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Old 06-29-2012, 08:58 AM   #16
HappyHighwayman
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Originally Posted by alexisan View Post
Would be great if you can share your experiences. What's the main reason you do it?
I find them mushy and not stiff enough. I was told that re-springing them can totally improve the bike's performance in turns and such. I barely do any off-roading, for me the F800 is a commuter and adventure bike for weekend rides.

Don't get me wrong, the F800GS is an awesome bike, but just be aware of what it is...it's more of a street bike than can do off-road than a dirt bike you can ride on the street.
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:58 AM   #17
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I have spent quite a bit of time and money rigging up my F800 for off road. I have the usual stuff (crash protection, rear shock bolt reinforcement, Scotts damper), then added pivot pegs, a custom seat shaped more like a dirt bike seat, highway dirt bike guards and lots of other minor farkles. I also have the full Ohlins conversion to the forks (the heavier NIX kit, not the TTX) and a Ohlins shock in the back. I did the front high fender / brake line conversion. Top that off with custom Woody's wheels. All in all the bike handles much better off road and can really take the abuse much better than stock. Despite that, you simply have to recognize the F800 limitations. There are some here who will disagree and say the F800 is a do everything bike but I don't think so. No matter what you change, the bike is still damn big and heavy as hell. When it starts to go, you better get out of the way. Try dropping your foot to save it and it will rip your leg off. This is not to say I don't like it in the dirt. I just view it as a fire road and moderate level dirt mule. I stopped trying to pretend it was a good single track bike on anything but the easiest of trails. That's what the WR is for. I am no fantastic off road rider, but I get out several times a week and live next to countless dirt rides. YMMV.
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2010 BMW F800GS, 2011 Yamaha WR250R, 2011 Honda Ruckus, 2013 KTM 500 EXC
Up the WABDR, F800GS Stealth Bike Build, WR250R Scotts Damper Install
Red dirt, rocks and sand; Riding the southern UTBDR, WR250R vs EXC 500 - a comparison
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:21 AM   #18
headstaller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHighwayman View Post
I find them mushy and not stiff enough. I was told that re-springing them can totally improve the bike's performance in turns and such. I barely do any off-roading, for me the F800 is a commuter and adventure bike for weekend rides.

Don't get me wrong, the F800GS is an awesome bike, but just be aware of what it is...it's more of a street bike than can do off-road than a dirt bike you can ride on the street.
Can you offer detail on part#/ tech specs on parts used? Thanks
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:25 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by loph917 View Post
i put the hyperpro progressive springs both front and rear. still bottomed out. complete waste of money.

the f800 needs a complete new fork rebuilt up front. ohlins might be the way to go. but it's $$$.

you'll also need new rims. the stock rims fold like a cheap suit at the smallest hint of anything larger than pea gravel.

i'm curious as to your thoughts on the 990 and the bottoming out. was it a newer year? it seems to be a much better setup (on paper). i wrecked my f8 a few weeks ago and so far it isn't totaled (but its close). i'm considering making the leap from the f8 to the 990 because i think it might be better suited to my more aggressive off-road riding (oh if they only still made the 950se this conversation would be academic). it's a costly leap so i'm also considering re-working the suspension and rims (since they need to be replaced anyway). i do like the f8 and its fun to ride, just not aggressively off-road in its stock form.

i already have a 'berg 570 for the really gnarly stuff but i've been known to go out in that same crap with the f8, at a much slower pace. these are much heavier bikes but i can't believe there isn't a suspension out there to properly suspend them so they can take a little bit of abuse and soak it up. i could also just be naive.
Bottoming out? are you sure? That is a pretty stout spring at .52-.74kg, only rev tech makes one that is heavier. I thought the same until I zip tied the forks and concluded it was the cartridge tubes spiking.

I went with Bitubo inserts, as the first available. Ran the Hyperpro's with that cartridge and found them too hard. Currently running a .55kg Ohlins.

Not apples to oranges, as the Bitubo's are pressurized, but have managed to bottom them once. If you really are doing that, you will hear a clank that you won't miss.

I agree with Snowy on the potential of the F800gs, but it needs mods to get into the KTM class and it will cost you near the same by the time you are done.
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Old 06-29-2012, 10:27 AM   #20
HappyHighwayman
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Originally Posted by headstaller View Post
Can you offer detail on part#/ tech specs on parts used? Thanks
I will after I get to the shop tomorrow.
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:18 AM   #21
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I have been riding and upgrading my F8 for a little over a year now. I really like this bike (I have several now and many over the years). It is tons of fun and capable of many things but... High speed desert or technical single track isn't a strong point for it. Last week I actually tore the altrider blast plast almost completely off. BTW, that is one of, if not the best add-on so far... Save the motor and did exactly what they designed it to do.

In stock form with 225# rider at a reasonable speed (half speed to what I rider the same place on my Husaberg FE390) it bottoms. Hard obviously at times. I have read everything I can find on the suspension upgrades and talked to the shop that normally works on my other bikes(race prep suspension and other mods) . End result for me is going to be the custom Shiver 45 mod and a shock to match. This is scary but not too expensive compared to ohlins or bitubo. The fact that BMW sourced a low end Marzochi suspension when they actually has some decent ones disappoints me but also says this wasn't intended to do Dakar without lots of mods... Or anything tougher than gravel/fire road for that matter.

I came close to selling it in favor of a 990 or 690 but in the end the mods already on this bike plus the suspension (which I would have to do on any bike I chose to get it right) didn't make sense. And I really like this bike! So more mods and slower speeds (and lowering my expectations a bit) are how I'm going.

The wheels have survived so far... Will replace them after the sus mods and I save more money up. Steering damper is always a good choice. Stock exhaust is good enough for now and the slip ons don't seem to offer much more than slimmer profile and a little weight loss.. Who cares its a 400+# bike and 2" one the left side smaller means nothing to me. Just my view.

To summarize: if you want to ride above first gear on whooped out, technical, rocky or single track you have to do the suspension. Crash bars , hand guards and skid plate (bigger is better) are absolutes. Add the headlight cover to save replacement cost and a taller windshield if you plan on any longer road riding (I have a mad stad and love it case you can adjust it and it fits w/ bark busters). Bigger pegs are good money spent as well. The rest is personal choice.

Hope that helps by sharing my experience so far. Good luck.
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:25 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by majthumper View Post

i came close to selling it in favor of a 990 or 690 but in the end the mods already on this bike plus the suspension (which i would have to do on any bike i chose to get it right) didn't make sense. And i really like this bike! So more mods and slower speeds (and lowering my expectations a bit) are how i'm going.
+1
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2010 BMW F800GS, 2011 Yamaha WR250R, 2011 Honda Ruckus, 2013 KTM 500 EXC
Up the WABDR, F800GS Stealth Bike Build, WR250R Scotts Damper Install
Red dirt, rocks and sand; Riding the southern UTBDR, WR250R vs EXC 500 - a comparison
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:32 AM   #23
HappyHighwayman
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I've asked this many times, any point in a steering damper for non-off-road riding below 80-90 MPH?
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:34 AM   #24
MAJTHUMPER
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Sorry I didn't have time to edit the last post.. "blast plate" makes more sense huh? Haha

Now that I have another sec I would tell you that the after market for this bike if pretty good and getting better. If you like wrenching on your own stuff you can customize it to your taste. If you prefer to have that work done for you, you're gonna pay for it!

Google parts and you'll find several option for manufactures. A couple to check:
Tour tech - pricey but has good stuff
Altrider - really like the guys and the gear
Twisted throttle - another good company with lots of fun stuff
Happy trails - local for me in Boise Idaho and good guys... Although focus is Kawi they have general stuff including good boxes

The list goes on but gets you going. Almost forgot but you should probably also search " shock bolt" in this forum so you know the weak link ahead of time. Indy (fellow inmate) has a good solution and seems to be a good guy who knows his stuff. There are other options but bottom line, you need to plan on this needing to be done for off road riding.

K that's it for me... For now.
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:40 AM   #25
MAJTHUMPER
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Highway

I'm a fan of them for all applications. A good pot hole or other road hazard at 40mph could yank the bars enough to matter and the damper really helps. Normally you won't even need it or know its working but the one time it keeps you tire side down makes it all worth it. IMO
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Old 06-29-2012, 11:45 AM   #26
HappyHighwayman
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Originally Posted by MAJTHUMPER View Post
Highway

I'm a fan of them for all applications. A good pot hole or other road hazard at 40mph could yank the bars enough to matter and the damper really helps. Normally you won't even need it or know its working but the one time it keeps you tire side down makes it all worth it. IMO
Thank you sir. Maybe a future mod.

As per your previous post, I did a combination of different brands. I tried to buy the "best value" part in each category, or go with the BMW one if I didn't care or it was the cheapest because I got 15% off all parts and they installed a lot of them for me OEM.

Skid Plate: Ricochet
Crash Bars: SW-Motech
Light Guard: BMW OEM
Hand Guards: BMW OEM
Seat: BMW Comfort seat OEM
Windscreen/fairing: Brittania Composites M2
Flashing brake light: BMW OEM
Hand grips: Beamer buddies
Luggage: OWM BMW Aluminum boxes
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:00 PM   #27
alexisan OP
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Soo much info!! Thank you very much!!
But I am hesitating more and more...suspension and rims will eat up at least another 4 grand...is that worth it??
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:03 PM   #28
HappyHighwayman
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Originally Posted by alexisan View Post
Soo much info!! Thank you very much!!
But I am hesitating more and more...suspension and rims will eat up at least another 4 grand...is that worth it??
Only you can say what's "worth it" to you. Also, you don't need to do it all at once. I definitely spent at least that on top of the MSRP....close to $17,000 out the door.

Personally I'm glad, because the bike is now farkled how I want it and I don't constantly lust after new stuff.
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:22 PM   #29
itsatdm
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Originally Posted by HappyHighwayman View Post
I've asked this many times, any point in a steering damper for non-off-road riding below 80-90 MPH?

On this site, as well as others, there are posts from individuals who think they are absolutely needed. I know of 2 high speed tank slappers resulting in crashes. One on this site and another recent one on the F800 forum. Lots of references to the weave at freeway speeds. Most, not all on knobbys, usually the TKC.

I experienced both early. Thankfully the tank slapper was on gravel that did not cause a crash. I solved it by moving the forks up in the clamps a little. Others do it by cranking more preload on the rear.

I reinforced my own conclusion that the front was a little light, by reading a F800gs vs 800XC comparison in Motorcycle Consumer News that actually weighed both ends of both bikes. Few riders do what I recommend, either not believing it, or being counter intuitive and worried about loss of trail.

A side issue. Ever wonder how Triumph gets away with running the street bike frame geometry they do? They use a very wide 21" wheel that results in a wider tire foot print and then weighted it.

I think weighting the front more, makes a more stable bike. All kinds of way to accomplish that. As to the naysayers, I guess they do not know Jimmy Lewis maxed the preload during his Sahara Safari test without harming himself.

In the US, the bikes come boxed without the forks installed. At delivery the dealer installs the forks. Mine were flush with top of the tube. Lowering to its proper place improved the stability. Doing a like amount again made it better.

If the bike is properly sprung for your weight, you don't hang a bunch of weight on the back. You have not installed something on it that changes the areodynamics of the bike, then I think you will find it stable at those speeds.

Lots of good reasons for a stabilizer, I never felt the NEED for one after my suspension mods, but I do like it.


PS: the rims are soft. I got dings on the front at 22lbs. It is not a dirt bike yet. It is heavy and I do not see the advantage of some of the extreme low pressures I see recommended. I run mine at about 28lbs and no new dings.
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:24 PM   #30
Ronin ADV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyHighwayman View Post
I've asked this many times, any point in a steering damper for non-off-road riding below 80-90 MPH?
The short answer is yes.
The slightly longer answer is that is helps as pointed out with sudden rock / obstacle strikes. It is also great anti-tankslapper insurance. And off road it has tons of application. In addition to sudden bar deviations, it helps wander in deep gravel. I find that I am much less fatigued on long days, with much less fighting the bars.
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2010 BMW F800GS, 2011 Yamaha WR250R, 2011 Honda Ruckus, 2013 KTM 500 EXC
Up the WABDR, F800GS Stealth Bike Build, WR250R Scotts Damper Install
Red dirt, rocks and sand; Riding the southern UTBDR, WR250R vs EXC 500 - a comparison
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