Any triumph 800xc owners wish they would have bought a BMW F800gs?

Discussion in 'British Beasts: Triumph Tigers' started by jtmajors, May 18, 2013.

  1. blacktiger

    blacktiger Tigers R great.

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    One thing I found when I had a BMW was that a lot of parts (consumables) used are unique to BMW whereas a Triumph will use parts that are common to a lot of Jap bikes. Things like brake pads (Nissin calipers used on Kawasaki & Honda) and oil filters are widely used. So long as you know the universal numbers you can get them almost anywhere.
    #61
  2. cug

    cug --

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    That is true. On the other hand, the BMWs have a large enough following that aftermarket manufacturers jump on quickly and provide a lot of consumables for reasonable prices.

    What annoys me with Triumph is that a lot of parts that are fairly common replacement parts have really long back order times. You might not notice that in England, but quite a few of the parts that were ordered after my incident with the deer took 6 to 8 weeks until they were delivered. And stupid things like the alternator cover, or the left hand plastic upper tank "protector" were not in the warehouse in the US - that's ridiculously bad planning.

    Also, I have had items delivered from England in a shorter time than the Triumph warehouse in the US delivers them to the dealer. Sure, it's possible to pay for overnight or second day but it's more expensive than the 3 day shipping I got from some places in England.

    Triumph has still a way to go in some respect.

    Don't get me wrong, I think my Tiger is a better bike for me than my F800GS was, but they are quite different and depending on perspective either one could be considered miles ahead.
    #62
  3. blacktiger

    blacktiger Tigers R great.

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    Yes we are better supplied in the UK and I expect it's the reverse when it comes to Harley spares in the UK. I was particularly referring to consumables that you might need on an extended tour. You know, you've done 6000 miles down to Argentina to watch the Dakar rally and you want to change the oil & filter. You can just go into a Honda dealer with the number "204" and they'll look it up and say that's the same as a CBR600F. Job done.
    Your problem in the US seems to be not Triumph per se but Triumph USA who, it seems, don't want to keep those items in stock. As you say, you've had stuff quicker direct than going through Triumph USA so the parts are there, just not in the warehouse in Texas or wherever.
    #63
  4. cug

    cug --

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    Of course. The frustrating part is that pretty much all Japanese and even BMW can do quite a bit better in that regard. Yes, Triumph is a small company compared to them, but that also means they have to jump a bit higher to make customers happy.

    Yes, Triumph USA is (part of) the problem. They try to stay a little bit too streamlined at the expense of the customer. Which sucks.
    #64
  5. vwdrvr66

    vwdrvr66 Been here awhile

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    Negative Ghost Rider.....
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  6. Flyboy52219

    Flyboy52219 Adventurer

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    Both bikes were in my short list. Both great bikes. But after the rides I have had with the Tiger the last few weeks, I wouldn't trade my Triumph for anything right now. Street or dirt, this bike rocks. Not sure how else to put it.
    #66
  7. OB1UK

    OB1UK Been here awhile

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    I've been riding for around 30 years and, in that time, I have owned around 70 bikes from a 1960 BSA M21 through many Japanese offerings to a 2007 Triumph 1050 Speed Triple.

    I think that it was around June/July 2010 that I decided that I wanted to leave the rat race and set off around the World so I started looking for a suitable bike. I had previously done several 3,000+ mile trips around Europe on sports bikes and I really wanted to get something that would take lockable, hard luggage that I could leave on the bike without worrying. My (very diverse) shortlist of bikes at the time were the Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster, the Suzuki SV650 and the BMW F800GS. I have previously owned a Sportster and had test ridden an SV so, all that was left to do was to test ride my top choice bike, the F800GS. I really loved the bike: it was light and easy to manoeuvre, had a commanding seat height and was very economical. It also had a couple of issues but nothing that I couldn't live with or upgrade to suit me.

    Then Triumph announced the Tiger 800...

    I held off buying any of the bikes until I had ridden both the 800 and the 800XC. I tested them during December 2010 as soon as my dealer had them in the shop and wrote the first comparison against the 800GS to be published in the UK (MCN letters page). I felt that the 800XC was the best of the three bikes feeling more substantial and planted that either the roadie or the GS. I love the triple engine and I love the ergonomics of the bike.

    My order was placed when I returned from testing the XC and I collected it during March 2011. After 2 years and almost 20,000 miles later, I am still in love with the bike. I have said that this is the bike that I have always wanted: the bike that will do everything that I want a bike to do.

    I'm sure that I would have been happy with the F800GS if Triumph had not produced the XC. Power and weight mean very little to me as it is the ride and the experience that I want to feel. There are a couple of issues which are mainly due to riding through two British winters and the fact that I am lazy when it comes to cleaning bikes! As this was Triumph's first real serious toe in the water as far as a serious multi-purpose bike, I think that they hit the nail on the head. The next generation will have some improvements which will make it an even better bike. Considering that BMW have been in this game for over 30 years and are classed as the standard bearer for adventure bikes, it is not surprising that there is a direct comparison between the XC and the GS.

    Ultimately, even though they may be similar to look at, the GS and XC are different bikes. You cannot realistically compare a twin with a triple and get an objective conclusion: one will always have more power while the other has more torque. The choice is an individual one and should be made by the person who is going to be riding the bike after they have tried all of the options.
    #67
  8. blacktiger

    blacktiger Tigers R great.

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    Blimey, we're on the same page. BUT..........having owned a very unreliable BMW and the way BMW as a company blames owners for their troubles, then brings out a redesigned part that replaces the parts that have been failing. I wouldn't even consider owning another one....ever!
    Sorry anti BMW rant over.
    #68
  9. cug

    cug --

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    I had less issues with my BMWs than with my Tiger. Granted - this was ALL about the dealers/shops and had nothing to do with the bike itself. But I really think that's your issue, too. I doubt that BMW itself has blamed riders for failures and then replaced parts. But I have heard the same being said about dealers quite often.

    The often quoted "It hurts when I do this" - "Then don't do it" problem. BMW itself can't really afford to blame customers. They keep quiet which is super frustrating, but I bet quite a bit of money that Triumph does the same. Then the affected dealer takes the "no comment" and tells the customer to do something different to avoid the problem and there you go - customer has the impression BMW is blaming a failure on him.

    With the exception of one cheap piece of crap neglected by previous owner bike all our BMWs have been super reliable, super fun, high quality, and a joy to ride. And the shop we have close by is about a thousand times better than all the Triumph shops in the area if you get their best people together into one ... I will never consider a Triumph again for that simple reason. The dealerships here are all, without exception, shit. And I don't have the time or energy to do everything myself.
    #69
  10. multistraddler

    multistraddler Been here awhile

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    We seem to be twins from different mothers...:freaky
    I have an '05 MTS 1000 that I've put 35k miles on. It's been a great bike, but last Nov I made the mistake of renting a MTS1200 while in California and for the next six months just had it in my head that this was the bike to replace the old one. It is comfortable, fast, and handles, sounds and looks good, IMHO. But damned expensive if you get all the bells and whistles. And these bikes are not without their problems.
    In the meantime, I bought a KTM 400 XC-W and got bitten by the dirt bug. This past weekend I had an epiphany of sorts. I took the MTS1000 on a dirt/seasonal road ride with a bunch of dudes on much more dirt oriented bikes. The Strada did OK considering it was shod with PR2s with 10k miles on them. But, I arrived home feeling that if I was ever going to really enjoy a ride like that, it wasn't going to be on the Multi. Even I put a set of TKC 80s on the Multi rims, the suspension just isn't set up well for washboard roads, potholes and gravel filled corners.
    The next day I rode the KTM around some backroads near my house. Fun standing up on the pegs on the dirt roads, but on the pavement with those knobbies whirring, mirrors shaking like leaf in a wind storm and motor working hard to move me down the road at 60 mph, I was pretty uncomfortable.
    A few days before all this, I reread the Aug 2011 MCN (US version) issue with the F800GS vs 800XC challenge. They gave the edge to the Triumph. Tonight, I signed up for a test ride on the Tiger this weekend at the local dealer. I hope the test ride proves my theory, because I've obviously been spending way too much time on the 'what bike?' question. :D
    #70
  11. BryanCO

    BryanCO CO Rider

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    Hehe. Yep....

    I ride a 450X -- but my son (he turned 9 last week) thinks I should get a KTM -- he rides a KTM 85sx....

    I'm also a long time subscriber of MCN and read that comparison many times.

    I've been riding the Tiger in the CO Front Range mountain areas and so far, the Tiger has exceeded my expectations. On the road, the Tiger is a blast and I really don't miss the Multi -- although I would love to have a Hyper but will take my sons advice first...
    #71
  12. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    When I was shopping and pretty sure I was going with the Tiger I was also considering a R1200GS. Mainly I was looking for a road bike to replace my Kawasaki Versys. My local dealer had GS's in 'anniversary edition' - the red white and blue one, and the 'triple black' with black rims, motor, tank and frame. I could invision owning either one. Either one was gonna be close to $20K out the door. I only considered the F800 for a few minutes, the plank seat just turned me off. Plus a riding buddy had one before his Husky TE630 (one of which I already owned) and literally broke it in half - the frame had to be replaced. He was so glad to be rid of the beemer and I just couldn't imagine duplicating those sentiments.

    Anyway, I explain this because my local BMW dealer sales guys acted like they were in shock that I was considering a Tiger 800. Comments were, "Oh, those lose value like crazy, you can't give them away", and "BMW invented adventure bikes, why would you consider anything else?" Was a complete turn off. Worse, they just spent many thousands remodeling their store and a new service department and I just know you pay an arm and leg for anything done out of warranty on a BMW there. Another big turn off. The only helmet they sell are Shuberths for $700. Everything in their store is full-boat retail or more. More turn offs. Clicky, cheeky, snobby. Big turn off.

    They had a test model GS they let me take home one day and bring the wife back. It was a tank. Great 2-up on the freeway at 75, but everywhere else it was a chore. Clunky shifting, felt like an airplane motor.

    After test riding a T800 roadie and XC back to back it came down to deciding which Triumph. The spell had been set. There is just NOTHING like that triple motor - butter smooth. The lack of smoothness was a big reason I was wanting to replace the Versys. That and the stiff suspension. I went with the XC for the super plush boingers.

    A year later and 7K miles, I know I made the right decision. Plus my Trumph dealer is a peach. Always a deal on stuff, discount coupon for my birthday, new buyer discount on accessories and gear, killer purchase deal, everything one would expect from a top-notch dealer.

    The F800GS was a non-starter. Same for the 1200GS as well. Knowing what I know today I'd probly trade up to an Explorer XC if I had the $$. At the time my next favorite test ride was the Super Tenere. Were it not for the new Triumphs I would probably be riding a Yamaha.


    EDIT: I was shopping Ducati at my Triumph dealer site today and found something interesting. No wonder I like these guys so much, look at their awards:

    2013 - Dealer News: Top 100 Best Dealer in the Nation
    2013 - Dealer News: Best Use of Space
    -
    2012 - Ducati Top Sales: North America
    2012 - Ducati Top Sales: Southwest Region
    2012 -
    Dealer News: Top 100 Best Dealer in the Nation
    -
    2011 - Ducati Top Sales: North America


    2011 - Ducati Top Sales: Southwest Region
    2011 -
    Dealer News: Top 100 Best Dealer in the Nation
    2011 - Dealer News: Best Use of Space
    -
    2010 - Ducati Top Sales: Southwest Region
    -
    2009 - Ducati: National Best New Dealer
    #72
  13. fbj913

    fbj913 Adventure Aficionado

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    :dhorse
    #73
  14. dogmoon

    dogmoon Been here awhile

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    Nope!:1drink
    #74
  15. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod I want to do right, but not right now

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    Does it count if I regret that the 800 Tigers were not on the market back in 2007 when I had the dough to shop for a new bike?
    #75
  16. mmmmbeeeeer

    mmmmbeeeeer Adventurer

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    Test rode F800GS, 800XC and then F800GSA yesterday. I was quite happy with the F800 up first, then I rode the XC... Well since I recorded the rides on my Drift camera I was able to hear myself say 'wow!' Every time I opened it up!

    But here's the catch - I found the riding position on the GS a fair bit more comfortable than the XC. More leg room and more upright - on the XC I found that I was leaning forward too much for my liking (coming off a KLR).

    I found that the seat was on the lower setting - putting that on the higher setting improved the legroom and I know I can fiddle with the bars to get them a bit higher and closer, but I just can't shake the feeling that the GS was just more comfortable to ride (excluding the seat). Since I can't fit bar risers for a test ride, I'm a bit nervous about committing without being sure that I can get the ergos right.

    I'm interested to hear other opinions - has anyone faced/dealt with the same impression?

    Cheers,

    Pete
    #76
  17. Dubl-A

    Dubl-A SuckerDucker

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    Rox risers :thumb

    I also installed some hiway pegs on my XC and man it feels great
    #77
  18. btao

    btao RIP Lilolita

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    There's some truth there. It's tough to ride slow on tight trails ONLY because it idles at 13mph. There's a growing trend now of swapping out the sprockets and seems to be much easier to ride slow. Most of the time I fall over is because I am going too slow and stall. I'm used to mountain biking where I can crawl over things with great balance. But, you have to somehow keep moving still...

    I've modified my technique as I learn in my 3 months of dirt experience, all on a giant dirt bike, so that on the tight woods trails, I switch from standing to sitting much more frequently so I lower my CG and to throw a leg down and use more gas. Once I get better and gain confidence going faster, it's tons less tiring working the clutch (and picking my bike up) Still, 13mph is fast on tight singletrack with trees everywhere.
    #78
  19. btao

    btao RIP Lilolita

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    To the original question: Not a chance.

    I first went to BMW and test rode their 800GS and was displeased by the usefulness of the power and the vibration.... You had about 1k RPM that the bike didn't want to vibrate to death. It had no power at low RPM and at higher RPM it was numbing after the 30min test ride.

    I knew an adventure bike was on my list after riding it, but just knew it wasn't that one. Hopped on the Tiger next, and planned on getting it next spring. I told him I'll take it home when I got back from the test ride. :deal
    #79
  20. btao

    btao RIP Lilolita

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    I'd agree that out of the box the bike isn't set up perfectly for every rider. After an hour with an allen wrench or two, you can get that thing dialed in really nice. Maybe it comes from my mt bike heritage, but I'd like to be more forward personally. Either way, the adjustable risers that you can pivot will put you anywhere you want. I have adjustable links for my rear suspension as well that let you play with the ride height. Keep in mind, from the factory they just set it up as average for mainly street riding. It needs to be adjusted for standing.
    #80