F800gs - Almost perfect except for poor suspension.

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by mac444, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. mac444

    mac444 Adventurer

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    Ok I have been so excited for the new F800 and sold my only KTM990 in my rental fleet to buy some F800s. Now I think I made a mistake. I bought the bike for my clients who want to ride off-pavement. After several hundred miles of back roads here in Montana, the harsh front fork has me very unhappy and unwilling to buy any more of these bikes.

    How many of you think this bike needs a proper adjustable suspension, front and rear ? Compression and rebound dampening front and rear ?

    Who thinks the front fork is way to harsh on small high speed bumps and deflects off anything bigger than a tic tac ? Is it just me ?

    Anyone out there who has owned a KTM990 or 950 think the suspension on the F800Gs is even close to the compliance of the KTM on the street and off road ?

    I want to hear form real owners so only respond please if you have actually owned each bike. I plan to file a formal complaint with BMW on this bike. We waited too damn long to be screwed over by cheap suspension components on such a pricey bike !! Ok, kidding on the complaint, I already bitched to the dealer, though.

    I know its hard to speak the truth when you just dumped 12 grand on a bike, but I am just being honest.

    I am not happy with this bike. I want my 990 Back...at least the front forks and the rear shock. Now that would make the 800 an incredible machine in IMHO.
    #1
  2. swolf

    swolf swolf

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    Came from an 05 vstrom and really can't believe how jarring the front suspension is on a bit of rock.

    Still really love the bike
    #2
  3. mac444

    mac444 Adventurer

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    What exactly do you mean ? You lost me there.

    So you agree that your F800GS is more harsh off pavement than your 650 VStrom ?
    #3
  4. Swedge

    Swedge Panzer commander

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    whats wrong with the KTM that would make you even consider the BMW?
    #4
  5. ricohman

    ricohman Marinoni man

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    When I was shopping the salesman told me the BMW's can do dirt, but are a street biased bike.
    The KTM had less street manners, but was more dirt friendly.
    Which way did you want to go?
    #5
  6. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    It is the Zokes. I have the same problem on my HP2 (as I posted in a similar post about 20 minutes ago). The HP2 Zokes are adjustable, and cannot be improved with the adjusters. As I mentioned in the other post, I am going to take the Zokes to Javier (Trailtrick on KTMTalk) who has a good reputation for fixing them. BTW, I pick up my F800GS on Saturday, and I expect to be dissappointed with the forks off road. Hopefully Javier can work his magic on them as well.
    #6
  7. swolf

    swolf swolf

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    I took a trip with the vstrom a month ago in Colorado. Rode a few 4x4 mountain passes with a bit of trouble. Except for the weight (a big thing) and clearance (thanks bash plate) it rode great! The ride was smooth and comfortable all the time - except when it bottomed out.

    800gs, don't have crash bars on yet so I don't want to,really, ride it in the dirt. A few days ago I couldn't resist and rode a few "rocky parts." My head felt like it was going to be tossed off my body. I thought, what the hell, their has to be an adjustment somewhere?

    To balance, the 800gs is such a better bike in the turns. Feels, sounds, looks and dealing with the wind is great / better than the vstrom. Love the fact that in my case, the shield work perfect, and i don't have to look through it when riding. All in all, still happy, thus far, still good!
    #7
  8. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

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    I´ll take your poor quality 800 for 75% cash. :evil :lol3
    #8
  9. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

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    The 800 is the easiest bike I have ridden on dirt. It is not really designed for the street, but does that well too.
    #9
  10. AngryRed

    AngryRed Lost in Cyber Space

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    Weird, my 800GS is flawless on the street but on the true dirt it could use a few "enhancements". That does not mean I don't love my bike because I do but it has a few items that could use improvement on the dirt.
    #10
  11. mac444

    mac444 Adventurer

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    Unless the F800GS is the only bike you have ever ridden off road, you need to qualify that comment.

    Easiest compared to what ?
    #11
  12. AngryRed

    AngryRed Lost in Cyber Space

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    I hate to seem mean but I agree. I could tear up anyone but the pro's on my CRF450 if they were riding an F800GS. Not to bash you but you should put that comment in perspective. I love my 800GS but to say its made for the dirt is a bit of a stretch.
    #12
  13. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

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    Oh FFS.....:bluduh

    What are we are we talking about here, 450´s or bigger DS bikes?

    Take it in the context of the thread people. I´ll spell it out for you: In comparison to 1200GS, 650GS, and KTM 990 or similar. Its just my opinion, you dont have to like it.
    #13
  14. mac444

    mac444 Adventurer

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    OK then I would agree except for the 990 comparison. I own both and have to say the GS800 feels lighter and handles quicker but the suspension on the KTM makes up for that off road because it is so much more stable and plush.

    Dont get bent. Its all good
    #14
  15. mac444

    mac444 Adventurer

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    I never said te F800GS was "poor quality". What I said was the forks and shock suck. There is a difference. For 12 grand, a little rebound and compression adjustment is not too much to ask. You name one bike in this price range that doesnt have fully adjustable suspension....or dont you adjust stuff down there in Peru ? :lol3
    #15
  16. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    The telelever on the 1200GS ibetter than the Zokes on my HP2 IMO (which are adjustable BTW). I have not had enough time off road on my 800GS, but the short distance (about 25 miles) I have taken it makes me think it will be an HP2 clone as far as the forks are concerned - not good. I have no snivels with the 800GS shock performance, but I do have a wide range of acceptability outback relative to the forks. I did have to ditch the airshock on the HP2 for a Wilbers - much better.
    #16
  17. earthroamer

    earthroamer Stuck in Pindadesh

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    I'm curious if any of you F800GS owners have been on rough road with a fully loaded bike, panniers, camping gear, etc. ? Was just wondering if the suspension was set up for adv touring instead of just dirt riding.
    #17
  18. TheCowboy

    TheCowboy back in the saddle again

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    I've taken my F800GS fully loaded on some pretty rough dirt roads. I got to admit the suspension was a little harsh compared to my DR650. But I still love this bike anyway, it ain't no motocross bike - but she's a damm good adventure bike in my humble opinion.

    Cowboy2:ricky
    #18
  19. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    I respect that to be sure, but I would not put my 8GS in the same genre as my 12GS as a true "adventure bike". The 12GS pretty much hits the mark for the adventuring touring category, and is much more comfortable than the 8GS in that role. I regard the 8GS as more of a "weekender". I love the 8GS, and would gladly take it places where I would be very fearful of threading with the bigger bike, but this probably is a reflection on my riding skill more than on any intrinsic shortcomings of the 12GS.

    Back on topic. I do think the front suspension of my 8GS will need some work before I am happy with it. The performance on sharp edged hits is not at all to my liking. It is fixable for me, and maybe it is OK for others as is. I do love the motorcycle (but I can say that about all my bikes).
    #19
  20. JNRobert

    JNRobert Breaking Wind

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    IMHO, BMW seem to be setting up their forks with high speed compression way off (and most fork adjusters won't change this). Even on the pavement the F800GS I rode was deflecting off sharp edges (the F800S does this too).

    I think its a travesty that they don't offer adjustable forks but my guess is even if they did, it would still be a harsh fork unless they fix the inherent problem with the valving.

    I also agree that every KTM I've ridden has way better suspension from the get go.
    #20