F800GS vs. KTM 990 Adventure

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Pantah, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. Supahflid

    Supahflid Wheelieless

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,912
    Location:
    Here for reals.
    :lol3 Awesome and correct on all points!
    #61
  2. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,061
    Location:
    Okiehoma

    Hhhhmmm......interesting.. You seem a bit zealous.

    Have you ever ridden an F800GS more than around the block? Just curious.

    And, you can still Cut & Paste.....I get that part.

    I don't think I've yet ever told anyone what bike they should buy or ride, as you imply. Again, I've merely stated my own personal experience with both of these models that I have actually owned and ridden for many many miles.

    You interpret it how you please.

    HF :thumbup
    #62
  3. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,216
    Location:
    India Wharf

    :lol3

    :freaky
    #63
  4. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,061
    Location:
    Okiehoma
    #64
  5. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,061
    Location:
    Okiehoma

    What say you to my question....DesertSurfer??? :ear

    Oh well, I guess not. Figured that was the case. Too bad, I was enjoying the discussion...


    Now then, why would anyone think I don't like KTM's? Where did I ever imply that? In fact, My all time most favorite bike in the whole world was very likely the KTM 200 EXC 2-stroke version. Ho-ch-momma its nice and nimble in the trails. Not much of a road crusier though. :cry

    Cheers everyone! :freaky Next subject...

    HF :thumbup
    #65
  6. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,459
    Location:
    Annapolis Maryland
    If you think every time you're riding your racing. Get the 950. If you just want to tool around like an old fart, get the bmw.

    Sure the motor is grumpy when cold if you got carbs, and has some fueling issues right off idle if you got FI. So don't ride it there stop driving it like grandma and twist that bitch open and let it sing.

    Bike feels heavy, go faster they don't feel so heavy then. And honestly if anyone thinks it feels that heavy they're probably trying to muscle the bike around instead of ride the bike, it carries the weight low once you get it going you don't know you aren't on a dirt bike. I think it feels like a DRZ, of course the drz is a heavy as mofo.

    I'm always trying to find things to jump and wheelie over on the 950.

    You think the bikes to heavy to pick up after you crash, goto the gym.

    if you previously owned a KLR and thought it was awesome, buy the bmw.

    If you think the stock screen sucks ass then stand up, nice clean air up there, why are you sitting down anyhow? Are you going slow again?

    If those statements offend you, buy the BMW and make sure you get some high-viz to go with it. :)
    #66
  7. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,918
    Location:
    City of the Angels
    As Quoted by MotoTex:

    As a fellow who was considering the F800, seriously considering it, before I decided to buy an 04 950, the reason I went the way I did hadn't been mentioned by the time I stopped reading the article.

    Here's the deal-breaker for me and the F800. I did not want to purchase an "adventure" bike that is WIDELY KNOWN to bend the frame when landing jumps. Maybe BMW doesn't expect folks to actually ride the bikes as the advertisements show them being ridden.

    Now, to emphasize my point, I'm not talking Evel Knievel jumps. In fact, a friend picked up a new F800 this Summer, and he rides very conservatively. As in, he doesn't like getting dirt on the bike. Well, he ordered one of the kits to strengthen the upper shock mount as a precautionary measure.

    With less than 1500 miles on this new, tenderly ridden bike and having never taken it off-road and having avoided most dirt roads, he went to install the kit and found the upper shock bolt was already bent. This was from riding mostly solo and a couple of hundred miles of two-up. If this bending goes too far it bends the frame of the bike. BMW has reportedly warrantied several bikes over this, but, to my knowledge, haven't stopped production and addressed this seemingly significant issue with a redesign of the frame.

    To say that I'm disappointed in the German engineering is an understatement. Why would anyone spend this kind of money on a bike that bends the upper shock bolt on routine street riding, much less a bike that is presented as an off-road capable bike derived from a Paris-Dakar racing pedigree?

    Call me crazy, but I went with an old KTM over a new BMW when I could have gone either way. (also bought old KTM over new KTM, as pre-farkled has it's own advantages as well) END QUOTE...


    As quoted by DesertSurfer:

    I simply would not risk riding an f800 until it gets much more product development. I'm sure BMW has every intention of working out the kinks on their mid sized adventure tourer, just as every manufacturer does throughout the evolution of every new product release.

    When I purchased my KTM 950 adventure tourer, it was to upgrade from my modified Honda Transalp, which I had followed during it's development process. My Transalp was ahead of it's time. A product designed and developed from the rigors of Dakar Rallies. I really wanted an Africa Twin, but that bike was never released in the states. I am a hardcore follower of the Dakar, and watched the KTM 950 develop into a solid machine for Rallies and Adventure touring. The development process for both of my bikes had similar histories, a method I believe sound in an adventure touring bike. One that's proven.

    I believe BMW used that same development process for their early GSPD, but they ended those commitments extremely early on and certainly did not carry that over into their f800 product. In my personal opinion, the f800 would have benefitted greatly had it undergone those criteria.

    I, like all dedicated adventure tourers, were anticipating the release of the f800 with high expectations. The f800 weighs no lighter then my slightly modified 950 and offers no advantages to make me want to change over.

    And, believe me when I say this... at 52 years old, I'd love to reduce about 100 lbs. off the ass of my 950. But not by sacrificing the overall handling, dependability and torque to weight ratio that my bike possesses. BMW played it's hand out when it released the f800, and it is not a revolutionary design, and certainly not a trendsetter.

    When motorcycle manufacturers continue to advance design to shed weight without compromising durability, like using trellis frames to link motor with subframe, or lighter weight motor design, and inexpensive versions of carbon wrap... then you will see the next jump in revolutionary design.


    You want examples... look at how much carbon fiber is available stock on a Ducati Teste or Multi. Watch how revolutionary Aprilia is going with their mid sized dual sport swing arms and framettes.

    I didn't see any of this in the first generations of the f800.

    The trellis, front suspension and first and foremost... the LC8 motor of the KTM 950 were design virtuosos for an adventure rally and adventure touring bike.

    These features are 10 years old and still the basis for their bikes.

    I just need to see more out of BMW on the evolution of the f800 before I get excited. The f800 is not an upward design path and I just don't have the time for it yet.

    But trust me, I'll continue watching out from the corner of my eye.

    Just my worthless 2 cents.

    All joking aside this time.
    #67
  8. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,371
    Location:
    Nor Ca.
    Hard to hear you over the buffeting of your windscreen. Well, your reading skills are excellent. We know the shock bolt bend if you bottom the weak springs that BMW provides. As you mentioned there is a fix. Have you found one for that leaky clutch slave cylinder yet?

    Have you priced a new KTM 990? For the difference a F800 owner could add Ohlins front and rear, a few have. Then what would be the complaint? Seems to have a trellis frame. The frame geometry is pretty simililar. Ah, that marvelous motor.

    I don't think BMW will put that stroked 800 engine into the F800. What a shame, same power as the KTM. They will leave that to the Husquarna 900.

    You do have one advantage, used KTM's go pretty cheap, not likely to happen with a BMW for a while.

    Yes in 2002 KTM won Dakar on the 950. Did you know BMW won it in 1999-2000 with a F650. You really think you are riding a clone?

    You love your KTM, we get it. We can read about KTM issues just like anyone can read about issues with the F800. Neither are perfect and all can be dealt with if the pocket book is big enough and the owner is willing. They are more similiar than you think if you got your head out of the Koolaid bowl and looked at the spec sheet. :bert
    #68
  9. DesertSurfer

    DesertSurfer Tail sprayin

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,918
    Location:
    City of the Angels
    I'd give more credit to a bike that came out 5 plus years earlier, with features considered ahead of it's time... regardless of branding and badging... then a come lately derivative ( as you state: similar frame, similar specs).

    Imagine one of the largest bike manufacturers in the world, having a product released 5 plus years later and being compared ( by it's own brand loyalist) to a much older product in the same category from one of the smallest of manufacturers... as similar. You don't say anything about it having the latest technology, being more powerful, having better suspension or being far more innovative.

    I would expect more out of BMW because of the resources they have available, the network they've developed and the sales they generate from their loyalists. Who would have thought a little tiny company in rural Mattenhoffen would have out designed them in a category they helped define?

    I'm not a KTM enthusiast as much as I am a motorcycle enthusiast. I own a variety of bikes... ones which have withstood the sands of time.

    I do however, always side with the underdog. And in this David and Goliath scenario, David won out this time.

    If you compare someone who bought a first year KTM 950 to a first year BMW f800, you got more for your money with the KTM 950... plain and simple ( By the way, I paid $12,500 for my 950 S new in '04).

    That's not to say either bike is for everybody. But the 950 set the bar extremely high out of the gate. BMW needed to step it up... lighter, plusher, stronger... period.

    I'm sure they will, but tomorrow is kinda late for the loyalists who've already bet the cow on it.

    Not sure how you can continue to argue this, but o.k., knock yourself out.

    I'm not saying the f800 is not a platform worthy of building on, just saying it is NOT superior to the KTM 990... period.
    #69
  10. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,371
    Location:
    Nor Ca.
    BMW is certainly capable of building a better bike. It is built to a price point. To add top of the line suspension and motor mods, they would have to price it at the same level as KTM and they would be in competition with their own 1200gs.

    You do know why they big twins are no longer allowed at Dakar, don't you?
    #70
  11. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,061
    Location:
    Okiehoma

    Now....that's an excellent post, DesertSurfer.....thanks!

    Valid points to a strong degree....some valid concerns which have fixes available. All things of which you should not have to do for a bike so expensive from a company with such a long history.

    I'm jumping my highly modified F800 with no problems. I run it on my track in back yard....for fun. I don't think I've bent my frame, but I did overhaul the suspension and the shock mount.

    No doubt the 950 is more exponential motor with better offroad toughness (out of the crate). I loved twisting its throttle, but because of that, the back end was more prone to get away from me in the dirt. The F800 motor seems very linear in power deliver. I can just hammer it hard and it goes forward with excellent traction.

    I have some more thoughts. Need to run....I'll be return.

    HF :thumbup
    #71
  12. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,061
    Location:
    Okiehoma
    Ok....back from my errand.

    This comparison between 950 & 800 is a worthy discussion, but there is always so much "wind buffeting" as Itsatdm has said, every time the discussion is held.

    I agree with your points, DesertSurfer, about the disappointment that BMW, being who they are, seemed to come up short of perfection in a few areas....maybe several areas. I don't know if that was driven by cost savings, short sightedness, or quite possibly, a different "end" in mind.

    In reality, 75% or more of the 500lb class Adventure bikes probably never get further from a dirt road than a tent site. Maybe they shouldn't. Then, along comes a few riders like you and me who have visions of something much more sinister....:evil And, so it begins.

    It sounds like you haven't had any decent saddle time on the F800. If not, you're frame of reference is limited in this case, to a spec sheet and imagination, plus feedback from others who have. Wish we could ride together, swapping bikes for some real testing, as it seems we do similar things and have "setup" for it. That would be fun.

    My carb'd '04 950 was super smooth off bottom.....WAY more than the FI 990, for obvious reasons. That made it significantly better in the dirt, than my friends 990. This was critical due to the exponential power delivery of that motor. I've not ridden a more recent 990, so I don't know if or how they might have fixed that issue....probably not. Most FI bikes (at least in the early years) had very snatchy take-off from idle, at least those made for the dirt, that I've experienced.

    What captivated me with the F800 was the way the bike felt and handled, coupled with the linear smooth power delivery. It was snatchy off bottom, but that was easily fixable. The frame geometry and weight distribution was magical to me. Floats effortlessly responding to my inputs easily, turns on a dime, and has amazingly good traction due to all of that. It really surprised me. :eek1 The 500 lbs bike felt more like 350 between my legs. Putting the tank beneath the seat was a superb idea, I think. Weight distribution seems to be about 50/50 front to rear. The bike has a very weight neutral feeling to me when in motion....relatively speaking.

    I discovered a "platform" that I had been looking for....something hard to define, but easy to "feel". The important things were there....which were not easily altered. All the other things I wanted, could be easily altered (though some expensively). I didn't find that on my 950, and it was disappointing. The difference: I rode on my 950, while I feel one with my 800. It somehow pushed my button.....satisfied an inner yearning. Had nothing to do with brand image or loyalty whatsoever. Heck, I had never even ridden a single BMW in my life, before my F800 test ride. :lol3 Scouts Honor.

    Either bike could be ridden in stock form indefinitely, as designed for the masses. If someone wants a better 500lb whale for the dirt....right out of the crate.....the 950 is the way to go. That has been clearly stated by many in this Thread, so it doesn't need to be passionately defended any further.

    BUT my F800, after my personal mods, has become a more lethal weapon for me, than my 950 ever was. Hands down, no contest. Its been an interesting project. I too am 50 yrs old, and slowing down a bit with each galactical rotation. Maybe that has something to do with it....I donno.

    HF :lurk
    #72
  13. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,061
    Location:
    Okiehoma
    :rofl Good post. Behind the humor, there are a few truths hiding in there...

    We all need to go to the gym more regularly. I try....I ride my bike to it, then seem to just keep on riding...dang it. :D

    This is a "comparison" thread. The F800 is significantly easier to pick-up than the 950. Shockingly so. :deal

    But, that would be in stock form without extra wires, tires, antifreeze, and those accessories.....I mean you can get stereo, tape, and color TV....a backseat bar and reclining seats.....and pay just once a month, like you do your rent. I figured it up....over a period of time....and this $12,000 bike of mine cost 24,000 dollars & 99 cents!

    HF :thumb
    #73
  14. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,061
    Location:
    Okiehoma
    HOLY SMOKES ! ! !

    Itsatdm........I just now got it! [​IMG]

    I'm a little slow, ok a lot, sometimes. I've been pondering your little hint....and you're right, of course!

    ITS A TDM

    That there is the best ADV "Handle" for an F800GS owner that could possibly exist. :clap

    You should change your Avatar photo to help make more sense....but photoshop a BMW logo on it.

    HF :thumbup
    #74
  15. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,459
    Location:
    Annapolis Maryland
    And that right there is the crux of the issue isn't it. BMW compromises shit to hit a price point. KTM doesn't.
    #75
  16. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,459
    Location:
    Annapolis Maryland
    So does a 150R. I let my right hand control my wheel spin. :pynd





    and for the dense lawyers among this bmw crowd. Obviously all my post are said tongue in cheek. While you guys are putting your high viz road crafter I'm going to go do some coke off a hookers titty. Let me know when you're ready to ride.
    #76
  17. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,061
    Location:
    Okiehoma

    Well...now you've just gone too far crofrog, and made a fool of yourself.

    Do your homework first. I doubt that you have any better throttle control than I do, unless you also have spent the past 25 years in Observed Trials competition at the National Championship level.

    On this particular issue, I do know my subject. And remember, this is a "comparative" thread between two specific bikes, not just some obscure general discussion. Comparatively, the 950/990 is definitely more difficult to control the rear wheel on dirt than the F800. That is one of the reasons that makes the F800 surprisingly nice in the dirt. Most riders do not have such superior throttle hand control as you claim to have. But, this does not mean the 950 is bad out there.

    So, you lose this point on the basis of such a ridiculous comparison. It would appear that you probably have not ridden an F800 either. Or, at least not more than around the block. :1drink

    HF :thumbup
    #77
  18. Pantah

    Pantah PJ Fan from Boston

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    11,216
    Location:
    India Wharf
    Don't mind him. He's inexperienced and doesn't know what he speaks. His reference to 'racing' and 'old farts' told us that much. :D
    #78
  19. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,371
    Location:
    Nor Ca.
    It is called business. See who sells the most bikes. The platform is good. the 10% who want to want to try their hand at single track on it, can add the parts that make it possible. The fact that they could have bought a KTM with what they invested, does not make it a bad business plan.

    Any idea why KTM sold 39% of their stock to Bajai, a scooter firm from India?
    #79
  20. crofrog

    crofrog Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,459
    Location:
    Annapolis Maryland
    Time to put on my serious face.

    I wasn't really trying to win the point. So lighten up :). In the same post I compared a F800 to a 150R I talked about doing coke of a hookers tit, that's what those in law enforcement would call a clue.

    I personally think they're both good bikes, just at different ends of the spectrum inside the big traile category. The 950 adventure has more in common with an Hp2 than a 1200gs or a F800. They've all got their problems, I think for the most part we can agree if you want to go stupid fast on a big bike the F800 is a bit less well suited than the 950 for the same thing. At the same time if I wanted to not have to think about the bike as much and just cruise along enjoying the views and the ride I'm sure I'd be happy on an F800.
    #80