2014 BMW F800GS Adventure | First Ride

Germany’s Ultimate Adventure Machine

By Zack Courts, Photography by Jon Beck, Kevin Wing

All of this adds up to confidence inspiration that will encourage you to stretch your own boundaries for adventure touring. That’s where this bike really shines. The larger windshield, despite being nearly vertical, creates a calm pocket of air in the cockpit, even for taller riders. Overall wind protection is superb, although mostly I cursed it during our ride, which saw temperatures at and above 100 degrees. The two-tone, color-matched seat also dares you to keep going and, coincidentally, dares you to stop, as it towers 35 in. above the ground. A lower, all black option is available from the factory free of charge, and sits 33.9 in. high.

An ongoing gripe that consumers and journalists alike have had regarding the F800GS is blowing hot air on the rider’s legs. This GS-A is no different, unfortunately. The wider cowls around the radiator provide more weather protection than the standard model, but that calm air allows the radiator’s heat to linger. One surprise was the 800 Adventure’s transmission, which doesn’t seem quite as ready to take on the world as the rest of the bike. First gear in particular was a little too tall for really technical off-roading—especially with the 800’s light flywheel and an altitude-stricken torque curve—while I was constantly reaching for a 7th gear on the highway.

Overall, we continue to be impressed with BMW’s Adventure packages. There is simply no reason not to give up a little bit of street competence for increased off-road aptitude when the bike is such a capable sport-tourer anyway. Actually, there is one reason, and that’s the part after the “$.” It’s easy to get carried away about how much the ADV goodies improve the F800GS package, but don’t forget that it comes at a price.

Fully loaded, the 2014 BMW F800GS Adventure costs $14,995. That’s dangerously close to the R1200GS’s $15,800 base cost, but does have features not included on the base R1200, like a full suite of electronics and fog lights to name a few. The model shipped to most BMW dealers will be the Premium package, which includes ASC and Enduro modes, heated grips, an upgraded on-board computer, and a center stand, for $14,350. There will be a base model available as well, priced at $13,550, equipped with mounts/racks and crash bars, the large windscreen, hand guards, and all of the other aesthetic do-dads that create the Adventure’s look, but no electronic frills.

These prices are all quite a bit higher than the standard F800GS’s base price of around $12,500, but there is definitely value in the Adventure package. Aluminum saddlebags (top-loading 38 and 44 liter pieces) and top case are factory options, as is an Adventure GPS, and an Akropovic titanium exhaust. The F800GS Adventure is a complex, luxurious, and expensive motorcycle. But once you have it the way you want it there is almost no limit to what or where you can do or go. Truly worthy of the Adventure badge.

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