Should i buy or not? - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1

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    Hi,

    I'm in the process of searching my next bike, previous Multistrada 1100.
    Searching for something lower, more freeway worthy. Tried the Duc ST4s, VFR 800 and F800s.
    F800s is the one I liked the most, easiest to ride, better wind flow with the ST screen, no hesitation low down, nice fuel consumption etc.
    Searching in the net I found that the bike had some serious reliability problems, so I called a friends mechanic, BMW authorized, about. His first words were "keep away from that bike". I asked him if the problems were at earlier models or S model and he answered again "no, keep away of that bike, I had one myself and I sold it".
    Because the mechanic is maybe biased because of his bike, my questions to you are:
    - Should I listen to him or try to find some later model eg 2008?
    - Most serious problems come on early miles, later miles or there is no significant difference. Is it better to try a relatively high mileage bike which might have solved them or might not be a lemon?
    - Should I choose dealers bike which might give me some kind of guarantee eg 6 months?

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    F800STIG's Avatar
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    >= 2009

  4. #3
    BicycleBoy's Avatar
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    Motorcycle
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    I have logged 24,000 trouble free miles on mine within the past 13 months so I am truly biased. I would get another in a hearbeat.

    Also factor in the belt drive, great gas mileage, killer torque and aesthetically pleasing design.

    Get One! the newer the better.
     

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  6. #4

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    There have been reported on the internet, a few problems. But I have had none. Zero. The internet only reports the few problems. Not the thousands of satisfied owners.
    You only asked one person. Ask a few more.
    There is no such thing as a bike that never has any problem. Even Hondas need a fix or two now and then.
    dc

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  8. #5

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    All 3 replies until now (thanks) own 2008+ bikes, any earlier model owners?

  9. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by decoats View Post
    You only asked one person. Ask a few more.
    dc
    One but his is a mechanic working in BMW bikes and dissatisfied owner of one F800s

  10. #7
    TheMeteor's Avatar
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    Motorcycle
    '09 F800ST
    2009 ST and only issue warranty replacement of fork seals. Over 9K miles and very happy with the bike. Very.
    2009 F800ST (Night Blue Metallic) l 1999 SV650 (Naked & Red) l 2016 GSX S1000 (Naked & Blue)
    l 2012 G650 GS Sertao l 2012 Can-Am Spyder RT-S (Mrs. Meteor's...) 

  11. #8
    Santa Rosa, CA, USA. GAJ is offline F800Riders.org Supporter
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    Well, if you look at the poll results based on 275 responses, only about 3% fall into the combined "unhappy/very unhappy" camp.

    I've got to believe that is a very low rate of dissatisfaction for any product.

    Me?

    Very happy, (2008 F800ST).

    Here's the poll:

    https://f800riders.org/forum/showthre...%28F800S-ST%29
    GAJ 

  12. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by GAJ View Post
    Well, if you look at the poll results based on 275 responses, only about 3% fall into the combined "unhappy/very unhappy" camp.

    I've got to believe that is a very low rate of dissatisfaction for any product.

    Me?

    Very happy, (2008 F800ST).

    Here's the poll:

    https://f800riders.org/forum/showthre...%28F800S-ST%29
    I saw the poll (thanks) and read all responses, at least half of them had serious problems.
    My conclusion is: Don't buy a pre-2009 model unless you are Lucky Luke or you have very good road assistance (which here in Greece is not the case).

  13. #10
    richarde1605's Avatar
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    FWIW I had a 2007 only did 3000 trouble free km before written off, now have 2011 2000km no problems, I'd buy another, fantastic bike!
    Current rides 2011 grey, grey, black f800st hamburger with the lot + leo vince slip on, Intiminators, M shock, led tailight, bmc air filter, F800Ridrers.org sticker, 2007 blue f800st R.I.P. since bought back. sport panniers top box, k100rs, xr400, can-am400, c71 honda, xr100, xs650 and some 

  14. #11
    richarde1605's Avatar
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    BTW according to the poll chances are you'll get a good one
    Current rides 2011 grey, grey, black f800st hamburger with the lot + leo vince slip on, Intiminators, M shock, led tailight, bmc air filter, F800Ridrers.org sticker, 2007 blue f800st R.I.P. since bought back. sport panniers top box, k100rs, xr400, can-am400, c71 honda, xr100, xs650 and some 

  15. #12
    jdd3's Avatar
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    mine was 2006S did about 15000 miles just sold it as I wanted a different ride, loved the F800S but cannot keep 2 at a time
    Have Fun 

  16. #13

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    2006 model 56000km no problems except clutch cover when I dropped it, not the bikes fault

  17. #14
    djcatshow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Achilles View Post
    One but his is a mechanic working in BMW bikes and dissatisfied owner of one F800s
    At work we call this "anecdotal fallacy", as apparently experience accounts count more then facts and analysis, meaning that people give more importance to what trusted advisors tell them then hard facts. Fact is that the F800 series was new in 2006 and every single technology is never faultless at the beginning, no matter if its a bike, a car or even an airplane - thats the reason I only buy cars that have been sold for at least two years before the model I get. That even stands for Fiats and Alfa Romeos or Opels/Vauxhalls, all brands people talk badly about but personally I only have good accounts about all of them (still I don't mind what people say about them, at the end I always got good cars for little money ).

    About the F800S: I have a 2008 model and had absolutely no mechanical or electrical faults with it. To say in fact I am very happy with the entire concept and even the ergonomics fit me 100%.
    BMW F800S, Yellow. R&G frame, fork and end can crash protectors, drive train crash bobbin, Hornig LED back light, paint protection and foot stand, Becker Crocodile GPS.
    http://www.ridewithattitude.com/good...-clips.asp?f=1 

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  19. #15

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    Other than poor battery that I have since replaced my 2008 ST has been very solid and dependable as a daily ride. I commute year round (except snow and hurricanes) and have no issues with dependability.
    2001 Harley Sportster 1200 XLH Jade Green
    Gone: 2006 BMW R1200RT Peidmont Red
    2008 F800ST (L) Blue 

  20. #16

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    My preliminary answer won't make me popular but here it is. DONT do it! I've had nothing but problems, nothing really serious but problems non the less. Having just 12,000 miles on my bike maybe I was just going through the "working out the bugs" portion of owning a BMW. Once I get more road time than dealer time my answer may change but at this time I'm on the bitter side.

    My problems:
    Idle problems around 1k = Everything related to fuel system and fuel delivery including ECU remap. 2 dealer visits
    Bike shuts off randomly 6-8k = Fuel pump pulling high amp. 3 dealer visits.
    Front brake vibration just started = Cause still undetermined.

    GL with what ever you buy as all bikes will have design and quality problems.

    2008 F800ST purchased mid '09 with 800 miles on clock.
    Last edited by noskills; 05-31-11 at 08:22 PM. Reason: Include bike info

  21. #17

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    It's just like the 1%. Don't let the 3% set the tone. I have had absolutely zero problems on my bike. I did want nothing older than 2008, tho', not 2006 or 2007. As it was a new bike.
    Now, of all the bike owners, far less than 10% ever post on a forum like this. 90% are just out there riding. With few or no issues. Nothng to write home about.
    So suit yourself. If you want the bike, get it. If not, don't. Any bike needs service, maintenance, and needs someone to keep an eye on it, to be sure no issues are coming up.
    At a gathering recently one of the guys was talking. "When I bought my bike, I couldn't afford it. But I couldn't afford not to buy it."
    I knew exactly what he meant. If you can't afford to take the risk, you end up with no bike. And you only live once. So go for what you want, no matter what.
    dc

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  23. #18
    Points: 8,826, Level: 65

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    It would be fair to say there have been some significant problems with this model, but that once sorted (most have a known fix) the bike is almost universally loved by it's owners

    I'd look at a later model year and see what has been done to the bike by way of repairs or aftermarket goodies like exhaust, power commander, shocks
    If it comes loaded with extras the owner most likely had enough cash to simply pay them to fix whatever issues arose

    As observed above, the internet can tend to condense things down untill you only see the bitter dregs at the bottom of the barrel rather than the 95% who are busy enjoying their ride

  24. #19
    Tex S/T's Avatar
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    I have a 2007. I bought it last May with 12000 mi on it. I ride to work every day and ride on the weekends. I've put 15000 mi. on it without any problems. Seems like a pretty good bike. I would buy another.
    Cheers

  25. #20
    guidoveloce's Avatar
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    my bike is "strange": produced in 2006 (real-oem source), but the color is lehar grey, introduced in 2007/08, the bike was imported in italy in 2009 (the last year that BMW italia has imported the S model) and I bought it in april 2010. my bike has only 10k km but it seems to be in good health. it was stolen but the police find it, the thief broke some pieces of the bike and I had to wait about two months to have the damage fixed (the insurance was not very quick to pay), and last summer I did not have my usual bike trip, probably next summer I'll do it.
    I don't think the year of production is very important, if the bike is good doesn't matter if it is produced in 2006 or in 2009. just check if it has all the BMW "re-call" for that model. my suggestion is to find one with abs.

  26. #21

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    Today I made another ST4s (2004) test drive, it is really a great deal, a bike with 10.000 miles on the clock, used only for traveling. Factory panniers, top box and the big service paid by the seller in the price of the cheaper F800s I can find (2006 model).
    Still I can't forget the ride of the F800s

  27. #22
    guidoveloce's Avatar
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    If I'm not wrong, roadpizza had an ST4. you can ask him about that bike. I think that the F800S engine should be more reliable than ducati. I always liked the ST4, and sometimes I thought I could buy it instead of my R1100RS, but when I saw all the ST4 sold in my city at the ducati assistance (all together), I stopped to wonder if the decision to buy the R1100RS was the right decision. I was sure that I couldn't see five RS together at the assistance for serious problems as those ST4 seemed to have.
    in italy you can easily find a F800S for a good price, why don't you think to buy it here (maybe it's not too far from where you live)?

  28. #23

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    Today I test drove a 2005 r1200gs, I still prefer 800s

    Quote Originally Posted by guidoveloce View Post
    in italy you can easily find a F800S for a good price, why don't you think to buy it here (maybe it's not too far from where you live)?
    If you take account the bureaucracy needed, travel-accommodation costs and import duties* to Greece, you come up with a larger bill.
    *I know import duties between EU countries its not legal but Greek State earns more from duties than the fines its paying to the EU.

  29. #24
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    I have an 07 800S and turned 89,000 miles over the weekend. Maintenance costs are high but very reliable, shock ($1000), belt (500), steering head and cush bearings (?cost). Two batteries under warranty and I take it in every 12,000 miles for service which is around 300 dollars or so. Of course lots of tires on the rear as I have had 3 flats; I love the tire pressure monitor; the rear average is right at 9000 miles and the front I replaced at 13, 37, 60 and 88. It uses no oil and runs well for me. Hope to make it to 100,000 miles and then will trade it probably for an 800ST or try and sell but who would want to buy it??

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  31. #25
    guidoveloce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Achilles View Post
    ...I know import duties between EU countries its not legal but Greek State earns more from duties than the fines its paying to the EU.
    in italy the situation is worst: we have many laws in contrast with the EU directions and we pay fines for that, but our parliament members are too occupied to ensure the impunity to berlusconi and they don't care about the fact we all pay that fine to EU. I just said... italy is a wonderful toyland!

  32. #26
    iluxa's Avatar
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    I bought my F800ST at 07/09 (model: 2007, make 10/06) with 33K kms. (now it is with 65K kms)
    I'm riding everyday to work on my bike (~60 km/day).
    I'm doing maintenance by myself.
    It very comfortable and pleasant to ride bike.
    Issues that I had:
    * Rear wheel bearing/axis issue - recall by BMW
    * steering bearing replaced at 50K km

    Common issue with almost all pre 02/2007 F800ST:
    * valve cover sealing gasket begins to be wet after 12K km after replacement (valve clearance check).
    however you don't need to add oil and because you are replacing this gasket every 20K kms (valve clearance check interval ) - so it is not an issue for me.
    BMW F800ST, 2007 with ABS, Side bags, Heated grips, Central stand and onboard computer 

  33. #27
    jsanford's Avatar
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    I have an '07 ST. Whatever issues I've had, I've had good support. The bike is my daily rider on a stop-and-go commute where it usually rains. I've taken some long trips on it as well. I don't know if BMW campaigns (a.k.a. recalls) are the same in every country; but if they are, your bike ought to be fine. My dealer has an S in their loaner fleet.
    '07 F800ST 

  34. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by gonadz View Post
    As observed above, the internet can tend to condense things down untill you only see the bitter dregs at the bottom of the barrel rather than the 95% who are busy enjoying their ride
    In two years on my 2008 F800ST, I had six warranty repairs and three calls to roadside assistance.

    Signed
    Bitter Dreg

    The true answer to the original post was that most owners do not have an abnormal number of problems, but the quantity of owners that do have abnormal problems is larger than what would be expected from BMW. That you consider people who buy a BMW and then have extensive problems to be "bitter dregs" says more about you than about them.
    Last edited by RockBottom; 06-12-11 at 08:11 AM.

  35. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockBottom View Post
    In two years on my 2008 F800ST, I had six warranty repairs and three calls to roadside assistance.

    Signed
    Bitter Dreg

    The true answer to the original post was that most owners do not have an abnormal number of problems, but the quantity of owners that do have abnormal problems is larger than what would be expected from BMW. That you consider people who buy a BMW and then have extensive problems to be "bitter dregs" says more about you than about them.
    Hehehe

    It's true though, if all the contrary opinions that get expressed on the subject were boiled down to their essence a small potion of owners have had some big problems (and quite a few of them in some cases - like yours by the looks of it) And I too would have a much higher expectation of BMW build and design quality. What puzzles me is why some design issues like the piston, aren't 100% universal eg if all motors have the same pistons why not the same issues ?

    Having owned a couple of older BMW cars I have no illusions about their automotive division being the pinnacle of engineering quality, but enjoyed owning them none the less (untill repair costs looked to exceed the value of the car)

  36. #30
    trevor's Avatar
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    Because the mechanic is maybe biased because of his bike, my questions to you are:
    - Should I listen to him or try to find some later model eg 2008?

    YES! or even a 2009.

    I feel I've been lucky that my 2007 has had no major problems, but I will not be keeping it 25 years like I did my K100RT.

    It will be replaced next year.

    I've mentioned why many time before.

    But!

    It's going to be replaced by another F800ST I've still not seen anything else that is just perfect for my needs.

    YMMV
    Trevor
    What's it like to bike around NZ? https://picasaweb.google.com/1043074...59485/BikeTrip 

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  38. #31

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    As my bike is now repaired & 56,000kms I am happy to keep it longer seeing as rider has 89,000miles

  39. #32
    djcatshow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Achilles View Post
    Today I test drove a 2005 r1200gs, I still prefer 800s



    If you take account the bureaucracy needed, travel-accommodation costs and import duties* to Greece, you come up with a larger bill.
    *I know import duties between EU countries its not legal but Greek State earns more from duties than the fines its paying to the EU.
    Send that bill to Germany, we'll pick up that one as well for sure.
    BMW F800S, Yellow. R&G frame, fork and end can crash protectors, drive train crash bobbin, Hornig LED back light, paint protection and foot stand, Becker Crocodile GPS.
    http://www.ridewithattitude.com/good...-clips.asp?f=1 

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