F800GS vs Tiger vs Ulysses XB12XT vs VStrom

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by mrbreeze, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road

    Jan 13, 2007
    I am kicking it around, all these bikes are in the same neighborhood, price wise. I have a BMW R1100RL and the BMW dealer says he can easily sell it and would love to have it on the showroom floor. He wants to trade for the F800GS. I like this bike. It has ABS, but it is over $13k without bags on it. The seat looks like it would be very uncomfortable. It's thin and narrow and that is just the opposite of my backside. I am also somewhat concerned about the reliability, as BMW has taken their knocks in recent years.

    The Tiger is way cool. I like the fit and finish and I hear the motor is great. The one I am looking at does not have ABS though, and I don't like the Triumph luggage at all, but there does not seem to be a lot of aftermarket luggage available for this bike - but there is Givi, and I like Givi. This bike is a new 2008 model, but the dealer doesn't seem to eager to come off the price.

    I like the Ulysses because it is American made, and so am I. It comes with luggage and a big comfy seat. Heated grips are standard, as well. Never having to adjust the valves is a plus, as well as the belt final drive. I hear the stories about engine heat and fan noise, and again I am concerned about the reliability.

    Then there is the VStrom. Great price. You can get the 650 version with ABS. Reliability is not a concern, and there are tons of after market goodies available. But some say "Suzuki" is Japanese for cheap suspension and brakes.

    Oh what to do?
  2. unbeliever

    unbeliever Been here awhile

    Sep 14, 2008
    I am in the same boat but I ruled out the Buell. Im just not a fan of them. I know it is a styling thing for me, that and the fan and heat. I have test ridden a tiger over 200 miles. FANTASTIC bike!!!! That motor cant be beat. Its on the top of my list right now. To be fair I need to ride the 800gs though. I have the same concerns as you. I see a lot of issues with the 800. But then again all the people that love theres dont start threads saying how much they love it. Easier to start threads about problems. Im a bit worried about the power though. Also, do I want to drop a 13,000 dollar dirt bike? Im really leaning towards a dr650 and a Tiger. I would be totally covered then. Oh and as far as the Strom, eh, not much for me.
  3. gsilvernale

    gsilvernale Lowlander

    Jan 1, 2007
    Every bike is a compromise. Depends on what you are going to do with it, where are you going to ride it.

    I rode the Vstrom - did not move me.
    Owned a BMW before - interesting, but something was missing?
    Triumph? I have never ridden - dealers are not very plentiful.

    Uly - soul yes - fun to ride - yes. Go long distances - yes (with frequent fill ups). Heat - yes, no fun in stop and go. Reliability - not much of an issue here.

    I have owned 10+ bikes - the Uly is fun in the twisties, cruising the back roads, and works well on the freeway. Is it my last bike? I hope not, but it will do for a while.
  4. FX4

    FX4 Adventurer

    Apr 21, 2009
    Yea that is pretty much why my next bike will be the ULY. Won't ever touch another BMW product again.
  5. Snr Moment

    Snr Moment Unafarkler

    Nov 10, 2008
    Billings, MT
    Four different bikes. You're going to have to ride them all to see what's best for you.
    I own a Uly - heat's not bad and fixable with the 2010 Rider Comfort Kit ($120.00), had a coil problem (fixed under the 2 year unlimited mileage warranty), vibration is not bad (used to ride an 03 Road King).
    Parts are relatively cheap, comfortable for distance and insane fun to ride.
  6. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

    Mar 14, 2009
    DFW Area, TX
    Good luck with a Uly! I get a smile when people complain about BMW for various reasons. I would love to see other bikes rack up the miles like the BMWs have. The previous poster unbeliever got it right when he said most people post about problems. I have my F800GS, it is my dream bike and I can't imagine anything other.

    The F800GS is a $13k dirt bike, yes. The previous owner to mine admitted to two drops (barely a scratch) and I have dropped it three times in the past three weeks. No damage, no scratches, pick it up and keep going (oh yeah, lots of mods and farkles to keep it that way).

    IMHO the F800GS is out of the league of the other bikes mentioned in this thread for anything besides pavement. If you want to do dirt go for the 8GS. If you want to do street, the others come into play. Cheers! :freaky
  7. Kidder

    Kidder Poser

    Jan 18, 2004
    DFW, TX, USA
    You need to test ride all of them.

    BMW - I wouldn't be worried about the reliability. You've got chain final drive and the motor seems to be pretty dialed in. The price sucks. I want one.

    Uly - I'm intrigued by it, as well. I really need to test ride one. Owners of them are fanatical.

    Triumph - great powerplant. Definitely the sportiest of the bunch.

    V-strom - the 650 has damping rod forks. Yes, they are low grade. But, for a few hundred you can get Racetech springs that will make it much more compliant. The brakes are okay. Nothing really to write home about. Have you considered the 1000? No ABS but cartridge forks and a bigger engine. Ergos are the same as the 650 if you get the same seat that is on the 1000.

    Good luck in your hunt.
  8. mbabc

    mbabc Curmudgeon trainee

    May 28, 2007
    Louisville, KY
    Kind of in the same boat. I have a KLR for the dirty stuff, but want something more hwy. worthy. The BMW would be too much like the KLR (I know, I know...), I haven't looked to closely at the tiger, guess I need to. The 650 strom would be great, but I'm really leaning towards the Uly.

    Choices are great.
  9. StinkyCheese

    StinkyCheese Red or Green?

    Jun 6, 2008
    Las Cruces, NM
    The decision for me would be between the Tiger and F800GS. In fact I am having that battle right now. Leaning towards the Tiger. It's just a cool, I mean wicked cool bike! I have a KLR 650 so the dirt is covered... Ride em all and see what fits! Good luck.
  10. Bushwhacker

    Bushwhacker Dirt, Sweat & Gears

    Jul 23, 2004
    Houston, Texas
    I had the Tiger 1050, Traded it for the F800GS. This is the response I gave someone else who asked -

    I guess the best way to explain it is -

    So many bikes, so little time.

    There was nothing wrong with the Tiger. It was a great bike.

    The triple engine is smooth as glass. The Tiger put a bit over 90 hp to the rear wheel and ran like a champ.

    Fast, handled well and I never had a problem with it.

    When I bought it I wanted a pure street bike and do not let anyone kid you. It is a street bike. 17 inch wheels front and rear and sport bike tires.

    It did everything I asked of it and more. I took it on several trips. One to <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">Yellowstone</st1:place> was 4500 miles in 15 days. Then just this past May I took it to <st1:City w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Myrtle Beach</st1:place></st1:City> bike week and to the smokies. 3500 miles in 12 days.

    I just decided it was time for something different. Due to a previous personal experience I will not buy another primary bike without ABS. The Tiger had ABS and the GS has ABS. (That put the Uly and the DL1000 out of the running for me)

    I wanted to be able to take dirt and gravel roads and maybe do a little dual track, no single track or serious off road and the GS seemed to be just the ticket.

    Because of the heat (Houston Weather not Bike) I have only put a few miles on the GS so I really can not give you a good evaluation of the GS but there are lots of glowing review here on Adv Rider.

    The few things I have noticed I will mention, the GS is a twin and vibrates quite a bit more than the Triumph triple.

    It does not have the same power. In situations where I would just roll on the throttle of the Tiger I find I do better with a down shift on the GS.

    But I expected this and do not see them as "shortcomings". Twins vibrate more than the Triumph Triple, I knwe this going in as most everything vibrates more than the Triumph Triple (Goldwing and Valkyrie 6 cylinders being the main exception).

    As far as the power difference, I also knew this going in -- 85 crank HP vs 90 to the rear wheel. But the GS has plenty of power and it is really just a change in riding habits.

    I feel I made a good decision due to the off road capabilities of the GS.

    When I bought the F800 I had every intention of getting the F650 twin (same engine) because I did not think I needed the extra ability of the F800. When I test rode the two bikes it was just no comparison. It was like night and day. The F800 just fit me better than the F650. I liked the ergonomics better, the throttle response better and the brakeing better.

    It was kinda like the line from the Transformers movie when the kid bought the Camaro. You don't pick the bike, the bike picks you.

    In my opinion it really depends on what you want to do with the bike.

    The Tiger is smoother and more powerful than the GS but in my opinion is a pure street bike.

    The GS has more capabilities for road surface and off road capabilities but a bias ply 21 inch front tire will never be the canyon carver the Tiger is.

    Again I may change my mind after I get to put a few miles on the GS (Taking a 6 day trip to <st1:State w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Arkansas</st1:place></st1:State> in September) but currently I have no problem recommending either one.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
  11. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

    Sep 27, 2008
    Melcher, Iowa
    Research them enough and it seems all bikes have there flaws. Suzuki seems to need money spent on upgrades, but is stone reliable. Some love them, some find them sorta bland thats entirely a personal thing.

    The tiger imo is a cool bike if it fits you. Likely offers the true best bang for your buck vs reliability IMO only. The thing just doesnt fit me though so I'll never know what it's like to ride.

    F800GS is a smaller bike physically and motor wise, making it more agile for dirt work. Neat bike, but a niche bike you'll have to decide if it's for you most certainly. If I lived in an area I thought I could make better use of its dirt worthiness I'd have to consider it.

    There there is the buell....... The heat problems have been addressed w/ the rider comfort kit and a reflash for the 08's and up or so we are told. There are stil problems with wheel bearings, some mostly minor wiring problems(few bad connectors/grounds). Vibes like mad at idle, redlines fast, short fuel stops, yet I still think it appeals to me the most and I really want one.......see how personal this mess is :)
  12. Hughlysses

    Hughlysses Long timer

    Jun 2, 2004
    Salters, SC
    The 2010 Ulys have an updated rear wheel design using 3 (vs. 2) larger diameter wheel bearings with separate dust seals and an anodized axle to prevent corrosion. This looks like it should put the bearing issues to bed once and for all. The new wheel setup is retrofitable to earlier Ulys for about $350.

    If you're in the market for a Uly and you're anywhere remotely close to middle Tennessee, you might be interested in this thread: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=496557
  13. NJ Moto

    NJ Moto Long timer

    Aug 27, 2005
    Bergen County, NJ
    For me it would be the V-Strom. The hardest decision would be choosing between the 650 or 1000.
  14. Y E T I

    Y E T I Unpossible

    Apr 26, 2007
    San Diego

    I don't understand how the 800GS is in your consideration. Or how the others are. If you're going to ride much dirt, go with the 800GS, period. If you're not going to ride dirt, go with one of the other three and compare them to a slightly used 1200GS.

    I chose the 800GS.
  15. East Coast Rider

    East Coast Rider Just Me...

    Nov 8, 2007
    Stuck somewhere in motorcycle Purgatory
    $250.00 will get you Ractech springs AND the cartridge emulators...
  16. ccherry

    ccherry carter

    Nov 13, 2007
    Placitas, NM
    without test riding very hard to make the right choice for yourself. we all have our opinions and are entitled to them. for me it was the test rides, some long, some short.......went with the Tiger 1050 ABS and love it. highest grin factor of anything i tried:D

    good luck!
  17. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road

    Jan 13, 2007
    Why would it be the V-Strom?
  18. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road

    Jan 13, 2007
    Thanks. I live about 45 miles from there. Maybe I will pay them a visit soon.
  19. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze I keep blowing down the road

    Jan 13, 2007
    thanks for all the great replies. For me, right now I would rank them in this order (but I still haven't done any test rides, it is supposed to rain all week)

    V-Strom - probably the big boy, the DL1000. I like the black bike. I also like the price, and I like the Japanese switch gear and reliability. I like the look of the Givi v35 panniers on the bike. Lots of aftermarket support available.

    Tiger is a close second. Never heard a bad word about this bike, and it has definitely got the cool factor going for it.

    Ulysses is still within striking distance. It's already got a good seat, luggage, and heated grips. Should not need much in the way of Farkles...

    F800GS - I don't expect to do much off pavement riding, other than an occasional gravel road, and it seems all three of the others are better street/commuting/touring bikes.

    Most of my riding is commuting. I live 56 miles from work, and there are some great roads in between, including the north end of the Natchez Trace Parkway. Some of those roads are littered with potholes and gravel in the corners. I like to meet the boys for the occasional Saturday morning breakfast and then do a bit of corner carving. These guys ride big sport touring rigs, Concours and FJR. Occasionally I will go for a ride with some of my cruiser buddies, so my bike has to be fun to ride slow, or I get bored, pass every body, and they get PO'ed. I like to do at least one road trip a year. This usually involves camping gear, so I need to be able to carry a lot of stuff. I like the wide seat and standard bags on the XB12XT.
  20. aogop

    aogop Adventurer

    Feb 28, 2008
    It is hard to go wrong with a DL1000 as a commuter bike. I ride to work on mine 9 or so months out of the year. The only issue I have with my bike is the tiny amount of wattage available for accessories.