BMW Motorrad continues its philosophy of trying something new with its new F series line-up. BMW had three models in its F line in 2008: 800 GS, 800 S, and 800 ST, which were all introduced in 2007. (All 2008 models are carryovers from 2007.) The F 800 GS, the successor to BMW’s F 650 GS, was completely redesigned as an Enduro. It has the same engine as the other F 800 models, but everything else is new. An adventure-tourer, the 800 GS handles all types of roads well, but really shines in off-road travel. For its introduction, BMW gave this bike a completely new frame and wheel suspension. The concept for the 800 GS harkens back to the Paris-Dakar motorcycle rallies of the 1980s, and just kept growing from there. The 800 GS is related to another BMW, the R1200GS, only made smaller to appeal to a larger segment of riders. While the 800 GS is good for long-distance riding over any terrain, reviewers say it struggles to reach 124 mph on paved roads. The F 800 GS is considered the most versatile in the F series.
The 800 S and the 800 ST are sport-touring motorcycles. The 800 S notched up a first when it was introduced: It was the first in the series to have a parallel twin engine. Its sporty light chassis makes for a good ride, whether it is just around town or to farther environs. The 800 ST’s gas tank is located under the seat. At 32.3 inches, the seat may be high for shorter riders, which is why some recommend getting the lower seat and suspension package as an accessory. The F 800 ST comes with a number of accessories, some of which must be factory-installed. This means bikers who want these extras will need to plan ahead. Accessories that are installed at the factory include ABS brakes, center stand, comfort package, heated hand grips, low suspension, on-board computer, safety package, and a tire pressure monitoring system.