Help me decide, please f650gs or f800gs

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by DW99, May 24, 2012.

  1. grndzr0

    grndzr0 its Ground Zero

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    598
    Location:
    Montana
    Still riding the wifes 650 twin around. And it is still a blast. I like my f8 a bit better, maybe because its not named "Betsy Blue". And my f8 wont do 80 in 2nd gear!!! :evil

    Ryan
    #61
  2. DW99

    DW99 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    91
    I thought it had. First off let me say that I think either bike would be incredible to have and that either bike would do me just fine and that either bike will most likely handle anything i throw at it......so having decided that I was thinking i would go with the f650 because of price...those "few extra sheckles" that I had left over would have been put to farkles etc. However...my boss showed up last night to work with his new enduro/trail bike...the husaberg fe390...which he graciously allowed me to take out for a romp...I gotta say wow, what a bike. It was incredibly and surprisingly smooth for a dirt bike....the hydraulic clutch was like pure butter and the transmission was silk. It did however really make me wonder about height. getting on the bike was a bit tricky...once seated I could tippy toe with both and felt easily planted with the one up one down scenario...once riding the bike felt perfect and size wasn't really an issue.

    So, I thought to myself...self....this just shows you that the f650 is most likely the best choice for you...until I compared set heights. his fe390 is at 985mm or 38.7 inches and the f800gs at the low seat height is 850mm or 33.5 inches.....that is a 5 inch difference!! that is easily a comfortable height for me...so now height is taken out of the question. either bike will do me in seat height just fine. so now it comes down to a few other issues...clearance, performance, price and availability and a test ride

    Clearance: obviously the f8 wins in this category

    performance: this one is debatable and i guess it depends on where I will be riding primarily. I am adding in to that mix the tire size and cast vs. spoked as well....I think both have their pros and cons and kinda cancel each other out....as I also think that the performance of each will be a sweet surprise to me no matter which one I go with

    Price/availability: unfortunately this will be a large factor...or could be a large factor depending on what my dealer can do for me and what is available in the next couple of weeks when I get the finances finally sorted etc.

    Test ride: I think this will be the final say...when I am finally able to ride both of them and compare back to back....and then factor in everything else I think that will give me my decision.

    so to answer your question...I thought I had. I thought I had decided the f650 was the ticket....but now I see I am hopelessly lost...lol....however it is a nice place to be lost in to have the "issue" of trying to decide between these two incredible bikes.

    I'm gonna thrown another wrench into the mix...my finances are there, but just taking some time to get everything set up right etc....I am away for vacation most of july and will be on the road for at least half of august for work...that leaves a bit of june, a bit of july and maybe september and a bit of october to get some riding in before the southern alberta weather machine closes in and the bike is pretty much parked for the season....so now this brings up the issue of....what is coming new for 2013? any one know? I have heard rumors of just a bit of cosmetic changes, if so then meh..i'll buy now....however if they have changed the seat to compete with the new 800xc option or if there is some new fangled super duper whatjamacallit that would bump either bike up another amazing notch maybe i should get my name on the waiting list for a new 2013 model. anyone have the inside scoop on this or any new info that has come to light in the last few days/weeks that isn't on a thread already lol.

    I really do appreciate all the help and comments. thanks all.
    #62
  3. GH41

    GH41 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    822
    I have no crystal ball but the rumor mill hints that the F800 may get more HP. I seems there is a version of the engine in another brand bike that puts out about 15 more ponies. It wouldn't have influenced my decision to buy the 650 but more HP in the 800 would seperate the two bikes more. GH
    #63
  4. Tonopah

    Tonopah Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Oddometer:
    460
    Location:
    New River, AZ
    #64
  5. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,028
    Location:
    Nor Ca.
    Nothing official or even semi official. A few posters have been claiming the 2012 bikes are becoming hard to find or even order. Seems strange, if true. Pretty early in the year to be shutting down production, unless gearing up for something new.

    So lets start a rumor. The 900 Nuda is not coming to the US. Thats a fact not a rumor. What is BMW going to do with a 900cc engine that Husqvarna just spent money on?. That motor is a major renovation. Bored and stroked, then use a new crank design. Seems a waste, unless it goes into something that will sell.

    Besides being something I want, BMW could differentiate between the current F650gs/F800gs line. The current model has been in production 5 years, time for a change?
    #65
  6. GrendelMk1

    GrendelMk1 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    Oddometer:
    37
    Location:
    Swimming in Surrey
    So I read the first and last pages, because I'm a terrible, lazy person. My comments:

    I own a 650. I commute on it every day, and I've ridden it through everything from gorgeous sun to slushy snow. I also take it off-road and flog it. I've had it doing descents where the back is locked and pushing a dam of crap and the front is chittering through rip-rap, and I've done 120 kph(!) on fire roads when they're flat and easy.

    My biggest complaint with the 650 is that 1st gear is too tall. If 1st was 30% lower, I'd be a happy man. My (very distant) second complaint is that I'd like another inch or 2 of clearance for blowdowns and such. Other than that, my 650 makes about as much torque down low* as the 800 (so I've heard), tubeless rims mean I can poke-n-patch to get me to a road, and the $3k I saved on the bike vs an 800 bought a LOT of toys.

    *Seriously, if you're worried about highway performance and the 650 isn't enough, (I've had mine doing 190 kph on the highway, thank you very much) why the hell are you even looking at enduros?
    #66
  7. Mangydog

    Mangydog n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3
    I agree with vtbob's posts. I own both. F800gs for me and F650gs for my wife. I honestly like riding the 650 better. It's more comfortable for me and has plenty of get up and go. It's slightly smaller size makes it easier to maneuver (for me) and I also like to flat foot it at stop lights and parking lots. I'm 5'11", 200 lbs and its plenty of bike for me. If I was to do it again, I'd likely get the 650 for myself as well.
    #67
  8. grndzr0

    grndzr0 its Ground Zero

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    598
    Location:
    Montana

    So just got my 800 back, and after riding the 650 twin around, for a couple of weeks, I have to say the the F8 still puts a bigger grin on my face.

    It is just more... Raw than the 650.

    Sounds a little coarser, runs a little coarser, feels more on edge....

    I like riding hard, and I THINK it is definitely funner to ride hard than the 650.

    Plus I have my abs disconnected, so that adds to the excitement...

    650 smoother, More relaxed...

    800 :D

    All day on the highway (with an appropriate windscreen) - 650

    On the trail or any unsurfaced road, and around town - 800

    Ryan
    #68
  9. Scapadu

    Scapadu Motomaniac

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2005
    Oddometer:
    844
    Location:
    South France
    I had the chance to test ride the 900 Nuda, as far as it is a funny bike to ride, i would certainly not like to have its engine as a replacement of our 800cc of the F650 and F800 twins. The 900cc of the Nuda is not smooth at all in low rpm (below 4000 i should say) its ignition offset is not 360° but 315° instead , it is far away from what you like to have in a touring/trail bike.

    If it were just to benefit of higher torque of a 900 at same rpm with the same crankshaft than the 800, then it would be ok.
    However the 800 is far enough for me today and if went to the dowsizing (1150 to 800) it is certainly not to go back into the cc size battle.
    #69
  10. DW99

    DW99 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    91

    obviously you didn't read the comments....lol...I have never been worried that the f650gs isn't enough bike for the highway.
    #70
  11. Emilio71

    Emilio71 n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2
    Hi,

    I have a F650GS Twin since 05/11, 17.500 Kms on it during the last year, most of them on road but also some off road on it. I am a begginer like you, indeed my bike is limited to 35Kw due to the Spanish driving law for new riders (2 years limited to that power).

    I was in your same situation one year ago. The F800GS looks better at the show room (if you put them side by side), the colors on the F650GS are not very "sport" colors... etc. But being at that point, I took in consideration the recommendations of the BMW technical sales staff: "If you are going to use the bike mostly for off road then go for the F800, if don´t, go for the F650GS". I did it and I can´t be happier... And trust me, it does very well off road, you just need to change the tyres... tyres are 80% of the success out of the road.....

    Here is mine:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Vs.

    Emilio.
    #71
  12. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2004
    Oddometer:
    5,028
    Location:
    Nor Ca.
    Maybe it is wishful thinking, but I think BMW will do something. My preference for a bike of this type is something with lighter weight. That practically demands a smaller, lighter, lower displacement engine.

    That does not appear to be happening. For all the off road pretensions, people seem to be infatuated with HP. Most that buy, never see more than a dirt road.

    People who know, like the offset crankshafts, as in theory they hook up better in loose conditions. Longer strokes means more torque. Getting more power at lower rpms is all about camshaft design and timing, an easy fix for the manufacturer. BMW did that with the F800gs vs its street bike parent.

    V twins, by engine design and the 1200 Tenere, all have non 360 degree crankshafts.

    I think the bike could use a wider spaced gearbox. The F658 can get a 6% reduction in the gearing by going to the F800gs primary sprocket.

    Part of the gearing problem is actually a fueling problem. The bikes are extremely lean at low rpm. The fuel resisters are a cheap band aid that works. Add one and the bike will lug quite well.

    No free lunch for a F658 owner though, the vibes will start about 6% sooner.
    #72
  13. DW99

    DW99 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    91
    Emillio, thank you for your reply, that is the kind of real world experience that helps..... I am still not decided lol..luckily i do not think i can go wrong with either bike.
    #73
  14. Emilio71

    Emilio71 n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2
    Both are very good bikes..... This weekend took place in Toledo (Spain, no Michigan...) the GS DAYS. There were an off road school and, it would have been very nice if you could have seen the way that the F650GS performs offroad... Incredible!!

    Most of the people choose the F800GS due to its more agressive look and based on its off road features, but only some people really use them. You can go every where with the F650GS, maybe not "jumping" or doing wheelies, but trust me, you will perfectly pass....

    There is a girl, yes she is a woman, sorrry, riding all over the world using a F650GS. You can follow her at: http://www.aliciasornosa.com/

    If you wish to ask her something about the bike I am sure that she will be glad to give you an honest answer (I´m not family, friend, manager, etc.).

    Good luck!!

    Vs.

    Emilio.
    #74
  15. DW99

    DW99 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    91
    I'm not worried about ever jumping my bike..lol....good report, thanks emillio
    #75
  16. toowheels

    toowheels on a mission...

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    969
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Hey DW99,

    Yes you can't go wrong with either bike!
    I just scanned through this thread and I hope I can give you some valuable input.

    I didn't see anyone mention this but I would try to look into the future a bit with your decision.
    For example if you really want to get into more rough dirt/gravel type riding down the road then going with the F8 may be the better choice in the long run saving you time and $$. NOT to say that the F650 is not capable in the dirt...it is!

    I ride with two riders that have the 650 and they go everywhere I go. They have also both spent a few $$ on upgrades (as have I). They are both on spoked wheels now and both have done suspension/gearing changes. While this may not be typical it's something to think about if that's ultimately the direction you want to go.

    The weight difference is negligible between the two bikes and the height can be altered easily with the seat. BTW I would probably find the low seat too uncomfortable because of the bend it puts in your leg for long distances and I'm the same height as you. I have lowered pegs on my F8 and I love them for more leg room and grip! (Also it's not just the height that affects the bike but the width which is another reason the 'Berg felt relatively easy to handle.)

    Lastly in looking at the big picture most people spend a fair bit on bits to upgrade the bike, to suit the terrain and their needs.

    So factor in:
    -bike protection (hand guards, engine bars, skid plate...)
    -suspension, tires
    -power controller (more so for the F8 but many use it on the F650 too...I use HTCA's on here)
    -gearing (maybe on the F650)
    -luggage options (can be big $$ esp. if you want good hard box systems)
    -comfort (windshield, seat?...)
    -performance (pegs, bar risers, pipe?)
    -other farkles...there can be lots!

    It all starts to add up fast!

    As a beginner bike I don't think they are too bad. A little heavy and lot's of power no question. Be prepared to drop it too if you're going to venture off-road.

    If you don't mind the bike/$$ learning curve (and selling used) the F650 could be a better bet and most of the parts will transfer over.

    Hope this helps and doesn't make it even more confusing!!

    The good news is you're in an AWESOME area to explore with more than a handful of willing accomplices too!

    You may want to check out the the GS Challenge in Rocky Mountain House if you get a bike and have the time. Skills will improve your learning/enjoyment curve drastically!

    Good luck with whatever bike you choose and see you out there! :ricky

    Cheers,

    Dave
    #76
  17. DW99

    DW99 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    91
    Dave thank you for the information..all great points.

    I figure the parts and accessories for each bike will be roughly the same.....either bike will be outfitted for some good adv rides.


    I do plan to do the gs challenge some day...I know the guys at argyll and would love to do it. I most likely will do the 1 day training session at blackfoot as well, once I actually purchase a bike.
    #77
  18. toowheels

    toowheels on a mission...

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    969
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    You're welcome!
    Yes you'll spend similar amounts except for maybe more on wheels and suspension on the F650 if you're riding "goes that way". Most aftermarket parts are transferable between the F650 and F800 too if change down the road.

    Hope to see you out there!

    Dave
    #78
  19. Sapper33

    Sapper33 Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    32
    I wanted an F800, but couldn't find one, so I went with an F650 Dakar, and the more I ride it, the more I love it. I know the 650 single is a much different animal than the "650" twin, but just an example that don't count out the little guy.

    Not to put a damper on things though, but as there are only 2 BMW dealers in AB, Blackfoot and Argyll, you're decision might get tougher. Sold out of 2012 F800's(grrr!), and rumbles of big changes for 2013.
    #79
  20. GypsyWriter

    GypsyWriter Sarah

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,749
    Location:
    Visalia CA
    DW99, all I can say is:

    Do not, I repeat DO NOT, let the dealership convince you to test ride a R1200GS. :rofl I was debating the two bikes you're thinking of and on a lark decided to take a used 1200GS for a spin. Ended up riding away from the dealership that same day with my Rallye edition. :clap

    Otherwise, I have nothing more to add than what others have said. Both are fantastic bikes but, like my Wee, a tad top heavy especially for a beginner. The 1200GS feels easier to flick around than the smaller GS's, but the stock height is very, very noticeable anytime you come to a stop.

    Oh, and I'm *gasp* a girl. :lol3 So don't let the stereotypical "sex" of a bike convince you of anything. :D
    #80