800 GS OR 660 Tenere

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by The Crow, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. The Crow

    The Crow Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Cape Town, South Africa
    Trying to (finally) decide between a new 800 GS or 660 Tenere. I know and understand that I'm not comparing apples with apples, but that is exactly my problem. BM feels more road biased and Tenere more dirt biased.

    This is NOT a "VS" thread.
    And a KTM or KLR is not an option as KTM is way TOO expensive in South Africa and KLR not to my liking.
    GSA or Super Tenere also not as I don't want or like a bike of it's size, bulk, weight and intended purpose.

    I will use the bike to
    * commute in the summer / spring (20k's round trip five days a week)
    * do weekend trips that will include some gravel
    * do solo rides that will include some more adventurous riding
    * aim to do one longer trip per year that will include gravel and unknown roads (Planning a Cape Town - via Namibia - Okavango Delta - Vic Falls - Zim - Mozam - Cape Town trip for next year)

    I have demo'ed both a couple of times and have been on longer demo rides as well, but I'm still battling to decide.

    My thoughts and considerations:
    General
    BM feels more road biased and Tenere more dirt biased. Planning to do both and dirt won't be gravel only. No single track or serious trails, but a smooth gravel road doesn't quite mean "off the beaten track" to me.
    Both feel comfortable and there isn't much in the perceived weight.

    Pro's & Cons
    800 GS
    - 16lt on the small side (Reported Rabge OF 280 - 350km)
    - fork has a lot of dive. Will have to spend money to get it to my liking
    - List price is R25000 more (Roughly $3500), but comes with ABS and heated grips
    - Average service price is more and 1000km service is for my pocket
    - Dealing with BM has a more corporate feel to it
    - Throttle response is snatchy at lower speeds and RPM
    - OE accessories are more $$$ than Yamaha's
    - Every ride so far has left me a bit underwhelmed
    - Not a "bikers" display (see +)
    - Needs a bigger screen for sure

    + Stronger engine
    + Less vibe
    + Comes with 3 year road side assistance on top of std 2 year warranty
    + Comes with ABS and heated grips
    + Easier to get my feet on the ground
    + Trip Computer gives useful info

    660 Tenere
    + 23lt Tank big enough to cover longer stretches especially in Africa (Reported Range of 400 - 500km)
    + Suspension handles dirt better, less dive inspires confidence
    + Can buy FULLY kitted Tenere for same price as stock GS
    + Services are cheaper and 1000km service is included in purchase price
    + Dealing with Yamaha feels like dealing with bikers
    + Was a lot easier to ride the Tenere smooth from the off
    + OE accessories are more affordable
    + Bike has surprised me on every ride
    + Like the cockpit better
    + Stock screen is okay, and still better than BMW touring screen

    - During demo rides the single felt good enough for me, but not as strong or smooth as GS
    - Vibrations is noticeable when climbing from Tenere straight onto GS
    - Std 2 year warranty
    - No ABS option or heated grips
    - Seat is a bit high, but okay
    - No trip computer to give range and fuel consumption

    So when I look at the list above and read through my own thoughts, I wonder why not just buy the Tenere. It's all there!

    BUT:
    Unknowns:
    * Just how much will the Tenere battle to pull with it loaded
    * How will the single handle being two up and loaded (Yes, I know the GS will be better, but will the Tenere be bearable)
    * ABS...will I look back and regret buying the bike without it
    * How tiring will the single's vibrations be

    Will the
    * Afford ability
    * Bigger Fuel Tank
    * Feel

    make up for
    * less power
    * no ABS (I've had one or two scares. One during a demo last week on a ABS-less Tenere...not nice)

    Would be great to hear from rider's who have OWNED or RIDDEN both
    #1
  2. cdo1uk

    cdo1uk Been here awhile

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    had both.... and still have the F800... to be honest, the Yam is a good bike, but the F800 is a great bike, much better all round (except the cost)
    the Tenere is good for (imho) solo riding and good off and on road. I did find the weight shows up the lack of power the 660 single has. the F800 is smoother to ride, more power all over and is far better on the loose stuff. i found the Tenere looked old quick too.... F800 all the way.
    #2
  3. ecce

    ecce Been here awhile

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    If the tenere was as light as it looks like it would almost be a no brainer. But... it is not. Therefore the best buy is the f800gs. Also much more stable on quicker gravel and paved roads without lacking in the offroad segments.

    Ive ridden both all tough the f800 much more. I dont see where I would gain much by having the tenere.

    Both bikes are great however. But if you go for the tenere you can just as well buy an old one, if not for the looks of the newer one.
    #3
  4. PO-SLOKE

    PO-SLOKE " ONTO " Member # 3

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    dr 650 !
    #4
  5. mustardfj40

    mustardfj40 Been here awhile

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    How's the DR650 vs F650GS Twin?
    #5
  6. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    I'd go with the F800GS more confortable riding it and I don't like the screen on the tenere, just pushing the wind so anyway you'll have to change screens. the only thing I'd prefer on the Tenere is the bigger range and the springs and forks. If money is an issue I'd go with the tenere otherwice still with the GS.
    #6
  7. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    You're on an 800GS forum, what do you think you're going to hear? :lol3
    #7
  8. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    ahaha right, and in the thumper section they'll bash the F800GS. Maybe in the beast section or in orange crush they could be objective :lol3
    #8
  9. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    Dec 2, 2008
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    I seriously considered the Tenere once upon a time.

    Just looking it over and kicking the tyres I ruled it out.

    For a single, it's too big, too little suspension travel, and too heavy.

    If you're going to have a 210kg bike, it may as well be a twin with plenty of power.

    If you're going to ride in sand on a heavy bike, it may as well be the one with the power.

    If you want to ride 2 up with camping gear etc, the F800GS is on the slightly under powered side of competent. The Tenere just wouldn't cut it. Yeah, it "could" do it. I "could" ride across the country on a Postmans bike too.



    So, the F800 feels less like a dirt bike than the Tenere. They have a strange feel to them initially on the dirt. As another inmate has pointed out in previous threads, the balance or weight distribution isn't biased the way most dirt bikes or smaller dual sports are.

    You get used to it. It's actually quite good when you figure it out. But the suspension will require some work as you get more skilled with the bike.
    #9
  10. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    :rofl I'm keeping that one for my "ADV quotes book"
    #10
  11. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    I have 2 DR650s. I read about people who ride 2up on DRs, with gear strapped to the back.

    It leaves me stunned. I mean, if I had a tank Battalion chasing me...yeah...maybe...but for fun?



    That is what we're trying to have here...yeah?


    The F8 will carry a good sized load. Not as well as a bigger bike, but it gets by pretty well.

    You can tour on blacktop 2up on an F8 comfortably. You can do fire trails and similar 2up if you use your head.


    Just looking at a Tenere gives me a back ache. I couldn't imagine even trying to jam my wife on the back. If I did manage, I reckon I'd be more miserable than her. I'd definitely be turning my intercomm off.
    #11
  12. HappyHighwayman

    HappyHighwayman Been here awhile

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    I test rode the 1200 Tenere, and considering the price compared to the F800GS I could have likely got it for the same price, and maybe should have.
    #12
  13. Rigalo

    Rigalo Adventurer

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    When bought my bike I had a look at the Yamie. Power to weight and price with the fact that that it is a thuper made me choose th 800gs. I commute dayly and ride it hard off road wit Xrs., not saying its better off road. I did my homework, decided what I want in a one bike does it all. Previously had thumpers but a big consideration to me was a dual on the highway. I dont care who tells me his tumper can cruise at x km per hour, its still a tumper, and for daily use on the the highway, ive been there, done that.


    Know what you buy. Shocks, crash bars, plate, etc and youve got a keeper. Did swazi, lesotho, and drove it down from Pta to Ct where I live now. To me, its a keeper. A very good compromise, and I just love this motor. When it starts every morning. Service cost of a 800. Is very decent. Noe i service it outside of BMW.

    If you are not a hard core off roader, its not even a conideration.

    Buy second hand, off which maybe the most is done already, and use the resr to add personal taste.

    My 2p.
    #13
  14. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    Yes.

    Considered it against the F8. Weight changed my mind. That and Super Tenere's off road tend to drop their oil load as often as Super Tankers in a coral reef.

    For 2up riding it would possibly have been a better choice most of the time. But not off road.
    #14
  15. docsherlock

    docsherlock Been here awhile

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    BC, sometimes
    I've got a Tenere and recently test rode the F800GS.

    Honestly, if I had my choice again, I'd get the F8.

    The Tenere is a great bike and I love riding it, but the F8 is in a different league entirely - for the better.

    Get the F8.
    #15
  16. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    now this one is usefull, from an actual Tenere owner!
    #16
  17. JRP

    JRP Old guy

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    150 cc's different
    #17
  18. 990

    990 Krap To Maintain

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line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi; mso-fareast-language:EN-US;} </style> <![endif]--> We all think we are going to do more gravel than we actually end up doing..... And when I passed some 660's on my way too and back from the Whale Rally this weekend, I would have to be with a guys on singles because I would never keep up to my mates. The 660 will just bore you to death on the open road and limits who you can ride with. The 660 is also dangerous when car drivers get the "Stirling Moss syndrome" which is common in SA whereby as soon as you try overtake them they put foot, and on the 800 you can just blast passed them.
    #18
  19. RadoR6

    RadoR6 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Oddometer:
    62
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    They are both great bikes but........if you want to ride within cell. network coverage get GS800, if you want to go further get Tenere.I've got bikes from both brands,GS800 and R6.An R6 in the last 6 years didn't cost me a penny extra on the top of regular servicing.GS800 in 2 years had replaced rocker cover gasket and now Iam on the third water pump,at 9000mls replaced at my own cost wheel bearings (2 of 5 had a play),replaced OEM chain with DID plus a few more things.Even if the bike is "sorted" now I can just wonder what might be next.
    #19
  20. macrae85

    macrae85 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    399
    Location:
    New Zealand,Scotland,Arizona USA.
    Easy,the Tenere.The thread should be Rotax v Yamaha,do you want reliability or
    a motor replacement half way through a trip(BMW GS800)? One crap engine in
    that bike,just read the disasters on here with that engine.A Triumph motor in a
    BMW would be a great bike,one's got a flawed motor,the other a flawed frame.
    #20