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Old 04-26-2009, 02:46 PM   #1
950SMulate OP
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GS1200 or GS800

I like both bikes and cant decide which to buy.

I'd like to get opinions from guys that have switched or own both.

My riding will consist of every day use around town, long trips weeks at a time traveling the country and few future trips to Alaska and posibly South Americ and Mexico (when the swine flue is fizzeled :)).

Been riding a long time and have had many bikes so no need to get into nitty gritty. I'm well aware what either bike is capable of, so what I'm realy trying to realize is if the 800 will be substantial enough for everything else besides it's great off road potential.

Thanks....V
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:16 PM   #2
hankgs
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Tough...

I ride an 2007 GS and it is a blast to ride backroads and can ride freeway + speeds all day if need be... BUT, yesterday I rode a 800GS at Ventura County BMW's open house. I had a huge grin on my face the entire 20 mile ride and for about a half hour after! That bike is a hoot! It makes a 1200 rider feel like you're 10 years younger Makes you ride like a hooligan!
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Old 04-26-2009, 03:21 PM   #3
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I have both....

For the price, Get the F8 and dress it the way you want. It's got lots of zip and will do 180KPH on the highway no problem. Trust me I know! Get a better windshield, Barkbusters, cruise control, skid plate and panniers as well as other farkles you want and your set.
It doesn't have the range the GSA has though, that's my only Beef yet there are options for that.
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:02 PM   #4
donoman
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I was deciding between the F800GS and the R1200GSA a few weeks ago.

You need to ride both bikes.

I didn't think the F800GS would have enough oomph for a long road burning trip. However, if most of my riding was going to be firetrails, I'd pick the F800GS. Realistically, most of my riding will be highways with firetrails in between. So that's why I picked the R1200GSA.

Plus, the GSA looks better. :)
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:12 PM   #5
kluts
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You pegged the offroad capability

Everything I've heard about the 800 sells it, so far.

If you are serious about off pavement runs like AK, Mexico and beyond I would think that what the 800 lacks in sheer highway mass would make up for in spades in the non-paved stuff. The lighter the better.

Question is do you want to maintain a chain as opposed to maintaining a shaft? Both have their qualities, and both take work to maintain right, the shaft perhaps less so when you get used to doing it yourself. But with the shaft you're packing around maybe another 50 pounds.

Sooner or later you'll go down in the dirt, so one has to ask oneself,

"Which would I rather pick up on a remote dirt road in the middle of nowhere?"
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:28 AM   #6
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With that kind of travel I on the open road I would go with the 1200. The shaft vs chain thing. Last thing I would want to be doing in the backwoods of AK is changing chains and sprockets. I don't miss that at all.
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Old 04-27-2009, 04:33 AM   #7
Will DaBeast
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kluts
Everything I've heard about the 800 sells it, so far.

If you are serious about off pavement runs like AK, Mexico and beyond I would think that what the 800 lacks in sheer highway mass would make up for in spades in the non-paved stuff. The lighter the better.

Question is do you want to maintain a chain as opposed to maintaining a shaft? Both have their qualities, and both take work to maintain right, the shaft perhaps less so when you get used to doing it yourself. But with the shaft you're packing around maybe another 50 pounds.

Sooner or later you'll go down in the dirt, so one has to ask oneself,

"Which would I rather pick up on a remote dirt road in the middle of nowhere?"
Really? 48 pounds make that much of a difference?
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Old 04-27-2009, 09:32 AM   #8
JohnK
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Hello there,

I have owned 1100, 1150 and 1200 GS bikes but I had plenty of opportunities to ride both the ADV and the F800

I had the same question till last month and decided on the ADV and I am in the market for one right now.

I do a lot of off-roading in TX. Sand, gravel, water crossings, etc. F800 is a great bike both on and off the pavement and range is not an issue as one can carry a cannister. Or I want to stop after 200 miles in any case. ALso, the chain is not an issue in my opinion becaus you can add ScottOiler and the sprokets and chain will last forever.

Weight difference is noticable only when you need to pick them up (and not filling up the adv all the way for off road)but with correct technique, I never had a problem and I am 5'9" and 155lbs. Otherwise, you ride the 12 adv a bit slower than the F800 off the pavement and all is good.

Now, 3 decision makers for me towards the 12ADV were:

1- tube vs. tubless. ADV has tubeless and F800 runs tubes. If you get a flat on the F800, it will be hell to remove the back wheel and blah, blah, blah.. On the ADV however, you plug it an you move on. Even on a flat Tourance, I was able to ride at 40-50mph for 200 miles when it was a tare that was not pluggable. In addition, you can always carry tubes and valve stems and install a tube to the tubeless tire if it can not be plugged.

2- safety in case of a slow sped spill: ADV has the sticking out cylinders that DOES protect your feet in case of a spill. F800 will lay right on your foot and leg.

3- Lower center of gravity: although F800 feels a tad more nimble off road, lower center of gravity on the ADV makes it easier to maneuver and balance in slow speed and tight turns

Based on these 3 factors, I am going with 12ADV versus F800
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:03 AM   #9
GB
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I have agonized over this decision for the last several weeks and I have flip flopped over and over and over. I wanted to add the F800 to the stable and use it as a city commuter, light duty off paved road rider, and keep the 1200 for my long trips, which is what I've been doing, as it's all setup for long distance touring, but after test riding the 800, I thought why even keep my GS/A, then I get on the 1200 and think I'm crazy to trade it in.. So as of last night, I had finally decided to trade in the 1200 and get the 800, and then I rode the 1200 to work this morning and I'm back to thinking I will just keep the 12 and add the 8..

I trade bikes in without a second thought, but the 1200 is such a great bike.

If you're choosing to buy one or the other, I think I'd go with the 800 and with the money saved, you can add a better seat, screen, luggage etc. Plus, I think the 800 is less expensive to maintain.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:21 AM   #10
levity
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 950SMulate
...I'd like to get opinions from guys that have switched or own both...
"switched?", uhh, guess I'm guilty

had an '05 12GS, loved it



but "had to have" something more dirt worthy so went orange (990) - liked the suspension but couldn't take full advantage of it off-road

then the 8GS called my name...
better in dirt and, as hankgs points out, awoke my inner hooligan



but I missed the road manners and wind protection of the 12GS (it was calling my inner grandpa)
so I'm now on an '08 12GS and lovin it..... of course, ask me again next month






bottom line is ya can't go wrong - they're all great bikes, just the riders are fussy

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Old 04-27-2009, 10:23 AM   #11
marty hill
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GB, I've got both the 12GS and the 8GS. Don't sell or trade the 12. If I had to sell one, it would be the 8. In fairness I have over 110k miles on the 12 and only 2k on the 8 but I doubt my opinion will change.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:37 AM   #12
hyena
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The tube type tires and chain drive turn me off. But what about the routine maintenance on the F800? I realize I could do the research and find out what's required... I just thought it might be relevant to the OP's decision. Valve adjust interval? Easy to perform? Expensive at the dealer?

I've ridden the F800S and that engine is a little sweetie. I'd like to ride the 800GS some day soon at an open house.
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Old 04-27-2009, 10:43 AM   #13
Will DaBeast
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About the only thing that keeps me away is the 400 watt alternator. I'm not sure is that enough to run all my crap: Heated gloves, jacket liner, driving lights, fog lights and GPS as wellas the heated grips that come with the bike. I guess I could do the math but math is hard.
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Old 04-27-2009, 11:25 AM   #14
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if you're gonna do some 2-up riding I'd go with the 1200, otherwise I'd get the 800.
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Old 04-27-2009, 12:24 PM   #15
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my .02

Quote:
Originally Posted by 950SMulate
I like both bikes and cant decide which to buy.

I'd like to get opinions from guys that have switched or own both.

My riding will consist of every day use around town, long trips weeks at a time traveling the country and few future trips to Alaska and posibly South Americ and Mexico (when the swine flue is fizzeled :)).

Been riding a long time and have had many bikes so no need to get into nitty gritty. I'm well aware what either bike is capable of, so what I'm realy trying to realize is if the 800 will be substantial enough for everything else besides it's great off road potential.

Thanks....V
i own a 2007 1200gsa and just got finished riding a friends f800. the 800 does feel nice, but the 1200 is a battleship.

thoughts:
1. if you are going to do any 2-up touring, the 1200 is the way to go. i can load it for bear and throw the girl on the back and take off for a week without an issue at all.
2. i recently went to a park and laid down my 1200 on the grass to see if i could pick it up. i had a friend there to spot me, but it was no problem at all. i realize that there is a difference between picking up a bike in the backcountry and doing it in a park, but i wouldn't base your decision on how heavy/light the bike is. btw, i am 6'3", 170lb and have vermicelli for arms. i am by no means that strong.
3. in my experience, shaft drive rules over chain drive.
4. the 1200 is a street bike that you can ride in the dirt, the 800 is a dirt bike that you can ride on the street. what do you do most of?

rob
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