800GS vs KLR

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by motoman250f, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. tmex

    tmex Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,039
    Location:
    NorCal
    Riding a KLR 3600 miles is a feat of ironman proportions.

    On the trailering comment, the guys with the KLR's and DRZ's just could not bring themselves to pound long stretches of asphalt. On the 12GS or 8GS that would not be a problem at all.
    #21
  2. Kyler

    Kyler Confused Hack Nut

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,666
    Location:
    51st State - Western MD
    wasn't too bad spread over 11 days :ricky

    Wimps - come ride our here with the DAMN Riders!:pynd
    #22
  3. spoof

    spoof on backwards

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Oddometer:
    315
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    I found my KLR pretty easy for long trips. I took my DRZ on a 7,000 mile trip last year. It was perfectly fine. Neither is the best bike for high speed sweepers and going 100 mph with luggage ain't going to happen, but if you're not in a hurry, I don't see what distance has to do with it.
    #23
  4. sjc56

    sjc56 Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,564
    Location:
    Broad Brook CT USA
    I used to tour on a Suzuki GT380, hey I was young, it was what I had.
    I have a friend in is younger days rode as a passenger from Ct to Ohio on the back of a CB350, when he saw the CB350 I acquired all the memory of the pain of that trip came back.:D Need less to say he hates Honda CB350's.
    Its all in how much you can tolerate, thats why you can buy a Goldwing.
    #24
  5. Trail Boss

    Trail Boss World's fastest slowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2004
    Oddometer:
    829
    Location:
    Austin
    My stock '08 KLR is not unsuited for the slab. I don't mind riding it on most paved roads. The one area I would like to improve, though, is at speeds of 70 mph and above (i.e. freeway travel). My KLR will run freeway speeds, but clearly could be improved.


    Completely inconsequential to me.


    I will at the first opportunity that presents itself. My other bike is a Wee so I already have a pretty good comparison of the freeway capability difference of the KLR vs a more freeway worthy bike.

    To be fair, I don't really enjoy riding anything for 400 miles of freeway. I don't even like driving my car 400 miles on the freeway. When it has to be done, it is just something that has to be endured. So, for me it wouldn't matter if I had a 800GS, 1200GS, Gold Wing, etc - long stretches of freeway travel are not fun for me.

    What I would like to do, though, is make my KLR more capable at freeway speeds - not because it will make me enjoy 400 miles of freeway travel - because it will make 400 miles of freeway travel on the KLR more tolerable.
    #25
  6. Django Loco

    Django Loco Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,785
    Location:
    California
    Depends on your travel style. Not everyone wants to do 600 mile days at 90 mph. It's obvious the F800 is a better highway
    cruiser but a well set up KLR can do OK and will get you there, won't burn through tires/chains as fast either.

    Conversely, the BMW F800 will have to be Heliopcopter'ed out of places a KLR could go. So the Dual Sport bikes may show up on a trailer but will be able to ride in much tougher, more technical conditions than the F800. Taking the F800 into such conditions could result in show stopper damage or getting to places where you can't go forward and can't go back. (been there, done that!) Not to mention what a shame it would be to beat up such a beauty .... and of course the cost of this!
    Who wants to do that? :lol3

    So, as usual, a trade off. A closer, better comparo would be a DL650 vs. F800GS.

    IMO, where the KLR shines is as a round the world travel bike. Does anyone really want to take their new $15,000 F800GS to Tierra del Fuego? Sure, the bike would be fantastic .... but you could also lose it at several places along the way or destroy it.

    The KLR is a very cheap investment and is more than up to the moderate pace you would likely keep when riding in 3rd world countries. Sometimes having a low key, inexpensive, funky bike is a bonus. :wink:
    #26
  7. tmex

    tmex Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,039
    Location:
    NorCal
    I get it. Kinda like having an ugly girlfriend when you go to a bar.
    #27
  8. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks House Ape

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,204
    Location:
    Ashland, OR, USA
    #28
  9. zaner32

    zaner32 In over my head

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    680
    Location:
    Moncton

    This is one of those posts where it should have " just sayin' " at the end.:rofl
    #29
  10. Kyler

    Kyler Confused Hack Nut

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,666
    Location:
    51st State - Western MD
    well, I watched a guy pilot a brand new F8 around the PB300 and he did damn well - deep sand, single track, etc. I've read (here on ADV) that some of the experienced ADV riders think it will become the new gold standard for ADV riding. My short demo ride made me think that might be true. I'd easily ride it everywhere I'd ride my KLR. The KLR is a pig off road - that's why I have the KTM. But, I've also ridden the KLR everywhere I've taken the KTM (so far).

    So, back to the KLR vs F800GS topic - if it wasn't for the $$$, I'd have one right now!:deal
    #30
  11. Kyler

    Kyler Confused Hack Nut

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,666
    Location:
    51st State - Western MD
    hehehe... go ugly early... just sayin' ... :poser
    #31
  12. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,895
    Location:
    Tracy, CA
    Sure, for a street shootout they are comparable. Get off road an one will run circles around the other :deal

    I don't really think of the 800 as a dualsport, but more an adventure bike. Same as a KLR. And If I'm gonna trailer in a bike to ride off-road it's going to be a real dirtbike, why put up with a KLR in the dirt if you don't get the benefit of it's highway ability? (or why put up with it on the highway if you don't use it's ability to explore dirt?)

    Points taken. In my regular weekend rides I'm not going to foreign countries, and I'm also not out to play Dakar racer on the local trails. Really I need a tool to go where I want to explore and enjoy doing it. For me, bikes like the KLR and GS800 are some of the few with this balance, now we're splitting hairs on where in the middle it is. Bang for the buck the KLR wins hands down as there's no way I'll have twice the experiences on my GS that I did on the KLR (God help me if I do :lol3). It's just when I ride the 800 I don't feel myself wanting another bike for parts of the ride like I do on the KLR, or Strom.
    #32
  13. Toto

    Toto Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    Oddometer:
    489
    Location:
    Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    If you plan on going on the superslab much.....I would definately stay away from the KLR.
    Last year bought a new 08 KLR, and while I loved it for the back roads, it was terrible on the slab even after I put some 70/30 tires on it.
    I now have an 08 Wee Strom and love it.
    Way, way, way,way, way better on the slab, and will go anywhere I went on the KLR.
    Lets face it, the KLR is no real dirt bike...especially if you are over 50...just to big and heavy.
    So yes the VTROM is fine for back roads and fire roads and probably good wide trails.
    I would suspect the BMW is much like the Wee.
    Now, if you never go on the slab, the 08 KLR is a fun, comfy ride.
    It DOES have lack of quality issues though...but it IS cheap.
    I here that new BMW 800 twin is quite the mover! Enjoy!
    #33
  14. Navaho

    Navaho Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    1,056
    Location:
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Your questions had to do with weight and handling, not motors or long distance comfort.

    In response to your first question - YES but you might not try it as often as on a KLR IF you are worried about dropping it. I have already learned about the outrageous cost to repair one of these machines. It will be on my mind constantly. It will limit what I do on the bike now. I dropped mine two months ago, and I'm still waiting on parts. $6,300 for a 20 mph low side (with crashbars). Yes, I had insurance but how many $6k claims do I want to make?

    In response to your second question - the F800 might feel more like the KLR than the 950. The F800 is slightly heavier than the KLR but carries the weight low. With the wrong tires, any bike over 300 lbs feels like a bull on ice. Only aggressive offroad tires work well in slippery conditions.
    #34
  15. Lunatik

    Lunatik Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    366
    Location:
    BELLEVILLE, ONTARIO, CANADA
    I have done track days on my KLR
    Surprised MANY sport bike riders in the twisties on it.
    Rode 1100 miles one day, 1421 miles day two, and 1491 miles day three (19hours, 32 hours & 36 hours respectively).
    705 kitted, stage two headed, completely modded KLR.
    It does it all ... just not to perfection ... but neither have I ever in my life.
    We're a match made in heaven :)

    I love it ... but needed a DL1000 for the highway stuff (done now).

    Would I want the F8 ??

    Oh YEAH ... it's giving both the DL & the KLR705
    nightmares in the garage.

    :)
    #35
  16. tmex

    tmex Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,039
    Location:
    NorCal
    Well said. A KLR is no doubt a great bike relative to capabilities and cost of ownership. The F8 is an amazing machine and will do everything the KLR does, but better. If I dropped a KLR and got scrathes on the side panels or dinged an exhaust I would not give it a second thought. The F8 on the other hand is such a beautiful motorcycle that I want to keep it as pristine as possible. The latter attitude does limit your off road envelope a bit, but it is not at all related to the bike's capabilities. I pretty much got over that attitude with respect to my HP2 (it is actually a pretty ugly bike by any measure), and maybe I will with the F8 in time.

    I have a lot of bikes and love them all , but I can honestly say that I have never felt quite as strongly about any of them or previous bikes I have owned than I do about the F8. BMW really got it right with this motorcycle IMO. There is no doubt that I will be scanning ebay and all the other usual places in a year or so looking for a second one to use as a parts bike, and I have never done that before.
    #36
  17. Django Loco

    Django Loco Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,785
    Location:
    California
    Great to see guys getting out there on these bikes. Any word on how the F800's held up on these trips?

    But perhaps you've missed my point: As nice as the F800 is, not everyone can afford to sacrifice a nice bike on long trip through 3rd world countries. World travel is tough on bikes .... it essentially eats a bike up. If you have the money to burn ... hey, go for it:wink: Good for the economy!

    But many younger riders who travel (most are twenty somethings) prefer the low budget option. The KLR/DR/XR/XT all provide a viable alternative to cross continents. See the Sequin brothers ride report here on ADV:
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=377792
    #37
  18. Django Loco

    Django Loco Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,785
    Location:
    California
    WOW:eek1 I had no idea. So here we see the kind of Catch 22 of owning a road bike and trying to force it into off road duty. With a KLR you aren't on the hook for much at all. And my DR650 crashes even cheaper .... no radiators, no hoses, no waterpump. Mine has been down dozens of times .... well I did have to buy a new shift lever!
    (Dammit! :lol3 )

    So Horses for Courses. If I owned the F800GS I can assure you I would never try to trail ride with it. Fireroads, mild two track .... all fine. You know, all the dirt roads I rode on my Vstrom :lol3
    #38
  19. tmex

    tmex Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,039
    Location:
    NorCal
    No, I got your point, and I agree. That is why I take my ex-wife bar hopping, and take my girlfriend on a weekend to the Sierras.
    #39
  20. Django Loco

    Django Loco Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2003
    Oddometer:
    3,785
    Location:
    California
    I agree. Even with the good tires it can be a challenge ... as you've discovered:cry

    Just a quick update on weights:
    1988-2007 KLR Dry Weight: 337 lbs. (153 kgs.)

    BMW F800GS Dry Weight: 391 lbs. (178 kgs.)
    "ready to ride" weight: 455 lbs. (207 kgs.)

    Difference in dry weights? 54 lbs.

    54 lbs. off road is a substantial number. You will feel this!

    The new KLR's from '08 on, are heavier, but most KLR's on the road today are pre '08's. Wet the KLR picks up a lot of weight if one fills the tank. Most do not do this off road. Since you can go nearly 100 miles on two gallons, why fill it up for a short Off road loop?

    A naked (no luggage) KLR with better springs/shock, fork brace and damper, front brake up grade, is transformed from the stock bike. Much more capable, especially in the dirt.
    #40