First post for me..hello !

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by mrcolin2u, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. mrcolin2u

    mrcolin2u n00b

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    I have been looking at BMW GS models for a long time and finally have decided to go for it.
    I haven't ridden a motorbike in 25yrs so I wlll be taking a weekend riding safety course before I go for my motorcycle test at the DMV.

    I have my heart set on a F800GS and wondered if anyone else here on the forum has one as a first bike, because it has been so long for me it will be like my first.

    Also, I have never bought a new bike before, can you wheel and deal like buying a car ?
    I saw a 30yr anniversary model today at a dealers and it looked awesome, I would love to own that bike.

    Anyway, thanks to all, in advance for any feedback to this thread..
    #1
  2. GeckoRider

    GeckoRider Been here awhile

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    Welcome, and good thinking about taking the riding course. As far as the F800GS being a good bike to start over on I am not so sure. It's well mannered, balanced, but it's also very tall, heavy for being so tall, and it has plenty of power which can be good or bad depending on how it is used.

    Guess hearing more about what you intend on doing on the bike would help as well as how you would "rate" yourself athletically and your comfort level with motorcycles in general. More info will help.
    #2
  3. giodog2000

    giodog2000 Been here awhile

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    First, welcome to the asylum :D

    Even if you stopped riding for a long periode of time , you'll probably pick it back up in no time. The 800 ( I have the 650 but kinda the same) probably would be intimidating for someone who never rode a bike before. I stopped riding for 10 years before I bought mine and after a few days things started to feel natural again. It's like riding a bike .... you never really forget. :rofl

    It's a great bike , you'll love it!

    In my case there wasn't much dealing possible . But you can surely try, even more so if you have a few BMW dealers near you....

    Good luck and make sure to post pics when you get it.
    #3
  4. replicant

    replicant consummate n00b

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    Welcome! Good idea on the safety course, I did the same thing and it was really great. I started riding in November '09 with no prior experience and I bought a used '09 F650GS. It was a handful in the very beginning, but after a few weeks I was very confident and infinitely glad I didn't start out with something smaller.

    As for the purchase, in my case the dealer asked $8k (it was flawless with 2300mi., no OBC though). I offered 7 and he complained and ended up knocking it down to $7800. His reasoning was it was a popular bike, and a used one was rare and would go fast. I guessed as much, but what I've learned since then from people on ADV is the dealers' margin on the bikes is low; it's the accessories and services where they make their money (although with my bike he probably gave the previous owner 2/3's of the price toward the F8 he traded it for). So good luck, but don't expect much wiggle room.
    #4
  5. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    if your heart is set, anything is possible.

    At speed the F800GS is stable and forgiving. It has plenty HP to keep you entertained, but notso much that you need to learn how to deal withtank slapers. The F800GS is an easy bike to learn to go fast on and off road, far easier then most.

    At low speed, starts and stops, inseam or talent is important.

    My inseam is 32' and even with a low seat, it took some getting used to. Unless your inseam is less then 30", this is not a big deal, but have the dealer install crash bars before you pick the bike up. I would suggest SW Motech bars, cheap and very strong.

    The types of oopsies more likely on a tall bike are 5 mph tip overs. With crash bars and hand gaurds this equals a scratch on the bars, without it can cost $500+ on the first tip over.

    I have sold2 F800GS's to new riders, one returning after a decade without, one as their first ever motorcycle. Both are happy, neither are dead :)

    I would reccomend you get a bike with ABS, it can be a life saver to anyone but especially to a new or returning rider.

    There is much less margin in a motorcycles then cars, and less margin in an F800GS then almost any other BMW.

    If your dealer likes your personality he may offer a small discount, especially if he or she thinks you are going to be a good customer, but don't expect much.

    A few dealers may offer discounts because they are in financhial trouble, but don't expect to build a relationship with them as they are likely to go under.

    Every dealer got exactly one 30th year F800GS, so there's even less likelyhood of getting a discount on this bike.

    My dealerships business model is to offer very high customer service. We will pick you up if your stranded, deliver your motorcycle to you, invite you on group rides, work technicians overtime if your bike is broken, allow test rides on any bike 5 days a week, and treat you like family.

    As such, if you aproach us as a friend and ask for something off, we will probably do it as long as we believe you will be as loyal to us as we will be to you.

    If on the other hand you demand sharp discounts bassed on the state of the economy, test ride other models and farkles then price shop to save a few bucks, we will cheerfully give you a map to another dealer of your choosing.

    The moral here is don't just shop for the best price, shop for a great dealer, convince them you are going to be a loyal customer, and build a relationship that benifits both of you.

    If there are no good dealerships near by, fly to chicago BMW and ride home, they are the cheapest dealer in the USA, but don't expect good service from them.

    In any case, awesome bike, have fun, get all the training you can, enjoy the ride!
    #5
  6. AK_Troyer

    AK_Troyer Not AKTroy

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    I went 16 years without a motorcycle, and after drooling over the GS's for the last 10 years, I finally bucked up and got the 800. I've had her 3 weeks and I'll roll over 2k miles tomorrow (I didn't buy it to look at it).

    One of the first things you'll need to buy is a new seat or a comfy cover, because you're ass will go numb otherwise.

    Welcome to ADV, and good luck on your decision.
    #6
  7. Nictrolis

    Nictrolis Been here awhile

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    If you really want to be as safe as you can, you should take the MSF course (like you're planning), buy the bike (plus crash bars!), and then take the Advanced MSF course.

    Availability can vary by location, but the general idea for the advanced course is to teach you to ride better *on your own bike.* They're currently rolling out new courses so who knows what they'll teach you, but if you're in the least bit worried about being able to handle your new F800GS, go to one of these and they'll get you riding it like a pro in no time.

    Note that I personally haven't taken the advanced course, but I do have friends who have done so and they say it's worth every penny, at least in building your confidence on your bike.

    Good luck!!
    #7
  8. raider

    raider Big red dog

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    As long as you're conscious of the concept that your skills aren't 100% yet and ride with a due sense of caution, you'll be fine. Mentally prepare yourself for the probability that the bike will fall over and break bits - crashbars are essential - the 800 is otherwise quite robust in a tipover.
    #8
  9. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    I can attest! I'm sure I've dropped mine at least 20+ times and with crash bars and hand guards the result has only been a couple bent brake/shift foot levers and minor scratches on the crash bars and exhaust. I just take out my multi-tool and bend the levers back into place (they are steel and not aluminum for this exact reason) and ride on!
    #9
  10. Wildman

    Wildman In my castle

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    First bike for me. Test rode a 1200GS and Katoom 990 and decided they were too big, too heavy and too much. Went with the 800GS and love it. If you're still nervous of the power/speed, maybe consider taking the front sprocket down to 15 teeth (check in the index for reports) until you feel more comfortable. Put some crash bars on it and ride with your head, not your wrist and you'll be fine.
    #10
  11. mrcolin2u

    mrcolin2u n00b

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    I was looking at the F800GS today and was told that crash bars only get in the way and I could get a stick on plastic protector for the side panel that would work just as well. Personally I think the crash bars would offer better protection.
    #11
  12. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    Stick with your intuition. The plastic is fragile and expensive. Even a standing drop will damage your radiator and probably more. Crash bars would be the first thing I ordered.
    #12
  13. ecce

    ecce Been here awhile

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    The Givi bars are cheap (<90 euros on ebay), easy to fit, looks nice and protects well.

    The bike is really easy and comfortable to ride in lower speeds where the engine vibrates less and the wind becomes less of an issue.

    It is not a bike that will tempt you to break a speed record on a long straight road. It is begging to be ridden on unpaved roads.

    If you prefer the paved roads but still want the option I would go for the f650gs and a lower seat (depending on how tall you are). The 650gs is more or less an optimum entry level bike. The 800gs is a little bit more wild and a higher price tag.

    The upright driving position makes it an easy type of bike to ride and the overall quality is great!

    Go for it! (and dont forget protection. Real motorbike stuff. Full face helmet and separate back protector)
    #13
  14. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    what dealer came up with that crock???
    #14
  15. JoelWisman

    JoelWisman Long timer

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    wait, perhaps your dealer only carried BMW products? BMW crash bars are worse then nothing at all, they tip the bike right onto the radiator.

    Givi are ok, tt are ok, adventure tech bend, sw motech are my favorite for protection, and the cheapest, but they do increase vibration some above 4000 rpm
    #15
  16. Waino

    Waino Adventurer

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    My 2 cents.

    Unless you plan on getting off pavement frequently, my advice would be to look at the F650GS. Still plenty of power, a little lower, and with the smaller front tire, easier to maneuver. It's an awesome street bike, and capable of taking on fire roads.

    By all means ride both before you decide. The snatchy throttle on the 800 takes quite a bit of getting used to, even for someone who has been riding for awhile. You can't go wrong with either bike, but I'd start with the F650 as the default choice.

    Like I said. Free advice is worth just that.
    #16
  17. hungrosity

    hungrosity Oh! So I'm the Ass

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    I am a noob rider compared to the adventurers on this site so please take my advice for what it is worth. I ride probably 70% on road and 30% off road with my '09 800GS. I love it. It is super fun in the winding twisty roads, plenty of power to haul my fat ass around, and does more than I will probably ever be able to handle off road. My inseam is 30" and I had the bike seat switched for a lower option from the dealer. The seat is made the bike manageable for me and I can have both feet pretty solidly on the ground at a stop. It is still a little tall when doing offroad but I haven't had any incidents. I have dropped the bike a couple times but both were either at stand still or very slow speed. It had to do with gravel where I was putting my foot down (I live in Colorado and there is sand/gravel on the roads all the time). Both times my hard bags (Hepco and Becker Gobi) kept the bike from messing up anything requiring money or time to fix. I highly suggest these bags as they have been proven (in my world) to be pretty bombproof and easy to handle.

    Here is the biggest 4 pieces of advice I can give as a non-beastly adventurer..........

    1) TAKE THE CLASS. There is no substitute for learning to ride (again) than a structured class in the care of professional teachers on other people's bikes. As much as there is daring and sometimes outlandish things on this forum, I think most would agree that you are ultimately responsible for your own safety which includes your bike handling skills and wearing the proper equipment even if it doesn't look as cool as some of the other MC riders out there.

    2) The biggest thing I had to get used to with the 800 GS was the twitchy throttle. At low speeds it can really throw you off balance and if you are attempting single track offroad or something that requires precision, the throttle can take some getting used to. There are those that say switching to a 17 tooth gear in the front will reduce the twitchiness and lower your RPM's at highway speeds. I don't know but I have been considering it.

    3) It is easy to get sucked into these forums and ADV is absolutely the most fun and easy to get sucked in to. There are many people on here with a myriad of opinions on how to set up your bike, what the best things to do on your bike are, and how you should behave in order to become a beastly adventurer. Take all of it with a grain of salt and integrate what works for you. There is a ton of great information here on bikes, rides, great people, and tech advice. But, ultimately, you are the one who is going riding and you have to find what works best for you.

    4) Your bike should give you a boner. I have had the bike for almost two years and still open the door to the garage to look at it from time to time. I love the way it looks, rides, and just the sheer enjoyment of riding a quality machine. I was at the dealership today picking up the bike from a couple of recalls I had done. I was looking at all the new bikes and color schemes (love the 30th ann. color scheme too :) but was excited about going out and getting on my bike. In the end, you are the one that has to find the bike that gives you a boner. The 800 is a great choice but you may find you like something else too. Ride them, compare them, and enjoy them.

    Hungrosity
    #17
  18. ecce

    ecce Been here awhile

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    well said!

    I dont know if my bike is a he or a she but it sure as hell gives me a boner.

    Not strange though since it is the really quick 30th ann. boner alert version.. :rofl
    #18