F700gs – Touring 2 Up?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by jun19, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. jun19

    jun19 sangbro

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    My better half and I am thinking about getting F700gs for our weekend getaway & a week summer vacation.

    Conditions:

    - Me: 5 ft 7 (=175cm) / 159lbs (=72kg)
    - My wife: 5 ft 5 (=167cm) / 114lbs (=51kg)
    - F700gs with BMW Aluminum Panniers & Top Case with maximum 33-44lbs (=15-20kg) of camping gears
    - The top cruising speed we wish: 75 mile/h (=120km/h)
    => Without much of stress on a bike and hassle on me
    - Driving condition: Tarmac 80 / Formed dirt roads 20 to find a camping site

    Note:
    - I do not intend to go serious off-road but I might want to use this bike for transcontinental trips of North America and Europe in the near future.

    I’ve read many threads about F800gs for two-up but F700gs should be different. (Maybe more similar to F650 twin?)
    A dealer recommends me R1200gs for 2-up, but considering our physical sizes, I think F700gs would handle my requirements. What do you guys think? Go with F700gs? Or R1200gs is worthy investment to make?
    Also, I plan to have 10-15 minutes break after two hours of riding. (Should I take a break after one hour?)

    I want to hear more about your thoughts, opinions, advice and experience etc.
    If you have good seat recommendations (Airhawk?) please inform me.

    Thank you very much! :D
    #1
  2. bastimentos

    bastimentos Been here awhile

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    Is it the ideal bike? .. no (The dealer is right in recommending that the 1200 is a far better 2up tourer but I can see how you may feel it is too big and heavy for you to deal with)

    Is it capable of what you describe? .. sure it is.

    The best bike is the one you feel comfortable handling safely, because if you don't feel safe on the bike, you wont ride it, and if you buy a bike and don't ride it.. you're just a twat.

    People will chip in with ideas to improve it but in summary, yes its capable, so if you feel in control and it makes you happy, go for it.
    #2
  3. jun19

    jun19 sangbro

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    Thank you for the neat summary and advice.

    Based on specification, I thought that F700gs seems to be perfectly capable,
    but I would like to know second opinions and experience regarding actual 2-up riding experience.
    (Brakes, Pillion comfort etc)

    Surely I will keep in mind that confidence in handling and safety is the key when I choose the bike.
    #3
  4. roundtripping

    roundtripping Adventourist

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    In the end it doesn't really matter much if WE think it's a great bike for 2-up if you or your wife hate it. The moral of that story? Test ride with the wife on the back.
    #4
  5. jun19

    jun19 sangbro

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    Yes, riding with my wife would make the final call for sure.

    I would like to get some background knowledge before try one since

    my dealer said demo R1200gs and F700gs will arrive in the end of March.
    #5
  6. Reklaw59

    Reklaw59 Faster than your Nan.

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    We done 2 weeks around NZ south island last year on a f650twin (we also own one) with BMW vario luggage.
    No problems at all, except for the crap seat, so we took our Airhawks.
    Depends on how big you both are.
    #6
  7. GH41

    GH41 Been here awhile

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    "I plan to have 10-15 minutes break after two hours of riding. (Should I take a break after one hour?)"

    Have you ever ridden a bike? A top heavy bike, over loaded with the wife on back?? GH
    #7
  8. vtbob

    vtbob wanderer

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    Here in the US the common perception is bigger is better.

    As I suspect you know the F700 and the R1200 physical dimension are almost identical...ie the length of the f700 is as long as the r1200. (it think the F800 is slightly longer than the R1200) It does weigh about 50 lbs less. And the seat is lower and can be much lower with the low suspension model. I think that might be important to you and your wife.

    If you are to ride dirt and paved roads there is NO need to have a tall bike...there are several reason why a low bike is better.

    the R1200 certainly has more power, but the F700 is more than adequate...note it has more power than 75% of the Harleys on the road and those bikes, alone weight 600-800lbs. It has more power than the old R100 1000cc airheads.

    The F700 burns considerably less fuel than the R1200.

    Now that the F700 is available with ESA, which I highly recommend, the issue of adjusting the suspension for the load of your wife and gear and back to solo riding is solved. If you get a version with out ESA, is suspect you will find the rear suspension too soft...ie the stock spring rate is too low. An up graded spring rate will cost a couple of hundred or an aftermarket rear shock/spring assembly will cost $600-1100.

    The R1200 duo lever/paralever is probably the best touring motorcycle suspension on the market today. There is no dive on braking, and the geometry allows better road dynamics...and some model of the 1200GS have ESA on both front and rear..unfortunately if you get a "low" r1200 you lose this dual ESA option as I understand it.

    When I went true this decision process in 2010 i bought the F650GS...you F700 is better with the ESA.

    Like several other have said...take them both for a ride....maybe evan a Muliti strada too.
    Buy the one that makes you both smile the most
    #8
  9. dip1

    dip1 Been here awhile

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    I ride 2-up on an BMW X-Country all the time. And thats a 650 single. Thousands of miles and no worries! I upgraded the rear shock thats it. Heck we even weigh more than you. It depends on pillion and what they like.
    #9
  10. david1983xtc

    david1983xtc Adventurer

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    Hello!!!

    I own a F650GS and I can tell you that is perfect for touring 2 up!!!

    Yes, I know that 1200 is even better... but my little GS has near 15000 km and the only cons is the brake system so, having in mind that 700 has dual front disk... will not be your problem

    I weight near 95kg and my girlfriend near 65kg... plus aliminium pannier and givi trekker 52 topcase

    I you understand some spanish... take a look at my blog, I wrote about the F650GS and our travels :)

    http://www.sumando-kilometros.com
    #10
  11. roadspirit

    roadspirit Been here awhile

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    We traveled 2-up on a F800GS across S. America, from Colombia to Ushuaia. 5 months, 27.000 klms.I'm also 175cm and 70 kgs.
    It's a perfectly capable bike to go wherever you want. Really, there is not much difference with the F650/F700, maybe on some off road stretches the 21'' front wheel of the 800 will give you a better handling.

    Taking into consideration my height and weight I wouldn't choose the 12GS. In fact, if I could choose now, I would take an even lighter bike than the 800.
    #11
  12. wortho

    wortho Adventurer

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    Only had the F700 a couple of months now and not done any big trips as yet but the Wife is really happy on the back and said its very comfortable compared with the last bike (DR650). Seems to be no issues with power or braking and very stable so i'm pretty confident it will have no issues when 2 up on longer trips. I'm 5'11 and 85kg, Wife is 5'10 and 75kg.
    We went for the comfort seat for an extra $190 at time of purchase and I'm very happy with it so far, its a little taller than the stock seat but perfect for me at 5'11.
    Cheers
    Mark
    #12
  13. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Adventurer

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    As you might already know, the F650GS, F700 and F800 are all 800cc engine, just different tuning for horsepower output.

    I have a 2011 F650GS and would not hesitate to take long trips 2-up on it. Unfortunately my wife is no longer interested in riding on the back of a motorcycle.

    I cannot understand the thinking of someone who says you *need* a 1200 for 2-up touring. When my wife and I started touring in the '70s the biggest bike we owned was a Suzuki GT750. It had much less horsepower and much more weight than the F650/700/800. But it took us and our gear on extended touring trips with no problem.

    My F650GS has a far better power-to-weight situation and is very happy the occasional time my wife agrees to come for a ride.

    I have the factory-lowered model with low seat. I do not recommend this model for your situation. The rear suspension is set up for very light weight. I am 5'6" so you are a little bit taller than me. The standard model should fit. If you feel it is a little bit too tall, just buy a lowered seat.

    I have tried my lowered seat on my friend's standard model and I could easily ride like that.

    Even riding solo I have ordered a new rear suspension with a stronger spring and a little bit longer shock to give the bike some more ground clearance. If I was doing it again I would buy the standard bike with the low seat and be very happy. I'm 185 lb. with all my riding gear on.

    ...ken...
    #13
  14. jun19

    jun19 sangbro

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    :ear

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Exactly what I would like to know and consider.

    Good to know that there's no problem. As you said, I have heard a lot of complaints about the standard seat.

    I think I should get Airhawks for me and pillion or install comfort seat.
    #14
  15. jun19

    jun19 sangbro

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    :wink: I just want to bring as many things as possible on the table.

    If I hadn't mention it, I am pretty sure, that someone would have mentioned something like "you gotta take some rest
    onece in a while."
    Also there are different sitting comfort levels depending on the type of bikes.
    (i.e. A huge tourer like a HD tourer = couple hours of riding but no complains from the back
    Royal Enfield Bullet = 30 mins top, and I may need to look for a car)

    I just can't guess how a middle class enduro like F700gs takes its place.
    #15
  16. jun19

    jun19 sangbro

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    Thumbs up for your informative input. :ear

    Indeed, you scratch just whare it curiously itches. In terms of physical dimensions, R1200gs and F700gs
    are not that different. But with a bigger engine and everything R1200gs is more like a "beefier & heavier" bike.
    (And better equipped of course.)
    Under this situation, I was curious about pillion comfort difference.

    Before I take a test drive, I want to learn some technical aspects of both bikes and you just taught
    what I need to look for. I should ask a dealer to get ESA equipped F700gs for a test run.

    I am pretty sure beemer would be my next destination, but yes I will give second chances to
    KTM, Ducati, and Honda.
    #16
  17. jun19

    jun19 sangbro

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    Yeah, I totally agree with you about pillion preferenece. From advices form here, my worries begin to fade away. :D
    #17
  18. jun19

    jun19 sangbro

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    Perfecto! In fact I don't speak spanish (what a shame for me) but I absolutely love to see your photos in your blog.

    I will try google translate to get some major contents. Putting a dual-disk brake disk in the equation,

    I am now getting the sense of confidence that F700gs would be ideal for my situation.
    #18
  19. jun19

    jun19 sangbro

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    What a trip! I totally envy your experience. Just a kind of thing that I hope to achive in the future.

    Your physique seems to be similar, thus, I should listen to you. R1200GS is a wonderful bike w/o doubt

    but as you said, it might be too heavy for me as well. (So as it would be way more difficult to handle on offroads.)
    #19
  20. jun19

    jun19 sangbro

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    I also used to ride DR650. :nod I loved this bike for myself but not my wife.
    Glad to know that your wife feels F700gs more comfortable.

    The comfort seat looks like worthy investment to make along with some safety&convenience options.
    I can't wait the spring to come.
    #20