‘Mad but would look amaz­ing in your dream garage parked next to your R1-M’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - This Week - ANDY DOWNES SE­NIOR RE­PORTER andy.downes@mo­tor­cy­cle­­mandy.

Like al­most all ad­ven­ture bikes, the BMW F800GS Ad­ven­ture is slightly ham­pered by the fact it’s not an R1200GS – the bike that de­fines the class and re­mains a mas­sive global seller. It’s the same for tomato sauce when it’s not Heinz, a Porsche when it’s not a 911 and air­craft that aren’t Con­corde; they are all the de­fin­i­tive it­er­a­tions of their classes. In the case of the F800GS, that re­ally is a shame, be­cause this bike is per­haps more suit­able for more peo­ple, more of the time – and is gen­uinely ca­pa­ble off-road.

For 2017 (although the bike will be avail­able al­most im­me­di­ately in deal­ers) BMW have been forced to make some fairly big changes to their en­tire range of bikes in the F800 and F700 fam­i­lies in or­der to meet the im­pend­ing Euro4 emis­sions reg­u­la­tions.

The changes are mir­rored through­out the range, but we have only tested the F800GS Ad­ven­ture – so we’ll con­cen­trate on this model here. Changes in­clude a new ex­haust, full ride-by­wire throt­tle, dif­fer­ent rid­ing modes, a re­vised dash­board and new paint fin­ishes. The GS Ad­ven­ture also gets new gal­vanised ra­di­a­tor trim and a re­vised ig­ni­tion lock cas­ing. Euro4 rules man­date ugly fork-mounted orange re­flec­tors and a mal­func­tion light on the dash as well.

Over­all, this is a mild re­fresh in terms of cos­met­ics but the me­chan­i­cal up­dates to in­tro­duce ride-by-wire have given the bike a no­tice­ably dif­fer­ent feel com­pared to the out­go­ing model.

Ride-by-wire con­trol is a key part of meet­ing Euro4 as it more di­rectly me­ters out the throt­tle in­put, with sen­sors re­plac­ing the ca­bles. Twist­grip move­ments are trans­lated into an elec­tri­cal sig­nal that con­trols the open­ing of the throt­tle valve for much more pre­cise fuel de­liv­ery.

This is the sin­gle big­gest im­prove­ment to the feel at the bars, giv­ing much smoother de­liv­ery from the par­al­leltwin, and erad­i­cat­ing the old bike’s ten­dency for a slightly jerky ac­tion at light throt­tle open­ings. It’s never been as bad as some bikes, but the very mo­ment you want the most pre­cise throt­tle ap­pli­ca­tion – that tiny move­ment be­tween on and off the throt­tle – is where the old F800GS stut­tered and stum­bled.

Ride-by-wire has also now en­abled the pro­vi­sion of mul­ti­ple rider modes, as found on other BMW mod­els. Rain and Road modes are stan­dard to all mod­els, while the F800GS and GS Ad­ven­ture mod­els are also avail­able with En­duro and En­duro Pro modes as op­tional ex­tras to pro­vide even more elec­tronic rider as­sis­tance when rid­ing off-road.

Rain and Road modes are aimed squarely at rid­ing on the tar­mac, with rain mode softening the throt­tle re­sponse and up­ping ABS and trac­tion con­trol in­ter­ven­tion. Road, mean­while, makes the throt­tle sharper, and re­duces the ABS and trac­tion con­trol in­ter­ven­tion.

En­duro is aimed at light off-road use with road tyres; it backs off the TC and ABS in­ter­ven­tion to suit loose sur­faces, and put more con­trol back into the rider’s hands. En­duro Pro is de­signed to work with off-road tyres and changes the throt­tle re­sponse and turns off the rear ABS. ABS and TC can

‘Sure it’s a bit taller than your av­er­age bike but com­pared to the R1200GS there’s noth­ing in­tim­i­dat­ing’’


Mixes road and off-road abil­i­ties, gains a 21in front wheel.

BMW F800GS Ad­ven­ture

Built for ad­ven­ture with larger 24-litre fuel tank for long-range rid­ing.

“Break­fast stop at the Ace Café, London” “Solo rider hits Paris” Brady Ed­wards “Bob the BMW R65 bob­ber at Val­ley of the Rocks, Lyn­ton” Si­mon Nidd “Fazer chas­ing the sun­shine. Just went for a ride on the Yamaha to es­cape the black clouds that were hang­ing

You can’t get much more rugged than the F800GS Ad­ven­ture Ac­ces­sories in­clude pan­nier rails. Miche­lin Ana­kee 3s per­form on road and dirt Tall screen is wel­come at road speeds and the bars in­clude hand­guards Long-travel sus­pen­sion but the seat height can be

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