Testriding F800GS to see if I want the F650GS

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by theborv, May 8, 2012.

  1. slowpoke28787

    slowpoke28787 Adventurer

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    I took out a 650GS demo today while my 1200GS was having a service done. I wanted to ride an 800GS but no demo available here now. I rode over 100 miles with 12 of that on gravel. By 80 miles I had to take a lunch break because the seat was so hard. I also think the 650 was just too small for my 6'5 frame. It did feel good on the asphalt and nice an nimble.
    I sat on an 800GS with bar risers at the dealership when I returned and it felt much better. The 800 is just bigger all the way around. The ride home on my 1200 felt even better but it is still a big bike and not suited for all kinds of riding. I would still like to ride the 800 for a day. You have to spend some real seat time on any bike before plunking down your dough so it is nice that BMW will allow it.
    #21
  2. malloy

    malloy Been here awhile

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    After 66,000 miles I went from an R1200GS to an F650GS and couldn't be happier:D.

    I didn't want the ride height of the 800 or the tubed tires and the 650 is lighter. Most of my riding is pavement. With its 19" front wheel, the 650 is very flickable with good power for me. True, the brakes will never compare with the R1200GS dual disc servo brakes (best I've ever had) but they are adequate and the torquey engine gives a lot of braking power. Seems there always a correct gear for any situation, turn, bend so I'm using the brakes quite a bit less anyway. The gearing encourages upshifting for better mileage as there is plenty of low end torque.

    No doubt in time I'll do some suspension mods. Who on what bike doesn't if they are serious riders and tinkerers? But for now it's fine. Same with the seat. Sooner or later a custom seat gets done on any long term bike. I like the seat height on the standard chassis. I'm 5'11" and like to flat foot when needed. It's a good thing. I put on an MRA Vario Touring Screen ( http://www.twistedthrottle.com/trade/productview/4592/363/ ) windshield that really quieted things down and cleaned up the airflow around my helmet.

    Gas mileage is great, 55-60 mpg, but greatly effected by high speeds. Not surprising on a small engine. Love regular gas at about 25 cents per gallon cheaper than premium at our local tier one gas stations.

    In theory I think that since the engine, transmission, driveline, frame, etc. were all designed for an 800cc motor with 85 +/-horsepower the 650 with its 71 hp will be less stressed and last for ever. That was my experience with a K75 (versus K100) for 90,000 miles.

    So if pavement and forest roads are your thing (consider ITSATDM's comments above) the F650GS is a good all around choice:clap. Might not have the cool factor of an F800GS but gets the job done:lol3.
    #22
  3. theborv

    theborv Been here awhile

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    About height, the F800GS with sock seat I can reach the ground perfectly with heels down. I was wondering if anyone has any experience with perfect height on a F800GS and going to the F650GS it were still big enough. I'm 184cm tall (6' .03")

    In a lot of ways I would prefer the 650, but not if it's going to be too small, that I will forever regret.
    #23
  4. 8thdwarf

    8thdwarf perfect,just perfect

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    I am 5'8" and have no problem with the seat height. I've had MX bikes all my riding career and using the " one foot tap" at stop lights don't bother me in the least.For me it seems unnatural to have BOTH feet on the ground at the same time while at a stop. My last bike, still have it and will never part with it, is a XR650L. I picked up a F800GS used with all the junk a dealer can cram on it for a reasonable price. I wanted a bike that was more street worthy than the XR but still could run and play in the dirt .I did test ride the 650 before this 800 fell into my lap and I have not been disappointed as of yet with my decision. That being said, you just gota pull the trigger. jump on it and ride it like you stole it.... you'll have a great adventure....
    #24
  5. GH41

    GH41 Been here awhile

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    Go back to the dealer that has the 800 and take a couple of wood blocks 2.3 inches thick. GH
    #25
  6. theborv

    theborv Been here awhile

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    Hmm I don't get what I supposed to do to find out what with the wood blocks...???
    #26
  7. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    Go sit on one, it will tell you if it will fit. I am 5-9, old and frail so the 800 presented a problem where I live. Even the pavement is canted one way or the other and all the stop signs are are half way up a mountain.

    I did not want to lose the suspension travel, so an electric carving knife removed about 1in of seat. No preload on the rear and moved the front tubes up a 1/4". All is good.
    #27
  8. theborv

    theborv Been here awhile

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    Pro & cons 650 vs 800 after riding both?
    #28
  9. GSFREEK

    GSFREEK Adventurer

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    800GS = guys
    650GS = girls
    it = that easy :D

    (now i'll hide for a while :D :kboom
    Really , go test ride both. Testing one thing to see if you like the other is pretty twisted :huh


    #29
  10. GH41

    GH41 Been here awhile

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    Have someone at the dealer put the blocks under you feet while you sit on the 800. 2.3" is the amount the 800 is higher over the 650. GH
    #30
  11. theborv

    theborv Been here awhile

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    I would if I could, they don't have 650 for demo... :cry

    So my options are to travel to another city, and that's a true pain, or to get as much info I can get from the net from people who had tried both to see if I can extract some real worthwhile info to take the plunge and order the 650 or not.

    When I get to sell my car, I can chose either bikes from a price perspective. If I had all the money to spend, I still don't know if I would get the 800 or 650, this is more to do with what will be the better option for me to ride.

    The 800 size fitted me perfectly, if I knew the 650 would fit just as well, I would chose the 650... I think.
    #31
  12. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks House Ape

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    Fill out your profile and let us know where you are. Maybe there's an inmate nearby who can let you try their 650.
    #32
  13. theborv

    theborv Been here awhile

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    I live in Bergen, Norway!

    GH, there is a 650 in the shop, I can sit on it, can't take it for a spin. It's like mountain boots, you won't really know if they fit until you walk in them properly, trying them on in the shop only tells half the story.
    #33
  14. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day.

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    Really? It's the same frame, engine, seat, foot peg location, bar height,:huh how can this be?
    #34
  15. GSFREEK

    GSFREEK Adventurer

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    I did my 25 hours driving lessons on a 650 and bought an 800. The 650 turns a bit easier and the front end seems more stable at higher speeds. I prefer the higher sitting position of the 800 and it is much more trashable off-road :D. Last but not least, the 800 looks sooooo much better IMO! :wink:
    #35
  16. Jon_PDX

    Jon_PDX Long timer

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    I thought the same thing until I sat on both of them. It's hard to explain but the 800 does seem bigger and not just because of the height. I think the reach to the bars is different. Or maybe the bars were not adjusted to the same angle on both bikes.

    If you go here you can plug in both bikes and see the difference. It's not much but they are slightly different.

    http://cycle-ergo.com/

    I was amazed at how much heaver the 800 feels with the added height. More than the published difference in weight. In fact the weight of the F800 feels more top heavy like my past V-Strom 650's and the F650 feels more like my DR650. Light and nimble.

    Since I'm only 5'9" and 150 lbs the F650 was a much better fit.

    I do agree if a person wants to do more off-road the 800 is probably better suited to the task.

    For just fire roads either bike will do the job.

    Jon...
    #36
  17. theborv

    theborv Been here awhile

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    Regarding looks, the version of the 650 I am considering is the special edition yellow/black one. If it weren't for that I wouldn't have considered the 650 at all. But the 800 still looks better.
    #37
  18. theborv

    theborv Been here awhile

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    How is the engine-breaking-feel/experience compared between the 650 and 800? Are they slightly different, if so, how are they different? Or are they the same?
    #38
  19. 8thdwarf

    8thdwarf perfect,just perfect

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    I did prefer the 800, although I would have bought the 650 if this 800 didn't come about. that being said, I like the torque of the 800 and the throttle response of the 800 over the 650. the 800 feels like a bigger bike, duh, more road worthy IMO... I just got this thing and i know it's going to take a different mentality riding this thing in the dirt. Much different than the XR or other dirt bikes I'm accustomed to, well, see. For the amount of off road vs. road riding I'm doing as of late, I'm glad I got the 800. Sounds like you're stuck with indecision.
    #39
  20. acejones

    acejones Long timer

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    Yeah, to paraphrase the previous poster; "Indecision may or may not be your problem".

    For what its worth, I had a F650gs, sold it and three years later bought another one. I like them.
    #40