F800GS: Anyone done 17" front?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Steffo, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. Steffo

    Steffo Been here awhile

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    I've got a couple of friends who do loads and loads of track days every summer and now they have started pestering me about coming along on a few next year. As a 21" front wheel don't really give much option for tires I am thinking about converting to 17" front wheel, and also I don't have the cash for a pure trackbike however much I'd like to get one. It looks pretty awesome if you ask me. :D

    Anyone done this? If so what are your thoughts?
    #1
  2. bxr140

    bxr140 Flame Bait

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    You're barking up the wrong tree. If you can't afford a trackbike, you can't afford to take your umpteen thousand dollar BMW onto the track. Its really as simple as that.

    For the record, I commuted on (as in, no car) my "trackbike" for years. I know how it goes. You'll either pussy foot it around the track, and hence, will be a danger to yourself and others, or you'll ride it like you should, and may end up crashing it at some point. Not to mention the ergos of a dual sport are awful for an actual race track.

    Also note that for what it would cost to get a 17" wheel and track tires, you'd probably be halfway (or more) to a track bike anyway. In the US, you can probably get a well set up ninja 250 for well under $2k, and you can find 600's out there (not that I'd recommend them as a track bike--too much power for a noob) for $3k (again, USD). Even if you don't get a set up track bike, just about any cheap bike is a better idea than your BMW.

    Other than coming onto ADVrider and posting pictures of yourself pyloning around in the slow group on your expensive dual sport, there's really no point.
    #2
  3. BigBoPeep

    BigBoPeep The Bad Stenographer

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    I think the front wheel size is the least of your worries. In fact, if you put a 17" wheel on the front of that thing, it would change the chassis geometry dramatically and probably cause it to handle like a basketball.

    I have a V-strom, and I know people take them to the track, but I can't see how it would be any fun. As bxr140 pointed out, it would probably be dangerous. Maybe if you could find an f800gs racing series?:dunno

    btw, there's an sv650 in the FM right now for $2000. It's not in Sweden, but there are deals out there.


    -
    #3
  4. whitham_wannabe

    whitham_wannabe Long timer

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    I thought about this for a while with mine - a big DS is just going to be a big SuperMotard and we all know how much fun they are. My first experience of a 'motard was a Husky 620 my friend built. I rode it at a track day, and bearing in mind I was racing a full on SuperSport ZX6R and Superbike ZX7R at the time, had more fun on that thing than any other bike I rode that year.

    Handling could be interesting, it would liven it a lot by steepening the head angle, and suspension is going to be crazy soft with grippy tyres, but you got big old bars to grab it by the neck and throw it around. You'll be surprised how many sports bikes you can embarrass with your elbows up and your foot out.
    #4
  5. Schtum

    Schtum Free Genie

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    One or two naysayers in here....:huh Should I tell you about riding around the outside of a GSXR1000 on a trackday on my R1200GS?

    Like the whitham_wannabe above said, an F800GS on 17" wheels and sticky rubber would just be a giant supermoto and we know how much they piss off sports bike riders on track days. The 800 would also lean forever. I think it'd be a barrel of laughs.

    AC Schnitzer displayed a SM'd F800GS at European Motorcycle Shows when the bike was first released.

    [​IMG]

    http://hellforleathermagazine.com/2008/08/ac-schnitzer-tune-bmw-f-800-gs.html
    #5
  6. markymcd

    markymcd Been here awhile

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    It's called an F800R. Save yourself a shitload of money by not modifying a great bike to a bike that already exists.
    #6
  7. Audacious Nick

    Audacious Nick Forever indecisive

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    If you can't afford a track bike, you can't afford to fix your BMW either.
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  8. hillbillypolack

    hillbillypolack Grumpy Old Goat

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    Completely different riding positions, though, AFAIK. Belt vs chain drive. After a test ride on the 800GS, I can see why someone would want to try 17"s on it.

    Kinda like the HP2 enduro "street wheel" setups.
    #8
  9. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    I don't have an F800GS, but I saw one that looked very similarly setup as the one in the picture Schtum posted this summer in Portland. It's probably not a cheap option. I'd start with street tires on the existing wheels and see if you like the way the bike feels on the track before spending that much money on a spare set of wheels (or just a front one). You are not going to find super sticky 21" tires, but Bridgestone BT-45, Metzeler Lasertec or Pirelli MT60 are some tires that come to mind, are reasonably sticky for slow/intermediate track sessions and come in 21".

    Gustavo
    #9
  10. motolombardo

    motolombardo Adventurer

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  11. Cos

    Cos Re-Greekified

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    The R's chain driven too.
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  12. BMR

    BMR Long timer

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    For fark sakes, the OP wants to get a smaller front tire and take his 800 to the track a few times next year...to which I say "Right On, post some pics"!

    Will the Negative Nancy's please take a pass.
    #12
  13. Dolly Sod

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

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    I bet 17's on the F800GS would be fun. :ricky
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  14. Bucko

    Bucko In a parallel world

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    Before you spend money on your bike, borrow one of your track buddies' bikes for a few track days and see if it's even something you want to do. You bought a GS...hopefully you'll be happier riding through the forest on it than around and around and around on pavement.
    #14
  15. The Griz

    The Griz Long timer

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    The F800GS is a big dirt bike. Get a F800R or some other road bike.
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  16. afmracer

    afmracer Been here awhile

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    Maybe OP just doesn't realize how expensive it will be when he crashes ...

    A single lowside on a new GS > a cheap trackbike.
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  17. Steffo

    Steffo Been here awhile

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    It was just an idea. Easy on the "noob" parts please. I am quite sure I can handle even a 1000cc without much difficulty on a track. Perhaps not fastest though. Thankyouverymuch.

    I have spent quite alot of time on smaller race tracks so there is really no need for that. I'd say around 150 hours in total or so.

    So you really think all the supermotos out there are just "dirt bikes"? Ok.

    ..or perhaps the OP has an insurance company that actually covers track days.

    This was just an idea so no idea getting "upset" guys. :)
    #17
  18. Schtum

    Schtum Free Genie

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    Well I'd like to see you do it and see the pics of you riding around the outside of sportsbikes on the really tight bits.

    And if you ever want to come over to Scotland and do a trackday at Knockhill be sure to let me know. :D
    #18
  19. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Get some frame guards... A lowside wont touch the bike.
    #19
  20. Dolly Sod

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

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    Alright, so all these dudes taking their F800GS's offroad, down single track, creek crossings, etc, and you're trying to warn the OP about dropping the bike at the track?

    Seriously, the bike was made to be ridden, if the OP wants to throw a 17 on the front and do some track time, why is everyone getting their panties in a wad. People do it on the KTM950adv and SE, and no one whines about the cost of dropping it, or tells them to buy a super duke instead. Maybe those KTMs are simply better than the beemer? Those riders less nervous nancies.


    I say go for it. It will be fun. :thumb
    #20