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Old 05-10-2012, 11:31 AM   #16
Dykkeren
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Location: Kristiansand, Norway
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I had a 1200 GS, bought a used 650GS (twin) to my wife. Picked it up at the dealer and drove 330 km home in one go. Decided to change the 1200 GS to a 800 GS. The 650 GS was great, but a little small to me. So if you lik the 800 GS and it is to big, you will love the 650 GS
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:23 PM   #17
itsatdm
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I do not think they are that similar. You can get a sense of the engine power and smoothness below 5,000 rpm, above that they both get a little coarse and that is where the additional 14 hp advantage with the 800 is felt.

The frames are the same so the basic geometry is the same. A 19" wheel will turn in quicker than a 21" so the handling will be a little more precise and sharper. An aggressive knobby tire is fine for forest service roads. The 800 has better brakes with 2 disc on the front.

Different suspension and neither is really state of the art, but the additional travel and ground clearance will be welcome on the 800 when the dirt gets lumpy.

When I bought my 800 the 650 was not coming to the US. In hindsight, considering the suspension mods I felt were needed to make the 800 better off road, I would have bought the 650 and upgraded/replaced the suspension to that bike. The 650 is lighter and a good thing on dirt.

5,000 rpm is 75 real speed on the F800 and close to 80 on the F650 with its different gearing. Fast enough for me and where I ride.
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:41 PM   #18
sieg
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We have 1 of each in our fleet. The 650's engine works better than the 800 in most all cases. More low end power even though it's geared 500 RPM taller at 55MPH. The 650 handles much better on hard road. 800 has better suspension if you need that. It's taller if you want that. They both stop on a dime, so dual front brakes, big deal. 650's tubless tires can be a plus.
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:30 PM   #19
GH41
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Originally Posted by sieg View Post
We have 1 of each in our fleet. The 650's engine works better than the 800 in most all cases. More low end power even though it's geared 500 RPM taller at 55MPH. The 650 handles much better on hard road. 800 has better suspension if you need that. It's taller if you want that. They both stop on a dime, so dual front brakes, big deal. 650's tubless tires can be a plus.
I never understood why they used dual disc on a dirt oriented bike. I have seen more than one hot rod F800GS converted to a single disc to save unsprung weight. GH
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:57 AM   #20
HappyHighwayman
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Originally Posted by GH41 View Post
I never understood why they used dual disc on a dirt oriented bike. I have seen more than one hot rod F800GS converted to a single disc to save unsprung weight. GH
How much does a disc weigh? For me I use it mostly as a commuter/pleasure/weekend riding bike, minimal off-road so dual-disc is a feature I wanted.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:28 PM   #21
slowpoke28787
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different animals

I took out a 650GS demo today while my 1200GS was having a service done. I wanted to ride an 800GS but no demo available here now. I rode over 100 miles with 12 of that on gravel. By 80 miles I had to take a lunch break because the seat was so hard. I also think the 650 was just too small for my 6'5 frame. It did feel good on the asphalt and nice an nimble.
I sat on an 800GS with bar risers at the dealership when I returned and it felt much better. The 800 is just bigger all the way around. The ride home on my 1200 felt even better but it is still a big bike and not suited for all kinds of riding. I would still like to ride the 800 for a day. You have to spend some real seat time on any bike before plunking down your dough so it is nice that BMW will allow it.
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:24 AM   #22
malloy
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After 66,000 miles I went from an R1200GS to an F650GS and couldn't be happier.

I didn't want the ride height of the 800 or the tubed tires and the 650 is lighter. Most of my riding is pavement. With its 19" front wheel, the 650 is very flickable with good power for me. True, the brakes will never compare with the R1200GS dual disc servo brakes (best I've ever had) but they are adequate and the torquey engine gives a lot of braking power. Seems there always a correct gear for any situation, turn, bend so I'm using the brakes quite a bit less anyway. The gearing encourages upshifting for better mileage as there is plenty of low end torque.

No doubt in time I'll do some suspension mods. Who on what bike doesn't if they are serious riders and tinkerers? But for now it's fine. Same with the seat. Sooner or later a custom seat gets done on any long term bike. I like the seat height on the standard chassis. I'm 5'11" and like to flat foot when needed. It's a good thing. I put on an MRA Vario Touring Screen ( http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade...view/4592/363/ ) windshield that really quieted things down and cleaned up the airflow around my helmet.

Gas mileage is great, 55-60 mpg, but greatly effected by high speeds. Not surprising on a small engine. Love regular gas at about 25 cents per gallon cheaper than premium at our local tier one gas stations.

In theory I think that since the engine, transmission, driveline, frame, etc. were all designed for an 800cc motor with 85 +/-horsepower the 650 with its 71 hp will be less stressed and last for ever. That was my experience with a K75 (versus K100) for 90,000 miles.

So if pavement and forest roads are your thing (consider ITSATDM's comments above) the F650GS is a good all around choice. Might not have the cool factor of an F800GS but gets the job done.
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:54 AM   #23
theborv OP
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About height, the F800GS with sock seat I can reach the ground perfectly with heels down. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with perfect height on a F800GS and going to the F650GS it were still big enough. I'm 184cm tall (6' .03")

In a lot of ways I would prefer the 650, but not if it's going to be too small, that I will forever regret.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:03 AM   #24
8thdwarf
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I am 5'8" and have no problem with the seat height. I've had MX bikes all my riding career and using the " one foot tap" at stop lights don't bother me in the least.For me it seems unnatural to have BOTH feet on the ground at the same time while at a stop. My last bike, still have it and will never part with it, is a XR650L. I picked up a F800GS used with all the junk a dealer can cram on it for a reasonable price. I wanted a bike that was more street worthy than the XR but still could run and play in the dirt .I did test ride the 650 before this 800 fell into my lap and I have not been disappointed as of yet with my decision. That being said, you just gota pull the trigger. jump on it and ride it like you stole it.... you'll have a great adventure....
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:06 AM   #25
GH41
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Laugh

Quote:
Originally Posted by theborv View Post
About height, the F800GS with sock seat I can reach the ground perfectly with heels down. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with perfect height on a F800GS and going to the F650GS it were still big enough. I'm 184cm tall (6' .03")

In a lot of ways I would prefer the 650, but not if it's going to be too small, that I will forever regret.
Go back to the dealer that has the 800 and take a couple of wood blocks 2.3 inches thick. GH
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:44 AM   #26
theborv OP
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Go back to the dealer that has the 800 and take a couple of wood blocks 2.3 inches thick. GH
Hmm I don't get what I supposed to do to find out what with the wood blocks...???
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:05 PM   #27
itsatdm
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Go sit on one, it will tell you if it will fit. I am 5-9, old and frail so the 800 presented a problem where I live. Even the pavement is canted one way or the other and all the stop signs are are half way up a mountain.

I did not want to lose the suspension travel, so an electric carving knife removed about 1in of seat. No preload on the rear and moved the front tubes up a 1/4". All is good.
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:54 PM   #28
theborv OP
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Originally Posted by 8thdwarf View Post
I did test ride the 650 before this 800 fell into my lap and I have not been disappointed as of yet with my decision.
Pro & cons 650 vs 800 after riding both?
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Old 05-12-2012, 02:09 PM   #29
GSFREEK
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800GS = guys
650GS = girls
it = that easy

(now i'll hide for a while
Really , go test ride both. Testing one thing to see if you like the other is pretty twisted



GSFREEK screwed with this post 05-12-2012 at 02:25 PM
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:23 PM   #30
GH41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theborv View Post
Hmm I don't get what I supposed to do to find out what with the wood blocks...???
Have someone at the dealer put the blocks under you feet while you sit on the 800. 2.3" is the amount the 800 is higher over the 650. GH
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