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The BMW F800GS - Named Rider’s 2009 bike of the year by Rider Magazine..........We found out why.
BMW F800GS in Stormsvlei
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
Test Ride Location

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 Stels Pass.
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.
BMW F800GS off road
"It 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 Donford BMW.
BMW F800GS - 2010 colours - Lava Orange
BMW F 800 GS - Specifications 2011
Engine type Liquid cooled, four stroke, parallel twin cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
Displacement 798 cc
Bore x stroke 82 x 75.8 mm
Performance 62.5 kW (85 hp) at 7,500 rpm
Max. torque 80 Nm at 5,750 rpm
Compression ratio 12.0:1
Starter/Battery Electric 
Fuel System Electronic intake injection, 45mm throttle bodies 
Lubrication Dry sump lubrication
Primary drive Chain
Cooling Water-cooled
Clutch Multiplate-plate in oil bath
Gearbox 6 Speed
Frame Tubular frame in steal partly carrying the engine
Front suspension 43mm Upside down forks
Rear suspension Double strut swing arm aluminum coast in one piece
Suspension travel front/rear 230mm / 215mm
Front brake 2x 300mm discs 4 piston Brembo calipers - ABS
Rear brake Single 265mm disc 2 piston Brembo caliper - ABS
Tyres, front/rear 90/90 - 21 54V / 150/70 - 17 69V
Top speed 199.0 km/h  
Wheel base 1,578 mm
Seat height 880 mm / 850 mm
Tank capacity 16 Litres
Fuel Consumption 19.5 km/lit
Wet Weight (With fuel) 209 kg
BMW F800GS Brochure 2010 BMW F 800 GS
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Download Rider's Manual
Click here to book a demo ride with Donford Motorrad Stellenbosch
BMW F800gs Wheelie by Craig Marshall - Montagu, Western Cape, South Africa.BMW F800gs Wheelie by Craig Marshall - Montagu, Western Cape, South Africa.
The BMW F800GS - Modified by Donford BMW

Mods List:
Ohlins progressive fork springs
Ohlins rear shock
Gorilla Zilla steering damper
Touratech radiator guard
Touratech chain guard
Touratech casing saver
Fastway wide foot pegs
BMW Rally seat
BMW tinted screen
BMW Akropovic sport silencer
BMW handguards
BMW engine guard
Excel front and rear rims
Heindeau K60 front and rear tyres
DID Oring chain
Wild@heart folding gear and brake lever
HID headlight kit

Fuel Economy:
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.

Seat Comfort:
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.

All 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.

Wind Protection:
The F800GS 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 speeds.

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 or hesitation.
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 throttle.
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.

Road Handling:
The F800GS 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.
The F800GS 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.
General Opinion
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.
Additional Modifications:
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 exhausts.
BMW F800gs - Supplied by Donford BMW (Pty) LtdDonford BMW (Pty) LtdDonford BMW (Pty) Ltd
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