Bmw F800gs Q&A

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by RTW Motorcycling, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. K_N_Fodder

    K_N_Fodder Long timer

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    You'd probably be doing what I do on my KLR at stop lights... right foot on the peg and brake, other one (hopefully) flat on the ground. I don't think it would be impossible and I'll bet there are things you could do to bring it down an inch or two... probably just expensive (as is everything on a BMW right :1drink). The new F650 has a _very_ low standover and may be worth considering.
  2. berkly

    berkly Adventurer

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    Ive got a 30 inch inseam and can stand on the balls of my feet at stoplights. What I normally do on my 800 is just put one foot down while still sitting. The bikes easy to balance and does not feel akward at all. Beforey purchase I was thinking about lowering it but no longer do I feel that's necessary.
  3. Wildman

    Wildman In my castle

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    I've a 30.5 inseam and can nearly flatfoot both sides with the low seat with an Airhawk. Shouldn't be a problem for you.
  4. RTW Motorcycling

    RTW Motorcycling Been here awhile

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    Hi Gnostic,

    Now back in civilization so can reply to your question. I'll write a bit more background, but in general for very long distance touring over mixed terrain or for aorund the world touring, this bike, in my opinion, will become the new gold standard to which all others will be compared. It doesn't necessarily do any one thing exceptionally well, but does good to very good in a very broad range of conditions, and this breadth and versatility really make the bike. For riding on our continent, if you are someone like myself who can't quite make up their mind at what they want to ride on any given day (and you live in an area where there are multiple options), then either you can own a few, ride specific bikes or one general, do everything bike. This bike also fits that profile exceptionally well for me. So to answer your question, yes, I would do the same thing all over again:)
  5. RTW Motorcycling

    RTW Motorcycling Been here awhile

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    Hey KN,

    Thanks for the comments, I know you are kidding but I do have to disagree with you since you bring up that point. Many times, the most insightful comments come from riders at every stage in their exposure to any bike. People who look at the bike for the first time have a great initial cognitive reaction that is not yet clouded, people who have ridden it a bit have that insightful first "feel" from their rides. Once we get more than a few miles on a bike, we can point out how it feels then, but a lot of times we form opinions (rightly or wrongly) and can get a bit stagnant. The problem is that we are adaptable and we adjust to the bike so that sometimes if you ask someone about a certain feature or potential problem, the rider has to scratch his head and think about it, because it has been a while since he has been concious of the issue.

    Slight tangent, but there is truly a lot of interesting points and questions brought up by riders at every position in riding spectrum, I think that it would be great if more people contributed their thoughts. I know sometimes it's hard as there seems to be a high level of expertise on almost all topics, but we all mostly fall into the average rider category and as such there will be a lot of other riders like us that will have the same perspective. Please post away!
  6. RTW Motorcycling

    RTW Motorcycling Been here awhile

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    Hey Freddy,

    Yup, you are right that if you haven't ridden much on a 21", it may feel like you have to add a bit more muscle to take it into the corners, but this is only realtive to the ease of cornering smaller tires and you stop thinking about it almost right away.

    The stock footpegs are a bit on the small side as you say, bearable and made easier by a fair amount of shifting the feet, but for offroad guys who prefer to stand on their pegs a lot I can see a few going to a nice big platform. The pop off feature for the rubber on the pegs though is nice, I notice a bit more vibration on the feet with the rubber off. Nothing bad, just a little more noticeable.
  7. RTW Motorcycling

    RTW Motorcycling Been here awhile

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    Lol, spending money on bikes is a simple joy, you won't regret it. Just tell your wife that she should be thankful that you are addicted to bikes, they are much cheaper than a car habit:)
  8. RTW Motorcycling

    RTW Motorcycling Been here awhile

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    Hey Pacix,

    You are putting some great distances on your bike, always good to see someone riding it like it's meant to be ridden!

    The default setup that I used was a Tourance on the rear and a TKC80 on the front. Along the same lines of the Tourance is the Anakee and a few others, the main trade off as you know is softer tires have better handling but less life. I wanted to be somewhere in the middle of that spectrum.

    A knobbie on the front and a 90/10 tire on the back will pretty much last a similar distance, some people have been known to reverse the front after half the kms as the knobs wear uneven and cause a bit of a boucier ride. I rode mine to it's death, the knobbies were worn down in the middle which gives it a slight edge to get up over when cornering but it's not a big deal and in civilzation you can change it much sooner that that if you so desire.

    As I mentioned, I'm not to picky about tires, some are, but for me I bought what was available, Currently I have a MT21 on the front, it was about $60.00 in South America and not many other options were available. Some say it's noisy, but it handles well in a wide variety of conditions. I'm guessing that in Spain you'll have great slection but don't know which brands are the most competitely priced. Stragely enough, here in Canada, even thouh we are right beside the US, it is much more expensive for tires. Go figure.


    Another good thing about this set up is that if you are going to go on a pure dirt ride or long gravel ride and you want knobbies, it is easy to just change your rear tire to a TKC80 or whatever you have in your garage. I carried mine on the back and swapped it roadside. You can break the bead of the tire with your kickstand (works even with your rear tire off and the bike on the center stand). You probably already carry a couple of tire irons to fix flats since we have tubes so you have all the gear already.:)

    In regards to the selection of the bike itself, funny thing but I wasn't too worried about it being a new model at all. I, like most people, used to repeat standard advice that first year models carry more risk but at the end of the day, companies are simpy better at pretesting their bikes and technologies are better. In the old days, the chances that something major would go wrong was much higher, these days, if there is anything, it'll likely be an irritant and a lot of times those don't get fixed by the next year anyway. As an example, consider the occasional leaking valve cover gasket, they have leaked the last couple of years on the 800ST and they occasionally leak on the current models. Some production items are tough to fix and take a least a couple of years. And I haven't been following it too closely, but the problems that seem to be out there might be blown a little out of perspective, the internet forums have a way of doing that as the people that post to a topic are the ones having the problems and even it is only a few of them, it seems like a majority because the ones with no problems are not writing or are out riding:)

    And the last point, when I set off on my journey I was really focussed on reliability as most people wisely have a fear of breaking down in the middle of nowhere. After a couple of continents and inevitable small issues on all the bikes I rode and all the bikes that rode with us, I became much less fearful of potentially breaking down. They seemed to happen to everyone, no matter what people rode and most times were pretty easily fixed. Initially we are looking for a bike to cover up all our fears and inadequacies, usually the bike doens't get any better we just overcome our fears, become a little better mechanics and learn to rely on ourselves more.
  9. TheCowboy

    TheCowboy back in the saddle again

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    Dropped by the local BMW dealer - it was IN!!! Ran home jumped into my Aerostich Roadcrafter and boots and bolted back to the shop. Sit on it for maybe 45 minutes making engine sounds and wiping the drool off the tank (well not the real tank - the place where a tank should be).

    It was more beautiful than I expected. Gunbarrel grey and matte black. I thought the seat height would be an issue, but it is pretty much the same height as my DR650. I am an inch from flat-footing her.

    My wife gave me the thumbs up... what more do I need??:D

    I could be riding her by the weekend.... (the bike that is....)

    Cowboy2:ricky
  10. Neubz

    Neubz Been here awhile

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    This is a fantastic thread. I do have one question, which builds on your experiences on the KLR as well. A few years ago I took a KLR across the US and into South America. Obviously, I had the KLR fully loaded - panniers, trunk, random junk shoved into a dry bag and strapped down, etc. Three or four times in the states, when travelling at high speeds on the highways across the plains, I got hit by a gust of wind which forced the bike into an oscillating lean: left right left right, with the lean to such a degree at the extremes that I felt that the bike was about to go down. Eventually physics would work itself out, and I would resume on an upright, straight path. But it was terrifying. It never happened outside the US when we weren't in windy interstate condititions. But it was enough to make me consider never buying a bike with a similar weight/profile again.

    Did this ever happen to you on your KLR? How about the 800gs?

    Thanks. Again, thanks for all your thoughtful answers.
  11. AngryRed

    AngryRed Lost in Cyber Space

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    Thanks. That is what I wanted to hear as long as it was coming from an objective rider. Getting more and more excited about the possibility of nabbing one for myself.
  12. easyman05

    easyman05 Been here awhile

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    Hi, RTW!

    Thank you very much for the brilliant thread!
    basing on your riding in Russia, what's your opinion on 800GS - would it be more suitable here than your ride then?
    Or would you prefer a 1200GS here?
    TIA
  13. TheCowboy

    TheCowboy back in the saddle again

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    Bought it today, hope I don't have any of these "stalling" problems I been reading about lately...

    Cowboy2:ricky
  14. RTW Motorcycling

    RTW Motorcycling Been here awhile

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    Ride 'em Cowboy. I wouldn't worry too much about the stalling issue, can't imagine that the problem is that prevalent, you'll know fairly quick if it is.

    Have fun on your new bike.
  15. RTW Motorcycling

    RTW Motorcycling Been here awhile

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    Hey EasyMan,

    Good question, riding in Russia has it's own unique challenges. It ultimately depends on where and what you like to ride, but in general I found the road conditions to be pretty variable and being from a cold climate I can understand why with the cold/warm fluctuations creating a lot of frost heaves and generally playing havoc with the roads.

    You would be in the right class of bikes picking an adventure touring bike rather than say a sport bike, but between the two GS's depends a lot on you. The tradeoff for me would be that the Russian countryside has an amazing amount of terrain to explore so if you enjoy that, go with the smaller, better off road 800. But it is also so vast that you can be riding some loooong distances if you want to. Those long distances are easier on a bigger bike.

    In the end though, I'd have to say though that the 800 will allow you to get to some amazing riding that most countries can only imagine (and on roads that cars have nightmares about). And it is good enough for most long distance, highway riding. So I would go with the 800, unless you plan on doing almost excusively freeway riding.

    Hope that helps.
  16. FOREVER HANDSOME

    FOREVER HANDSOME Been here awhile

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    RTW, add me to those who are loving this thread and your thorough and articulate way of relaying your experience. Question, how did you snag this bike here in Vancouver? I've been checking at Pacific Yamaha and it may be December before they get any. I may also take you up on your offer of coming to meet you and have a look at the bike - I have a 1200 but have been thinking that it would be good to have a dedicated road bike (I miss my RT, sniff. . .) and a nice back - country/ commuter.
    If you are open to me dropping over for a half hour to have a look at the beast, I would be more than appreciative.
    Handsome:queenie
  17. MoToad

    MoToad Been here awhile

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    Someone hasnt read the whole thread. Bought in South Africa.
  18. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

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    RTW, excellent comments, thanks. I also have an 800GS I have to say I agree with everything you said. I find it fantastic on dirt, very easy to ride.

    The only other extra in catorgary (5) is hand protectors that I think you might not have mentioned.

    I have also ridden the new 650GS quite bit and found it lacking a lot more off road - that smaller front tyre does make it harder. The 650 runs faster than the 800 too, but the torque is less in the lower revs. The throttle is also less senstive. Otherwise the bikes are almost identical and have no problems in keeping up with one another. I would go for the 650 if I did less dirt road, and wanted a smaller bike than the 1200.
  19. FOREVER HANDSOME

    FOREVER HANDSOME Been here awhile

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    That's why I got people like you to steer me in the right direction:norton
    thanks
  20. eoR

    eoR Thanks For Noticing Me

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    I see one has arrived and is on the floor at my local dealership.