With the Triumph 800xc out would you still buy an F800gs?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by veloce, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. Oddward

    Oddward Been here awhile

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    I bought my F800 almost a year ago. The odo is a few miles shy of 5k with the bulk accounted for rolling along the tarmac. It is my daily commuter year round. My friend recently bought a Tiger a few months back.

    After numerous comparisons I have learned this:

    -The tiger tank is bigger, but with less fuel economy we are both empty at 200 miles.
    -The stock seats are near enough the same to kill your backside. An Airhawk is your friend.
    -The tiger ABS is tedious to turn off.
    -Aftermarket parts for the tiger are less numerous and sometimes difficult to find. The bike is still too new.
    -The F800 computer controls are easier to navigate.
    -They feel quite similar to sit on, however the F800 is narrower near the thighs.
    -The F800 foot pegs feel higher.
    -The tiger low end throttle is factory smoother. With a booster plug in the BMW they are similar.
    -Both dealerships have been exceptional. Gateway BMW for me. El Dorado Cycle for him. Both in Missouri.
    -The handle bars are factory higher on the tiger. Same height as the F800 with a 20mm riser.
    -The tiger is more front and back balanced, where the F800 is more front heavy.

    Riding and handling: There is a slight difference in "feel" (sorry for the lack of specificity but that is as best as I can do) and position. Road and off-road performance is similar, where the tiger has a slight road bias and the F800 has a slight off-road bias. I would speculate most of the differences are driver based rather than design.

    Had I to do it over again, I would still buy the BMW F800GS. It was and still is my dream bike taking me where ever I want to go. My friend would still buy his Tiger for the same reason. My lack of dirt miles will be quickly remedied in the near future.

    BUT... for those on the fence, In six weeks we depart for Yellowstone. 4K miles of mixed roads and dirt trails. We decided it would make a good competitive ride report. :D
    #21
  2. TAMPAJIM

    TAMPAJIM Been here awhile

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    I don't agree that both bikes have uncomfortable OEM seats. The Beemer does for sure, like sitting on a vinyl covered 2x6 but the tiger isn't bad. I've got 3,500 miles on it and and not considering a replacement. I replaced the GS seat with a Sargent the first week, but it is still not as comfortable as the stock Tiger.

    My complaints about the Tiger after getting used to the BMW.

    Engine heat management on knees/legs- I had to fabricate some shields for the Summer.
    Increase the fuel mileage 45 vs 62 mpg
    Toggle switch for the computer moved from the pod to the handlebar.
    Add ambient temperature display

    Complaints about the BMW after getting used to the Tiger.

    Use the Triumph engine - smooth, powerful, responsive and no buzz
    The centerstand is way too hard to use.
    The seat.
    #22
  3. 2Stamp

    2Stamp Been here awhile

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    I drove both before buying a few months ago. I chose the 800GS. The Tiger is FUN. I could get into serious trouble on the road with it. Smooth, quick tranny, loved the engine. I think it would be a great road touring bike. I liked how I could change the seat height on my owe, with the stock seat. But it was the first year of the Tiger. I don't buy first year models. I also didn't like the looks of the bottom linkage on the Tiger; too exposed. For what I wanted the bike for I felt the 800GS was a better fit for me. Your mileage may very though.
    #23
  4. puckinet

    puckinet Safety third

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    I would pick the F800 better off road, the tiger is a better street bike because of the 3 cylinder, but not as good off road because of the 3 cylinders. I ride the road to get off road. Also warranty 3 years for the BMW and a year for the tiger.
    #24
  5. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy

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    I postponed buying a 800GS because of the 800XC. They really hyped the living f**k out of that bike with all of the teaser ads, etc. I wasn't in a hurry to buy a bike, so I waited to see them in person.

    Neither bike is perfect, but the pros and cons kinda balance out - so which bike yanks your crank better? Buy THAT one. The fit and finish of the Tiger underwhelmed me, and some design aspects just didn't score points with me either.

    Like:

    Metal gas tank up high (considering what my Dakar had been through, it would be dented to hell.)
    3 cylinders? I did just fine with 1 before. 2 is enough for a bike like this.
    Engine hangs low and forward. Again, considering previous bike, I would definitely hit that thing.

    There's more, but why bother. Some of these things are probably why it gets deemed the better 'road' bike of the two. And you bet your ass I'm not buying a first year anything. BMW has had 4 years of production to get mine right, so we'll see about that.

    And by the way, I figured I would stop by the Tiger thread before I wrote this, and there are already posts about incurable stalling, overheating, corporate bike buybacks for defects - so don't let the reliability aspect sway you.

    Again - both bikes are fine - just friggin' buy one and ride the crap out of it. Don't want any Tiger fans freakin' out over here in PU.
    #25
  6. veloce

    veloce Adventurer

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    It's hard to sort from coolaid and fact, but you guys posted some good stuff.

    Griz, not to single you out, but from one video review I saw, I'll look for it, but not the MCN. The Tiger is rated better off road, and feels "much lighter" while the F800gs is better on road. Have you actually ridden both bikes?

    Here it is, all of the reviewers seem to rate the triumph better http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/8/101...1-Middleweight-Adventure-Touring-Comparo.aspx

    Someone mentioned the price: I can't find a F800gs that sells for MSRP, they all have standard package plus some dealer dough.

    All of the dealers are pushing the tiger real hard. Even the ones that sell the F800gs also. I don't know why, every time I asked about the F800gs, I was steered back to the tiger. Must be some kind of triumph incentive that BMW isn't giving?

    I agree that the tiger looks like a poor imitation of the F800gs, however the materials and build quality do look better, though that is subjective. I think the f800 looks much better, and the bmw emblem on the side is icing on the cake.

    Honestly, I don't know how much dirt riding I will do, and the dirt riding I will do will not be terribly serious. I won't be able to do a world tour for quite a while until I finish school, so that puts the F800gs with it's fuel issues back in the running.

    The big issue with the f800 is the seat on the tiger is much more comfortable. What after market options do I have for the f800?

    Thanks for the replys, if only I could find a dealer that would let me test ride either or even both. I can't believe they are trying to sell me a bike without letting me test ride either of them.
    #26
  7. The Griz

    The Griz Long timer

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    I watched that MCN review a long time ago.... and I don't agree with it!

    Yes, I've ridden both.

    The 800XC is considerably more top heavy than the F800GS. Also feels heavier overall. And for a 800cc triple, its engine feels considerably weaker than the F800GS's down low in the RPMs.

    I stand by my previous post.
    #27
  8. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    I have not rode the Triumph, so I also read it closely. I wanted to write the bike off as not comparable off road, but then I started adding up the changes I made to the BMW 800 and why.

    Bitubo cartridge inserts and springs to address the front. Heavier springs for the rear, almost full hard on rebound. To much torque for dirt? I run knobbies plus added an Accelerator module and G2 throttle tube to smooth out its sudden application. At 5,000 rpm it does get tingly and feels like it is running out of breath. I added a Leo Vince exhaust, that and mileage seems to have solved both problems. I don't mind the gear shift, but if my boots get wet, I do find myself using the heel of my boot on the lever to shift. Switch gear you get used to, but I did shave the back of the brake arm in order to raise it. A cheap mod for seat involves an electric carving knife, I did that too.

    So it seems to me the criticism of the bike is valid and good to know I did not waste my money on farkels.

    I really did not spend a great deal of money and my average mileage is better than the test bike.

    I think if the testers rode my bike they would pick a different winner, but for a new customer I understand now why they might not.

    I am not sure if would still pick the BMW, but if I did, I want to transfer my modifications.

    PS, it is a 800 Griz.
    #28
  9. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    ^The above is what would seal the deal for me if you were interested in taking it on anything more challenging than fire roads. For my strength/ability/size the weight is not the limiting factor in offroading the F8. Nor is it the quality of the suspension. By a loooong way, the single greatest limiting factor I find is ground clearance. As the Triumph is lower still, I think you will have problems using it on anything remotely like "proper" offroad.

    For a 100% roadbike? I'd be very interested in the Tiger.
    #29
  10. The Griz

    The Griz Long timer

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    Oops! My mistake.
    #30
  11. The Griz

    The Griz Long timer

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    +1, after riding and thoroughly inspecting the 800XC up close, I'd have to agree.

    In my opinion the F800GS is a good 60/40 bike... as on 60% on road (pavement) and 40% off road (gravel roads, dirt roads, 2-track ATV/Jeep trails, etc - no single track). Whereas, the 800XC is a good 90/10 bike.... 90% paved roads, 10% mixed gravel/fire roads and the occasional "if I have to" 2-track ATV/Jeep trail.

    Also, someone mentioned the rims on the 800XC as Excel rims. They are not.

    It is also important to remember that just because a suspension component has adjustments, that does not necessarily make it any better. I have a shitty little stereo that has a lot of adjustments on it but it will never sound as good as my Tannoy studio monitors that have no adjustments.... just an analogy, but something to think about nonetheless.
    #31
  12. Maniac28

    Maniac28 Been here awhile

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    I own an 800GS with 16k miles and I took a good test ride on the Triumph 800 XC last weekend.

    The Triumph has a better engine and a better seat. The suspension seems a little better out of the box, too. I think it makes a better road bike than the F800. Also, the gearchange is a bit smoother than the BMW.

    I didn't get to ride the Triumph off road, but the points that the other posters have made seem relevant. A little more vulnerable, a little more top heavy, and not as much low end torque. Also, first gear seemed slightly higher than the GS, and the GS is already too tall. None of these facts are deal breakers for the average rider.

    Overall I thought the Triumph was an awesome bike and you can't go wrong with either one!
    #32
  13. Maniac28

    Maniac28 Been here awhile

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    I don't know about the 90/10 thing, the bike is pretty similar to the BMW. Maybe for those of us who really ride hard trails on these bikes, you might notice a difference. For the average buyer, I don't think the added clearance of the F8 makes too much difference.

    Also, I didn't look at my test bike, but the 800XC at the motorcycle show had excel rims front and rear. I assumed they would come that way? If they took those off, that's a real shame.
    #33
  14. The Griz

    The Griz Long timer

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    That depends on what you mean by 'hard trails'. Again, just my opinion after riding both bikes. With the 800XC as top heavy as it is and with that lower linkage poking out and the overall lower ground clearance it's off-road worthiness is reduced in my opinion.

    Someone put those on that show bike aftermarket then.

    Pretty much every photo I find there are no Excel rims:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Neine Excel.
    #34
  15. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    I have to admit that a lack of low rpm torque used as a selling point seems odd, but not the first mag to point it out. I don't agree that too much low rpm torque is a bad thing, but understand the problem if you can't modulate the use of it. IMO that is the problem with F800gs. Very lean at low rpm and the torque comes on in a rush as the rpms rise.
    Already stated my cure for it.
    #35
  16. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    In fact that's what I did.:deal

    I had a deposit on a Tiger and even had mine sitting at the dealer. Cancelled the order and purchased another GS after a couple of test rides on the Tiger. If any of you followed the Tiger thread when they were first coming out you saw my posts and my pros and cons of each. Most of the cons mentioned here weren't deal breakers for me, although they started to add up as I learned more about the bike.

    What DID make the final call for me was the steering geometry, specifically the turn-in of the steering. I keep reading how good the handling is "despite" the 21" front wheel, and that's true, the bike was so much fun on twisty roads, but it didn't handle like it had a 21" and that's what I wanted. If I didn't know better I'd say the bike felt like it had a 19" or even maybe a 17". Great on asphalt, not what I want in the dirt. If your riding is more "adventure super-moto" (did I just create a new class?:D) this would be the optimal bike in my opinion. As much as I wanted the Triumph to be the machine for me my heart kept telling me I wanted another GS, and I can't ignore that.

    Honestly, judging by the way many ride thier GSs I'd say the triumph might be better for them, and I'm on the edge of that category myself as I don't really do anything hardcore with my GS, already tried that and found I'm happier toning it down a bit . I still don't find it as black and white of a decision as many here do but I think I leaned more to the GS side. The Tiger has a lot of things going for it and I'm not surprised most owners are ecstatic about it. Had that one issue with the turn in been different I'd have bought the Tiger and probably had a ton of fun figuring it out, despite some of what I would call design flaws for what I want in an adventure bike. At times I still catch myself thinking maybe I should have, but the last time I thought that I test rode another one and it cemented my decision for the GS.
    #36
  17. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    I find it odd, that these BMW shortcomings are being pointed out now, 3 years after the intro. It is the same bike, that the media was all over themselves about when it was introduced. Where was the in depth reporting then?

    Maybe 3 years from now we will have the downside being reported on the Triumph.:rofl
    #37
  18. HighTechCoonass

    HighTechCoonass Living the Dream....

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    sat on it at the Canada Moto Show. the tank was huge! I felt like I was going to be "riding a gas tank". very disapointed... the Bmw fells a lot better and more in control.
    #38
  19. Bigem

    Bigem Long timer

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    I looked at the 800XC as a possible replacement for my 09 F8GS, but left the dealer wondering where he went wrong!!

    I loved the 800XCs engine, for a road bike its brilliant, but the rest of the Triumph lost out.

    In my opinion, the Triumph is cheap in build, has a lot of 'wrong' materials on it that will not stand up to constant off-road use, and here in Oz, it has to be optioned up to the same standard spec as the 800GS, which makes it virtually the same price, within $100, and the serviceing costs are higher with the 800XC, which according to the salesperson is because its got 3 cylinders??

    Triumph started with a clean sheet of paper, had 3 years to develop their bike, and barely matched the BMW let alone bettered it!!

    I think the 800GS is a more robust bike and proven its still the best 800cc Advbike on the market.
    #39
  20. inmate-n00b

    inmate-n00b Ciao, Marco

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    what materials are those?
    where are they used?
    #40