more spirited pace getting into the 90's for periods, I still get near mid 50's. Capt Ron, Mitch, and Maximus can attest to the fact it will keep up with anything, well, unless you want to top 130mph. On a trip with them starting from Kerrville and around and then on the Sisters we pulled into Leakey at about the 230 mile mark. My reserve had started counting down. I was eager to compare and was surprised that Ron had .3 of a gallon left, and I had .2, so it's basically the same cruising range of his RS. Like most bikes, the seat isn't the best. I have a Corbin on mine, and it's fine for the 300 mile days but I don't know if it will cut it for a long tour. I'd like to be able to ride a tank of gas before needing to get off for sore butt relief. I'm sure there is lots more I could talk about, but I do really love it. Amazing handling, ESA, TPM, ABS and all that. Of course part of the higher price of a beemer is what it all comes with like a fork brace, braided brake lines, 4 pot calipers, things like that are all there. If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask. If you come down for the Strom a thon you can take it for a ride, or if we're at a meet n greet or something.
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Old 03-23-2017, 08:38 PM   #18
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

Let me add a little more based on your first post. With the stock screen, the wind will hit you about chin level. I got a MRX touring lip on it and that directed it to the top of the helmet. It was pretty good there and really not much of a problem, but I was still seeking the smooth airflow of the Madstad on the Strom, so when I had the chance to get one at a huge discount I jumped on it and am glad I did. As far as heat, it's nice on the inner thighs in the winter, but for our hot Texas summers I can see it being bad in commuter traffic. On the road I'm not bothered much by it but I would hold my legs out once in a while to get some air. I found a cure for that too tho. I inserted a piece of pipe insulation between the fairing and frame. No one even notices it unless I point it out, and easily removed for winter riding.


here you can see the touring lip I put on the screen.
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:14 PM   #19
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

Wow, that's some great information; thanks, Rich. Right now, I'm not probable for Stromathon due to some family stuff going on, but we'll see.
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:58 AM   #20
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Re: BMW F800GT Questions

PS, Rich - If I do pursue this, I may be PMing you for more specific info. On adding risers, did that entail making any other changes? Cable changes? Anything have to be repositioned on the handlebars?
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