F800GS or large thumper like XR650L ?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Inniswhe, Nov 15, 2012.

  1. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    Modern suspension=F800gs:rofl. Sorry, I just had to say that. It was the first thing I changed.

    I love my F800gs. Good on pavement and I prefer it when riding fire roads. Maybe it is the long wheel base that helps with the stability. It may be lighter than an 1150 or 1200 but it is longer than either, which is not going to help on single track. It has the same transmission as the street version, which shows up trying poke along at low speeds.

    It is well balanced, that can suck you into believing it can do more than what it is designed for. It is a 500lb bike, good for all types of dirt roads. Push it any further and it becomes a handful.

    Because of your size, you can probably take it places I won't go.

    My other bike is a KLX680c, with all the typical add ons. Plenty of HP to cruise with, but its comfort zone is about 70mph. I have ridden long miles on it. Being lighter, (at 390lb, 5 gal tank) it gets blown around more and at altitude it loses power like any other carbed bike.

    The XRL is too tall for me, but ridden with plenty. A torquey engine with decent suspension for this venue, if limited to the Japanese bikes. The height, weight, carb and engine will limit its hwy capabilities.
    #21
  2. njoytheride

    njoytheride NJOYN' THE JOURNEY

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    Good questions and great answers. I ened up with the F800GS and 2000 street legal XR650R. I take the 800 places it really shouodn't go. It will do it but it is a lot more work. Still fun mind you but a lot more work. I would hop on it today and ride 1200 miles to Moab and do the White Rim Loop then hop on it and ride back home. The Honda is just plain fun off road and surprisingly not bad on the highway. I wouldn't ride it to Moab but if it was there I would do the Top of the World and Elephant Hill after doing the White Rim Loop. Just not a perfect all around bike but the F800GS is as close as it gets.
    #22
  3. Inniswhe

    Inniswhe Been here awhile

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    thanks for all the input. I think I am going to have to go the one bike route. A second bike will not go over well so I think I will be into compromise . It will be 50/50 duty. the f800gs is looking pretty good for an only bike. I know it will not be the best off road but does anyone know if it would be equivalent or better than the old transalp'?.
    The hp2 looks awesome but rare and pricey. The x challenge also looks really good. Again a rare bike in these parts. The 690r is also very appealing. If I could get a comfortable seat and add a decent tall screen for touring it might just be the ticket. Stock it would be to spartan

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    #23
  4. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    I have 2 DR's and an F800GS.

    Solo, on the highway - speed limit of 110kph - there isn't much between them. The DR that has full RMZ suspension feels more like a dirt bike, the other DR feels more like a cruiser by direct comparison.

    The F8 does seem to be a little "rev happy" with standard gearing. But from a handling view point it's pretty much somewhere between the 2 DR's.

    Off road, the DRMZ, as I call it, rules. Think RMZ450 with a 650 lazy engine. It's great.

    Then comes the ADV DR version. It's basically got similar travel suspension, and more like the F8's handling, but it's lighter than the F8.


    If you want to put a pillion on, then the DR's just don't cut it. I ride the same trails on the F8 with a pillion as I do with the DRMZ solo. The only difference is the speed you run them at.

    I have single tracked all of them, and yes, they are a handful. But after doing that if you jump onto something like a KTM300 2-stroke and go do some enduro style riding, you feel like an enduro god. I was amazed at just how hard I could push my crusty old busted ass on the 300. Visions of my 2-stroke MX youth came to the fore, and I was off in a cloud of synthetic 2-stroke smoke.


    Different horses for different courses. You can do it on any of them, it just gets harder and slower as the bikes get bigger and you get older.

    Tyre choices are where you win or lose with big bikes of road.
    #24
  5. Steveman

    Steveman Been here awhile

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    I bought the F8 after seeing to many vids of Motoriley :D Riley seems to be the far better rider and I struggled with the heavy F8 out in the woods. It's OK for fire trails and a bit more but it is heavy. I have also a KTM 450 EXC which is a pure Enduro bike but nott street legal.
    I recently bought a XR650 and its just what I wanted. Light compared to the F8 but still a fat pig compared to the 450.

    However, its easy to ride has good low down grunt and keeps going where the F8 struggles. Its a pain on the road although the former owner replaced the original seat with a softer and 2,5 inches higher seat. As I have got real knobbies on it, it is not fun to ride on pavement and due to the low gearing (which you can of course change) I dont go over 110 k's.

    Best is to have 2 bikes. The F8 is great on pavement, fire roads and for travelling. The BRP is best out in the woods, but I would not travel with it...

    One of my buddies travels with the 650 but he is going slow, no more than 100 kp/h due to the gearing. He sees it different, for him its a great travel bike and he prefers it due to having no electronics and it is just simple to repair.

    The worst with mine is that it is a kicker and I sometimes get out of breath after trying to get big red pig runnin'. But well if it does not start I hop on the F8 :freaky
    #25
  6. motocopter

    motocopter new place explorer

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    So, I'm wanting a bike to complement my C14. Can't get a plate for the WR-400, so that is going to become a wall-mounted trophy. Just got back from checking out a real-live F800GS for sizing. Seems ok. (used to have a KLX-650c) 8dwarf, your description above had me recalling a bar moment back in my earlier youth. :1drink Was at a girlie club with a bud. One of the girls was attractive, and the beer goggles filtered the few extra pounds. :evil So, I'm dancing with this chick (can't recall the song) and she raises a arm straight up and leans backwards. We both ended up on the floor! :rofl So, I go to help her up being the gentleman that I am, and she pulls me back down to the floor, and there we are again/still! :rofl The house was coming down, by this time. :lol3 So, I don't want to relive those types of events.

    The KTM 690R or 500EXC look more my size.
    #26
  7. 3Rrr

    3Rrr Read Ride Reflect recycle

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    I too am 6'3" and over 200 lbs. When you consider an HP2 and its price point (if you can find one) compared to an F8 with the necessary upgrades you will probably find they are priced pretty close - or actually will tip in favor to the HP2.

    You will definitely need risers with longer front brake lines to accommodate, upgraded front and rear suspension, HTC or power commander to tame the throttle for the technical stuff, possibly Woody's Wheels (though I haven't done that upgrade yet), not to mention the seat, hand guards, and crashbars... You get the idea. That said an HP2 won't require much, if anything to get it dialed in for you.

    Most of my riding is done with guys on 1200 GSA's and believe me they are more than capable of going places I would never have dreamed of going on. Two of the guys finished 1 and 3 for the BMW GS Trophy contest. One is starting his BMW International Trophy contest in South America right now. The GSA's have a great 1st gear that makes for more comfortable smoother technical riding. Sometimes watching these guys you'd think they were on trials bikes. The RawHyde BMW training would be a great opportunity to sharpen the offroad skills. I know PEI is a ways a way, they open their Colorado training grounds in 2013 which wouldn't be a bad flight. The 1200 GSA's have a lower center of gravity (especially if you don't fill the massive tank), and wouldn't be much different for you to handle compared to the 800. From the multiple times I've helped lift bikes I'd say the 1200 may even be easier to get upright as those heads allow it to not lay completely on its side.

    I had a F650GS but found it under powered and soft for my size. I enjoy my F8, but if I had to/got to do it all again I would just get a 1200 GSA, with dreams of a second offroad bike like the X. That day may come as one of my sons is going for his permit. Maybe I'll start watching for an HP2 myself.
    #27
  8. Inniswhe

    Inniswhe Been here awhile

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    I would consider an hp-2 if any come available at reasonable distance.
    I ask pretty sure the 1200GSA is out.I know good riders can do wonders with that bike off road but I am not one of them. My 1150GS is too heavy for confidence off road in my hands, it does it but you can tell there are better tools.
    I am on the f800gs/ktm690r fence. If the 690 could be made reasonably comfortable for occasional highway tours that would be ideal but I haven't ridden one yet so that may be a stretch. A custom seat and custom wind screen could probably make a huge improvement. I never usually travel over 75mph on highway.
    I may try and get a test on a 690 before snow sets in here.


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    #28
  9. 3Rrr

    3Rrr Read Ride Reflect recycle

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    #29
  10. Inniswhe

    Inniswhe Been here awhile

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    I have looked at the terra online but at 58hp in the same weight as a f800gs it looks pretty underpowered for asphalt. The only real complaint I had with a friends F650GS (single) was inadequate power on pavement (and way too small for me)
    I also like the fact that the f8 and 690's have been around for awhile with lots of aftermarket kit to make them fit the tall guy.
    #30
  11. Mr B

    Mr B Been here awhile

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    Not trying to toss a monkey wrench in the works, but here is my perspective.
    I have the F800, had it since 09, love the bike, it always puts a smile on my face. I am 51 and have ridden all sorts of off road years ago, but find what I want to be able to ride and what I end up riding are two different terrains. The 800 is good for forest roads and some two tracks, but honestly I would take a 1200GSA anywhere I rode my 800 this past summer!
    I am actually going to trade the 800, or sell, and pick up a 1200GSA, then to satisfy my off road imagination, I am going with a Husky TE511. To me you cannot take a 500lb bike safety to place you can a bike half that weight, plus I am getting older and calming down, so to speak...

    By the way... all the mods folks talk about, I have done none of them, not say I would not appreciate them, but the bike has never let me down, I in turn, have most likely let the bike down numerous times!!! The F800 will take you most anywhere right out of the crate..


    Just my perspective....
    #31
  12. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    That's what I've found; for the mix of riding I do (needing to cover a fair number of road miles to get to the really fun offroad) my physical size and riding ability, the F800GS is still the best "all around" bike I've come across. I have no particular loyalty to it or BMW. If Japan made something better, I'd buy it.

    It is a lot harder work getting the F8 through some trails than it would be on a proper Enduro bike, or even on a 600cc Dual Sport with an 18" rear wheel. The actual number of things I've come across that are impassable for me on the F8 that I could have gotten over on a 450 Enduro, however, are very few. I am looking at other bikes to augment the F8 and I've decided I want something right at the other end of the spectrum; a Freeride or Husky TE250/310 most likely. I want something to ride specifically in places I would have no chance getting the F8 through.
    #32
  13. njoytheride

    njoytheride NJOYN' THE JOURNEY

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    Maybe come up with a trailer for hauling a smaller bike behind the beemer. When you get to the fun stuff you coud ride the smaller bike. If either bike broke down you could ride the other back home .
    Mr B, I too am 51 and still not figured out that I'm supposed to start growing up. Kind of feel sorry for the bike.

    [​IMG]
    #33
  14. motocopter

    motocopter new place explorer

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    ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

    That stuff will make a rider out of anyone!

    Looks like what we have here in TN at LBL.
    #34
  15. Inniswhe

    Inniswhe Been here awhile

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    I found a low mileage X-Challenge about 8hrs away. These bikes seem well regarded for the off - road duty and much better entry price than a 690R so with the savings put towards adventure mods it may be the tool I need.
    #35
  16. motocopter

    motocopter new place explorer

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    Had to Google "X Challenge." Looks like a bike I'll put on my short list for dual-sports. :D
    #36
  17. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

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    You forgot to say "it's steeper than it looks" :lol3
    #37
  18. Inniswhe

    Inniswhe Been here awhile

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    bought the xchallenge. Picked it up in maine during the wicked blizzard couple weeks ago

    [​IMG]

    Had to stop and ski Sugarloaf on the way home, could not pass up the powder

    Thanks to all that commented
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    #38
  19. motocopter

    motocopter new place explorer

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    So, you snagged it! Good for you! :thumb
    #39
  20. redviffer

    redviffer Adventurer

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    I used to take my 1200GSA up and down stuff worse than this, in fact one of my descents looking back on it I wouldn't even take my mountain bike on it now. I was just super keen to try and take it anywhere. After dropping it enough I learnt its limitations or worse how heavy it became to pick up. I've now got the F800GS and if ridden slowly or carefully enough I'm pretty sure there are few places you couldn't take it. It is a tall bike though and quite large and I am 6'2" so climbing steep stuff is case of hold on, gas it and hope for the best.

    The other good thing was when you load up a 1200GSA heavy for long road touring its just stupidly heavy and very easy to topple in a carpark and if you're on your own you won't get it back up without unpacking it, righting it then repacking it. By having the 800 your already nearly 50kg lighter to begin with. If you fix the seat, screen and exhaust its pretty similar to a 1200 anyway.
    #40