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Old 11-15-2012, 05:01 PM   #31
DFH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
It (f800r, assuming similar in the GT) is notably better than my wee-strom which was notably better than my ninja 500, but then I weigh such that the stock preload and damper setting for me are correct (with gear and laptop bag).

I guess I just never really understand complaints like this, at what price point is it acceptable for a bike to not have $3000 in suspension components, particularly when it isn't the marque's track bike?
Not looking for Ohlins gas tube gp forks. Thats as absurd as not relating specification to price. The F800 series is priced far beyond the budget bike class like the Wee Strom, GSX 650, Honda NC700X & Kawasaki Ninja 650. Bum basic damper rod forks suit bum basic price point bikes. The F800r is not priced as a bum basic bike, but its suspension surely is.

All of your F800r euro bike price-point & marketplace competition - Triumph Tiger 800 roadie, Street Triple 675R, Aprilia Shiver 750GT, Ducati's Monster 796, Streetfighter 848, the upcoming Hyperstrada 848, even the Husky Nuda 900 with its modified F800 motor have cartridge damper front forks. Cheaper Japanese competitors like the Honda had cartridge type dampers in the front forks of VFR750's & 800's two decades ago.
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:01 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
I guess I just never really understand complaints like this, at what price point is it acceptable for a bike to not have $3000 in suspension components, particularly when it isn't the marque's track bike?
+1 And when you can easily upgrade the suspension yourself and actually have it sprung for you in the process.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:53 PM   #33
Jim K.
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I thought that the 800 ST was the perfect bike for me, a lightweight, SPORT tourer. Unfortunately, what it needed to justify it's price was a set of forks & a shock from the mid- price bin (or higher) , not the bargain box. A $100 chain instead of a $500 belt would have helped as well. What it did not need was a bigger fairing , windscreen & higher bars and even higher price tag.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:11 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Jim K. View Post
A $100 chain instead of a $500 belt would have helped as well. What it did not need was a bigger fairing , windscreen & higher bars and even higher price tag.
This can be said back and forth and both sides will think they are right when it comes to taste, but you have to keep in mind: BMW has absolutely no interest into making this bike more interesting for "sporty" riders (never got that term, go get a pedal bike for sport ...), they have the S1000R for this. But they certainly heard all the people who said the R1200RT is too big and heavy and expensive for a lot of people, but still want to tour on something that has slightly different ergonomics and strengths.

And another factor is that BMW does not design any bike for the American market*(they learned that with the attempt of the R1200C). I strongly believe the design departments they don't give too much about the American taste. And rightly so, they build what they think is needed in the product range and sells in the biggest market they have: Europe. Then they also export it to the rest of the world. Germany and Italy alone are more than 30% of all sold bikes for BMW (numbers from 2009 were the first I found but I don't think that has changed dramatically). The US is just around 12 to 15%.

And Europe and especially Germany has a completely different taste in bikes than the US. It's the big GS, then nothing for quite a while, and then some assorted other models, most of them BMWs. The only "sport bike" that looks like it will make the top 10 in Germany is the S1000R. Go figure how much BMW needed to make the F800GT more sporty: Not at all.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:57 PM   #35
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True about the price -- I'm very happy with my F800ST, but if I were buying new, it would be hard to justify the minimal price difference to other bikes, including ones like the Super Tenere. But, it at least used to be the case that you could get great deals on used STs.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:51 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Lujo View Post
+1 And when you can easily upgrade the suspension yourself and actually have it sprung for you in the process.
Re-valving & re-springing a cartridge fork to suit a particular rider is a cheap & cost effective upgrade.

Converting a damper-rod fork to a cartridge fork with springs & valving to suit an individual rider is an even more effective upgrade, but very expensive.
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:27 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by cug View Post
This can be said back and forth and both sides will think they are right when it comes to taste, but you have to keep in mind: BMW has absolutely no interest into making this bike more interesting for "sporty" riders (never got that term, go get a pedal bike for sport ...), they have the S1000R for this. But they certainly heard all the people who said the R1200RT is too big and heavy and expensive for a lot of people, but still want to tour on something that has slightly different ergonomics and strengths.
Bit silly this... even the Germans ride motorcycles for fun. Its called recreational riding. Its considered a sport because its rewards are intrinsic, enhanced by intellectual engagement & the practice of specialised skills. Are you saying that bike & riders are divided into two camps, those ridden at 10/10ths on track days & thus worthy of a decent chassis specification and the rest of us plodding recreational riders who deserve no better that bottom rung garbage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cug View Post
And another factor is that BMW does not design any bike for the American market*(they learned that with the attempt of the R1200C). I strongly believe the design departments they don't give too much about the American taste.
Don't care much for the American market myself, not surprisingly because I've never been there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cug View Post
And Europe and especially Germany has a completely different taste in bikes than the US. It's the big GS, then nothing for quite a while, and then some assorted other models, most of them BMWs. The only "sport bike" that looks like it will make the top 10 in Germany is the S1000R. Go figure how much BMW needed to make the F800GT more sporty: Not at all.
Floating around Europe in the summer of 2011 its interesting what you do see & what you don't. Firstly in summer EVERYONE is on two wheels. Bikes are no longer utility tools, thats the preserve of scooters. The Streets of Paris are flooded with mid size stylish naked bikes, Street triples, honda hornets yamaha fz6 etc. Fancy tackle? Triumph Thruxtons & Mv Agusta Brutale rule that roost. Saw ONE litre class sports bike in 3 weeks in Paris and by f*#k did it look exotic. Italy is pretty much the same except the hit bike of that summer seemed to be the KTM 125/200 Duke. On Sundays in the northern Italian hills you may see the occasional Ducati 1198 but not as many as you would think. Saw many more BMW1200R's than 1200GS's in Italy, but the Germans sure love the big GS....
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Old 11-16-2012, 07:45 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by DFH View Post
Floating around Europe in the summer of 2011 its interesting what you do see & what you don't. Firstly in summer EVERYONE is on two wheels. Bikes are no longer utility tools, thats the preserve of scooters. The Streets of Paris are flooded with mid size stylish naked bikes, Street triples, honda hornets yamaha fz6 etc.
I think you got a little bit overwhelmed when you were there as it seems. I am German, though I'm living in the US right now but I'm in Germany a few weeks a year and I lived there most of my life.

There are aren't that many people in Germany that ride motorcycles. You see more because it is so much more densely populated (70% of the size of California, nearly three times the population). Same is true for other European countries. People ride two wheeled vehicles, bicycles, scooters, motorcycles much more as transportation than in the US. Sure, there is a lot of recreational aspect, but the percentage is much lower than in the US. Don't know about Australia, though.

The F series is very popular in Europe, especially the F800R. World market looks much different, but for BMW the primary design target is Europe, and then the rest of the world that wants European bikes. And those sportier bikes are plain a no-go in Europe. Touring - check, trailies - check, nakeds - check, sport bikes - sure, but after the others; dirt bikes - what for?

Therefore I think it was clear for BMW to move the kind of bastard bike the F800ST was (somewhere between touring and sport bike) more into the category where it has a chance of selling instead of the area where it has absolutely no chance of selling. Because who wants sport bike ergonomics with trailie type performance? Pretty much nobody ...
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:57 AM   #39
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I have to say, I love everything about this bike from a conceptual standpoint. It's a mid-displacement, lightweight sporty tourer with nice bodywork and a great balance of hp and mpg. It's just what I'm looking for in a ST. That damper-rod fork sure does muck up the business though, especially if the price point is what everyone thinks it will be.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:04 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by cug View Post
Because who wants sport bike ergonomics with trailie type performance? Pretty much nobody ...
Nail on the head...I twice became convinced I wanted the ST as a lightweight long-ride highway bike. Then I went down and sat on one...and both times said, dang...this doesn't work.

Maybe the GT properly fills the niche below the 1200RT.
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Old 11-16-2012, 11:48 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Lujo View Post
True about the price -- I'm very happy with my F800ST, but if I were buying new, it would be hard to justify the minimal price difference to other bikes, including ones like the Super Tenere. But, it at least used to be the case that you could get great deals on used STs.

Other than price, I'm not really sure how the F800ST (of yesteryear) meaningfully compares to the super tenere - nearly 150 lbs heavier, taller, and a completely different set of ergos.

"Nimble" is never a word I'd apply to the super tenere.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:51 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by cug View Post
I think you got a little bit overwhelmed when you were there as it seems. I am German, though I'm living in the US right now but I'm in Germany a few weeks a year and I lived there most of my life.

There are aren't that many people in Germany that ride motorcycles. You see more because it is so much more densely populated (70% of the size of California, nearly three times the population). Same is true for other European countries. People ride two wheeled vehicles, bicycles, scooters, motorcycles much more as transportation than in the US. Sure, there is a lot of recreational aspect, but the percentage is much lower than in the US. Don't know about Australia, though.

The F series is very popular in Europe, especially the F800R. World market looks much different, but for BMW the primary design target is Europe, and then the rest of the world that wants European bikes. And those sportier bikes are plain a no-go in Europe. Touring - check, trailies - check, nakeds - check, sport bikes - sure, but after the others; dirt bikes - what for?

Therefore I think it was clear for BMW to move the kind of bastard bike the F800ST was (somewhere between touring and sport bike) more into the category where it has a chance of selling instead of the area where it has absolutely no chance of selling. Because who wants sport bike ergonomics with trailie type performance? Pretty much nobody ...
I agree...

For two months in the summer I go to Europe and play in the Alps on my '96K12RS, I sure wish I had an F800R or perhaps the F800GT. Seem like a perfect bikes for a romp in the Alps

This summer I was in Garmisch for BMW Motorrad days to eye the new F700GS, it looked like 90% of the attendees were on fully farkled R12GS's......................... and not a singlle Starbucks in sight!

Regards, Paul
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Old 11-16-2012, 01:53 PM   #43
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I really liked the F800S, back in 2006/7.

I can't see anything to dislike about this bike (except price). I think, like the Honda CBF1000, that buyers will cherish it despite it not being particularly sexy.
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:10 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Anteraan View Post
I have to say, I love everything about this bike from a conceptual standpoint. It's a mid-displacement, lightweight sporty tourer with nice bodywork and a great balance of hp and mpg. It's just what I'm looking for in a ST.
Same here. My one concern with this bike is that I know F800R can be very buzzy in some owners experience (as usual when it comes to vibration some people are not fussed at all, others are really distressed). There were fewer complaints about other models in the family, but certainly this engine is rarely accused of being smooth... I wonder if BMW tamed or even addressed this issue on the GT, it *is* important for long distance comfort.
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Old 11-17-2012, 09:44 AM   #45
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I forgot to mention the buzziness, which was definitely an issue on my ST. Three flaws as a tourer:

-- too much kneebend

-- buzzy bars (though some people say there are solutions)

-- prone to getting blown around, as you'd expect from a 480 lbs fully faired.

Despite that, ST was very functional and efficient and I found it fine as a one-up tourer, especially if mpg matters to you.
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