My first bike. Can it be a F 800 GS Adventure?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by caea, Sep 18, 2013.

  1. caea

    caea n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    7
    Hi everyone!
    Don't know if this is the correct place to ask this, if not i'm sorry, but here it goes.
    I'm currently having lessons to obtain a motorcycle driving licence (Europe). Started with a 125cc and after 5 lessons, till now, I jumped to a Honda CB500. I'm currently 6 lessons away from the final driving exam and even before commencing the lessons I started looking (and dreaming) for a bike.
    The one that really caught my eye was the new BMW F 800 GS Adventure, love at first sight :D .
    I'm 5'10'' and consider myself to be very calm on the throttle and the road, although for a newbie that won't be of a much if thing goes wrong fast (my 0$02).
    With this in mind do you guys think that the F 800 GSA would be a good first bike?
    Thanks in advance.
    #1
  2. JRose

    JRose Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    649
    Location:
    Birmingham, 'Murica
    Sure. Why not...?

    I started on dirt bikes, and think that is best, but not everyone digs that.

    I applaud your taking the initiative to take lessons.

    You'll be fine. Just be alert and careful. Spend a lot of time in the dirt at first because it hurts less when you make mistakes.
    #2
  3. Pangia

    Pangia Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    Oddometer:
    229
    Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
    Hi Caea,

    Welcome to the forums! Perhaps you could give a bit more information on what your riding interests are and your other sport interests. For example, will you mostly be on paved roads (Tarmac) or off road? Do you ski or snowboard or ride bicycles or hike...?

    In my opinion, going with what you "love" counts...but if you can test ride one, it is always good to do so. Here in the US, my local dealer has demos and I was able to ride several bikes before buying my F800GS. I was on a WR450 before the F800GS and in my opinion, I don't feel a lot more power (although there is) I feel a lot more weight and a LOT less vibration on the paved roads.

    If your desire is to become a capable off road rider who will ride difficult off road routes, then I would consider starting your off road learning on a smaller, less expensive bike like a 250 or 450 enduro style bike. In my opinion, it is more beneficial to learn off road riding skills on a smaller bike and then transfer those skills to a larger bike. There are others on this forum who started on the F800GS and are very capable riders.

    So, in closing, I will say, get what you love and if you can, ride as many bikes as possible and if you end up with an F800GS, also try to get on a 450 or 250 dirt bike and do some dirt training as well.

    Cheers - Pangia
    #3
  4. caea

    caea n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    7
    Hi JRose and Pangia, thanks for the feedback!

    I will use the bike from commuting to work to weekend rides with small off-road 'incursions' in wide dirt roads, nothing to technical (at the beginning at least), also long distance riding ''exploring'' style around Europe, North Africa this after getting some experience on the bike.
    Other sport interests, well; Trail Running, Rock Climbing, Hiking I would say anything which involves nature :clap .

    Sure, before putting myself with a more technical dirt road (with a big bike as the F800) I would definitely do some training on a smaller less powerful bike.
    #4
  5. Ride-a-lot

    Ride-a-lot Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Oddometer:
    171
    Location:
    Salem Or.
    My opinion. Starting with a new bike is a very bad idea. You ARE going to drop it, probably several times. Dropping a new bike can get very expensive fast if you fix it to new condition.

    You would be smart to get a small used bike and ride it for a year while you get all your newbie whoopsies out of the way. If you get a bike that is mechanically fine but has a few scrapes and dents from previous tipovers after a year you will probably be able to sell it for what you paid for it if you only add a few more scrapes.

    Starting your riding career with a new bike in my opinion is never a good idea.
    #5
  6. mamm

    mamm < advertise here! >

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2010
    Oddometer:
    232
    Location:
    Floripa, Brazil
    5'10" newbie on a F800GSA? You will be on your toes (or flat-footing just one side), a situation that's best handled with some experience under your belt. A few low speed drops will ensue, guaranteed.

    On the other hand, the GSAs (both the 800 and the 1200) come with lots of crash protection from the factory, so the damage will be mostly cosmetic.
    #6
  7. JRose

    JRose Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    649
    Location:
    Birmingham, 'Murica
    If you were close to Birmingham Alabama I'd say come borrow my XR250 and go get comfortable.
    #7
  8. trhjohn

    trhjohn Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    8
    I too am taking lessons right now. My background is mainly mountain bikes and 3 years of semi-pro road bike (the peddle kind) racing. That being said, I am new to the world of motorcycles and I am loving every minute of it. I talked this subject over with my motorcycle instructor extensively and he suggested just getting a new bike, the one you want to keep forever. He started out riding sixty years ago and has only laid his bike over a couple of times. I live in Colorado and am planning on doing long overland trips on dirt and paved sections so my first bike is going to be the 2014 F800 GS Adventure. It should be here at the end of this week or next, I already reserved it. I did a lot of research and chose this bike for its extended range, and loads of standard accessories, I also liked the lighter feel over the KTM 990. I am 6'5" so height is not an issue, they do have a seat lowering kit and I am sure the dealer will work with you on that. I have a cautious streak coupled with years of experience on two wheels, I have nothing to prove to myself or others and am not worried about crashing a new bike. I figure if I get in over my head, that is probably my fault. Get what you want, what makes you happy and keep us all posted. I can't wait to get mine. Ride safe
    #8
  9. chris73

    chris73 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 29, 2013
    Oddometer:
    405
    Location:
    vancouver island
    I rode dirt bikes when I was young, and decided to go with a brand new f800 as my fist bike. I really like the bike. It has been dropped a few times in the dirt though. Everyones situation is different. For me, I wanted to buy A bike once, and was not scared of dropping it in the dirt. I haven't broken anything, but if I do, I can afford to fix it.
    #9
  10. ynnck

    ynnck Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2013
    Oddometer:
    28
    Location:
    Belgium
    I myself bought a F800GSA 2 months ago and it is my first motorcycle. Prior to the GSA I have never ridden motorcycles besides the mandatory lessons to get my license.

    I have currently ridden about 2.000km mainly commuting to work and back. I did manage to drop it once at an intersection without any real damage, which I'm sure could have been prevented if I had started with a smaller/lighter bike. I currently ride 99% on road, where the weight/size of the bike is less of an issue than offroad.

    As long as you are careful and realise it is a fat bike and you will drop it (several times), I think there's no real issue with starting with a F800GSA. A lot of it comes down to common sense and a bit of luck. Just don't get yourself into situations you can't handle yet.
    #10
  11. caea

    caea n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    7
    Maybe one of the first persons I could have asked for an opinion, the instructor , didn't remember that. After all he is evaluating and seeing my evolution. I think.
    #11
  12. AirforceGSRider244

    AirforceGSRider244 Hardcore adventurer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    I was in the same position as you. i had a choice between the New 800gsa or the 2013 800GS. i opted for the proven 800gs versus a first year gsa. know what im saying? weigh the options you decide.if you get the proven 800gs you can get the extended gas tank for it. go just as far as the GSA 800.
    I have it on mine and its freaking awesome!

    http://www.camel-adv.com/
    #12
  13. AirforceGSRider244

    AirforceGSRider244 Hardcore adventurer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    That is a really good idea. i started out on a kawa 250s then upgraded to a kawa 650. and finally 4years after the 250s got a 800GS 2013. love it and cherish it with every strand of my DNA. I would have trashed this beautiful peice of machinery in the beginning. doesnt mean i dont use it offroad though. ;) heheeehehehe

    FOR THE OP:
    Theres 2 types of riders. those who've crashed and those who havent crashed yet. welcome to the club. be safe and always wear your gear no matter how uncomfortable you are. uncomfortable is always better then dead.
    #13
  14. AirforceGSRider244

    AirforceGSRider244 Hardcore adventurer

    Joined:
    May 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Plus driving offroad gives you better reactionary skills on road. and will make you not as prone to little anomalies in the movement in the bike such as tank slap or sliding. itll help you out in the long run.
    #14
    Merlin32 likes this.
  15. Fearless Whetu

    Fearless Whetu Aussi Kiwi

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    592
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Sure you might drop it, sure you could start with a smaller, lighter bike but in all honesty if you've got the cash and you love the GSA go for it.

    BMW are safe, reliable bikes and you've gotta have that feeling of satisfaction when you look in the garage at her just sitting there.

    Definitely test ride one first, but being new you wont really have much to compare it with but you will know if its right.

    Im excited for you, welcome to the club :D
    #15
    Merlin32 likes this.
  16. Nictrolis

    Nictrolis Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    209
    Location:
    Dedham, MA
    Wow, I'm surprised at all the people saying go for it. I'm 5'10", been riding for about 12 years, and I definitely would not recommend the f800gs as a first bike. Low speed maneuvering, probably the hardest part of learning to ride, is more difficult due to the height of the bike, regardless of your size. Not being able to get both feet on the ground contributes to that at a stop (and confidence in general), but otherwise the rider's height isn't a huge issue.

    Something I didn't see mentioned is braking. Braking hard on the f800gs, the front end wants to dive significantly. This eliminates any control you have. With experience and technique you'll to brake properly, making the bike "sit" rather than roll forward. In high-stress situations, having a bike the is more forgiving for a noob will keep you alive.

    Could you get one of these bikes and do fine on it? Sure. But is it a good idea to risk your life over it? Not in my opinion. Grab a cheap, more forgiving "standard" style bike and ride it for at least a full year. You'll learn a lot and likely be able to sell the bike at about the same price you bought it. Or a small dirt bike... but I find it's more the road that you have to worry about, as people ignore traffic rules and don't pay much attention when driving.
    #16
  17. GREWUPIN_D11

    GREWUPIN_D11 GREWUPIN_D11

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    213
    Location:
    Northern VA
    The training courses as described will, I expect, provide sufficient experience to get you going without undue danger to yourself or others.

    Very important: INSTALL HANDGUARDS. I have extensive experience (dozens of data points) dropping my F800 in a variety of paved and unpaved scenarios, and can report that the handguards and passenger pegs have performed superbly in preventing damage to all other components. Crashbars, in my view, are not worth the expense and weight.
    #17
  18. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,390
    Sure, why not. My first road bike, that I did my learners test on, was an XJ750 Yamaha. Lived on that bike. Had no car, rain, hail, or shine I rode. A semi with a missing fuel cap dumped about 40 litres of diesel across the road on a sharp bend in front of me one morning, when the XJ had about 70,000km on it. I knew I was screwed before the bike disappeared from under me. Sliding across the road I thought I'd got away with it, as I could see the bike was relatively unharmed. Then as it hit the dirt it bounced spinning into the air....and I slid under it to cushion it's landing.

    Being a poorly paid apprentice it was heartbreaking to see my new, not fully insured bike, trashed. I stripped it down while the gravel rash was still healing, threw away the bent and broken bits, and started modifying and upgrading, whilst enjoying public transport (not).

    This instilled in me a lifelong need to modify things. Once I realised how easy it is, I couldn't stop. Just warning you up front. You too may get bitten by the bug.

    The issue with braking as previously mentioned is a significant one for a learner. When I was getting back into off roading the under sprung under damped front ends were a big control issue. It was an issue that wasn't going away.

    Firm up the front end and everything changes.

    Otherwise, in rocky off road riding you will become familiar with the "stall and fall" dismount. Especially at 5'10".

    The factory low seat helps heaps.
    #18
  19. pilesofmiles

    pilesofmiles Retired + Riding

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,001
    Location:
    Western NC
    Buy the 2014 Launch Edition and don't even look back, its an awesome first year model bike! Caution...it's a tall bike and launch edition comes with more options.
    Having owned two previous 1200 Adventures and put thousands of miles on both of them the F8 ADV its a fantastic fun flickable much lighter ride!

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. kumakahn

    kumakahn Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    67
    Location:
    Idaho, a.k.a. Mountain Paradise
    I know this is an old thread. But for those reading it considering the same question - I started on a 700cc cruiser. Bored in a month. Then a 1500cc cruiser. Bored in 4 months. Then my first and second Concours bikes. Not ever bored. Whoa are they fun on the highway. But, here in Idaho, even highway riding usually involves some form of off-road or near off-road riding here and there. They are always doing construction somewhere, and they love to leave gravel all over the place after they chip-seal. I got tired of having to turn around and find another way around the obstacles, or having to ride like I was on ice due to the gravel. So, now it's a Super Tenere and an F800GSA. If I had it to do all over again, I would have started with the Super Tenere or the F800GSA, taken my time learning to ride it, went slowly, and would not have wasted about $15,000. At least for me, the common advice of starting small and working your way up was not good advice. In the end, my slightly lowered Super Tenere rides a little like a cruiser, has tons of power, and sounds wonderful. But, I can go anywhere I want to go on that thing or on the F800GSA. But, in fairness, when I started riding, I thought I wanted a cruiser because I had short legs, and I thought they were cool. I didn't imagine myself on something like the Concours or the F800GSA. Once you ride more than a couch on wheels and start getting into the physics of riding, cruisers really are boring, at least to me.
    #20
    GoPlaces likes this.