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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK here's my story, I've been thinking of getting an adventure bike, one bike to do it all. And I am leaning towards the 800 GS. It seems to be just what I need. But after researching all the info I can find I'm concerned about all the problems that I have read about. Like chains and sprokets needing replacing, wheel bearings going bad, fuel pumps going out, axles replaced, gas tanks cracking, fuel gage misreading, Etc. ETC. I can't afford a new one so I looking at a 09 or 10 which may not have any warranty left.

So, I want you 800 GS owners to ease my mind, Is it as bad as it sounds, or do most of you not have any problems. I really want this bike but not if I'm going to have constant problems.
 

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100% happy with my 2010.

Best bike I've ever owned. Only problem is left side electric grip has stopped working. It will be covered under warranty.
I replaced the clutch (before a big trip) due to the cable being too tight. It wore out 1 inner plate.

That's about it.
 

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You'll be fine. Just go out and buy one, try to get used to the idiotic switchgear, and simply deal with any of the niggles if they ever come up.

Worry less, ride more.
 

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Check out any bike thread and you will find the same thing. Any problem anyone has had with a bike is posted. Those that never had a problem don't post.

I owned a KLR and it lasted only 13,000 miles before the engine died because of poor quality control. I've put 8000 on my 2011 800 GS and it has been flawless. I've had it to Alaska as well as jumping logs and crossing creeks while keeping up with guys on dirt bikes.
 

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OK here's my story, I've been thinking of getting an adventure bike, one bike to do it all. And I am leaning towards the 800 GS. It seems to be just what I need. But after researching all the info I can find I'm concerned about all the problems that I have read about. Like chains and sprokets needing replacing, wheel bearings going bad, fuel pumps going out, axles replaced, gas tanks cracking, fuel gage misreading, Etc. ETC. I can't afford a new one so I looking at a 09 or 10 which may not have any warranty left.

So, I want you 800 GS owners to ease my mind, Is it as bad as it sounds, or do most of you not have any problems. I really want this bike but not if I'm going to have constant problems.
I have an 09 built in 7/08. It had issues the first year and all were fixed under warranty, as I expect all were.
As to the issues you mentioned, the original chain was recalled and replaced with a better one. Not DID quality but it won't break on you. The sprockets should be replaced when you change the chain and I am not aware of any issue with them, except the 09's use smaller bolts and some, if not all were replaced.

Wheel bearings seem to go out sooner than normal but a lot of them are on the same bikes. Woody's wheel works determined that some hubs are undersized according to the bearing specs. A good question to ask the original owner. I know some of those aflicted and they had the bores honed out with no further issues.

754 front axles were recalled and they have not all been fixed. All assembled in 08 but sold as 09's. BMW knows which vin numbers have them.

Some got cosmetically cracked tanks and some of the old stock replacement tanks cracked also. They have been redesigned and I do not think they have cracked.

The fuel gauge gets its reading off a strip of some sort, electonically. It never was meant to be that accurate until the gas was low enough due to its horseshoe shape. A lot of riders don't read the manual. BMW "fixed" it by doing away with the function. It now starts to read when the fuel light comes on. I like the old version and don't intend to let them change the software. At least it is optimistic and empty really means I have at least 25 miles left.

Fuel pumps are problematic on a lot of the European bikes and whether this one is any worse than any other, I can't say. It is in the tank to keep it cool, so not a good idea run it empty too often. It is a Bosch auto pump available on some car only sold in Europe. If you can find a source, much cheaper than what BMW sells it for.

I have had all those issues and a few more, except for the fuel pump and bearings. The chain I replaced with a DID after one look. The bearings I added some grease after picking out the seal. I check them everytime I change the tire. No fuel pump issues but I do run techron in the tank occasionally.

There must be close to 30,000 of these bikes out there and the squeaky wheel does get the Internet post. Whether the number you read is excessive or not is hard to say, but it at least puts you on guard to do some preventive maintenance.

For me it was not Internet complaints as I had the problems. It was not the problems themselves, as they were fixed under warranty. It was the manner in which BMW did it. No one had heard of such problems is the typical dealer response. BMW customer service denied having a chain issue while they were specing its replacement. I see the same approach on other issues that are "wear items," blame it on the user.

Like you, this bike is close to what I wanted and the good news is that once addressed, I have not had another problem in the past 26 mos. I have some mechanical skills and thanks to the Internet, know what to look for in the way of prevention and some cheaper solutions than ones purchased from BMW.

I do think the early buyers served as test mules and later bikes got the upgrades. Another issue I have with BMW, they do not tell anyone of the changes.

I think the 09's are as good now as the later models, as I am sure the owners took advantage of the warranty.
 

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Ok. I'll contribute. Like Itsat, I have the 09. Bought in Oct. of 08. I've had all warranty work done and the latest, just before the warranty expired was a failed stator. With the warranty work, I've always considered it as new, better stuff added down the road. Which means the old, wearing stuff is gone. I like that. And now at 55,000 kms. the valves having just been checked, I am in awe at them not even needing adjusting. And, seeing I'm an old fart who has had a series of valve adjusting bikes, I'm just lovin it.[:D]
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to all especally ITSATDM that was a good detailed answer, now if you guys are so smart tell me what purpose the bird beak over the front fender serves, or is it just for looks. I wonder how it would look without it, hmmmmm, just a thought.
 

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Thanks to all especally ITSATDM that was a good detailed answer, now if you guys are so smart tell me what purpose the bird beak over the front fender serves, or is it just for looks. I wonder how it would look without it, hmmmmm, just a thought.
Hoo boy, jb, for a noob, you sure know which buttons to press around here, dontcha? [lol]

Get a load of this thread: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=738863

What's next? What oil should I use? Or which tires are the best for off-road? No, no, how about: Why is the seat so crappy? [:p]

David
 

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JB, my '09 has more than 37,000 miles on it now, and has never left me stranded. Yeah, I had the usual first-year recalls too, but every last one of them was done (for free) during the course of regular services. And though I don't use it as a commuter (I work at home), it has taken me down the length of the Continental Divide Ride, along the White Rim Road in Canyonlands, into Death Valley a bunch of times, along the Pony Express Trail, parts of the OBDR, and all over eastern Oregon, northern Nevada, Utah, a couple of Iron Butt rides (Saddlesore and Bun Burner), you name it. I would not hesitate to buy another if this one eventually gives up the ghost (or gets creamed because I was inattentive). Any bike factory can cough up a lemon, and all bikes have their individual short-comings. But after all the places this bike has taken me, without a hiccup, consider me one of the 100% satisfied owners.

 

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Check it out, then get it out

Ah, what the hell, it's a rainy Sunday...

I have an '09 F800GS with 40,000 km on it, still got about 5-6 months of warranty left. So far, done the typical recalls -- chain/sprock, valve cover gasket, left heated grip. Had to replace steering head bearing thanks to a crap dealer (or me) neglecting to check it when they should've ($400). Back brake caliper was stuck to on position in the early days, probably on account of me riding it through dry road salt and not washing it out properly afterward, so now we're facing a new rear rotor. But I've been putting that off for two years by not using the back brake -- except for lock-ups in the dirt. Also will have to change chain/sprock again in spring, plus new tires, as the Tourances are only going to give me about 22,000km.

All normal wear, really.

My point, jbricjey, would be the bike has been a completely reliable, flawless, fun-filled, filth-mongering kinky little bitch that does nothing but beg for more hurt infliction from me. Apart from the free-of-charge recalls, most of which have been sweat-free on my part, I have none but the usual complaints (stupid seat, throttle, turn signals and horn). But those are minor. Because what you need to care about if you ride it hard are the big things -- will it fall apart, leave me stranded, act up when I need it to behave?

Check it out, find out its history as best you can (as there have been a few lemons, no doubt), then if all looks well, get it, son. Get it, get on it, and beat the living shit out of it. You'll have large tastes of the kind of freedom, fear and fun that few humans experience.

Oh, and don't forget to share in all that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for all the replies, you guys are great, glad I joined up. Woodworks, good to hear about your riding in my neck of the woods, one of the first rides I want to do is the White Rim Trail in Moab, Idid it years ago on a dirt bike now I want to do it in style on a BMW. I can't believe the miles you guys put on. I don't know if my butt could take it with any kind of seat.
 

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Hey David/Woodworks,
That's such a sexy shot it sends my heart all aflutter. Even my wife liked it. What's that arrangement you have in place of the windscreen, and do you like it? It looks smarter than most of the others I've seen.

JB: So you taking le plunge?
 
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