800 vrs my 1200gsa ?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by xcflyn, Apr 4, 2010.

  1. WOLVERINE

    WOLVERINE Keep her pinned!

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    I have both and ride them back to back every day...I prefer the GSA on the road without question especially long distances. No comparison! The GSA is heavier but more solid on the road, has better wind protection and can carry more Sh!t easier. She's a tank offroad but if your only doing resource or fire roads then there's no issue.
    The F8 is FUN to ride without question. It accellerates quicker, cause it revs faster, handles better especially offroad but it's not KLX. It will take the bumps better then the GSA and feels more comfortable doing it. On road the F8 has no wind protection so on cooler days it can be cold but not impossible. For 2 up, forget it unless you are a small dude and so is she! Me I'm 6'2" so having someone on the back of the F8 can soften the suspension alot so if you tend to ride 2 up a lot then you need to invest in aftermarket shocks/springs. The biggest thing that gets me is the lack of range on the F8 and the supreme fuel that I have to run cause I don't have the ECU flashed to run 87. It needs a larger tank cause I CAN'T ride 80-90kph all day unless I'm sightseeing so the majority of my time is in the 120+ range so she likes the fuel. Mileage still isn't bad but I can't get over 300 to a tank most times. I like switching back and forth between the 2 and find if I'm doing short runs or the chance of offroad I'll take the F8 otherwise for comfort I'll take the GSA....
    #21
  2. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    I have both an 2005 R12000GS and a 2009 F800GS. I like both and ride them both a lot.

    First, the question of picking one up. Both are heavy bikes and neither one can be jerked upright easily. I find them to be about the same. I think the R12 benefits from the cylinders which prevent it from laying flat and it carries the weight lower. So even though it is slightly heavier, it is about the same to pick up. The R12 is easier to roll around the garage, again I think this is due to the lower CG. I have picked them both up solo more than a couple of times, and do not notice a huge difference if any. Both require the butt to the seat, lift with your legs technique

    In off road conditions I do prefer the F800. It has a sharper turning radius and the wet clutch just plain works better off road than the dry clutch. As delivered in stock trim, the F8 is higher than the R12 (not sure about the Adventure). My F8 was just enough higher than my R12 to make me feel a little more tentative off road so I lowered it with the Hypertech spring kit - much better. I've done a fair amount of easy single track on my F8, and I am getting to the point of being pretty comfortable on it.

    On the road both bikes are capable of long days and big mileage. The stock seat on both bikes works very well for me, but I know seats are a very personal thing. I do spend a lot of time standing when riding both bikes just to stretch my legs. I have a bar riser on the F8, and the transition from sitting to standing is very easy. IMO a bar riser is mandatory for the F8, and is the best $30 you can spend on the bike. I rarely ride two up. The R12 seems fine. Don't know about the F8. I have never had a passenger on it, and have the pegs tied in the up position. On the road, I would have to give the R12 a slight edge. Just feels a bit more comfortable.

    The R12 has been trouble free - never been back to a dealer, and I am coming up on 30K miles. The F8 has had some issues - bent upper shock bolt, and left rear wheel bearing. Had the F8 back to the dealer for the front axle and radiator hose service bulletins. It developed an oil leak at the left front cam cover which the dealer also claims to have fixed (we shall see). I have about 9000 miles on the F8. BTW, San Jose BMW has been an excellent dealer to work with, and they have truly earned my business.

    If I could only have one bike I would probably pick the R12, but I would really miss the F8. It is a really fun bike, and I have made peace with it off road (I think). FWIW, my daughter thinks the F8 is the best bike she has ever ridden, and hammers it off road. She is probably a bit better rider than me, and even though she is not as tall or as strong as me she has great balance, clutch control, and line selection. The bigger bikes benefit from a smooth riding technique off road where preservation momentum pays big dividends.
    #22
  3. WOLVERINE

    WOLVERINE Keep her pinned!

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    I find the opposite! GSA feels quite a bit heavier when man handling it around the garage...It could just be me though!

    I've had more problems with the F8 then the GSA but I love riding it more offroad so it's my preferred bike for that. If I could only have one I too would choose the GSA...
    #23
  4. danman

    danman tumbling tumbleweed

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    I have both bikes and as many have said they are both great. Have had the 1200 off road in mexico with knobbies and found that the bike would do anything and everything asked of it. Climbs hills, cross rivers, never a complaint or sputter or stall, seems bulletproof. And in the hands of a better rider it could be ridden most anywhere. Like the 'simplicity' of the 1200, shaft drive, oil cooled, etc. It kind of has a 'laid back' vibe to it, lo rev, strong motor, very comfortable bike.

    I have taken the 800 to Colorado, with camping gear. Also a great bike, no problems to ride 10 hour days on the slab, and great off road, easier off road than the 1200, mostly because of the lighter weight. Plenty of power. It is great for zipping around town, as compared to the 1200 and has a 'zippier' vibe to it, quick and agile, plenty of power, not as simple with the water cooling, chain drive, etc., and plenty comfortable (with a Sargent seat).

    I wouldn't hesitate to take either bike most anywhere, but wonder if the HP2 might be the best of both worlds for a BMW rider. Lighter than the 1200GS with all the advantages. Lighter than the 800 according to the bikez.com website (they say - HP2 430 lbs wet, F800 456 lbs wet) And lots of aftermarket. Plus the prices are now approaching what a new 800 costs. I have always liked the HP2 and wish they still made it, the price prevented me from getting one when they were new. Just a thought.
    #24
  5. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    I have one of those as well - HP2. Great bike, but fuel range is a killer issue, and despite what you might read on this site there are no simple solutions.
    #25
  6. The Griz

    The Griz Long timer

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    A very insightful and accurate post tmex! I just rode an R1200GS again yesterday (great story as to why). I'd have to fully agree. I especially like the highlighted line. Well said... well said..:thumb
    #26
  7. odiestien

    odiestien Been here awhile

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    I was head over heals in love with my R1200GSA. DREAM BIKE. I was living in Sicily and had to fly to Germany and ride her back. 1.5 years off a bike and then a 900 mile ride home. With the 1200 it was a breeze. Love at first ride. I rode it all over Sicly. Most miles on the volcano. Switchbacks for days. I could scrape the pegs on then hit 140mph on the autostragga on the way home. The wife loved the back of the bike. Comfort and stability made her an advid passenger, which was amazing as she hated riding bike with me before the 1200. The ESA made it all the more comfortable. But...it was a heavy beast. With a full tank it was a "tank" as you have said. And off-road it was NOT what I wanted. I'm a big man and it was still a pain to manage it through the bad stuff. After the untimely death of my R1200GSA, when we met the brickwall one day ont e way home, I was ready to run out and buy another. But after some thought and some reading I decided to opt for the smaller F800GS. The F800 was a nice ride on the way home from Germany but NOT as comfortable. The power drop was something I thought would bug me, the 1200 would stand on her back wheel with only a twist of the throddle in second gear. But after a short time I was rideing the back wheel of the 800 and smiling once again. Thenm I took it off-road. WOW, Grew up off-roading and I had found the bike I was looking for. I could have a top end speed that was making me smile and all the happy toys I had on the 1200 ( minus the ESA) ANd the off-road riding I NEEDED. I was able to see the things around Sicily I wasn't able to go see before. PLeaces I could only see from the side fo the road on the 1200. I sat next to a castle once and looked out at the dirtbikes riding the trails across the valley. Now I was looking at the castle from the trails.
    [​IMG]
    I was FINALLY able to play and explore without traffic. And the first time I caught air on the 800 I knew I was in love.
    [​IMG]
    My 1200 NEVER looked like this.
    [​IMG]
    And I NEVER saw views like this.
    [​IMG]
    The 800 has filled all my needs. And just to let ya' know. The wife likes riding with me on the 800 as well. I will miss BIGRED
    [​IMG]
    But I am Complete with my 800
    [​IMG]
    P.S. I loved the power of the boxer but when I lowsided into the brickwall. It did a doosy on my shins. :)
    #27
  8. rml

    rml Adventurer

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    Hey Odiestien

    Just had to be said stunning 4th picture like it a lot.

    Sorry back on topic :...

    I just bought an F800 GS but the choice was 800 or
    1200 GS (as some one said earlier great dilemma.. Martini or Casse Royale Sir :D )

    But two (actually 3) things swung it for me 1. fuel economy,2. surprisingly according to
    BMW comparison the 800 is rated to haul more stuff (just)
    permitted total weight 443kg v 440kg
    edit: oops sorry I'm drunk in charge of a keyboard, GSA rated at 475 kg ... ah sorry.

    3. And the 800 lbs gorilla in the room? yep the £/$ difference.

    Both are great bikes and I guess (hope) which ever you decide you'll
    be happy with it.

    Mind you should probably discount my comments as I've had a great time
    on a Honda C90 ..

    Have fun, & enjoy.. if it makes you smile it's a keeper.
    Slange
    rml
    #28
  9. Canadian

    Canadian n00b

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    Hi, for me definitely Red October R1200GSA/09. My wife owns a new F800 GS 30Years Special Edition. So I run both. Reason for my choice: 1. Less maintanace after rain and mud sessions(Chain); 2. Telelever which means more stability in extrem braking situations(esp. downhill turns); 3 Long haul on gas(<>600km) no fear at night on the Alaska Highway; 4. Consumtion 38 m/gal or 6.3 lt/km (me - rear passenger - top case - two panniers). I had two training sessions in Hechlingen- Germany (BMW Enduro Park) and believe me the instructors there show and bring you to the GSA Limit. For non GSA Riders unbelievable or a fairy tale but "yes we can". Finally, I love both bikes but I'm hooked on the 1200er. Cheers and always grip on your slicks. Curt
    #29
  10. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    Ive also owned both. An 05 like Tmex.
    My thoughts. If you are going to ride mostly slab, then the 1200 is it. If its county roads and smaller and and unpaved, the 800 takes the win. For me the Telelever and shaft drive simply does not work well off pavement. I just rode my 800 home on a 600 mile day, non stop except for fuel. I did the same excact run ba few years back on my 1200. All highway. They are not the same under those conditions. The 1200 is like a Caddilac in comparison under those conditions. But other than that, I like the 800 much better.
    Also, I went through 2 FD units on the 1200 ! :cry
    #30
  11. dogmanuk

    dogmanuk Adventurer

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    I had an 08 GS1200, which let me down at 300 miles, swapped it for a GS1200ADV, but had numb hands all the time. Liked the GS a lot, great ride, handling, performance. Didn't like 45mpg at £1.20 a litre in UK.
    Finally got a 2010 GS800 and love it. All the characteristics of the 12, but easier to manouvre and 65mpg! Horses for courses, but it's the 800 for me.
    #31
  12. Coralsea

    Coralsea n00b

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    not sure about reliability looking to buy again soon any help is welcome thanks
    #32
  13. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    for a start did you test ride them both?
    #33
  14. EggChaser

    EggChaser Been here awhile

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    Also do you intend riding
    - on unsurfaced trails,
    - off-road
    - just on surfaced roads
    - with a lot of luggage
    - with a significant other (pillion)

    as the above might help narrow down the advice
    #34
  15. Wildman

    Wildman In my castle

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  16. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    You asked about reliability. Both bikes are as reliable as anything else out there. There will always be somebody having a problem with their bike . . . any bike. And then complaining about it on a forum. There are also many other cases of people beating the shit out of their bikes and never saying a word.

    Like the others said, figure out how you are going to use your new bike then test ride both models then come back here and the feedback will get you going in the right direction.

    By the way, both bikes are great motocycles.
    #36
  17. Dano7619

    Dano7619 Adventurer

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    Certainly don't dispute the other inputs here, but just know about my experience. Had a 2006 and 2007 R12GS. Both great bikes. I can't really say anything bad about them, and if I only had one bike, it would be the R12GS. I have a Harley road king for two up and highway riding, so I went to a 2012 F800GS as a second bike. Very different bike than the R12GS. Not as planted on the highway, and definitely not as comfortable for two up. That being said, it is a blast on the dirt, and great around town. For me one up, it is also fine on the highway, lots of power. If I had only one comment to make, the bike is just more fun. It is so much easier to handle in the dirt. I have found myself heading to the mountains and dirt roads in New Mexico every chance I get. I did that with the R12GS too, but nowhere near the enjoyment. I have had several smaller dirt bikes including the Kawi KX450F, and these big enduros are not dirt bikes, but the F800 is a lot closer than the R12. It's the perfect bike for riding to explore. You are good on the highway, and can then get off the beaten path and explore. I have really been surprised and happy with the F800. I would pick it every time for the roads less traveled. In summary, the F800GS is my favorite bike, but that's because I use it for what it's really good at. If I were you, and going to have one bike, I would probably stick with the R12, but as someone else said here, I would really miss the F800.
    #37
  18. WOLVERINE

    WOLVERINE Keep her pinned!

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    I traded my F8GS coming up 2 years ago now and there are times I really, really miss it. I'm contemplating trading the GSA in for a new 2012/13 F800GS and down scale some. I had the GSA offroad in the interior of NL yesterday and while it did well it can't handle the terrain as the F8 could, nor as fast. I dropped it after a water crossing on a uphill and thankfully it didn't drop the long way, I would have struggled with that. I took the F8 on a similar run 3 years ago and it handled it superb whereas the GSA is a tank in similar situations offroad, especially slow going. While it can be done it's a chore but not impossible!
    #38