BMW F800GS...with 43000kms...passing through.

Mar 10, 2009
Hi to all,

Thanks to David for my welcome to Chiang Mai.
I'm on a UK to NZ tour...and passing through the area.
The bike has been great all the way, but certainly has a couple of weak points.
If anyone has any questions about the bike, let me know.

Would be great to meet up for rideouts.
Will be enjoying David's GT loop for the next week or so.
All the best to you all.

Mar 21, 2007
Hi Ian ,
Welcome...seems you've been having some fun.
As a prospective owner of an 800 GS, I'd be interested in the weak points..also like to hear your impressions after 43,000km !
What did you ride before ?
Oct 5, 2007
Hi Ian

Welcome in Thailand, I hope you will enjoy it. Your bike should be suitable for the north of Thailand.

I am considering as well to buy a F800 GS later this year and would be very interested in any possible weak points of the bike and also on which reference your findings were made (weak points to compaired to what?).

Enjoy your time and hope to hear from you.
Sep 19, 2006
Myself and Pikey had the Pleasure of Ian's Company for Breakfast at the X-Centre and Being a Fan of the New F800GS i collected some Photo's and as much information as I Could :wink: Here is some of the Facts:
Ian Wilshin, if you want to give some Words of Encouragement etc He can be contacted at: [email [email protected]][email protected][/email]
He received one of the First F800GS delivered to the UK and started out about a Year ago. Has covered 43.500 kms as to today and to My amazement has Never had a Flat Tyre and is Still on the Original Brake Pads :shock: Replaced the Chain at 40.000 kms though. Had one Major Crash in Romania and Hit a Bridge Railing which Bent His Forks so lost a week or more waiting for Repairs. His Front Wheel was Knackered after Pakistan so Replaced it with an Africa Twin Outer Rim in Singapore for $125 Sing :wink:
Asked Ian which was the:
Best Place He has Passed through, Answer: IRAN :D
The Worst Place He Passed Through, Answer: INDIA :cry:

Here He is With His Bike. It is Actually an Orange Bike But He Covered it with Black Tape to Cover the Name etc so He would Attract Less attention going through Places Like Pakistan and India as He was getting Mobbed :roll:

He Uses quite a few Things Made By Metal Mule including these Very Strong Luggage Boxes.

Side Crash Bars have Been Tried and Tested a few Times and are doing a Great Job!!!

Heavy Duty Skid Plate for Protection! Also has another small one on the Centre Stand.

Another Good Item the Radiator Guard!

The Scorpion Exhaust is Slimline so allows Close Fitting of the Side Boxes as well as Giving a Beautiful Sound, Not to Loud!!!

BMW Hand-guards are Very Strong and Stood Up to a few Crashes and Having Big Side Boxes really Loads the Front End if You Go down so Tried and Tested again!

You can See the Weld at the Front of the Foot-Peg Bracket? This Sub-Frame eventually Broke Completely in two after the Big Crash when it Crimped the Square Bar used! He had it Repaired in Nepal I think? And they Made a Great Job!!!

Here Is Ian Leaving the X-Centre and Continuing His Journey 8)

He Plans on Leaving CM up to the Golden Triangle then Into Laos etc. All the Best Mate :wink: He Possibly has given the New F800GS the Ultimate Test done So Far and Possibly Put the Most Mileage on one. Good On You!


Staff member
Jan 16, 2003
Chiang Khong
Bungy & Pikey
Good on you for getting the good oil, all the right info + pics.
Glad you were all able to meet up for a good yarn.
Thanks Ian too, for dropping in & looking us up.
Have a good one.
Mar 10, 2009
Cheers to all, and for Ian's report on the bike.
It truly is the best tool for the job.
It's a pleasure to ride in all circumstances, esp. on the roads that you have in Thailand.
It has taken a bit of a battering, but has never failed me.
It takes whatever crappy fuel I put in it with no complaints, or lack of power.
The handling remains as sweet as it always was, even with such a big rim up front.
If I was pushed to point out a weak spot, it would have to be the forks.
They were built on a budget, and aren't as refined as a KTM for instance.
Progressive springs are available now, which I wish I had.
In the next year or so, I'm sure that there will be aftermarket items available.
If you decide on the bike, you won't be disappointed, on or off-road.

All the best.

Mar 10, 2009
Thanks to lots of info posted by David and others about the crossing at Chiang Khong, I feel I can rock up to the ferry tomorrow with no worries about what to expect the other side.

Riding in North Thailand over the past few days has been a dream.
Dreamlike perhaps because the whole area is covered in smokey cloud.
Almost got caught out speeding up to a bridge going north toward Wiang Kaen.
Those you know the bridge will understand my shock when I saw that there were wooden planks only a car tyre's width.
So much for trying to follow a racing line.

I'm sure that I have plenty more concerns on the Laos side.

Slowly, slowly.

Nov 7, 2007
Good luck and thanks for sharing this information. If this bike wasn't 2x as expensive in Thailand as in the UK, I'd be all over it. As it is, I am grumbling and waiting for my big lottery win for this one.

And Thailand or Laos really are not places where you want to go fast on your bike, for a whole host of reasons. Like sand on the road, sudden ends to a road without warning, construction without warning, oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the road around the curve, the no-look turn shooting out of a small soi as is very popular with Thai riders, etc etc. I am sure you have seen all of it, just want to re-enforce, go slowly if there is the smallest doubt...

Awesome bike, I love the black taped-over look too - this is how it's intended to be ridden.


Aug 30, 2008
i have a question ...

where can i get Metal Mule pannier in Thailand ?

and how much does it cost for F650GS('01)


Feb 8, 2007

Wow, nice stuff for sure these Metal Mule paniers!
But look: near 1300/1500 Euros one set of two paniers with the frames!

Why don't you try to make them built here in LOS, at your own specs?
Many very good thai "welders" (?) here...

I too now own a F650GS '07 and I'm on the move to get my boxes done by a thai acquaintance of mine here in CNX. 3 mm gauge aluminium, 25 liters/box... For the 2 paniers, without any accessories (locks, handles... not defined yet), he asked me 7500 Bahts including aluminium foil...
They have to be ready on the next monday...
After that we shall plan and design the frames (3 bolting points on each side on the F650GS + rear bridge) including a rack fitted with a backrest for the passenger...

Maybe it would be interesting for others I open a new topic in "Any Message"...

A friend of mine is already waiting for the result before ordering too...

Wait and see...