Last time I wrote about the bike was, ummm, some miles ago. Here are my current feelings.

Since I bought it in April I’ve logged about 10,000 miles. I don’t feel like I’ve ridden that much… maybe that’s the moral of the story here. The bike is easy to ride, easy to cover miles. The engine is smooth, and seating position comfortable, and the fuel range is good. It can go anywhwere and it’s fun on any surface, from high speed paved sweepers, to rough jeep trails high in Colorado.

It really is, in my opinion, the best bike to buy if you can only have *one*. Others might say the KTM 950/990 ADV, but I disagree. Had one. Too hard to work on, poor gas mileage, not reliable, heavier and larger feel than the BMW… it’s just not grown up yet. The BMW can be crazy when you want it to, but it can also settle down for the ride home. The KTM never settles down. It’s always the crazy one, casing trouble (having fun, too, sure), and acting like a teengaer.

Fuel mileage? I average around 55-60 mpg. I’ve gotten as high as 70 (no typo) and as low as 47. With a 4.3g tank, range is around 220-260 miles, depending on riding conditions.

Handling? Yes, good! Depends on tires. I like the Heidenau K60. Good in all conditions. TKC80’s blow, in my opinion. Tried a combo of Anakee rear, TKC80 front – big mistake. Don’t do it!

The bike has a low CG and handles well on and off road. Comfort – good. Riding position is nice, windflow (lots of it) – but smooth, no buffeting.

Ease of ownership – very good. Well, my rear wheel bearings did fail at 5k miles, a known problem. BMW fixed it, and it’s OK since. I did the 12k miles service including valve check myself – not hard to do, and valves did not need adjusting. Bike is easy to service and parts go together logically.

Things aren’t all peachy, though. Front springs are too soft, they bottom out on hard hits off road, which bends the soft factory front rim. Yep, did that last weekend!

Things I’ve added since my last reports:

Scotts steering dampener ($550). Best gadget ever! Takes all drama out of steering problems – wobbles, shakes, etc. Riding in sand, rocks, ruts? No problem! Just turn up the dampening. I will never have another off road bike without one of these dampers. Ever. Absolutely no downside to this thing.

Bill Mayer custom seat. $360 (on sale from $460). I rode to Ojai and had them make this for me today. I have been using a Sargent enduro, which is better than stock, but still really sucks. Considering that at $450 it costs more than a custom seat, I give a BIG thumgs down to Sargent. In fact, I will never give a penny to Sargent or Corbin again. The custom saddle is about 10 times better, and costs the same or less money!

Soon I’ll be installing the Bitubo springs in the front which should help prevent more damage to the front wheel, and givce a better ride for off road conditions.

Overall, you can’t go wrong with the F800GS, in my opinion. It’s not a dirt bike, so if you ride it like that, expect damage. It can be strengthened at some cost. But for most conditions it performs well and is a very versatile machine.