Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

With a trip to the Pure & Crafted bike fes­ti­val in Ber­lin ahead I de­cided the F800GS would take me on my first solo ride to main­land Europe. Af­ter all, these bikes are made to con­quer the world, right? So it should have been a dod­dle...

Le Shut­tle de­lays, big hold-ups and end­less traf­fic through Bel­gium meant a cou­ple of hideously long days in the sad­dle – with re­lent­less driv­ing rain ac­com­pa­ny­ing my jour­ney through three coun­tries. It might sound like a train­wreck of a trip, but it wasn’t. And that’s largely down to the GS.

The BMW has a fru­gal na­ture and is sim­ple to get along with. Its ef­fi­cient de­sign al­lowed me to con­cen­trate my ef­forts on rid­ing on the wrong (but cor­rect) side of the road, in places I couldn’t pro­nounce, with road signs I couldn’t read.

The sim­plic­ity of the bike doesn’t make it dull though. Wind it on and there’s still oo­dles of fun to be had, but it is nice to have a ma­chine that is com­pletely adapt­able to how I want to ride rather than try­ing to con­stantly tame a beast and nav­i­gate a new en­vi­ron­ment.

Over the two-and-a-half days I spent rid­ing there and back, I was on the bike for a to­tal of 35 hours, which was only pos­si­ble thanks to the re­laxed and neu­tral rid­ing po­si­tion. Bet­ter still, I was com­pletely free of aches and pains at the end of it all.

For my re­turn jour­ney I ex­pe­ri­enced nicer weather thank­fully, which al­lowed some fun on the un­re­stricted au­to­bahns. My fuel econ­omy took a hit, sink­ing to a new low of 38.37mpg as I wrung its neck to give me a bet­ter chance of mak­ing it to my cross­ing on time. Over the whole trip the fuel econ­omy av­er­aged out at 43.35mpg, which wasn’t too bad given that I did 700 or so miles on su­per-fast Ger­man mo­tor­ways. I’m go­ing to take some time to ride with a lit­tle less haste over the next few weeks to see if I can bring my over­all mpg back up to some­thing more sen­si­ble.

Over­all, the bike’s out­stand­ing ver­sa­til­ity and ca­pa­bil­ity means it con­tin­ues to be a bril­liant all-rounder that over­comes any­thing put in front of it with ease. The BMW has once again proved it­self, now I need to fol­low suit and start plan­ning my next big trip; with the GS there are def­i­nitely no ex­cuses.

James hits Europe, what could go wrong?

13,468 MILES Time to start plan­ning the next big trip

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