F800GS = awesome

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by greenthumb, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. greenthumb

    greenthumb b00b

    Dec 13, 2008
    Okanagan, British Columbia
    I was out for a ride yesterday after completing a fork rebuild and it occurred to me just how much of an impact this bike has had on my life.

    I bought it new in the spring of 2009 and since then it has taken me to Argentina. It has taken me to Alaska. It has taken me through highway closing blizzards in Oregon. It has taken me on 1200km in a day rides. It has taken me down muddy singletrack following my friends CR250. It has taken me to 15000 feet above sea level. It has taken me on countless impromptu just-get-on-and-go adventures. It has maintained my sanity on regular, post workday rides.
    I have beaten the shit out of it, neglected it, done things it was not designed to do and not once has it let me down. The memories of things I have done and the places I have been are irreplaceable.

    Last week I made a spur of the moment decision to make a left turn and go OVER that mountain on some gnarly back road rather than the usual hour of asphalt to go around it to get to my destination. No reason other spontaneity, and because I could; and I was rewarded with places that I never knew existed, and I owe it all to that bike.
    All in all, there are not many bikes that offer the versatility, performance and all round shit eating grin satisfaction that you can from an F8.

    So if your'e sitting here debating which oil won't make your engine explode, or why the Germans installed the worst suspension known to mankind ever; get off the computer, go for a ride, get outside your comfort zone and realize just how much fun it is.
  2. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day.

    Jul 9, 2008
    Southern Illinois USA
  3. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

    Jan 12, 2010
    Grand Valley, Colorado
  4. beeper

    beeper Badger tickler

    Sep 2, 2009
    Yes sir! :clap
  5. hamiamham

    hamiamham Been here awhile

    Jun 6, 2010
    I ride my BMW 10 miles each way every day and I'll been to the same places...
  6. sarathmenon

    sarathmenon Armchair Adventurer

    Mar 29, 2012
    SFO Bay Area
    You should talk to MikeMike here. He's also having a ball of his time with the F800GS :D
  7. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

    Nov 28, 2010
    That bike is awesome. I bought mine in june and I already put 9000kms on it. Now I'm going back on it with my GF for a 1500km ride. can't get enough of it. I could spend my whole life on it :clap
  8. Nastygnome

    Nastygnome n00b

    Aug 22, 2012
    Atlanta, Georgia
    This is all very good and informative information you guys are posting about the F 800 GS. I am plainning to buy an adventure bike in the next year or so and really like hearing the truth from people who have really got one and ride them on a regular basis, not a two week demo in which someone paid them to say it was great. I am tore right now between the Tiger and The BMW although im leaning more towards the BMW because of its off road capability compared to the TIGER. However, I dont know how the BMW is on the road and would you guys say it is a great bike for long trips highway or dirt???
  9. gbtw

    gbtw Been here awhile

    May 1, 2012
    Zoetermeer, Netherlands
    I am a new rider but i think i made the correct choice for this bike as my first bike!

    I have been on a lot of rides with the local riding forum, 300 - 400 km a day max and all the other super/sport riders get of there bikes in a terrible state while i can do another ride :)

    Oh road i think this bike is good enough, i can't keep up with the super/sports just yet but i'm never lugging that far behind. Doing better than the touring riders in our group so that is good :).

    The bike came with Anakees and they have been good so far on tarmac, rain and hard packed dirt.

    Very loose sand and very wet loose sand not so much. That is the only place you will feel the weight of the bike.

    So far (3700 km since 28th of april) i am still in love :).

    I will however be going the hyper pro upgrades (factory is quite close near me :) supporting a Dutch company!) and getting different tires at some point. The windscreen is coming off for summer riding, hopefully i can build my own cover because i don't like any of the after market one's.
  10. kazi77

    kazi77 Adventurer

    Sep 20, 2009
    This is one of the greatest posts ever! If this would be a picture, i would say FRONTPAGE!

    To add some information: i bought mine in 2009, it has now 42000km i rode it on and off road trough Europe. It has taken me trough the heaviest rainfalls ever recorded in south of France. It took me trough sandstorms in Morocco. I use it very often to commute, the way home takes mostly twice as long because i can't resist taking back roads...

    It never had any serious problem that i couldn't repair by myself.
  11. Dano7619

    Dano7619 Adventurer

    Feb 4, 2012
    Albuquerque, NM
    Ironic that I read this first thing this morning. I typically ride the F8 three to four times a week on the dirt. It takes me a half hour to get there on the highway, and then I spend an hour traversing back country dirt. It is just plain fun. On the way back yesterday I was thinking, I really love this bike. I am not saying it's better than any other bike, just that I have a ball on it. I had two R12 GS's. Great bike also, absolutely no complaints. Fact is though, I tend to enjoy this bike more, it's just more fun for me. There are a lot of choices out there, but I will stick with this machine.
  12. machinebuilder

    machinebuilder Long timer

    Jun 6, 2008
    East Tennessee

  13. CheckerdD

    CheckerdD Long timer

    Apr 30, 2005
    Dave Rankine, Reno NV
    So true that the trolls won't dare to post here. Dave
  14. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

    Jun 19, 2004
    Nor Ca.
    You reading the same thread I am? :clap:clap. I preordered the bike, meaning I got a very early one. I did it because I had 11 years on a Yamaha TDM 850, with a similar engine type and I read all the available info. Except for first year issues, I got about what I expected.

    It is what it was designed to be, a bike that you could ride both on an off road. That involves some compromises. I have put some long miles on a thumper and felt every thump. I adventurised my TDM and rode dirt, including some in Colorado, which is what convinced to buy a multi that was a little more adventuresome.

    There is a mountain of complaints. Unlike Triumph riders who eat their own if they voice a problem, BMW riders seem to want to complain about everything. It ranges from my gas gauge doesn't work right(read the manual) to some serious issues. To fairly analyze how often that happens you have to put it into prospective. First who has the problem and who are just offering opinions. Then how many bikes are out there? A hard number is to find. Many times more than a Triumph or KTM( more than 35,000).

    To get to your question, It does not have straighten your arms, or have kick in the ass acceleration, usually expressed as its boring. That is by design, that does not work well in dirt. No it won't keep up with sport bikes in the curvy bits. Also by design, lots of trail combined with a 21" inch narrow tire won't turn in as quickly. The seat hurts your bum? The seat is narrow so you can stand up without looking like you are riding a horse. The wind messes my hair. Barn door wind screens break the first time you drop the bike. Did I say it is a compromise bike.

    On the street, it makes about the power level I expected, better than the TDM at altitude and as fast to 100mph as a Triumph. BMW did a good job of quelling vibration up to about 5,000rpm or 80mph, then it gets buzzy. It is a vertical twin, you cannot eliminate it entirely on any of them without adding heavy weights to offset the rotating bits. But it hooks up better in dirt than a 3 or 4 cylinder bike, but not as good as a thumper. It is a compromise.

    I like it. I usually ride below 80, but on long mileage trips I put a 17 tooth sprocket on the front. If you need to ride faster than that expect the mileage to go down. It handles curves just fine, but requires a differenet technique, easy in power out. I think it softly sprung, but it depends on what you weigh. The seat was a killer, so I changed the stock one, by removing foam that pushed me forward. I have ridden in the wind. The bike handles it way better than I do, I get battered. A laminar lip helped and easily comes off. I ride too much dirt to go beyond that.

    There are better bikes for the dirt and better bikes for the road. Figure where you fit. Did I mention it is a compromise bike?
  15. MikeMike

    MikeMike Long timer

    Feb 28, 2009
    Yes, 40,000kms on all Mexican roads, sea level to over 14,000ft, paved to rough rock to dirt to who knows what, in temps from below zero to over 110f with 90% humidity, in tropical rain storms, etc...unlike some F800 highway riders and the "look at my top case and all these guards and protectors, Starbucks crew." LOL!

    Difference is that I ride an F650GS and not an F800.

    I ride it a little different from the way BMW promotes it.
    They see it as some half arsed urban vehicle. I see it as a decent all rounder like a good UJM. They smoothed out the parallel twin decently, but so did Norton 40 years ago. LOL!

    I have always maintained the design and platform of the F bikes is fairly good for the 3rd world normal everyday conditions, but Motorrad have customer service, parts availability, and treatment of consumers that is stone age.
    I've also gone through the usual list of BMW "campaigns" and know full well that BMW could have made a better bike and could do more for their customers.
    Yep, having a ball of a time.
    I like the bike, I just don't agree with people who are sheep and don't speak up when Motorrad takes the wrong way to deal with customer service.

    ITSATDM, has some very insightful commentary above, it is a compromise bike, just like the old UJM's were, you just don't ask much more than it can give.
    Frankly, I am surprised that more people don't try finding just what the F650GS can do. Do you really need double discs on a trail bike? Do you really need the extra 14hp BMW claim for the F800 and you only get in the higher rpms? I think gearing and a decent fuel mapping and quality suspension is more helpful.
  16. grndzr0

    grndzr0 its Ground Zero

    Feb 19, 2010
    Nuff Said :D

  17. Agcountry

    Agcountry Adventurer

    Mar 25, 2010
    Monterey, CA
    Well put. :1drink:thumb
  18. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

    Jun 22, 2011
    Montreal, Canada
    I just sold my 2011 Tiger 800 (road, with ABS) three weeks ago. The bike was pretty much perfect for me... size, weight, performance, except for one thing that drove me nuts. It gave off such heat as to be downright uncomfortable. You couldn't even touch the engine bars on a hot day. Way too hot. And it was such a common complaint among Tiger 800 owners that the bulletin boards are full of threads where people were trying to make deflectors and add insulation to make the bike less hot. On a cool day it was no problem at all, but this summer we've had way too many days of over 30C temperatures and since I wear ATGATT, I just couldn't take it. On those hot days I ended up taking my (almost twice as large) K1300GT instead because it didn't give off heat.

    I've just ordered a 2013 F800GS with lowered suspension. I searched all the boards and couldn't find people complaining about heat. Of the 7 bikes I've owned so far (the F8 will be my 8th) none has given off heat like this.

    Of course I don't have the new bike yet, but I'm real happy with my decision. And for someone like me with short legs, the lowered suspension version makes it possible for me to ride that bike, while the Tiger 800XC is just way too tall (and too hot).

    Whatever you decide, happy trails...
  19. montanaman

    montanaman Traveler

    Oct 30, 2003
    Had my 2011 for 2 years and 9000 miles. I have done long 500 mile highway days and fairly technical off road rides. I just did a 200 mile mostly dirt road ride up the west side of Glacier Park Montana last week. It does everything I ask it to very well. No it does not have the piss your pants power of a Multistrada, Nor can I do the same things off road as my Husky 250 but it is a perfect marriage of the two. I have a Mirage screen, Hyperpro lowered shocks ( big improvement) all of the other protection bits and Jesse Safari panniers. BMW comfort seat is a real upgrade over stock. I have it farkled perfect for me and I plan on riding it for a very long time.

    So far I have had no real issues mechanically. I think the 2013's look great and if I was doing it again I would go for the GS over the Tiger any day for the roads I ride.
  20. 8thdwarf

    8thdwarf perfect,just perfect

    Sep 10, 2010
    Ventura Co. CA
    I gota say that I'm having a blast on my 2010 F800Gs. The 2010 fell into my lap while i was researching adventure bikes. Wanting something more road worthy and that could keep up a sustained 80 mph minimum,while while crossing the vast desert between SoCal and everywhere else, KTM and BMW took the spot light, while still being able to play in the dirt.(can't ever give that up) Couldn't afford new so lurking through want adds for used bikes reveled neither would stay advertised for any length of time. Turns out a former co-worker put his up for sale and a deal was struck. bought it 5 months ago with 9500 miles on it and I've since ran the odometer up to 16600 miles. mostly roads, 15% off road. changed the seat (couldn't stand the stock one) and wind-screen stock,, one sucks, IMO. It has taken me from SoCal to Seattle via highway 1, to Glacier NP via route 20, to Tahoe then on to Yosemite and home. not to mention daily to and from runs to work ( it make going to work fun). It has stalled on me 3 times when cold and not a constant problem. other than the seat and windscreen, I have 0 issues with the bike. Runs better on the street that I imagined, and runs in the dirt like a big woman, but it's what i expected. well worth the trade off. just my .02 :1drink