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Old 04-01-2012, 06:26 PM   #16
HighFive
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The GS was born for dirty duty, but you have to spend a lot of coin to bring it up to acceptable suspension standards to fulfill that purpose. Then, its very capable offroad in "experienced" hands. I wouldn't recommend this option for such a novice dirt rider, as you have described yourself.

Keep the DR650 instead. Its a lot cheaper and less worrisome when you drop it in the rocks. Or, even consider downsizing your DR650 to something smaller for offroad self-training.

The DL1000 is a fine bike, and will certainly handle dirt roads adequately.

I do thoroughly enjoy my F800 on the tarmac. I'd just as soon ride it on the pavement, than anything else I've owned.

I've had LOTS of hardcore KLR time. Its more capable than most believe. I like my F800GS better than my KLR in every category. But, I've had a little practice riding too.....well, maybe a lot.

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Old 04-01-2012, 08:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noreaster View Post
Is a F800 gs as top-heavy as a DL1000?

(Yes, I know that it weighs slightly less.)

Can the GS replace a DL1000 AND a DR650? (probably and maybe is my guess)
This is good question as it is the same scenario as I faced a few years back (except a 400 instead of a DR650). If I had room in the garage, I would have happily kept the both Suzukis and added a few more bikes in the process. My F800GS is a great all around bike and I would choose it again if I could only have ONE bike. But the 800GS is not in the same class as the DL1000 or DR650, so hard to say if it really replaced them. All 3 bikes have their advantages and disadvantages. As many in this thread have mentioned, it all depends on how you ride them. I really miss the DL1000 on the tarmac, and the lighter weight of the DR in the dirt. My wallet was also a lot heavier after leaving the Suzuki parts counter. I only have room for 2 bikes in the garage and the wife hated riding the DR and thus the switch to the current 650GS and 800GS. Great machines and we have no regrets. I strongly suggest a BMW test ride. Good luck
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Old 04-02-2012, 06:33 PM   #18
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Wicked Replace both - no it doesn't IMHO

Just my 5 cents worth. Having ridden dirt for 35 years, and as a current F8GS and former DR owner In my view the F8GS is not a DR650 replacement.
Its a "soft roader" not a true "off roader" by any stretch. Its like comparing an overloaded Subaru Forrester to a Humvee.

Simply put as is, it weighs too much, has inadequate suspension, is easily damaged in a crash and comes poorly spec'd for any serious off road work. One has to spend quite a bit to get them reasonably dirt capable, but even then, an Enduro bike they are not. So if you want to attack any really challenging (ie steep, rough & muddy etc) single trails forget it, unless your heavy thumper dirt skills are top notch and you've got deep pockets. If you want an adventure tourer with real dirt ability I'd suggest a new Yamaha Tenere 660 with a TT high front mudguard kit and some decent tyres. Or a good second hand late (Orange) model KTM 640 Adventure with the dual front discs. (The engine vibrates a bit at highway speeds, but its a damn good package otherwise). The F8GS is a great back roads tourer with some "4x4" ability but thats it. It will never truly replace both a DL1000 and a DR650 (which is pretty good off road with some basic mods).

Don't get me wrong I like my F8GS and I continue to invest in ways to improve it. But I accept it for what it is; a nice dual purpose, long distance touring bike. Forays into serious off road areas requires thought. If you can accept that (and most do, for its often owned by guys who just want to see some more countryside than the highway offers) then its a great bike. And thats why it sells (plus the McGregor/Boorman latte adventurer DVD's...). I'd say the F8GS is midway between a DR650 and a DL1000. So it depends on what you want to do with it as to whether its the best fit and can really do everything you want of it.

Personally my feeling is that if you like the dirt and already have a good DR650, then I'd keep it and set it up with a Baja tank, bark busters, a decent big headlight and some good enduro tyres. Get a big front sprocket for the long highway runs to make cruising easier if its too buzzy (cheap, easy to carry and quick to swap over). You'll have fun for way less money and be far happier extending your off road skills on it, and its far more crashworthy when (not if) you drop it. The DR650 forms the basis for many good ADV bikes, and for good reason. I wouldn't toss it just yet, unless you're sure you can resist the urge to get dirty! have you though about selling the DL1000 and buying a better street bike and putting a few $$ into your DR instead? But if you have been told to have only 1 (wife?) then if you think you are that typical F8GS buyer (not lusting for enduro type trails) then maybe it 'll work for ya... Good luck deciding.
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Old 04-02-2012, 07:53 PM   #19
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I have already SOLD the DR actually. I used the money to replace it with a 450EXC. It is legal to register as a road bike here, but won't pass the safety inspection without adding a dual-sport kit. Even then, I can't see riding it for hundreds, or even dozens of miles, on a real "dual"-sport excursion.

I have seriously thought about selling the DL and getting a more road-worthy road bike. I NEVER take it off road any way, and only rarely on a dirt road. Still, that would leave a "dual sport gap" in the garage and, well, I just don't want that.

I guess I'm going to shop for a 650-class DS no matter what. I kind of hoped that the 800gs could sort of fill the roles that the DL and DR do (did) now. I'll probably look for a XR650, a BMW 650 of some kind, or a 640. I did the DR thing and the KLR thing (twice) and I think that either one would fill the role 650s are supposed to but I'd like to try something "else". I don't think that that Ymaha you mentioned is available in the States. Pity.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mungus View Post
Just my 5 cents worth. Having ridden dirt for 35 years, and as a current F8GS and former DR owner In my view the F8GS is not a DR650 replacement.
Its a "soft roader" not a true "off roader" by any stretch. Its like comparing an overloaded Subaru Forrester to a Humvee.

Simply put as is, it weighs too much, has inadequate suspension, is easily damaged in a crash and comes poorly spec'd for any serious off road work. One has to spend quite a bit to get them reasonably dirt capable but an Enduro bike they are not. So if you want to attack any really challenging (ie steep, rough & muddy etc) single trails forget it, unless your heavy thumper dirt skills are top notch and you've got deep pockets. If you want an adventure tourer with real dirt ability I'd suggest a new Yamaha Tenere 660 with a TT high front mudguard kit and some decent tyres. Or a good second hand late (Orange) model KTM 640 Adventure with the dual front discs. (The engine vibrates a bit at highway speeds, but its a damn good package otherwise). The F8GS is a great back roads tourer with some "4x4" ability but thats it. It will never truly replace both a DL1000 and a DR650 (which is pretty good off road with some basic mods).

Don't get me wrong I like my F8GS and I continue to invest in ways to improve it. But I accept it for what it is; a nice dual purpose, long distance touring bike. Forays into serious off road areas requires thought. If you can accept that (and most do, for its often owned by guys who just want to see some more countryside than the highway offers) then its a great bike. And thats why it sells (plus the McGregor/Boorman latte adventurer DVD's...). I'd say the F8GS is midway between a DR650 and a DL1000. So it depends on what you want to do with it as to whether its the best fit and can really do everything you want of it.

Personally my feeling is that if you like the dirt and already have a good DR650, then I'd keep it and set it up with a Baja tank, bark busters, a decent big headlight and some good enduro tyres. Get a big front sprocket for the long highway runs to make cruising easier if its too buzzy (cheap, easy to carry and quick to swap over). You'll have fun for way less money and be far happier extending your off road skills on it, and its far more crashworthy when (not if) you drop it. The DR650 forms the basis for many good ADV bikes, and for good reason. I wouldn't toss it just yet, unless you're sure you can resist the urge to get dirty! have you though about selling the DL1000 and buying a better street bike and putting a few $$ into your DR instead? But if you have been told to have only 1 (wife?) then if you think you are that typical F8GS buyer (not lusting for enduro type trails) then maybe it 'll work for ya... Good luck deciding.
Well said. The only opinion I have on your points is that the 640LC motors don't just rattle and vibrate a little, they vibrate a LOT -- way more than any 250 or 450cc single that I've owned or spent time on. So much vibration that I wouldn't chose to own one unless I invested in some Flexx bars, not cheap at around $350 USD, and a custom seat.

^ that said, I agree that a lot of folks buy the F8 thinking they will be out doing tough singletrack and rutted up whooped out offroad riding but then get it to that type of terrain and are sorely disappointed. The suspension is fair at best, the wheels too soft, the hubs not strong, and the ergos all wrong for offroad and standing up while riding. Once you realize that and replace said items, and put in the $$, it's much better but it will never be a true offroad bike. The riders trying to convince people otherwise have either not ridden a 125/250/450 in the woods or on technical terrain or they are in denial about their purchase. There are simple facts about engineering and design; and the F800GS is not designed to be what a sub 500cc thumper bike is meant to be, plain and simple. It is capable for what it was designed for: long distance touring with some light offroad thrown in. You can polish it up and make it into something more capable but you're not making it a <250lb single. Likewise, you can also polish a honda civic into a Fast and Furious car but it will never be a rally race M3.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noreaster View Post
I guess I'm going to shop for a 650-class DS no matter what. I kind of hoped that the 800gs could sort of fill the roles that the DL and DR do (did) now. I'll probably look for a XR650, a BMW 650 of some kind, or a 640. I did the DR thing and the KLR thing (twice) and I think that either one would fill the role 650s are supposed to but I'd like to try something "else". I don't think that that Ymaha you mentioned is available in the States. Pity.
Thats a pity if the new 660 Tenere isn't sold in the USA, Its right on the money and they sell elsewhere.

But dude an XR650R is one awesome trail/enduro mount, plus liquid cooled and fast. There are plenty of "Baja" bits for it and with a bigger front sprocket and dualie tyres you be stylin on the highways too. Being a true Enduro bike, it is more capable off road than a KLR or DR650 too. Get a good one and spend a grand or so on it and you'd be happy. I used a friends one to ride around New Zealand's back roads and 4x4 trails, etc years ago. It had the usual ADV mods; Baja tank (Acrebis), big headlight, little aluminum carrier and dualie tyres. It was great and with knobbys (fitted for 2 weeks through the muddy hills of Taranaki and Wanganui, etc) it was a real dirt weapon. Perhaps with the extra hp they make over a DR650 they may need rebuilds a bit more often, but its worth it for the fun factor and if you make the motor sweet before a big trip I'm sure you'll get 10,000kms+ before it needs any real attention. The other thing they have in their favour is that Honda's are by far the most popular brand in the developing world. So if you need parts in Peru or Sudan, you'll have a reasonable chance of getting some. No such luck with a BMW or KTM I'm afraid, (even Kawasakis for that matter) get outside the capital cities and you are on your own.

Sorry I didn't notice that you had SOLD the DR. But your plan sounds good. Getting a nice road bike and starting afresh on an ADV project bike will be fun. Enjoy!
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:00 PM   #22
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Puke

Quote:
Originally Posted by señormoto View Post
Likewise, you can also polish a honda civic into a Fast and Furious car but it will never be a rally race M3.
Ooooooh yuk - Honda Civics!

Please no more profanity on this forum, I'll have to report you to a moderator!
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Old 04-04-2012, 12:52 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mungus View Post
just my 5 cents worth. Having ridden dirt for 35 years, and as a current f8gs and former dr owner in my view the f8gs is not a dr650 replacement.
Its a "soft roader" not a true "off roader" by any stretch. Its like comparing an overloaded subaru forrester to a humvee.

simply put as is, it weighs too much, has inadequate suspension, is easily damaged in a crash and comes poorly spec'd for any serious off road work. One has to spend quite a bit to get them reasonably dirt capable but an enduro bike they are not. So if you want to attack any really challenging (ie steep, rough & muddy etc) single trails forget it, unless your heavy thumper dirt skills are top notch and you've got deep pockets. If you want an adventure tourer with real dirt ability i'd suggest a new yamaha tenere 660 with a tt high front mudguard kit and some decent tyres. Or a good second hand late (orange) model ktm 640 adventure with the dual front discs. (the engine vibrates a bit at highway speeds, but its a damn good package otherwise). The f8gs is a great back roads tourer with some "4x4" ability but thats it. It will never truly replace both a dl1000 and a dr650 (which is pretty good off road with some basic mods).

Don't get me wrong i like my f8gs and i continue to invest in ways to improve it. But i accept it for what it is; a nice dual purpose, long distance touring bike. Forays into serious off road areas requires thought. If you can accept that (and most do, for its often owned by guys who just want to see some more countryside than the highway offers) then its a great bike. And thats why it sells (plus the mcgregor/boorman latte adventurer dvd's...). I'd say the f8gs is midway between a dr650 and a dl1000. So it depends on what you want to do with it as to whether its the best fit and can really do everything you want of it.

Personally my feeling is that if you like the dirt and already have a good dr650, then i'd keep it and set it up with a baja tank, bark busters, a decent big headlight and some good enduro tyres. Get a big front sprocket for the long highway runs to make cruising easier if its too buzzy (cheap, easy to carry and quick to swap over). You'll have fun for way less money and be far happier extending your off road skills on it, and its far more crashworthy when (not if) you drop it. The dr650 forms the basis for many good adv bikes, and for good reason. I wouldn't toss it just yet, unless you're sure you can resist the urge to get dirty! Have you though about selling the dl1000 and buying a better street bike and putting a few $$ into your dr instead? But if you have been told to have only 1 (wife?) then if you think you are that typical f8gs buyer (not lusting for enduro type trails) then maybe it 'll work for ya... Good luck deciding.
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:45 AM   #24
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Well I have sold my DL 1000 about a week ago.
And I will be getting and F800GS hopefully this coming monday.

I had the DL1000 for 9 years from new. It is a great bike with lots of torque and power. All day on the saddle was no problem for me. It will handle the simple dry dirt road. But any serious mud, sand or forest riding is not what it is made for.
DL1000, has more power and it delivers you more highway stability. For duo touring on hghway or asphalt DL1000 is better choice. Add to that I had 0 technical problems with it.

So I have purchased Husqvarne TE610 for offroad and riding at the forest. Much lighter and compact in tight stuff. Lots of power to get you there as well.

Now I have tested the F800GS several times. Great engine and response to throttle. Very agile and nimble. I have taken it to the offroad and it beats DL1000 at that category. With a pair for progressive springs and tires like karoo or TKC you can enjoy offroad. If you live in big city F800GS is also much lighter at the busy traffic.
If you travel 99% solo, and like to wander to offroad when it is possible than the F800GS is better choice. Also it burns less fuell than DL1000 (well it also has less HP).

Would F800GS replace DR650 or TE610? Well 610 (and dr650) are made for dropping falling and there is nothing to break really (ok I assume you have removed the mirrors and put handlbar protectors to save the brake and clutch levers). It is not as comfortable as F800GS. And you will travel slower n the regular road compared to paralel twin.

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Old 04-09-2012, 06:00 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noreaster View Post
I have already SOLD the DR actually. I used the money to replace it with a 450EXC. It is legal to register as a road bike here, but won't pass the safety inspection without adding a dual-sport kit. Even then, I can't see riding it for hundreds, or even dozens of miles, on a real "dual"-sport excursion.

I have seriously thought about selling the DL and getting a more road-worthy road bike. I NEVER take it off road any way, and only rarely on a dirt road. Still, that would leave a "dual sport gap" in the garage and, well, I just don't want that.

I guess I'm going to shop for a 650-class DS no matter what. I kind of hoped that the 800gs could sort of fill the roles that the DL and DR do (did) now. I'll probably look for a XR650, a BMW 650 of some kind, or a 640. I did the DR thing and the KLR thing (twice) and I think that either one would fill the role 650s are supposed to but I'd like to try something "else". I don't think that that Ymaha you mentioned is available in the States. Pity.
As you said, a little single instead is never a bad choice. you can find a cheap 650 dakar and do kind of the same things as with the f800gs.
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Old 04-21-2012, 04:17 PM   #26
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Since I have made my post, I am a happy owner of F800GS of 2011.
I rode it very few miles after few tests I have done with it.

Initial observations:
F800GS is realy flickable. In curvey roads or busy traffic you really enjoy its geometry and lesser wait.

The engine i slively and starts the power delivery quickly. I need to see the see what is the minimum rpm for me.

On the highway the DL 1000 has the upper hand. It will be less vibey and more stable at high speed.

Having said that, since I ride city and higwhway 50 50 during normal day commute, and I do go secondary roads dirt and gravel. the bikes agility and flickability with great mpg is very nice. It is not top heaby at all.

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