necessary F800GS Mods

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by alexisan, Jun 28, 2012.

  1. machinebuilder

    machinebuilder Long timer

    Jun 6, 2008
    East Tennessee

    You're a bit high on the shock, I was told about $500 for a wilburs

    Wheels aweful lot of people keep their pressure up and don't have problems

    Forks, I'm probably going to do the Traxxion kit (about $1200)

    and you left off the $$$$ for crash bars, skid plate, barkbusters, etc
  2. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

    Dec 2, 2008
    Yeah, I run far higher pressures than most people on here seem to like, and it really isn't a huge problem,

    The rims seem to be very soft, but I'm not sure this isn't just a case of the width. They are wider than the widest after market rims I can get. As such, they will buckle easier. Plus, it makes the tyres have a squarer sidewall profile, and someone on here surmised that this possibly causes problems because the impact is delivered to the outside edge of the rim without the force being dissipated by the tyre.

    I compared them to the Excel rims in a most unfavourable way, but to be honest, they are no worse than the standard rims on a lot of the "dual sports" bikes. The Excels are definitely a better quality rim.

    I remember looking at my cousins KTM rims and I don't feel so bad about mine any more.
  3. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

    Nov 15, 2006
    On a RTW ride - currently touring the U.S.
    I am pretty sure that the F800GS rims are the same as the KTM 950/990 ones, both made by Behr and both too wide and too soft for hard off roading.

    What makes it worse is the stock suspension, when you don't have enough resistance in the last part of the stroke it will bottom out and the rims are the next thing that will give.
  4. alexisan

    alexisan Been here awhile

    Nov 25, 2010
    Ok, then let's take the rims out of the game for now.

    What forks conversion brings the best results for the money and how much needs to be invested?
  5. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

    Jun 19, 2004
    Nor Ca.
    The reason some of us are so harsh in our analysis is because, we see the potential that this bike has and simple changes that BMW could have made to make it better.

    BMW's issue is price compaction with the flat twins, so they did what they did to cut cost and not steal sales from themselves.

    Suspension is the big issue. No manufacture fits the bike with springs to fit every rider. BMW crimped the cartridge tube. Neither the front or rear is rebuildable, nor can it be modified beyond a spring change.

    I don't know which of the aftermarket replacements are best. The main point is a tuner could revalve/respring any of them to meet your specifications.

    On the cheap, you could find a cartridge from an existing bike and do a transplant. Length and travel are the main qualifications. It requires some machine work on the bottom of the fork to accommodate the compression valve. The diameter of the cartridge is pretty standardised so most will fit. It is not the mystery some would believe.

    The bent shock bolt is blown all out of proportion. When the thread was at 84 pages, I counted 8 with bent bolts, the rest was discussion, how this could happen? Think it will bend, buy a brace. I do think the aftermarket shocks make it weaker without one. Thousands of buyers have no problem because they ride it like BMW intended. You have to bottom it to bend it.

    What are your choices? Last I checked the KTM is $4,000 more. You can do a lot of mods with that. This bike has the potential to be just as good.

    Triumph riders love their bikes. It goes where most riders are likely to take a 500lb bike. Sounds like we are talking about a different level. See how a bike with street geometry and a triple engine works in that environment. Not a lot you can do to change that.

    Most riders who want to turn it into a dirt bike, should have some comprehension of what it takes to do that.

    MAJTHUMPER NW adventure rider

    Jan 17, 2010
    Boise ID
    For me, the decision to switch from F8 to the 990 came down to the cost/benefit calc. I believe the KTM has a better suspension to start with but as I said earlier, I have "fixed" almost every bike I have ridden. To me this is a normal part of setting up a bike to match my size and ability and intended use. I also expected to add normal thing like bash plates and crash bars bla bla bla to both bikes. I own a new Husaberg and joke about it being KTM's expensive cousin... Point is the parts for both bikes are spendy for OEM / hard parts. After market seems comparable too.

    All that said, I choose the F8 originally because I expected to do more road ( dirt and pavement) on this bike and use the others for more hardcore dirt riding. I mean come on, it weighs almost double a good dirt bike! And you would spend an extra $7000. In my estimation ( and a lot of the reading I did prior to purchase) the BMW had the advantage on the longer road trips, thus I bought it. No dealer in my area would have been cool with a fast run thru the desert as a test ride so I found the limits of the bike after paying for it. I love this bike on the roads. I also have a K1200 LT fully loaded ( the wife likes a comfortable ride) and I prefer to take the F8 unless it's a 2 up ride. I like the bike in the dirt. The solution, for me, is upgrading my way to " loving " in the dirt as well.

    Bottom line, you will spend money on any ADV bike you buy unless the guy you buy it from has already done the work. I figure the difference in stock bike price gives me a pretty big cushion to get the Beemer up to speed off road and I still have the on road advantages... IMO.
  7. MTrider16

    MTrider16 Ridin' in MT

    Oct 16, 2006
    Eastern Montana
    It seems to me, that if you want a dirt bike in this engine size class, you go with a KTM 950SE. Otherwise you live within the limitations of a large ADV touring bike. The F8GS is smaller than the R12GS and that class, but larger than the 650's. You can strip a F8GS down and make it more dirt worthy or set it up to be more road worthy depending on the rider. The option not discussed in this thread, is building your own bike like JDRocks did.

    Why the hell would you ride a bike that loads out at 750 lbs at reduced tire pressures?

    For me the necessary changes from stock are as follows:

    Engine guards - they protect your radiator, my radiator is running with broken brackets from a 15 mph tip over on ice.
    Sargent Seat - makes 500+ mile days possible
    Hand guards - protect your levers
    TKC tires (or other offroad) - they look cool, and work reasonably well on gravel roads
    saddle bags
    additional fuel tanks
    Bash plate

    Mods that didn't pan out:
    Ohlins shocks and cartridges - not that they are bad, just beyond my skill level.
    Tourtech HID light - get the cheaper LED lights

  8. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

    Dec 2, 2008
    Put as simply as this:

    I bought mine 2nd hand, the PO (an older gentleman) hadn't even reached the first service in 3 years, but had it serviced annually anyway. He traded it on a new one.

    I got it for 2/3 the price of a new one. In Aus$ terms that gave me nearly $7K to spend on "farkles" before I hit new price.

    I understood at the time I would spend money on suspension and racks, screens, crash bars, bashplates etc.

    The suspension didn't have the solutions I thought it had from my on line research, using this forum for starters. It looked like there were lots of front end options starting to make an appearance, and people on here who were praising them. Then, right after I bought mine, the failures with the Bitubos and others started to appear in these pages.

    So my suspension budget has blown out. The Ohlins didn't come set up for 2-up riding as I ordered it, and revalving and several resprings cost me more than I was prepared for.

    So I'm bitter and twisted. Shit happens. I'm over it.

    For someone coming into a F800 for the first time I think you need to allocate a budget, read very carefully, and then do the mods you want. It may not be the bike you thought when you finish.

    It's a very personal thing, so you need to think logically and remove emotion from it before committing. If you buy one, and set it up, and then don't like it...what then?

    Have a clear understanding of what you want to do with it. Not just what you "think" you want to do with it.
  9. Ronin ADV

    Ronin ADV Gear addict

    Apr 19, 2010
    Northern Sierras
    Well put Snowy.
    I find this generally quite true, particularly the "personal thing" idea.
    I thought the Ohlins suspension was well worth it for me, for MTrider16 apparently not so much. You win some, you lose some. I don't sweat it too much because I like screwing around with my bikes.
    And lots of the advice here is worth exactly what you pay for it. :lol3
  10. MTrider16

    MTrider16 Ridin' in MT

    Oct 16, 2006
    Eastern Montana
    Yep, I agree, mods depend on what you personally want the bike to do, and your skill level to exploit the technical aspects of the mod. My skill level is low, so the suspension upgrades weren't as useful versus the cost.

    It seems like the OP thinks there is a list around, that you "have' to do. All you "have" to is buy one and ride it.

    However, a marriage analogy would work well here. If you didn't like the KTM, which is in the same class of bike as this F8GS, what has changed this go around that makes you think the F8GS will work better? And as you are the common denominator in both relationships, this is a personal question that only you can asnwer.

  11. nomadb

    nomadb Been here awhile

    Jan 7, 2006
    Where Continents Meet
    That is absolutely correct. Hear this;
    2 months ago I notice an F800GS same colour 100 meters down my house. He had all the goodies on the bike.
    Hepco bars, cases, fog lites hyper pro front and rear, and more. I left a card. We ended up calling each other and leaving messages. Than the bike disappeared from the side of the road.

    1 month ago a friend has asked my opinion about F800GS. He found for sale the same colour etc.. Yes it was that bike.
    So he bought it and paid minimal price for all the goodies. Lucky him.....:evil

    So if you finf the bike where somebody took all the TIME and MONEY to get the goodies assembled, buy it will you?

  12. krugerjq

    krugerjq n00b

    Sep 27, 2010
    South Africa
    Got my GS Decals from these guys
  13. XT Traveler

    XT Traveler Been here awhile

    Jul 11, 2007
    + 1
  14. Hamish71

    Hamish71 Been here awhile

    Mar 20, 2011
    48mm fork conversion.... :lol3
    I love my bike.