So, our F800GS has been out for a while and really no one has reviewed our bike. The new ADV version comes around and there are first impressions popping Oh well….At least BMW has released an ADV 800! But then again..aren’t all our bikes ADV tourers????? Would you buy this? The price seems not that bad compared to our 2013 fully loaded F800’s.
Until now, BMW Motorrad has applied the “Adventure” moniker only to its large GS models with Boxer engines. In mid-June, however, that changes with the debut of the all-new 2014 BMW F800GS Adventure, a bike designed to be better in the dirt than a standard F800GS while also being a much-improved touring rig.
So, what makes this new version of the BMW F800GS an Adventure? It starts with the tubular steel trellis frame, which is basically stock F800GS hardware but is fitted with a strengthened rear subframe designed to handle the increased loads of off-road riding and the heavier new fuel tank, which, at 6.3 gallons, is 2.1 gallons larger than a standard F800GS’s. What’s more, the F800GS Adventure has new bodywork designed to keep proportions right, even with the large tank, while a larger windscreen, a more comfortable bench seat (now two-tone) and hand protectors make the bike much more pleasant on long days in the saddle. Other F800GS Adventure-specific parts include wide enduro footpegs (with removable rubber covers), a strengthened (and adjustable) foot brake lever, a pannier rack that also protects the large fuel tank, and a tubular protection bar for the engine.
Regarding the engine, it’s unchanged from the F800GS. It’s the familiar, liquid-cooled, 798cc parallel-Twin that smoothly puts out a claimed 85 horsepower at 7500 rpm and 61 ft.-lb. of peak torque at 5750 rpm. The transmission is also the same, a six-speed that helps BMW’s catalyst-equipped dry-sump powerplant stay in the thick of its powerband.
As with all BMWs, ABS is standard, and it can be switched off. Moreover, BMW’s Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) is available as an option. Via a button near the left handgrip, the rider can select “Comfort,” “Normal,” or “Sport” modes, each offering an increasingly stiff damping rate. Spring preload is adjusted manually via a hand wheel.
An optional Enduro package includes Automatic Stability Control (ASC). Most significant to dirt-road explorers, the Enduro package has an “Off-Road” mode similar to that found on the new liquid-cooled R1200GS, which softens throttle response and optimizes ABS and traction control for loose surfaces. By minimizing, but not eliminating, ABS and TC intervention, some slip is allowed on loose surfaces, aiding both acceleration and braking. Of note, the “Off-Road” mode is available only with the Enduro package, whereas ASC is also available on its own.
BMW says the new 2014 F800GS Adventure, with its larger tank, has a range 100 miles greater than the standard F800GS’s. Moreover, BMW claims the new Adventure gets 55 mpg at a constant 55 mph, which is good but 7 mpg less than the standard F800GS. The new Adventure also has a slightly higher seat (35.0 in. vs. 34.6), and BMW says the bike’s fully fueled weight of 505 lb. is 33 lb. heavier than the standard F800GS’s. Also worth noting: The standard F800GS is available with a low suspension option, whereas the new F800GS Adventure is not.
Available in two colors (Sandrover Matte or Racing Red), BMW’s new 2014 F800GS Adventure starts at a base price of $13,550. Most bikes at BMW dealers, however, will be available as models with packages that combine options. The Premium model, which starts at $14,350, is fitted with both the Enduro package (“Off-Road” mode and ASC) and the Comfort package (heated grips, on-board computer, center stand). Topping it all off is what BMW calls the “Fully Loaded” model, an F800GS Adventure with the works. This bike has all that the Premium Package offers, plus an Active Package that includes LED foglights, and, most significant to us, ESA. All for $14,350.
Seems like a reasonable price for a well-equipped, new middleweight ADV bike that’s worthy of the Adventure name and can be ordered with a host of accessories including an aluminum top case and saddlebags. As such, the new F800GS Adventure—fitted with triple-disc brakes and a 21-in. front wheel and a 17-in. rear—looks like a great bike for exploring, a legitimate option for those who may be waiting for the new R1200GS Adventure to arrive next year, or for those who might simply think the big-bore GS Adventure is a bit too much bike for them.
That stated, wouldn’t it have been great if BMW had chosen instead to make an R800GS and an R800GS Adventure, bikes powered by a venerable, character-rich, boxer motor? Hey, nobody said we couldn’t dream…