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Old 05-25-2012, 07:31 AM   #31
epicxcrider
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It's a toy, get the one you lust after :)

It's SO worth it :P

I went with the F800
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:51 AM   #32
DW99 OP
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those are some great replies guys, thank you so much. It is excellent to hear from people who have owned both and why they prefer one over the other. thank you so much it is helping for sure.

has anyone with the f650gs done a suspension upgrade? maybe the ricor? if so how has that changed the bike?

as for tires, I think if my dealership will do it I want them switched to scouts before we leave the show room. lol

thanks again everyone
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Old 05-25-2012, 08:33 AM   #33
JGoody
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Do a search and you'll see lots of suspension upgrades for F650GS discussed, from changing out the springs all the way up to a "long travel" rebuilt version. In terms of the power the F650 has enough for an old man like me -- the tests I've read top speed was 120+ mph -- but at high rpm the F800 has more juice.
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Old 05-25-2012, 05:35 PM   #34
vtbob
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I just put Wilber rear on my F650 GS. The main reason was the stock spring was too soft for me (220lbs) and my aggressive pavement riding. i.e. it bottomed too much.

Putingt the Wilber on was very expensive but it does really work. The higher rate, more adjustable preload and the dual speed valving make a big difference. Deciding if it worth the money is a personal decision. I'm glad i did it.

I will be putting the Intimitators in the front suspension later this summer. I'm sold on two speed dampening now.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:32 PM   #35
DrRock
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F800...

If you can touch the ground sitting, and you can afford the difference in price, buy the F800GS. The 800 is very easy to handle and is very well behaved for the novice rider.

My two cents...
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:03 PM   #36
abnslr
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Both good, I think

I'm in a very similar situation to you (first bike after several years away from riding) and put a lot of thought in before I decided to order the F658GS. I made that decision because
a. I'm going to be riding almost entirely on paved (though incredibly pot-holed) or semi-maintained unsealed roads
b. I live in a city where everything is on hills. With a 30" inseam, while I CAN handle a higher bike, why should I? Being able to put both feet down just makes life easier.
c. I liked the idea of being able to run regular fuel instead of premium.
d. I liked the idea of being able to plug a flat without taking a wheel off the bike.

That said, the F800GS is, IMO, a better looking bike, but I think at least some of that comes from the higher stance. The built-up F658s pictured in some of the other threads here look just as good to me as the F800s. If you're going to spend the money on adding extra ground clearance to an F658, though, you might as well just go with the F800.
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:18 AM   #37
Woody2627
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I am also a shortass, so went with the 658. My thinking is that the main advantages of the 800 come to the fore in the gnarly stuff, where you probably need to be able to dab your foot down on the odd occasion. Not much point if said foot doesn't reach the ground. If you are in territory where you don't need to put your foot down occasionally, both bikes will perform equally.
If you can get the scouts for no cost, go for it, but otherwise you would be wasting your money. The standard tyres would suit you fine, particularly as this will be your first ride for a while. Wait till they wear out then fit the Hideys (My choice of rubber too, but I've still got the standard tyres on ATM).
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:17 AM   #38
pfarrell
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my experience...

stats:
5'9"
165lbs
30" inseam

i currently have a 1200GS TB (low suspension)...after riding the F658 for 2 years...i've also completed the 2 day BMW offroad training course in SC, on an F800, with a few hours on a G650 (most difficult bike to ride at a walking pace, for me...combo of clutch slipping, trail braking and precise-ish throttle just to keep from stalling...was told the easiest bike to ride offroad is the 1200GS...and it's true...)

bought an F658GS as a new rider.
- like someone else said...low seat IS more comfortable on the long haul, i know because i had it and then swapped it after several months for the stock height seat.....before buying a sargent
- don't farkle the shit out of it...ride the shit out of it...and then decide what you really want
- the 800 is a bit more peppy, but not enough to matter. riding it in SC cured my "should i have bought the 800?" issue, we did take it on the track so i got to whip it...
- i always felt a bit "girly" on the 650...personal issue i guess
- extremely tiring to ride at speed (compared to 1200), BMW touring windshield sucks, tall is okay, quietest ride is with the stock short windshield, with my ergos, and a C3
- speed wobbles happened to me all the time, didn't experience this on the 800, but it also wasn't as smooth on highway....steering damper (RM2) is required IMO on the 658, the front end just isn't beefy enough
- electrical constraints if you want to tour with it and ride all year round


F800GS
- unlike what another person said, i did immediately appreciate the dual front brakes of the 800...much more stopping power...but my other bike is a triumph street triple R, that thing STOPS...
- tallness and even higher COG than the 658 made the 800 not right for me, though riding it offroad taught me a lot about thinking before putting my foot down....i dropped it plenty, never while riding... ;-)


here are some additional facts based on my experience...
the 1200GS is the best "all-round" bike in the GS category....i was prepared a couple of months ago to take the 658 on the TLH and during a test ride decided that it wasn't the best choice for me...since i'd ridden my father-in-laws 1200GS...and that was the BMW i'd always wanted...i traded in a fully kitted 658....best decision i've made regarding motorcycles. the 1200 is a "safer" ride for what i want to do for more reasons than should be specified here...plus i can't wait to get on it...

the weight differences between the 650/800/1200 are really quite minimal if laden (i like to pack light) touring with offroad is your thing (it's mine) but the 1200 is easier to handle by 100% than the twins at slow speeds, and they have absolutely nothing on the boxer engine, you do get what you pay for once again. it's incredibly balanced, and the weight is much lower. i never feel "tippy" on it like i always did on the 658...and certainly the 800...

my intention isn't to highjack the thread and push the 1200....just sharing my experience...the take away should be get either the 658 or 800...but don't do anything to them for a year or two...save the cash....then decide what you really want based on your new understanding...i'd also recommend buying either of them used for the same reason...and taking the BMW offroad course in SC (should be mandatory)....seeing how the instructors ride GSAs WILL expand your horizons...

pfarrell screwed with this post 05-26-2012 at 06:22 AM
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:03 PM   #39
veloce
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I wouldn't say the F800gs is a good beginners bike. I appreciate it now after some experience, but I recommend a smaller dual sport for your first bike. Even the G650GS might be a good choice. This all depends on how confident you are with handling the bike however.

I haven't ridden the F650 however. I would recommend going with the F650gs unless you know you will be doing more technical off roading, or are tall enough to flat foot the F800gs.

They all look good after you have them at home in the garage, the F800 just looks better next to the f650 in the show room.

The R1200gs is certainly a lot nicer than both bikes however, but it is a lot more expensive.
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Old 05-26-2012, 12:27 PM   #40
DW99 OP
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thanks guys, great info.
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:40 AM   #41
DW99 OP
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ok this may be a long shot but does anyone have photos of the f800gs and the f650gs side by side? preferably the f800gs with the low seat?
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:47 AM   #42
GB
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Pretty hard to tell from the pics, use this site to compare ergos of both bikes based on your size and inseam.

http://cycle-ergo.com/
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:16 PM   #43
HappyHighwayman
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Neither bike is a good beginner bike and unless you're extremely tall the F800 is a TERRIBLE beginner bike.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:20 PM   #44
DW99 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHighwayman View Post
Neither bike is a good beginner bike and unless you're extremely tall the F800 is a TERRIBLE beginner bike.

really I have read the opposite...often...especially about the f650gs...but about the f8 as well
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:54 PM   #45
nomad5326
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Never heard that before. One of my riding buddies bought her F650GS Twin 5'5" if that / 120" and had it on a multiple day camping / touring trips (on/off road) the week after. It's the attitude of the rider that comes into bear here. Ive had guy and gal friends go straight into the 1200 GS realm as a first bike w ZERO experience. Bottom line, pick the bike, get lessons if you feel you need to and get after it. If its a bike you love but too tall...lower it. That is the beauty of BMW w/the lower seat/link/options. Cheers.
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