2013 BMW F 800 GT – First Look Review

For 2013, BMW has introduced a replacement for the F 800 ST sport tourer, an more touring-ready model called the F 800 GT. Living up to its new “Gran Turismo” moniker, the F 800 GT gets a 5-horsepower boost (claimed) in power, a wide range of upgrades aimed at improving wind protection and comfort, and an expanded list of available accessories.

A new fairing and windscreen give the F 800 GT a fresh look while also enhancing wind protection, and longer mirror stems give the rider a better view behind the motorcycle.

BMW’s 798cc liquid-cooled parallel twin, which in various states of tune powers all F-series models (F 700 GS, F 800 GS and F 800 R), now generates a claimed 90 horsepower (up from 85) at 8,000 rpm in the F 800 GT. The bike features an exhaust manifold and muffler adapted from the F 800 R, with the addition of a new exhaust heat shield in the passenger heel area.

The 2013 BMW F 800 GT features optional hard saddlebags for the first time.
The 2013 BMW F 800 GT features optional hard saddlebags for the first time.

As with all BMWs, ABS is now standard. The two-channel anti-lock braking system now has an additional pressure sensor in the front brake circuit for more precise activation. Complementing the ABS is a new option—Automatic Stability Control (ASC)—which reduces power to the rear wheel if excessive slip is detected. Also available for the first time on this model is optional Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA), allowing pushbutton changes to rear damping.

The F 800 GT features a 2-inch-longer swingarm for more stability. A 0.6-inch reduction in rear suspension travel (to 4.9 inches) is said to reduce rear squat and increase stability, but the greatest benefit to many riders is likely to be the reduction of rider seat height from 33.1 inches to 31.5 inches. A remote knob allows easy rear spring preload adjustments. New, lighter wheels are said to improve overall handling, and load capacity has increased by 24 lbs., to 456 lbs. (claimed).

In addition to the lower seat height, ergonomics have been improved with a 0.8-inch-taller handlebar and rider footpegs that are 0.4-inch lower and 0.4-inch farther forward. A new seat is also wider, and optional low and high seats are available. Other improvements include a new instrument cluster that displays more information, a now-standard onboard computer and a CAN-bus electrical system.

The 2013 BMW F 800 GT gets more wind protection and new instrumentation.
The 2013 BMW F 800 GT gets more wind protection and new instrumentation.

Accessory hard luggage is now available, including saddlebags with 55 liters of total capacity and a 28-liter top case that mounts to the standard luggage rack, plus a 10-liter (expandable up to 14 liters) tankbag. The handlebar now features a connector for the optional BMW Navigator IV GPS. Other accessories include low (30.1 inches), high (33.3 inches) and comfort (32.3 inches) seats; heated grips; centerstand; saddlebag mounts; tire-pressure monitor; and more.

The F 800 GT will be offered in three new colors—Radiant Valencia orange, Dark graphite metallic and Light white. Two options packages will also be available: Safety package (ASC, ESA and TPM) and Comfort package (on-board computer, heated grips, saddlebag mounts and centerstand). Pricing and availability are TBD.


2007 BMW F 800 ST Road Test


    • It’s another F800 ST, nothing new
      Just look at the legs position proper for a Sport not for a GT
      Folks of BMW, Listen to your users
      “Please correct the driver position on this model”
      if BMW do it, I’m shure this GT will be a huge success, otherwise another S/ST
      “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” Albert Einstein

  1. The Jan.2013 Kickstarts page 10 was to have a reveiw of the new Husqvarna TR650Terra! What Happened to it? Looking forward to a full reveiw of this prommising new dualsport.

  2. Riding position is obviously personal. I quite agree with the comment to ‘correct the riding position’ for the ST, but my correction would be to drop the bars, raise the seat, lift the pegs then push them back a bit. That’s the opposite to what’s been done. Bye-bye any rights to a ‘G’ next to a ‘T’. The ST had an issue with cornering ground clearance (scraping pegs) so lowering them even further rather removes the point of riding, unless ‘fun’ could be considered to be plodding along in a straight line. The ST had minimal ‘S’ in it to start with and I can’t see how putting more weight on the spine is going to change an ‘S’ into a ‘G’; may as well halve the tank size as lasting 200 miles on something crippling the lower back isn’t going to happen! It’s a shame as it wouldn’t have taken much of an effort to change the ST into something really good, and BMW know how to balance fun, control & comfort – just try a K1300S for a 12 hour ride. Very impressive. The F800ST had phenomenal economy on an engine with ‘enough’ power but a good chassis let down by a bad (now worse) riding position & forks that are a joke, although largely correctable with an after-market cartridge system. Forks were where they should have concentrated their efforts. I know that ‘power is nothing without control’ isn’t BMW’s phrase, but it fits!

    • Tom – this is all down to personal taste and what you find comfortable!

      I had an ST a couple of years ago – it was a great bike but riding it I felt really cramped and my wrists hurt like hell. With the GT it look like they’ve addressed this with higher bars, lower pegs and also provided a better screen, luggage and fixed the mirrors!

      Plus, of course, adding ESA. What’s not to like (apart from dropping the BMW indicator switch gear which is so much better)!!!

  3. Too small to be a sport touring bike. I test drove one last year and really wanted to like it. Picked up an fjr and have been smiling ever since.

  4. I am looking to replace my 10-year old Honda Deauville (NT650V) with a similar size touring bike that has ABS. The BMW F 800 GT seemed to tick the boxes for an affordable, low weight, comfortable and under 1000cc touring bike, which didn’t have a high maintenance chain drive. So I had a test ride and was impressed with the power, rider and pillion seat comfort, optional detachable panniers, instrumentation and re-assurance of having ABS. However I would like to see a lower 1st gear for riding in slow traffic, a higher screen to direct the air over my helmet, a top box to hold 2 helmets, and higher handlebars to take the weight off my wrists. However I am also concerned about the reported lack of reliability of BMW motorcycles.

  5. Well Trevor, my husband Dave has ridden a BMW 1200 Adventure since 2009 Its done 52000 km – all through Africa and local cummuting. He’s found it so reliable that he doesn’t want anything else. Can’t say for guys, but the GT is a fantastic riding position for a girl!


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