Has BMW worked the bugs out of the 800 by now?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Gundy, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Gundy

    Gundy Been here awhile

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    Trying to give BMW the benefit of the doubt here, but is the newer 800 still experiencing the same issues as the earlier models? If so, what years saw the biggest improvement in quality/reliability?
    #1
  2. rockinrog

    rockinrog Long timer

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    What bugs are you asking about? I have a 2009 model that came over in the first wave and the only issue I have has was a leak around the water pump that was taken care of under warranty. There is a stator issue that I think affects all years up till a recent part change. I have just shy of 50,000 miles on now.
    #2
  3. Angryrican

    Angryrican know nothing all

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    Two good examples of issues are the shock bolt bending and the stator issue, there have been polls posted here and each one has come between 11-15% failure rate, so 85-89% chance they won't fail. I've owned both an F650GS Twin and now an F800GS and have experienced ZERO issues with both, the latter being ridden off road 40-50% of the time and lightly abused.
    #3
  4. Roadscum

    Roadscum Long timer

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    Have changes been made to eliminate the shock bolt issue?
    When was the stator fix put into production?
    thanks...

    Regaards, Paul
    #4
  5. vtbob

    vtbob wanderer

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    It is probably not the best time to buy an 800. They have been on the market 4-6 years now. depending on model and are getting a bit long of tooth. The market has caught up, and some say pass the 800...Triumph is doing that nicely.

    One could expect some major changes in the 14 model year. Note Husquvarna has a 900 cc engine for example.

    To be safe I would recommend waiting till atleast the 2015 model year.
    #5
  6. HighTechCoonass

    HighTechCoonass Living the Dream....

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    I got the first one off the boat 2009... no issues. like all of my BMW bikes fantastic! but yes - wait another 3 years,,,:lol3

    #6
  7. Roadscum

    Roadscum Long timer

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    Life is too short to spend time waiting for the perfect bike. It seems that it will be here "tomorrow'!
    Just do it!

    Again, has BMW done anything to address the stator issue?

    Regards, Paul
    #7
  8. djaabrams

    djaabrams BMW GS Addicted

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    I rode the Triumph 800 XC and bought the BMW. It has not surpassed the F800GS if you want to use it offroad. But the XC is a nice bike. Liked the engine better, hated the suspension.

    Mine is a 2010 and they have gas tanks that split. Mine was replaced under warranty. The water pump leak was too. I also had some oil leak, like a cam cover or something. Don't remember, took the bike in for something else and they told me that it was fixed under warranty. All the defects were found and fixed by the dealer when visiting for other service. Nothing has left me stranded. 6500 miles and moderately abusive to it, its my primary offroad bike.

    My advice is if you want to ride before 2015, buy what your gut tells you too. A look back through BMW history will show you that it takes them a LONG TIME to "remodel" and make changes. If you have a bike now that you like and you are currently enjoying some 2 wheel action, then waiting may not be such a bad idea.
    #8
  9. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Known issues include but are not limited to what BMW calls "campaigns" where they replace parts (with labor) for free:
    chain (replaced with sprockets)
    front brake disc bolts (F650GS not sure about the F800)
    shock bolts (upper one bends)
    air filters (can collapse)
    cracked gas tanks
    fueling issues (pumps and injectors)
    rear wheel bearings
    rocker cover gasket leak
    coolant leak
    stalling
    side stand bending
    batteries
    alternators
    overall finish with paint cracking, fading, peeling, etc...especially around the starter motor
    exhaust finish is a cruel joke
    the stock seats are torture devices
    the mirrors give you an excellent non blurred view that is crystal clear...of your shoulders.
    etc...
    Not all of these faults affect all models. All can be fixed, but it will get pricey if you don't have a warranty and are doing it with your money.

    There have been two redesigns that are important. The newest air filters are much stronger and more automotive in design with the wire mesh top for support and different silicone composition for the edges. Also, importantly, the original design of cam chain tensioner is being changed. I was informed of this when I ordered one and was told it was no longer available. Impossible to get from Motorrad Mexico. When I questioned Motorrad I was told a new design was coming out and would be shipped to the local dealer for me to pick up. I had waited 7 weeks for the old one and didn't get a call or anything until I started pestering Motorrad Mexico directly. They didn't even bother telling the local dealer. Don't expect any kind of quality customer service from Motorrad and dont buy an F800 unless you really like and trust your local dealer. But the dealer, don't buy the bike, headaches with the F bikes will be a real pain for you if you get a duff one and you have to travel to another dealer because your local dealer sucks. Sniff around for a good used one or wait for the 2013 models to arrive in a month or so. They've had some re-designing going on with suspension and a few other pieces (I suspect the cam chain tensioner for one thing). A good used and sorted one with decent mileage and few extras might be a very good option for you. Don't be afraid to look at the F650GS twin which has the same power output except for the extreme top end, is way cheaper, can handle a lot of off road situations that will surprise most people (especially with good tires), you might find it to be more of what you are looking for if you are doing less than say 25% of your riding off road. The great majority of F800 riders, I suspect, really never use their bikes that much off road. If you are doing a lot of off roading, there are better choices than the F800 anyways.
    Nothing has been done by BMW about the stator issues, this seems to affect bikes with higher mileage.
    Some remaps were made available so make sure your choice of bike is running the latest software.
    A $350 GS-911 tool is nice to have if you are doing your own maintenance and most of the maintenance you can do without the dealer.
    They are good bikes but not really the best choice as a round the world type bike.
    I've got more than 40,000kms on my F650GS mid year 2009 all in Mexico and on surfaces ranging from highways to rough rock off road at above 14,000ft elevation.
    The design of the F800/F650 is pure genius, however, the engineering of certain parts and systems leaves something to be desired.
    Have you though about a clean and lower mileage GS1100 or 1150 pre-2002 model? That's what I am looking for. Easier to work on.
    #9
  10. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    Whether there is a shock bolt problem, depends on how much you believe the Internet. I do not like the design, it "looks weak"

    Go back and read all 87 pages of bending bolts and you won't find more than 10 bikes reporting bent bolts. If you consistently bottom the rear suspension the odds are it will bend. If you are doing that, respring it. BMW has not changed it.

    BMW has changed the flywheel. It looks like the holes in it will aid cooling the stator. Unannounced and I do not know when it went into production bikes.

    Bent rims happen, if you run rock gardens with low air pressures, like a 250lb dirt bike. That is because it weighs 500lb. Since I aired them up, no more problems.

    Injectors/fuel pumps + ethanol? Injectors with lots of small holes will not tolerate crap in the fuel very well. It appears some of that came from the pump. Lots of discussion and probably no changes. I posted up a cheap pump source with little feed back so don't know how bad that issue is either. The one incident I had with injectors was cleaned up with Techron.

    Using good gas, cleaner occasionally and do not let the gas sit for long, has worked for me. Once the injectures get pitted, they are toast.

    They have changed the tensioner, it has a stronger spring for one thing. Its tensioner really does not perform that function. It it did, it would be located near the mid point of the chain near where the greated slack occurs. An extremely long chain is suseptable to stretching. Having a chain that long, with 2 pistons that rise and fall at the same time produces a lot of slack on part of its stroke. Its purpose is to quell whipping that the harmonics of the engine can induce. I prefer the method my KLX uses, 2 chains with an intermediate sprocket.

    I think there was a run of undersized rear wheel bores on the 2009 models. Same thing happened with the recalled front axles.
    Initially a lot of bearing complaints, now it is more sporadic.
    It appears to me that the spoke wheel supplyer is buying bearings from the lowest bidder. Different bearing manufactures and different reports on the amount of grease in them. I "think" BMW got a handle on the initial problem and you can pick the seals off and but more grease in them if you are worried.

    I do not think that Triumph passed the BMW either. It is just different. The engine should be smoother, but it is no faster to a 100mph. It will be OK for most dirt the typical rider actually takes this genre of bike.

    I thought BMW would put some version of the 900 into the F800gs this year(2013). Probably too many pots in the fire to do it. Maybe next year.

    I agree with finding a good dealer. They initiate the warranty process and what they put in their PUMA? report to BMW will have a bearing on the attitude the manufacture takes. BMW Motoraad customer service people are a joke. They obviously are just there for the public relations and my sense is, they know little about what the company sells. If you call them with a complaint, insist that one of the people who actually calls the warranty shots contact you.
    #10
  11. Indy Unlimited

    Indy Unlimited Long timer

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    No one should hesitate to buy this bike.
    All bikes have small flaws and we at this forum have managed to find solutions and share the experience.
    This bike is very good and easy to maintain if you know about some of it weaknesses as mentioned above by Gary ( itsatdm ).:wink:
    #11
  12. djaabrams

    djaabrams BMW GS Addicted

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    I think most of us would agreee...bolt on the farkles and ride the damn thing!:clap

    #12
  13. CrazyMike

    CrazyMike ***42***

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    I've got #00041 and it's been fantastic. No problems whatsoever.
    #13
  14. MCMXCIVRS

    MCMXCIVRS Long timer

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    There are no bugs in fine German engineered motorcycles, only unexpected design features :lol3.
    #14
  15. Bobo1167

    Bobo1167 On a different frequency

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    After 65K miles and few baths it should be.

    bobo
    #15
  16. lawe

    lawe lawe

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    I can only agree. Mine must be from one of the first productin batches 2008 and has not failed whatsoever. Even the chain has been great (but got it replaced under warranty after 18 000 km :-) ).

    (btw: How do You know that You have bike #41?)
    #16
  17. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    For the OP, such a very subjective issue to ask about.

    Use the bike as a cafe hopping latte cruiser and it will give you no problems what so ever.

    Assuming you want to "adventure" with it...that's a different kettle of fish.

    Now some people find going to Disney Land an adventure. Some find adventure in the middle of a North African shit hole. Some try and find it where ever they go.

    If you are the type who seeks adventure up rocky jeep trails carrying a decent load of camping gear etc...you will bend things and you will break things.

    Some of that just goes with the territory.

    But not addressing issues like the shock bolts etc tells me that BMW isn't serious about this bike being taken seriously in the "adventure" market.

    I've gone from loathing it, to accepting it, to never wanting another, to looking at another, to looking at something else entirely. There simply is no definitive answer to the "best bike" question, most of the contenders having such glaring issues and insurmountable design flaws. Shit you just have to "live with" or "accept".

    That's without getting started on the "I bought the first model and it's been just fine for XXXXniles". I look at those, add up how many kms I've done since the year the first model was released and dismiss them out of hand. Across all the bikes I own, I average about 45000kms/year of a realistic 50/50 tar dirt mix. I can safely state, that with the BMW as a "sole means of transport" I would spend what the bike was worth in repairs, "fit for task" modifications and maintenence in a 4 year period.

    That just doesn;t cut it for me.

    Would I buy another for exactly the sort of riding I'm doing now. Maybe. But only so I could strip all the extras and fixes off the exisiting and swap it all over.

    But they have R1200GS on sale here at $5000 off normal price. Love them or hate them, they are a far better built bike, and bringing them within $4000 of the F800s normal retail and fully kitting them out for that price means you'd have rocks in your head to buy the F800 at the price they ask here.

    $21K ride away for an F800GS, $25K ride away for a R1200GS with options, and $27k for the GSA fully optioned.

    Unless the F800 price drops dramatically, I'll trade on a new GSA long before I trade on another F800.

    I wirite this on the back side of a good weekend with 2 x 600km days, one spent chasing a triplet of Triumph Triples over some of the scratchiest roads around here, and me 2-up with panniers hung with the front runners up to 180, scraping pegs at 150 and generally being a hooligan. I am very happy with the way it runs and the way it handles loaded. But I spent way too much money to get here. I could have bought the 1200 and Blitz Krieged the Britishers.
    #17
  18. JRWooden

    JRWooden Long timer

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    The great state of confusion
    I think the list of unexpected features posted above is pretty complete ... :clap
    Most of them have been addressed but the cut-in dates are not known.
    One would hope that all of them are in the new F700GS and 2013 model year F800GS

    I think the frame is unchanged but only a few very aggressive riders had this problem.
    If you think you might be that type there are two fixes available that are not very expensive to beef up the upper shock mount. Indy did one and these guys have a commercial offering:
    http://www.bestrestproducts.com/p-259-f800gs-shock-bolt-support-wbolt.aspx

    I don't know about the gas tank cracking issue, mine was replaced in late 2011 (with the revised P/N tank),
    but is cracking again...

    I personally (following Gary's protocol of riding all year, not letting gas sit around, using techron) have not had any fuel system issues, and IMHO, most folks that have had issues are the seasonal riders or have likely picked up bad gas.
    Still I would like to hear that the fuel system has been beefed up.

    I will be very anxious to see the tensioner that MikeMike receives ... if it ever comes ... :lol3

    I have an early production model bike and the two things that personally worry me are the cam chain and the stator,
    both of which "should" be resolved in the new models. I'll likely buy the ElectroSport stator for $140, and the upgraded chain tensioner for ... ???and call it done but I'm still thinking about buying a F700GS...:wink:

    IIRC, my gas tank has a 2-year warranty on it, and late next year just before my 2-years is up, I will hope to get it replaced at no charge and likewise hope that 5-years is enough time for them to get it right!
    #18
  19. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

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    Me too. It's been a little too long, even for BMW. Imagine, they are selling bikes off the showroom floor and cannot give them parts support of less than 10 weeks wait and likely a lot more than 10 weeks.
    I have a feeling all the production of the new style tensioners is dedicated to complete bikes and motors only.
    Hopefully it'll arrive before I have to contact Motorrad and say, "Trick or treat". LOL!
    #19
  20. Gundy

    Gundy Been here awhile

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    #20