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Old 06-04-2012, 09:41 AM   #76
toowheels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DW99 View Post
Emillio, thank you for your reply, that is the kind of real world experience that helps..... I am still not decided lol..luckily i do not think i can go wrong with either bike.
Hey DW99,

Yes you can't go wrong with either bike!
I just scanned through this thread and I hope I can give you some valuable input.

I didn't see anyone mention this but I would try to look into the future a bit with your decision.
For example if you really want to get into more rough dirt/gravel type riding down the road then going with the F8 may be the better choice in the long run saving you time and $$. NOT to say that the F650 is not capable in the dirt...it is!

I ride with two riders that have the 650 and they go everywhere I go. They have also both spent a few $$ on upgrades (as have I). They are both on spoked wheels now and both have done suspension/gearing changes. While this may not be typical it's something to think about if that's ultimately the direction you want to go.

The weight difference is negligible between the two bikes and the height can be altered easily with the seat. BTW I would probably find the low seat too uncomfortable because of the bend it puts in your leg for long distances and I'm the same height as you. I have lowered pegs on my F8 and I love them for more leg room and grip! (Also it's not just the height that affects the bike but the width which is another reason the 'Berg felt relatively easy to handle.)

Lastly in looking at the big picture most people spend a fair bit on bits to upgrade the bike, to suit the terrain and their needs.

So factor in:
-bike protection (hand guards, engine bars, skid plate...)
-suspension, tires
-power controller (more so for the F8 but many use it on the F650 too...I use HTCA's on here)
-gearing (maybe on the F650)
-luggage options (can be big $$ esp. if you want good hard box systems)
-comfort (windshield, seat?...)
-performance (pegs, bar risers, pipe?)
-other farkles...there can be lots!

It all starts to add up fast!

As a beginner bike I don't think they are too bad. A little heavy and lot's of power no question. Be prepared to drop it too if you're going to venture off-road.

If you don't mind the bike/$$ learning curve (and selling used) the F650 could be a better bet and most of the parts will transfer over.

Hope this helps and doesn't make it even more confusing!!

The good news is you're in an AWESOME area to explore with more than a handful of willing accomplices too!

You may want to check out the the GS Challenge in Rocky Mountain House if you get a bike and have the time. Skills will improve your learning/enjoyment curve drastically!

Good luck with whatever bike you choose and see you out there!

Cheers,

Dave
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:16 AM   #77
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Dave thank you for the information..all great points.

I figure the parts and accessories for each bike will be roughly the same.....either bike will be outfitted for some good adv rides.


I do plan to do the gs challenge some day...I know the guys at argyll and would love to do it. I most likely will do the 1 day training session at blackfoot as well, once I actually purchase a bike.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:05 PM   #78
toowheels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DW99 View Post
Dave thank you for the information..all great points.

I figure the parts and accessories for each bike will be roughly the same.....either bike will be outfitted for some good adv rides.


I do plan to do the gs challenge some day...I know the guys at argyll and would love to do it. I most likely will do the 1 day training session at blackfoot as well, once I actually purchase a bike.
You're welcome!
Yes you'll spend similar amounts except for maybe more on wheels and suspension on the F650 if you're riding "goes that way". Most aftermarket parts are transferable between the F650 and F800 too if change down the road.

Hope to see you out there!

Dave
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:24 PM   #79
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I wanted an F800, but couldn't find one, so I went with an F650 Dakar, and the more I ride it, the more I love it. I know the 650 single is a much different animal than the "650" twin, but just an example that don't count out the little guy.

Not to put a damper on things though, but as there are only 2 BMW dealers in AB, Blackfoot and Argyll, you're decision might get tougher. Sold out of 2012 F800's(grrr!), and rumbles of big changes for 2013.
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:24 PM   #80
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DW99, all I can say is:

Do not, I repeat DO NOT, let the dealership convince you to test ride a R1200GS. I was debating the two bikes you're thinking of and on a lark decided to take a used 1200GS for a spin. Ended up riding away from the dealership that same day with my Rallye edition.

Otherwise, I have nothing more to add than what others have said. Both are fantastic bikes but, like my Wee, a tad top heavy especially for a beginner. The 1200GS feels easier to flick around than the smaller GS's, but the stock height is very, very noticeable anytime you come to a stop.

Oh, and I'm *gasp* a girl. So don't let the stereotypical "sex" of a bike convince you of anything.
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Old 06-05-2012, 07:48 PM   #81
Pabigwoods
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Here's my experience. Decided to try motorcycling for the first time in my life. After much pondering and looking at an F650, I went with a KLR 650. My main reason was cost. didn't want to invest a lot until I knew I liked the sport. I also had visions of doing all this dirt riding with it. It turned out to be a great back road bike, but it I hated it on the highway where I did a lot of commuting. I also realized that due to lack there-of in my area, that I would never really ride much dirt other than dirt roads.

This winter found me shopping and pondering again with a better idea of what I wanted. I ended up with a slightly used F800 (1650miles). Soooooooo much better than the KLR all around. Very easy to adapt to. Throttle was a little jerky in the beginning, but you soon get used to it. If I what just me riding, I think I would be totally content with this bike, but now I am starting to take my girlfriend for a lot of rides. She's liking it and although the F8 has been doing ok with this, I am wondering about the R12. Hoping to demo one soon with her.

The moral of all my rambling? Be real honest about how much dirt you will ride. The F650 would be fine I'm sure. Also, by starting "small" and gaining experience you will appreciate a "bigger, better" bike more I feel. Lastly, as in my case your search may never be over, because more experience riding will help you evaluate your needs better. You could end up jumping over the F8 to an R12.

I hope this helps in some way. Believe me I know. Making a bike choice can be agonizing, but it's a good kind of agony.

Good luck and stay safe on whatever you choose.
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Old 06-06-2012, 04:20 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Pabigwoods View Post
Be real honest about how much dirt you will ride.
I might add to that very astute observation above, "Be real honest at the speeds you will ride".
The daily difference in real world speeds in a country like Canada or the USA where speeding tickets are actually written and laws are enforced, is very little between the F658 and the F8. I'll bet that only a handful of riders in both those countries and maybe a few more in Australia, will ever actually use their F8 in a place where an F658 couldn't go without too much difficulty.
Whichever way you go, spend your money on suspension and protection, they are both expensive when they fall over.
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Old 06-06-2012, 08:33 AM   #83
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great points from every one..thank you guys...and girl...

As has been mentioned both bikes are fantastic and i really can't go wrong. It may come down to the test ride and availability...I may just put a down payment on a 2013 bike and maybe buy a little used bike and trade it in next year.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:46 AM   #84
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Test ride them both one after the other. Buy the one that you like riding more. If you can't decide, ride them again until you figure it out.

You can ask opinions until the cows come home but at the end of the day, you have to decide for yourself which bike you prefer to ride and therefore own.
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Old 06-06-2012, 12:24 PM   #85
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Originally Posted by shelion View Post
Test ride them both one after the other. Buy the one that you like riding more. If you can't decide, ride them again until you figure it out.

You can ask opinions until the cows come home but at the end of the day, you have to decide for yourself which bike you prefer to ride and therefore own.

agreed
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Old 06-07-2012, 11:46 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by DW99 View Post
I'm not worried about ever jumping my bike..lol....good report, thanks emillio
I didn't either, but the water bars don't come with "Maximum Speed to Stay on the Ground" signs.

The F8 flies pretty good, although the front does tend to land a bit heavy.
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Old 06-17-2012, 10:02 AM   #87
garamouni
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Im having the exact same dilemma! and i must say this thread is an amazing source of thought and inspiration... I'm completely attracted by the F800 and this mainly due to its aggressive look and its higher stand. Im 186 cm tall, i believe its 6.1? and I'm 110 kgs anyway the f800 fits just alright, i get both feet down but not flat. the GS650 seems a bit small . From the engine and performance pt of view I'm sure both are pretty similar in what i would be using it for (which can be quite different for various ppl) ill be mainly using it on road commuting, with occasional soft off-roading.
Ive never ridden enduro bikes and i sure don't want to rush my decision.
Fact is no matter what advice you get it will all go down to how u actually feel when ure driving it.
Ive booked a test drive on both bikes this week and will revert with my impressions :)
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Old 06-18-2012, 07:46 AM   #88
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garamouni please let us know how it goes.
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:57 PM   #89
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late reply

Guys dunno if someone is still following this post, but i ended up getting the F800GS... and now with a bit more than 13.000 KMs on it mostly done offroad and desert riding, i can easily say this is one of the best bikes i've ridden! it was the good choice!
Its a perfect all rounder... my biggest complaint would go down to the quality of the front rims... if you anyone is interested i can write a lengthy review with pics and stuff. ride safe!
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:50 PM   #90
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I also ride an F800... What possible gripe can you have with the FRONT RIM ?
I rode mine, 2-up to DEADHORSE, Alaska... Took 30 and a half hours from Homer. We took a few rocks at good speed, no problems.
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