Need Help Please We Are Looking At A 800GS or 800XC To Replace Our DR650s on RTW Trip

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Two Moto Kiwis, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. Two Moto Kiwis

    Two Moto Kiwis Homeless Somewhere

    Apr 12, 2007
    Wanaka, New Zealand, ....What Trip!!!
    Good morning guys

    Have done a little research with the time we have had but we need to make a decision reasonably soon, like in the next few days, I am relying a little here on the ADV tree for a little help please.

    In brief, we are Two Moto Kiwis, we are 7 months into a 2 year plus RTW trip heading from Alaska to Argentina and maybe beyond on two DR650's, Ellen my wife took an epic binning see here and has called it quits and a rider but wants to continue two up so we are going to travel lite fro here and make it work, we are currently in Mexico about four days from the border of lukville or yuma.

    Our insurance that we were lead to believe covered us doe not so we will be down the hole to whatever we spend, have been looking at new but would consider correctly priced second hand, all options are open.

    So our choices are an 800 being not too big, I am about 5' 6.5" 162 lbs dry weight without gear, Ellen is 114 lbs dry weight without gear so neither of us a big and I am just 30 inch inseam so a tall bike is out of the question.

    We are looking to go Caribou cases, one each side and a wolfman rollie soft top bag to keep weight down, also probably need a medium size tank bag.

    From where I am sitting, dealerships and parts from USA south is important.

    For me, the pros for the F8 is shorter reach to the bars, narrower seat so better standover height for me, trade off is comfort.

    Fuel, tanks options available??, would a std tank in SA be ok or are we into aftermarket rotopax or similar, someone made a big tank that lost rider has, cost??

    So gents (and ladies), a little advice on set up if possible to make sure we are headed in the right direction, we are not dummies but obviously changing steeds and going from two down to one has its challenges.

    Good info welcomed, please don't turn it into a pissing match as there are plenty of other threads we can do that on, also any local knowledge on better dealerships to deal with and bike that are available preferably closer to Mexico than Canada.

    Appreciate your help guys, cheers Andi & Ellen


    Jun 5, 2009
    Arizona--Semper Vestibulum
    Been following you thread since the beginning ,sorry for the turn of events, now lets get cracking on the continuation of your epic adventure----

    I would suggest that you SERIOULSEY consider the URAL 2wd and for advise go to "Bugs on my face"or"Oasis of my Soul" thread and check in with them. Both teams have the Ural 2wd and have glowing reports of their trips & the bike

    If you could make it back as far North as Phoenix area, there is a Ural dealer in Mesa Az "Logans " he would help get you set up& although I can't speak for him I would think would make you a deal on the Suzuki's for a new Ural 2wd . I say this because I know a few of his customers & Ural owners & they say Logan is a stand up guy.

    I know its hard to add a third wheel but with the luck you've had so far maybe its time to slow things down, enjoy the ride, smell the flowers and take more pix & if you still need your thrills you can learn to "FLY" the car for the chits & giggles :lol3

    From what I've gatherer from other RR's through CA & SA its hard enough on a big bore bike--KTM 990s & F800s just staying
    uprite w/gear & ridding solo, let alone trying it 2-up

    I truly think the Ural 2wd has more positives than negatives--extra(hard to source fuel) capacity, more room for gear & the "cool factor" in CA & SA are over the top

    Something to think on real hard ------IMHO
    Best of luck FORWARD:clap--
  3. vtbob

    vtbob wanderer

    Jun 20, 2009
    Western Vermont
    You are going to get a BUNCH of advice. I'll keep it short and simple.

    I would recommend the BMW F650GS twin (called F700gs for 2013). It is the same 800cc motor, tuned for torque and better gas milage. It also runs on regular hi test gas is not needed. It sit about 2 inches lower than the F800GS or the triumph. From you height, I would think it would fit you both you and you wife should be able to flat foot it vs being ballerinas.
    The trade off is ground clearance...but riding two up I suspect you will be taking it easier. I do recommend a skid pan just in case.

    I have one myself (due to my 29inch inseam). took it all over alaska, yukon etc this summer. 65mpg when riding under 60mph.

    a second choice would be the suzuki 650 vstrom. a little less power, a little heavier, does not handle quite as well...much cheaper, more reliable.

    have a great trip
  4. Two Moto Kiwis

    Two Moto Kiwis Homeless Somewhere

    Apr 12, 2007
    Wanaka, New Zealand, ....What Trip!!!
    Excellent advice and that is the reason for posting, we are going to take a hit no matter what so we want to spend once and wisely.

    Still want to go out to a few places of the beaten track so 21 inch font and better ground clearance wins me over plus the shit we have been dealt from Suzuki I don't fel like rushing back and supporting them (without being pigheaded about it tho) but the stromy is probably a bit more road based than what we want.

    That my friend is what we are going to do :freaky, we didn't come this far to quit it although there have been some close calls.

    Onwards and upwards!!!
  5. petzi-baer

    petzi-baer Been here awhile

    Jun 8, 2012
    These are 2 very closely matched offers. Triumph made it that way :-)

    I test rode both - liked both and ended up buying the BMW f800gs - it feels more like an enduro :-) (very subjective)
    I was lucky enough to get a used one that had almost all the stuff I wanted on it - incl. the monster Touratech Aux tank, which is a pain to install. Comparision tests showed that the BMW has a smaller tank, but uses less gas - so the range was about the same.

    If you go used and you are short on time, you might find more BMW's out there than 800xc's, it's an older bike.

    I think both have their shortcomings on suspension, which is something you might think about since you're going around the world 2up.

    There might be more BMW dealers and independent repair shops tan is the case for Triumph.

    Since height is your concern I think the Triumph has an adjustable seat, whereas for the BMW you have to buy the lowered seat. As you're ridin 2up, you might be better off looking for a aftermarket seat right away.

    Hope all is well with you guys and the scare will wear off soon

  6. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv

    Nov 28, 2010
    Test rode both but at the end of the day I knew the GS would still make me smile.

    For the trip:
    There more farkles out there for the GS since it's out for 4 years. I think you'll find more BMW dealers on the road anyway if something happens. For the comfort I'd still buy an aftermarked seat (even to lower your sitting position).
    It's WAY easier to shut the ABS off on the GS and it has a better mileage (4l/100kms vs 6l on the triumph).

    I know that the sound of the XC would drive me crazy on a long ride (don't like the whistling sound of it... each one his tastes :lol3). Anyway the GS feels more offroad oriented to me and having the tank under your seat is a great plus for that kind of aeria.

    For the "BIG Lost-Rider Fuel Tank". It's from Touratech and costs about 1000$... I'd rather buy some extra fuel cans that you bold on your bags. One other good reason for that would be that you have no crash bars out there (correct me if I'm wrong) that would fit that Big Fuel tank... and I think crashbars are one hell of an important thing on these trips.

    Wow... reading all these points I can't remember why I had a crush on the Tiger :lol3. Anyway each bike should do the job but since you're in Parallel Universe it's always a bit hard to stay neutral :eek:)

    Oh and my personal 0.02 (yeah that one is personal): I'd buy a used one that has already some farkles on it. I don't trust all these electronics on the new ones that have some problems we don't even know of yet... Oh yes for instance that you can't completely shut of the ASC...
  7. Two Moto Kiwis

    Two Moto Kiwis Homeless Somewhere

    Apr 12, 2007
    Wanaka, New Zealand, ....What Trip!!!
    These are still in consideration, thought I would keep that out of the Parallel part but hey lets bring it in to the arena, no worries there.

    I like the limited addition as it has extra fuel, rack, bars and everything useful ... even a groovy paddle for when the shit hits the fan ... :D ... nearly bought it just for that :rofl

    So yes, our decision is wide open, we could certainly keep more gear for hiking etc that we have been doing, the speed is fine I am happy to sit at 70 - 80 km/r

    Any one else have some solid info please jump in too, any one of the 800XC, F800 or Ural are up, just got to decide between love for two legs or step across to three.
  8. Mtl_Biker

    Mtl_Biker Long timer

    Jun 22, 2011
    Montreal, Canada
    Andi and Ellen,

    I suggest you go over to and post your question in the F800GS section. There are two wonderful ladies there (only one is really active on the forum, soph9) named Cheryl and Leslie. They did an Alaska trip on borrowed Tiger 800XC's and now they've purchased F800GS's. They're really active long-distance tourers and I'm sure they'd be able to give you some interesting comments and advice.

    Good luck on your travels...
  9. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

    Sep 25, 2011
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Yikes !!! glad to hear Ellen is OK...

    what ever you end up with ... best thing to do is hook up with a local Adv or Hubb member. hopefully someone will show up soon...

    much better to find a suitable bike that's already farkled out and tested. if that's possible at all.

    are your undamaged existing panniers re-useable?
  10. arjones

    arjones Roads and Waves

    Feb 24, 2012
    Bahia, Brazil
    It's the parallel universeee!!!:rofl

    Well, I always ride two up on the F800 GS. Actually, I'm going to Atacama Desert (Chile) in a few weeks from now and I have been around Argentina, Chile and Uruguay (three trips combined, three diferent years, two of them on little Honda cruisers). So I guess my contribution would be on the "what-you-gonna-find-that-way" side of things.:deal

    1º - To be running out of gas in Argentina or Chile you should be waaaaay of the beaten track. And you can find very good printed maps, with gas distribution in both countries. In Argentina you must look for the "Firestone Atlas", it's the best one, including very good info of Chile as well. Also, all the GPS maps provide you with good info regarding this matter. So, I wouldn't be worried about gas at this part of your trip. I've been there last dec/jan and traveled with only a 1 gallon (touratech one) attached to my right pannier. And I didn't feel I would need it. Some times a possibility of "gas-worker"s strike can drive people mad at some cities around Calafate, Rio Gallegos etc, as they start to store gasoline, make gas distribution a little more difficult. But I don't think it's a major problem, unless you have a tight schedule. It happen to me and I had to wait for a couple of hours to fill up my tank...:lol3

    2º - I think you can handle the F 800 quite well, no problem. I have the same body construction and every thing is just fine. I also have the BMW's comfort seat (a bit taller than the ass killer that came with the bike:eek1). Wife is happy with that, me too. BUT, I did some minor mods. Like lowering the forks a bit (like 2 cm) on the triple tree clamp. Added some risers (like the touratech ones, but made here in my country) to put the bars at the original position again - actually, they are a little taller now, which is great. With luggage and wife on it, the bike feels comfort and not so scary. But I'm always scanning the area before I stop the bike so I can put at least one of my feet on the ground.:evil

    3º - If I may, I would say that in this moment you should be looking for make this as much as comfortable for your wife, in order to not only make her happy, but mostly, to regain her confidence on the trip as well. Check out my bike and you will find one item that could make a good difference:

    456 por Arjones rider, no Flickr

    see it? It's a sissy bar ( a backrest with a little bag strapped to it). Yeah, I know, it's not quite common, but hey: ask any woman riding two up what they think about this thing. You can find it here:

    You can also see an extra gas can on top of the pannier. It was in that city, Trellew, almost 200 km until the next gas station and people thinking the world was about to end and they should store all the gas they could. We bought the idea. And I used that gas in El Bolsón (almost the other side of the country away) to give that bloody can to someone else:rofl.

    So, I would go with the F 800 GS, buy a new seat, think very carefully about the pillion comfort, and have a blast!!! And don't worry about the luggage. Less is more (as they say). You can strap anything on top of your panniers at any time...


  11. Idahosam

    Idahosam Set Adrift

    May 23, 2006
    Back in the Saddle
    Hola, you two. I been popping in and out checking your wonderful adventure which was a bit more than you had hoped for these last few days. First and foremost I am very glad to know wife is on the road to recovery.

    OK, that said, I assume you are looking at new bike, lots of good used one go check out the flea market here. I would say it would be best for you to get back across the border if your not too far in. Remember you'll still need to purchase said bike and get the title in your name for border crossing down the line. somehow get her DRZ hauled out or forfeit the import fee of 300 or 400 USD, but you know that.

    There are numerous good used vehicles too to consider, the only hold back I see is the height (yours), you'll more than likely need to have the seat shaved an inch no matter what, unless you get a cruiser :D.

    I understand your frustration at the insurance issue, I have had Geico for years now and I assure they are great provided your in Canada and USA. No one and I mean one I know covers motorcycles for full coverage down there.... liability only! you can get full coverage on cars.

    heres a link for you to review:

    Wish I could help out but all I have is a 2006 Triumph Tiger I'm willing to part with and I am a long ways away.


    Just come back over the border so you can find what you need and get the paperwork in your name.

    BTW there are dealers in SA





    I have enjoyed following along on your epic ride and this is a setback, frustrating as it is, what's important is she's OK.
  12. arjones

    arjones Roads and Waves

    Feb 24, 2012
    Bahia, Brazil
    And one more thing: be careful with them, as they can appear in front of you at any given time...

    Guanacos por Arjones rider, no Flickr:lol3
  13. Two Moto Kiwis

    Two Moto Kiwis Homeless Somewhere

    Apr 12, 2007
    Wanaka, New Zealand, ....What Trip!!!
    Heya all

    We have bought a bike, slight change, we bought a 950 Se kitted with large tank and the right goodies to carry on with.

    Thanks for all the help and input, just have to sell the DRs now to recover some losses.
  14. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

    Sep 14, 2009
    All over, usually Wales or England
    Congrats on the purchase and good luck with the rest of your trip!
  15. petzi-baer

    petzi-baer Been here awhile

    Jun 8, 2012
    Saw that and you bought right here on advrider looks like a great ride. Now go and put some miles on.

  16. LukasM

    LukasM Long timer

    Nov 15, 2006
    On a RTW ride - currently touring the U.S.

    The SE is a bad ass bike, and can be made very reliable. Don't forget a proper skid plate, side stand relocation bracket and billet clutch slave (Sigutech or Oberon) as your first upgrades.

    Are you going to keep it at stock height? :eek1
  17. Two Moto Kiwis

    Two Moto Kiwis Homeless Somewhere

    Apr 12, 2007
    Wanaka, New Zealand, ....What Trip!!!
    Unless others are interested I will make this the last post as we are in your F8 forum so don't wonna overstay :D

    That is a given, bike is going straight back through Mexico and into Central then South America, not sure where from there, left or right who knows.

    Watch for Christmas photos in Ushuaia 2013!! :clap

    I am not tall so will lower it a bit and two up with house and contents it will sit down a little as well.

    Ridden my mates one in NZ, he did some seat work so I will probably do the same.

    This is the bike, below the pics is the list of farkles ( I know it is the F8 section but it has bars):D



    CJ Designs 2-into-1 Header $350
    CJ Design Rear Fuel Tank, powder coated, $450
    CJ Designs Billet Clutch Basket $650
    CJ Designs Clutch Cover, swirl & powder-coated $ $350
    CJ Designs Engine Plug Kit $63
    CJ Designs Shortened Intake Trumpets $50
    CJ Designs Top Rack Plate $150
    CJ Designs Water pump Upgrade Kit $150
    CJ Designs Billet Chain Adjuster Blocks $ 80
    CJ Designs Spark Plug Wrench $36
    CJ Designs Radiator Temp Sensor $60
    KTM Euro-Headlight Switch $85
    KTM Side Stand Removal Switch $45
    KTM Center Stand $375
    KTM Frame Protector Kit $30
    Small rear rack $125
    BR Moto Saddlebag Racks, w/rear cross-mount $350
    Wolfman Expedition Saddlebags $225
    Giant Loop Coyote Bag $330
    Warn XT17 Winch, w/handlebar control $500
    Warn Quick Disconnect mount plate $80
    Crispy Designs Graphics $300
    CPC Chrome Plated Brass Fuel Line Quick Disconnects, bi-valved $250
    Fuel Line Heat Sheathing $75
    G2 Throttle Tube, #400, and spare tube, grips $200
    SAS Block Off Plates $35
    Rottweiler CPR Air Filter Assembly, and extra skins. $380
    Adventure Machines Jetting Kit $135
    Adventure Machines Rear Brake Master Guard $70
    Jet Hot Exhaust Header Ceramic Coating, Black $200
    Wings Titanium Muffler, Right side (and Left) $850
    Rigid Industries D2 LED Lights $380
    BDCW LED Light Mount $80
    BDCW Skid Plate, w/Shok Block $350
    BECW Side Stand Relocator $90
    Fasst Flexx Handlebars $350
    Flexx Pivoting Handguard Mounts $70
    Cycra Handguards and Frames and Inserts $120
    Hot Grips $122
    Warm N’ Safe Grip Heat ‘Troller $60
    FP Racing Adjustable Folding Clutch and Brake Levers, shorty, Black $300
    Scotts Steering Stabilizer and BRP Moto Top Clamp & Risers $700
    GB Racing Ignition Cover $123
    Safari Fuel Tank and Shrouds $850
    Cyclops Motorsports Kevlar/CF tank guards $250
    3M Paint Protectant Film on Graphics, Frame Rails and under Tank $250
    Acerbis Locking Gas Cap $35
    Factory Connection Fork and Shock Re-valve (200 lb.) $800
    Burns Moto USB Outlet $35
    Electrical Connection Master Ground Blocks $60
    Hilslamer Footpegs, Long $150
    Emoto’s Mini Digital Voltmeter, red $50
    Dr. Bean Fuel Pump Kit (and 1 spare) $150
    Profill Fuel Tank Filter $30
    Evoluzione clutch slave cylinder $150
    Centech AP-2 Fuse Panel $80
    Assorted Sumitomo MT Sealed Electrical Connectors $75
    Assorted Del City' Heat Shrink, Solder Sleeve Crimpable Terminals $100
    Renazco Seat $375
    Touratech GPS Mount $230
    Zumo 550 GPS $700
    Assorted Ram Mounts $100
    Scotts’ Shark Fin Rear Disc Guard $160
    DRC Brake lever ‘Snake’ $20
    D.I.D. 525 ZVM2 Series Heavy chain $220
    SuperSprox 16/52 Gearing $129
    Dunlop D908 Rally Raid Rear Tire (2 new spares), $600
    Dunlop D606 Front Tire $100
    Michelin Heavy Duty Tubes, F & R (2 spares each) $175
    Stock fuel tank and side panels $745
    Assorted spares, take-offs, (Stock fuel tank and side panels $745), filters, gaskets, oils, etc. ($200)
  18. petzi-baer

    petzi-baer Been here awhile

    Jun 8, 2012
    Now - of course - we expect you guys to get the trip done in half the time :-)
    Amazing bike!!!