BMW designed the F 800 GT to replace the aging F 800 ST, and improve upon the sport-touring capabilities of the family. The new model brings a sleeker, more modern look to the table along with improved performance out of the repurposed ST mill. In its stock configuration the GT comes with ABS as the only bit of gadgetry, but the list of available options includes Beemer’s Electronic Suspension and Automatic Stability Control to name a few. Sporty looks, updated electronics and enhanced comfort are all part of the package, but is it enough to compete in a market segment with so many tour-tastic sport bikes? Let’s find out.

Continue reading for my review of the BMW F 800 GT.

  • 2014 - 2016 BMW F 800 GT
  • Year:
    2014- 2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Water-cooled 4-stroke in-line two-cylinder engine, two overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, dry sump lubrication
  • Displacement:
    798 cc
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph
  • Price:
  • Price:


2014 - 2016 BMW F 800 GT
- image 717574

I know that Beemer made some changes to this newest generation to make it more tour-tastic, but I still have a hard time accepting anything as any sort of tour bike that comes without stock bags and cases. Granted, the word “tour” seems to mean different things to different people, but in the American market, that word brings the expectation of some stock cargo capacity associated with it. Just sayin’ guys.

The GT leads the way with a really cool-looking, asymmetrical headlight arrangement set immediately below the clear speed screen. A slim fairing mounts the mirror standoffs up high, but the front turn signals bolt up down lower on the engine cowling just behind the scoop. The vented cowling wanes at the trailing edge to leave room for an ample leg pocket so you can tuck in out of the energy-sapping slipstream, and the vents themselves act to reduce turbulence while drawing off waste heat from inside the engine compartment.

A bit of rise in the handlebars pushes the rider a bit more upright than a pure sportbike might, and the rider footpegs were both lowered and moved forward for a more relaxed, long-term leg position. End result; a bike that makes it easier to stay in the saddle for the long haul. Beemer offers a number of seats for the F 800 GT that makes it possible to set the seat height at 33.3-inches, 31.5-inches or a low, 30.1-inches high. A shallow scoop rises to the slightly elevated pillion pad, and the side rails of the luggage rack double as Oh, shit handles for the passenger’s peace of mind.

Overall, the GT has a nice, swoopy look that has just enough nose-down/tail-up attitude to accentuate the “sport” part of the sport-touring moniker. One unusual detail on the GT is the four-gallon, subframe-mount fuel fill on the right side at the break of the saddle that indicates a lower-than-standard fuel tank that is sure to help centralize the weight and lessen rotational inertia for nimble handling.


2014 - 2016 BMW F 800 GT
- image 717575

Beemer builds the GT on a bridge-type frame made of lightweight aluminum members. The single-side swingarm got stretched two whole inches this year to improve tracking and push the wheelbase out to a total of 59.6-inches long. Steering geometry is rather sharpish at 25.8-degrees from the vertical with a short, 3.7 inches of trail for agile handling and quick reversals as the bike rotates around the horizontal axis. This is aided by the unusual fuel-tank arrangement, and helps the bike remain supple even under the weight of the accessory top box, side cases, associated cargo and passenger. In order to save weight and minimize framing, Beemer eliminated a chunk of the frame and used the engine as a stressed member to make up the difference.

The factory kept suspension features fairly vanilla with standard, right-way-up, 43 mm forks up front and a central-mount strut in back that comes with a handwheel adjuster for the continuously-variable preload setting. Both ends of the bike get 4.9 inches of travel at the axle. Now, I realize that the factory had to make concessions to keep the final price low, but I’m still a little surprised at the minimal suspension tweaks. That said, at least the brakes get electronic help from the BMW Motorrad ABS. A pair of four-pot calipers bite the dual, 320 mm front discs with a single-piston caliper to bind the 265 mm disc in back, plenty for a bike that weighs in at 470-pounds, wet.

Cast-aluminum rims endeavor to keep unsprung weight low with 17-inch hoops to make the final connection to the pavement, and the ZR-rated tires come in a 120/70 up front and 180/55 in back for a nice balance between contact-patch size and agility. Pretty sporty, but really not much for the touring rider beyond a few comfort-related features, and still no stock bags. Of course, that changes significantly if you opt for the accessory ASC and ESA features along with the heated handgrips.


2014 - 2016 BMW F 800 GT Exterior
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Beemer tweaked the 800 ST engine to milk another five ponies from it for a total of 90 horsepower and 63 pound-feet of torque for this new-generation GT. A proven design, the mill has some interesting quirks. First, it’s a parallel-twin engine with a 360-degree firing order that sounds a lot like one of the old twingle mills, but it actually has a third connecting rod with attached counterweight to defeat the hand-numbing vibration associated with the early parallel twins.

The liquid-cooled mill runs dual over-head cams to time the eight-valve head, and maintains a sizzling compression ratio of 12-to-1 that will put you at the premium pump to avoid problems with pre-ignition/detonation. Slightly oversquare, the mill runs an 82 mm bore and 75.6 mm stroke for a total displacement of 798 cc. Fuel injection and a closed-loop catalytic converter help the engine maintain EU-3 emission standards and get its respectable 69 mpg efficiency rating. A mechanical wet clutch couples engine power to the six-speed transmission, and a reinforced-belt drive makes the final connection to the rear wheel.


2014 - 2016 BMW F 800 GT
- image 717572

A base model F 800 GT will set you back a smooth $12,095, and that includes ABS but no bags. Ahem. Just sayin’, guys.


2014 - 2016 BMW F 800 GT
- image 712384
2015 - 2017 Yamaha FJ-09
- image 662251

Just about everyone that makes sportbikes also offers some sort of sport tourer, and frequently its more or less one of their stock crotch rockets with a little rise in the bars and a couple of bags slapped on, and sometimes not even that. Today’s competitor — Yamaha’s FJ-09 — falls into the latter category.

Like the F 800 GT, the FJ-09 carries itself with a rather sport-tastic demeanor though it shuns the full body panels for a more naked overall look. The FJ is a bit more angular, with a sort-of disembodied robot-eye headlights under a narrow, cut down windscreen and handguards for more of an adventure-bike vibe than you get from the Beemer. Yamaha runs dual front brakes with four-pot calipers and all-around ABS, just like Beemer, but unlike Beemer, the FJ-09 sports adjustable, inverted front forks with variable spring preload and rebound damping, and the rear shock gets the same brace of tweaks as well for all-around better stock suspension. See how easy that is, Beemer? Granted, the electronic suspension upgrade for the GT is even better, but I’m just looking at stock features here.

Yammy powers the FJ-09 with an 847 cc triple, a handful of cubes and one whole cylinder larger than the BMW mill. The Tuning Fork Company also manages to eke out 115 ponies and 65 pounds for an advantage over the 90-horsepower, 63 pound-foot BMW twin, and Yammy includes ride-by-wire throttle control, traction control and rider modes on top for some real nice features that Beemer has no answer for, at least on the stock GT; traction control is available as an option, after all. Having said all that, Yamaha comes out with an edge in electronic yummy-goodness.

Yamaha really brings the pain at the checkout with a $10,699 sticker. That’s right folks, the FJ-09 has all the gadgets and the cheaper price to boot. Is this enough to buy it some of BMW’s customers? Probably not, but it is definitely an attractive possibility if you don’t have to have the Beemer.

He Said

“Definitely a good-looking ride. Very sporty and all that, but at the end of the day it seems like just a crotch rocket with a somewhat relaxed riding posture. Not what I would call it a tour bike by any stretch of the imagination. Doesn’t make it bad, just makes it something that, upon which, I couldn’t engage in what I consider to be “touring” activities.

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "BMW makes a nice bike, that goes without saying. As a sport-tourer, though, I feel like the F 800 GT definitely leans towards the sport side of the equation. It isn’t an intimidating ride, though. As part of the touring side, the F 800 GT is smooth on the highway, has plenty of roll-on, and has a comfortable enough riding posture to go for a while in the saddle."


Type: Liquid cooled, 4-stroke parallel twin engine, four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts, dry sump lubrication
Bore x stroke: 82 mm x 75.6 mm
Capacity: 798 cc
Rated output: 90 hp (66 kW) at 8,000 rpm
Max. torque: 63 lb-ft (86 Nm) at 5,800 rpm
Compression ratio: 12.0 : 1
Mixture control / engine management: Electronic fuel injection
Emission control: Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-3
Performance / fuel consumption:  
Maximum speed: Over 125 mph
Fuel consumption per 100 km at constant 90 km/h: 69 mpg at a constant 55 mph (3.4 l)
Fuel type: Premium Unleaded
Electrical system:  
Alternator: Three-phase 400 W generator
Battery: 12 V / 12 Ah, maintenance-free
Power transmission:  
Clutch: Multi-plate wet clutch, mechanically operated
Gearbox: Constant-mesh 6-speed gearbox with straight cut gears
Drive: Belt drive 2.35:1
Chassis / brakes:  
Frame: Aluminum bridge-type frame with load-bearing engine
Front wheel location / suspension: Telescopic fork, Ø 43 mm
Rear wheel location / suspension: Cast aluminum single-sided swing arm with eccentric adjustment for rear axle, central spring strut, spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable (continuously variable) via handwheel
Suspension travel front / rear: 4.9" / 4.9" (125 mm / 125 mm)
Wheelbase: 59.6" (1,514 mm)
Castor: 3.7" (94.6 mm)
Steering head angle: 64.2°
Wheels: Cast aluminum wheels
Rim, front: 3.50 x 17"
Rim, rear: 5.50 x 17"
Tyres, front: 120/70 ZR 17
Tyres, rear: 180/55 ZR 17
Brake, front: Dual floating disc brakes, 4-piston fixed calipers, diameter 320 mm
Brake, rear: Single disc brake, diameter 265 mm, single-piston floating caliper
ABS: BMW Motorrad ABS
Dimensions / weights:  
Length: 84.9" (2,156 mm)
Width (incl. mirrors): 35.5" (902 mm)
Height (excl. mirrors): 49.1" (1,248 mm)
Seat height, unladen weight: 31.5" (800 mm) Standard; variable seat heights available between 30.1" (765 mm) and 33.3" (845 mm) (available as accessories and/or factory options, see an authorized BMW Motorrad dealer)
Inner leg curve, unladen weight: 72.2" (1,835 mm) Standard; variable inner leg curve (inseam) between 69.1" (1,755 mm) and 75.2" (1,910 mm) (seats available as accessories and/or factory options, see an authorized BMW Motorrad dealer)
Unladen weight, road ready, fully fuelled 1): 470 lbs (213 kg)
Permitted total weight: 926 lbs (420 kg)
Payload (with standard equipment): 456 lbs (207 kg)
Usable tank volume: 4.0 gal (15 l)
Reserve: Approx. 0.8 gal (3.0 l)

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