R1200GS easier to ride than F800GS?

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Migs, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Migs

    Migs Been here awhile

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    Many of my R1200GS owning friends say the R1200GS is easier to ride than the F800GS. What is your take on this?
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  2. Mav

    Mav Something witty...

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    Easier is subjective... But the R12 has a lower centre of gravity and a 19 inch wheel, I think it also has a lower seat height. So even tho it's heavier, once you're moving it can feel more capable on the road.

    But if you want to play offroad, the 8GS is a bunch of fun, while still being very capable on the road.

    Why do you ask: "Which is easier?" I think you would be better served asking which bike better serves your needs, because they're both pretty easy to ride.
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  3. screwit

    screwit One more time

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    R12 has a 19in front
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  4. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    The R12 has a 19" front wheel.
    The R8GS has the 21" front.

    Mav has the rest correct though. What kind of riding you are doing would be more the focus. The R12GS is a bit shorter than the R8 so that would be easier for some...
    #4
  5. Ayrshire Bull

    Ayrshire Bull why the hell not?

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    just to add in another perspective ..... I found the 800gs a little bit squirrelly on the front end. I find the 1200gs more planted in its line.
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  6. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    In big rocks, soft sand, and mud, I think I would take the 800. In fireroads, hard pack anything-asphalt or dirt-, high speed, twisties.....then I want the 1200.

    Easy is not an absolute....it is a variable. :lol3
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  7. Mav

    Mav Something witty...

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    Sorry, yep - you are right, I confused between pointing out the 12 has the smaller wheel and the 8 having a 21" wheel.

    Edited accordingly :thumb
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  8. Migs

    Migs Been here awhile

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    I understand what you all are saying. I've had the F800 for the last couple years with good results. I find the height a bit inconvenient. I just can't figure why they make the bikes so tall. Well maybe the average european has a 36 inch inseam and that is what BMW uses as a reference. I also find it a little top heavy. When I finish a ride through dirt I feel as though I got lucky.

    ++++++++++> Like the bike is taking me for a ride not me taking the bike for a ride. <+++++++++++++

    I have a Harley softail, one of the big bikes. Believe it or not, it's MUCH easier to ride. It feels less treasoning. You all know the feeling of riding a very small bike? You have complete control to play with the bike. The F800 is kind of like on the other end of the scale. So I agree with the comment that relates a lower CG of the R1200. Of course the weight when getting it up makes it gnarly. Maybe it's just me that wishes I were more proficient on a bike.

    As for my riding, it's 10-20% dirt and the rest getting from city to city on long rides. So I sold the F800 and now I'm wondering what to get next. I guess the situation is kind of fun, but with you all's help I'll be able to optimize.
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  9. Mav

    Mav Something witty...

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    The saddle height is a result of trying to maximise ground clearance.

    One tip for dealing with it is never try to put both feet down - pick one side, slide slightly off the seat, and you can get a firm footing with one foot.

    Take it from someone who's 5' 9" and rides an HP2. I can swing both feet from the seat and have no fear of reaching the ground :D
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  10. seaswood

    seaswood seaswood

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    I found the 800 too long too high, in the dirt it was great.
    The 1200 just feels easier to manage, if it is shorter that makes sense I changed for lower CG.
    I really missed the lower center of gravity on the f8 it would go but to improve the front end suspension opted out.
    Assuming you can keep your feet on the pegs on the 1200, all will be okay.
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  11. bemiiten

    bemiiten League of Adventures

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    Can't speak for the 800 but the 1200 has great torque right off idle and the engine is very easy to ride at low RPMs. Perfect for crawling through technical terrain or hooking up on slippery surfaces.
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  12. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    "10-20% dirt..."
    Even that is not enough to make a decision on. "Dirt" can be alot of different things. I ride my RT 7-10% in the dirt. I ride out through the hard pack dirt roads in Ocotillo Wells OHVA regularly. I would never think of taking it out in sand or mud or the big rocks...but hard pack fire roads or access roads you could drive a car on...no problem.

    If your dirt is less than big rock, sand, mud or serious "OFF" road then a 12 is a great bike. Very skilled people do take them into rougher terrain, but most do not. If your idea of dirt is fire and access roads that your average pick up truck or maybe mild 4x4 would drive on then the 12 is great. If you are talking MX track, single track woods, rough and sandy desert then a 250/450 would be the tool for the job.

    But your comment on "MOST" of your riding being longer distance hiway and from city to city riding then I believe the 12 would be the best BMW bike for the job....not saying the only bike, but as far as BMW offers, probably the best bike for the job. Capable on 10-20% dirt if it is not too crazy, and 80-90% sport and touring hiways...that just screams R1200GS or GSA if you are taller and want a little bit more dirt worthiness....but again they get tall and top heavy.

    I hope that helps...DEMO one for a day and see what you think...seat of the pants dyno test. :D
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  13. Migs

    Migs Been here awhile

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    I have several amigos with 1200's so I'm going to drive one to feel it. Sounds enticing. Plus the 1200 is a really beautiful beast.
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  14. Mav

    Mav Something witty...

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    You definitely need to carry more engine speed with the 8... the torque on the 12 engines makes it very easy to get very lazy with the gear changes :D
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  15. Migs

    Migs Been here awhile

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    "All the gear - No Idea!"

    That's me for sure. -Migs
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  16. kellymac530

    kellymac530 motorcycle addict

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    Its like "Mikey"
    "Try it, You'll like it"
    :lol3
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  17. seasider

    seasider Just a rider

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    Haven't taken the time to read the responses so my honest answer after owning both....they are both easy to ride but for me the 1200 seems better balanced. I'm a 1200 snob at this point. Probably no fix and I'm ok with that.:clap
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  18. r'elise me

    r'elise me Been here awhile

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    My impression of the two bikes based on long test rides in paved twisties is that the FGS is much easier to ride on road than my GSA and I imagine MUCH easier off road. The weight is the primary reason IMO.

    These are machines and you need to use the right machine for the job at hand. Granted I'm a noob off road, I CANNOT imagine how difficult off road situations can be managed with my GSA. I know that I need to be 3x the rider I am to take the GSA beyond the fire roads. The FGS I can IMAGINE taking on a serious off road adventure, but IMO, for that sort of thing you'd be much better off with the KTM 990 or 690 (I've got the 690e for long offroad trips, I've also got a KTM EXC450 for DS day rides).

    Even though I liked the FGS, I bought the GSA because it is the defacto round-the-world touring machine that will survive hell or high water, and it truly is pampering on the highway. That's not an reputation any other bike can claim, even an FGS. Now, if you're not going to use it for hard core touring with minor off roading, I see no reason to consider an RGS. If you plan on doing a lot of in town street and freeway commuting with lighter touring get the FGS, no question in my mind. IMHO, the FGS is much more versatile, practical and provides for what MOST people need from a light touring superenduro. Believe me (and flame me if you will), I even prefer the rotax motor over the bulky, vibrating boxer. It revs more freely and it's a more tidy, narrow package.
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  19. marty hill

    marty hill The Energizer Bunny

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    I've also owned both. Thought the 800 would be easier for this old guy. Taller, almost as heavy and not nearly as good on the road. Sold it after 2k and kept the 12GS.
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  20. Migs

    Migs Been here awhile

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    In reading these responses I realize that bikes are like girls. A large part is how you ride them but another is the myth and mystique that surrounds them. In this regard the 1200's have the world in their hands.
    #20