2017 BMW F 800 R & F 800 GT | First Look Review

The 2017 BMW F 800 R (left) in BMW Motorsport colors and F 800 GT (right) in Gravity Blue metallic matt. (Photos: BMW)
The 2017 BMW F 800 R (left) in BMW Motorsport colors and F 800 GT (right) in Gravity Blue metallic matt. (Photos: BMW)

BMW’s F 800 R and F 800 GT have proven popular with smaller riders, and for 2017 both models are receiving updates and new color options.

2017 BMW F 800 R.
2017 BMW F 800 R.

Perhaps the biggest change is the addition of ride-by-wire, which enables riding modes. Rain and Road riding modes will come as standard on both models, while Dynamic ride mode will be equipped as an option. A revised instrument cluster will now include the chosen riding mode, as well as new dials that are easier to read.

Check out the 2015 F 800 R and see what’s new this year.

2017 BMW F 800 GT.
2017 BMW F 800 GT.

Both bikes will have a newly Euro 4-compliant, liquid-cooled, 798cc parallel twin engine that is good for a claimed 90 horsepower. The F 800 GT will also have minor cosmetic changes, including a windshield with “F 800 GT” inscribed on it and a new-look model designation on the bodywork.

Read our Road Test Review of the 2013 BMW F 800 GT.

2017 BMW F 800 R in Racing Red non-metallic.
2017 BMW F 800 R in Racing Red non-metallic.

The 2017 F 800 R will be available in Racing Red non-metallic, Blackstorm metallic and BMW Motorsport colors (Lightwhite non-metallic/Lupine Blue metallic/Racing Red non-metallic). The 2017 F 800 GT will be available in Gravity Blue metallic matt, Lightwhite non-metallic and Blackstorm metallic. The F 800 R will also have “Design Option” wheels available, which adds a decorative red line around the edge of the wheel rim.

2017 BMW F 800 GT in Lightwhite non-metallic.
2017 BMW F 800 GT in Lightwhite non-metallic.

BMW Motorrad accessories will be available for both models, including taller handlebars for the F 800 R, a new HP exhaust for both and various seat height options.

US pricing and availability are TBD.

19 COMMENTS

  1. having owned a f800gt for a little over 3 years I’d like to leave a few comments on it. first off Ill say that it is a good motorcycle for a new rider, that is if they have 14,000 dollars to spend for a GT or 11 or 12 grand for a R. In 2013 I bought the GT new and I was a new rider at the time and unfortunately last year I was involved in a accident that totaled the bike. But make no mistake I wish to the heavens that I still had it. My f800gt was comfortable, handled great, did really good on mileage (until I changed the exhaust) but even then it wasn’t bad at all. I took the bike on the highway and wanted to see what I could get out of it, one of my friends said he clocked me at over 130 so that isn’t really to bad for a two cylinder bike. I didn’t then and I don’t plan on it now of making it a habit of going that fast but I was surprised that it did that good.
    Now here is where I think that BMW is giving this bike a major screw job, even with what I just said about how well the performance was, for the size and price of the GT its underpowered and over priced. The R model isn’t all that bad but its still maybe about 1000 dollars to high as well. I don’t think BMW realizes what a cash cow the GT could be for a long time to come. Ive seen so many walk away from the GT once they were told that its only a 90 hp bike. and the salesman at the BMW dealership here told me that he has a hard time selling them because of that. So it needs a performance upgrade to at least 100-105 hp and in the upper 60’s to 70 in torque at the least. Second thing is it needs a face lift, it isn’t 2006 anymore and the GT needs a fresh look that will distinguish away it from the old BMW f800st. For example In 1997 I bought my first Honda accord best car I ever owned, in 2004 I bought a second accord but by then Honda had change the body style and gave it a little more power made it a better car. I think its funny that BMW will take a bike like the s1000rr (a sport bike built to come close to breaking the sound barrier) and put a cruise control on it, or take the motor from the s1000rr and put it on a adventure bike frame and trick it out as well, and how many models of bikes does BMW have with the ugliest motor in the world (the boxer) yet the best the F800gt can get it a new paint job and some minor upgrades that wont help it sale any better then it has. As for the R model as a entry level bike its fine, but do you really need 2 entry level bikes that are both over 11,000 dollars. I’m disappointed in BMW because the f800gt has so much more potential to be the top dog in its class (middle weight sport touring) for a long long time to come but for some reason BMW chooses to dance around it to push bigger, heavier, and in some cases less attractive, much more expensive (even for BMW) bikes. The last thing i’ll say is after my accident it was almost 3 months before I got a new bike, I upgraded to a k1300s. But before I got it I really struggled between switching brands, I thought about a zx14 but decided that was a little more bike then I wanted and I knew that the k1300 was a better bike for touring, getting another f800gt but couldn’t justify over 14,000 when a new zx14 was only about 800-900 dollars more, the 0NLY reason I decided to go ahead and get the k1300s was I got great finance rate 0.9 if not for that I probably would not have a bike at all right now. if BMW were to put the GT back on the operating table and give it a fresh more modern look (meaning get away from that big cyclops front) at the least, and a performance upgrade I wouldn’t have a problem trading my k1300 for it but unless that happens, if something happens to my K3 it may not my last bike but BMW would have really impress me if I were to get another BMW.

    • I am on my second F800ST. I put over 27k on the first one (2009) and bought a GS used, which I didn’t like as much, so I sold and then got a great deal on a used 2012 ST. No, they’re not rocketships, but set up properly, you can ride them all day long, and have great fun on them. I disagree that they are “beginner” bikes. I’m older, with many years of on and off road miles under my belt. For us older guys especially, they are lightweight, nimble, and tons of fun. I’ve had it less than a year, and already put over 6k on it. They’re just plain fun to ride. I can’t vouch for the new GT, as I haven’t ridden it, but the ST is one of the best handling bikes I’ve ever ridden. Just my opinion of course 🙂

      • The reason I say they are Beginner bikes is that is what I was told when I was looking for my first bike, and let be honest here until the 310R the f800gt/R were Bmw’s smallest displacement bikes even with it being almost 500 pounds. 90 hp is a joke for a bike for its size. I understand what you mean about being a older rider as well I’m 54 soon to be 55, I don’t want a big bike like a k1600 or the 1200 gt’s either Which Is why I split the difference and got the k1300s. I won’t say I wasn’t content with the f800gt I was and would probably still if I still had it. But why call yourself upgrading a product if you upgrade it to appeal to a wider market base.

        • No, the GT is not an upgrade. I much prefer the ST . 90HP is a joke? Well compared to a vMax sure, but I’ve had it up over 120mph with more headroom left. And it got there quick too. And you can pick one up used with low miles for under $7k. I know because I did – twice! With the bar risers, and a vStream windscreen, for a smaller person like myself, it is a ride it all day bike (which I do regularly). Would I buy a GT when this one wears out? Probably not. If money was no object, I’d get a MOTUS MST. Now that is a wicked bike (and around $30K). Some of the new Indians are kind of cool too. Who knows what’s next?

  2. The F800GT has nothing of a “beginner bike”. Being 56 meanwhile, I ride bikes for 40 years all year long, some 50,000 miles a year. I rode everything there was on the market, since I used to be a motorbike journalist for 20 years and owned lots of bikes myself. We’re talking 800 cc, not 500. We’re talking 90hp, not 35. We’re talking topspeed of well over 125 mph, not 85 and finally 3.9 sec from 0-60. All this has nothing to do with a “beginner bike”. Although I could buy ever bike I like, I chose the F800GT, because it is lightweight, well behaved, and a wonderful allrounder with great value for money. I can pack half a house and the garden for a tour or just have an aggressive dash around some curvy country lanes. There is almost no car that can annoy me on the motorway, however I’m surely not the kind of guy who fancies illegal races with a Ninja. I just want a sporty bike for every day and every tour that doesn’t feel like a motorhome or beats my backbone to pieces. That’s why the F800GT is the bike of my choice. Beginners should stay well clear of 90hp for the first few years.

    • Wolfgang, our stories sound similar I have been riding for over 40 years and currently ride a 2011 Street Glide and have concerns about the 800s power any advice . I am looking for a lighter bike but still want to pass 18 wheelers .

      • Hello Ken, look no further. 😉 For the last two years I’m riding the F800GT on German motorways and there’s barely a reason for me to leave the left lane even with luggage and my wife on the back seat. Usually she takes her own bike, a R1100R, but not for long motorway stints. She just wouldn’t be able to follow my “under powered” F800 ;-). She’s a bit jealous, though.
        Seriously now, the F800 engine does need rpm to live up to its potential. If this isn’t for you, then probably the parallel twin isn’t either. It does perfectly well in the basement too – and the long first gear is a delightment after you got used to it – but to pass the addressed 18 wheelers on a curvy road you probably want to shift two gears down. So it’s all about shifting I’m afraid. Buying such a light weight touring bike comes at a price: it’s two instead of four cylinders. That’s what makes the big (weight) difference. You do have the power for the 18 wheeler, you do have the power to annoy every Porsche, Audi, Mercedes, M5 or whatever a German motorway throws at you, but you constantly need all of the six gears. The F800GT is really great fun, it’s the best touring sport bike I personally ever had the pleasure to own or to ride. It’s pure fun and great functionality.
        But if you want torque stick to the Street Glide. There is a bike for every taste. And we are all fellow bikers, aren’t we?

        • I agree that the f800gt is a fun and versatile bike for touring and everyday riding. But for whatever is said about how good this bike is, the pit fall for the f800gt is going to be that is priced out of its class. Two very simple things would help the f800gt immensely. Number one more power not a lot more but enough to justify the price tag, and number 2, a more modern style. It isn’t 2006 anymore it isn’t even 2010. Bring the f800gt up speed and I’ll be the first one in line to buy another one.

          • I find your comments interesting. First, the bike needs more power…yet it will do 140 mph, per the Michigan Police tests.

            Second, while the styling may be dated for you, I’ve received more compliments from complete strangers of my GT than all my previous bikes combined. But then style is a personal taste.

            I like the bike just the way it is. There are rumors of an update to the bike in a couple years. I doubt I’ll jump at the chance. I took two trips on mine last summer, putting on over 7000 miles in four weeks. Never once did I wish I had a different bike.

  3. I have had a f800gt for 3 years and done 20,000 miles. I love the economy , comfort and versatility of the bike. You can tour and commute no problem and it is very reliable. The best thing is the belt drive. If you hate maintenance (chains) and want an easy to ride bike without going for a shaft drive which means 1200cc and big bucks this is for you. I am however disappointed that BMW have not give a new model rather than a new paint job. I also think 105bhp is needed just to give it that extra punch that is needed. I had a triumph tiger 800cc before and it had more punch. it is a better all round package than the tiger. So come on BMW get your finger out and make a good bike fantastic !

  4. I’ve ridden for 40 years, had the original f800st, S1000R, 12GS and am on my second 8GT. I also have an 8GS and ride it extensively off road. The parallel twin f8 motor is extremely reliable, flexible and works quite well in various platforms. The only downside for me is a bit of tingling/vibration in the grips, somewhat soft suspension and lack of electronic cruise control. The forks are easy to improve by simply changing the fluid to 10wt and adding 5 to 10cc. This slows down the rebound circuit and improves bottoming resistance. The shock works o.k. albeit on the soft side and not much you can do about it except replace it if you like. Oil and air cleaner changes are simple and the single sided swingarm looks great and makes wheel removal for tire changes a breeze. Not many machines in this class have integrated/locking luggage that comes close to the 8gt. Overall it’s a wonderful bike that is easy and comfortable to ride and maintain. In my view, most riders can’t come close to the performance ceiling of a 350 let alone an f800. In general, we tend to “over buy” our machines based on marketing hype and appearance.

    • I agree with you 100% but the proof is on the show room floor, meaning at least for the Bmw dealers around me (within 400 miles there are 3 and I’ve been to each one of them) unless it’s a trade in you wont find one. Even if I am totally off base there is still something that is keeping the 800gt from being a more popular bike. The dealership here won’t ask for one unless its a special order. Something else I agree on is we do tend to over buy, I have a K1300s now, I love it but I don’t ever plan on going as fast as that bike can go, I guess depending on the incentives that are offered at the time when there’s around a 2000 dollar or less difference in sticker price which would one you take. I don’t know what the answer is maybe it isn’t power or looks but I do know that after about a year of having my 800gt I predicted that the sales of the bike would drop way down if BMW didn’t do something other then a paint job and I was right.

  5. I’m driving the F800 ST and the VFR 800 already built. BMW is the most powerful engine despite 20 hp less. Much more torque at low revs, a sleek and very economical ride with a sovereign suspension and high quality make it a motorcycle without real competition in the class. For me, stronger motorcycles are not topics.

  6. I have had a Honda VFR800 for a season. Unfortunately, it was written off when my neighbor backed his truck over it. However, I recently bought a BMW F800st, which is literally like new. While I think I might miss the additional fifteen horses, the amenities of the ST seem to more than make up for the deficit. I’ll let you know next year, as the riding season in Canada is over in the West for another year.

    • Thanks for the comparison with the VFR.

      I really liked mine, but got tired of the wind noise at speed, and it wasn’t comfortable for me for distances (>100mi/160km).

      Currently on an electric bike, but the range isn’t enough to go on rides or to commute.

      I am dreaming of another bike, but am hesitant to get a larger one.

      Maybe the ST or GT would be good for me.

  7. In respect to the GT’s performance it is instructional to compare its pecs to its natural competitior, the VFR800
    The VFR weighs around 240kg wet, and produces about 78Kw. Put an 80kg rider on board and that gives you a power to weight ratio of about .24 Kw per kg
    For the F800 GT, the power to weight ration with the same rider would be .22Kw per kg.
    For the metrically challenged, that gives the VFR about a 9% power advantage. Or to look at it from another point of view, the F800GT is has more than 90% of the VFR’s outright performance.
    Of course, that doesn’t tell the whole story because the relatively lighter weight of the GT, which keeps it in touch performance-wise, also has big pay-offs in other areas. All other things being equal, the GT should out-brake the VFR, hold higher cornering speeds for a given angle of lean and transition more quickly from side to side, as these things are primarily a function of mass. Also, while the VFR is more powerful, nowhere in its rev range does it come close to matching the F800GT’s torque. Torque is that nebulous quality which allows a bike to launch out of corners even when you are a gear too high and a couple of thousand RPM too low. Around a racetrack, where the rider has plenty of opportunity to practice matching corners to gears and RPM, horsepower usually rules. But in the real world where that rider doesn’t know exactly what is coming next and has to leave something in reserve, it is torque that more often makes for rapid (and enjoyable) progress.
    The VFRs outright power advantage does have advantages too. The more you load the bikes up in their touring guise, the better the viffers power to weight ratio becomes relative to the beemer. Also, on open roads which allow (very) high speeds, the Honda’s power advantage should pull it away from the BMW.
    So, if your idea of sports riding involves nailing the throttle on sweepers and straights, the Honda is probably the go. If you prefer riding the torque curve along a tight, winding road, maybe the BMW would be better. Either way, neither of them is what I would call slow

    • Geoff, I totally agree. I’ve had both and each offers some advantages (as you stated). However, I’m 66 years old, and although I’m in pretty good shape, I don’t mind that the F800ST is 80 lbs lighter with a lower center of gravity. Besides, I don’t often need to do in excess of 90 mph passing vehicles or running in the fast lane in Canada. I like the ST’s nimbleness and its mileage is astronomical in contrast to the VFR I had at nearly double the distance per liter.

  8. One last comment. My 09 ST was written off just a month ago. I escaped relatively unscathed, but after spending weeks looking at alternative bikes, I decided to buy a 2012 ST with only 12K on it and in showroom condition. The combination of belt drive, low center of gravity and the bike’s light weight, along with the touring amenities and the excellent handling of the ST brought me back to purchasing the same bike. This year I put16,000 km on my 09 ST, without a single issue, so as much as the alternative FJ-09 has longer legs and greater power, I was really happy to buy another BMW ST.

  9. Hi Tony here from New Zealand. I have only just come across this site and reviews of the BMW F800GT and have enjoyed reading what everyone has said and I have learn so much. After owing a number of bikes with my last bike being a 2001 K1200 LT and just turning 60 i had been finding the K1200 just to heavy even with reverse gear so i sold it and bought a 1 owner 2014 F800GT with 4500KMs on the clock and i am loving it albeit only been out on it a couple of times in the 2 weeks I have owned it. No of course its not as comfortable as the K1200 I don’t think any other bike would be but all the pluses of this F800GT i can only say that I think I have made a great decision. The weight difference is 1 of those pluses & very happy how nibble the bike is and with it only putting out 90 BHP I am more than happy maybe its my age but I don’t feel I need to travel any faster than 110-120KM but its great knowing that I do have extra if I need when passing someone. The bike handles well and is very responsive & as I ride with a group of 5 or 6 with a variety of mainly cruisers & with engine sizes ranging from 1200cc -1750cc i want a bike that could keep up with them . On my test ride before I decided to buy the F800GT I took it on one of our highways and gave it heaps once I got up to 100km in 6th gear i turn the accelerator and was up to 160km very quickly and i still had plenty more so my overall conclusion over these 2 weeks is t I love the bike but i guess ill really know is when I take it away with the boys loaded up with top box and panniers for 4 or 5 days that with be a good test have to wait till our Christmas holidays. Any other comments, thoughts or suggestions that you think would help i would be very keen to hear thanks Tony

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