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BMW F800GT 2013-16


bmwdave
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I bought a 2013 model last October with 5500 on the clock. Bear in mind I have traded down from a BMW 1200RT.


I have done about 500 miles on it in a couple of months, but the last 2 weeks have been restricted due to the weather. I commute across the town 4 days a week and the 5th is a 23 mile e.w. mainly motorway run, so mixed riding. I changed bike primarily because I fancied a change, but also wanted to a lighter bike as the RT was proving a handful and I'm not getting any younger.


OK, bad points first.


Its not as comfortable as the RT, which is hardly surprising. Its not bad, just not as good as the RT. I got the lower seat, as I did on the RT. but find it means I feel a little cramped with my knees bent a little more than I would like. The tank is errr, different. I haven't even quite worked out where it is, the filler pipe just disappears somewhere. The odd shape means you dont get a fuel gauge reading until its down to half a tank, but you do get a low warning light and a kilometre reading from the moment the light comes on, so you know how far you've gone on reserve. The GT comes with a touring screen. I dont know what the smaller screens are like but this one feels worthless to me, but then I'm used to the RT. I've replaced mine with a Puig screen, biggest I could get and its much better. The gearbox is a pig. BMW are known for notchy gearboxes but this is very fussy, you have to ride it properly and match the revs or it simply wont change. Really it just makes you ride as you were taught. Get it right and its smooth and sweet, wrong and youre going nowhere. Took me a good couple of weeks but now I only have an occasional jerky shift, in fact I'm pleased with myself for re-learning how to change gears so smoothly.


Good points now. With the new Puig screen, wind protection is great, around 80-90% of the RT, which is a class apart. The engine is sweet and more than enough for me. No idea what top speed is, but I can confirm three figures very easily. (Well you just have to on a new bike, dont you?) The power reduction compared to the RT is covered by the weight reduction of 50K, so the power/weight ratio is the same. Enthusiasts may not like the sound of it, more sewing machine than Harley. The bike is comfy compared to sports bike and smaller bikes I've ridden. I love being able to get both feet flat on the ground, and the weight loss makes handling around town a breeze compared to the old tank. Using the main stand feels effortless compared to before. Filtering is much easier as the bike is a little narrower, its only a couple of inches but it makes a big difference. Fuel economy is better of course, although the range isnt as the tank is smaller. It has an on board computer that can give you lots of info if you can be bothered to learn how to use it. Tyre pressure monitoring is handy, although I hope i never need it in earnest. Heated grips are good, and the low seat means that you have support behind your bum, so no backsliding if you overdo the right wrist a little. I like the very upright riding position, though that may not please everyone, for those people there are other versions of the bike, but that gives away the very best feature of all - NO CHAIN. The belt drive is maintenance free, driven carefully it should last longer than a chain and be cheaper to replace when the time comes.


Overall - I'm pleased with the change. Riding is much easier and I actually feel more confident around town, but more exposed on the motorway. I would recommend this bike as long as youre comfortable with the notchy gears, if you generally struggle this bike will be unacceptable. I'd like another ride on it with the standard seat. At the time I felt it was a bit too tall for me, but having got used to it a bit the higher seat may be more suitable, I may well find the toes only on the ground OK now especially with the lower weight. I wonder if anyone makes an add on pad of some sort that would give me a mid-height seat without going to the expense of having one made specially.


Hope someone out there finds this useful.

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I would suggest you set up a search on eBay for the standard seat.. and be patient. then sell your low seat in the same way, your low seat is going to be worth more second hand.


you can probably buy gel type pads that attach to the seat.. but Im not sure if they would work well, and Im definitely not sure about the looks.


the tank is a very odd shape:

 

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On my 800.. the fuel gauge only provides a rough idea of fuel until its half full.. then as the fuel level drops it becomes more accurate. I have arrived at a petrol station with 5 miles left. Thats as close as Ive gone without carrying fuel for a 'run it dry' test.

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  • 2 years later...

hi, I’ve just bought a 2015 plate GT and wondering if you still have yours? i’d be very interested in any feedback with the windscreen change as i’m looking for better protection.


good review btw

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If you want to go all the way with the screen.. maximum protection and adjustability. then you are probably looking at the Madstad. and as thats an american screen and bracket its expensive. but, you will only hear good things about it from the yanks. its a fairly common solution for buffeting on my africa twin and is mentioned a lot by americans for a lot of other bikes. but it definitely is expensive. £300+


other ideas are the Puig. Givi and MRA.


The biggest problem with choosing a screen is every rider is different and if you couple that with any other adjustments they have made to their bikes a solution for them might easily make matters worse for you. So.. it can come down to trial and error.


BTW.. BMWDave hasn't been on the forum for a couple of years now.. but might respond if you send him a private message or email.

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