2008 KLR or 2009 F800 GS for multi-year round the world trip?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Raoul Duke, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. Django Loco

    Django Loco Banned

    Oct 19, 2003
    This is a great post. I think in future more and more travelers will be buying or renting per continent or country. Border hassles, shipping, costs and corruption all are forcing riders this direction.

    Anb it ain't so bad really. I've only done it in a few places. In Thailand and Cambodia I rented 125's and did just great. Just to cheap worry about buying. I also kept a bike stored in Europe for a few years, and made a couple long trips.

    I know lots of bikes are for sale in Chile and Argentina, but getting the paper work straight can still be tricky but is possible.
    Buying new, no problem. Brazil is good for this.
  2. srileo

    srileo dot Indian snakecharmer Supporter

    Aug 18, 2006
    San Francisco
    It looks like you are looking for a combination of utter reliability + comfort/speed.

    I think there is a huge gap between the KLR and the F800GS that is very neatly filled in by a vstrom 650. I havent yet read a single report about the Wee strom that indicated any mechanical weak spots.

    I would seriously NOT consider the F800 for the additional reason that it makes you look like ca$h rich in 3rd world countries. I'd rather melt into the background and look like a grungy backpacker than a rich gentleman traveller.
  3. chas1969

    chas1969 Go! Far w/Less ADVer

    Mar 5, 2006
    BMW is a great bike and the $$$ is there but one small thing that may be a slight risk ... it is the 1st year of production The Beta Test. The F800 S/ ST have been putting around for couple years and europe has used it for a year so far. So maybe YES, IMHO Buy the F800gs, perfect on/off compromise!! Fuel economy is fantastic and farkel is strong.

    KLR is a good bike but I think its time has come and gone. The 'redesign' was more flash and more weight. Also the 'redesign' did NOT include fixing the "Dohicky".

    KISS cat. , if thinking about the KLR (cheap, reliable, simple...) way-of-thinking, check out the DR650. Light, aircooled, and reliable!! Autin Vince (mondo enduro) loved the DR350. All thumpers after a long mile day fatigue me so the F800gs would be my 2 cents.

    I saw a F800gs from mexico at the BMW MOA rally this year. The bike looked like it had done a ton of off road, but made it the rally okay. Unfortunatly I did not see the rider to talk about the bike:(

    Good luck
  4. F800 Rob

    F800 Rob MotoInsight

    Oct 3, 2005
    Pittsburgh, PA
    As the guy who would runs the F800 site, I'd say don't take an F800GS - but not for the reason that you think.

    If I were going around the world, I would want to minimize the possibility of stuff braking. The F800GS (and most of the other bikes mentioned here) are just too complex in my opinion. Your best steed of choice would be from a simpler time - something like an R80GS. Think about it - legendary reliability, ubiquitous parts supply, decent gas mileage, good farkle availability.

    I'd also subscribe to the Ted Simon philosophy of world riding - more isn't always better (i.e. the R100GS/PD and it's heavy gas tank) and it's best to travel as a 'real' person - not a kitted up, aluminum panniered, rolling symbol of brand new bike + Touratech-ism.

    Just my .02 - and it's from a guy who has an F800, and has one of the new GS's on order too.
  5. johnnywideopen

    johnnywideopen Adventurer

    Nov 26, 2007
    Solana Beach, CA
    what about a yamaha TDM? there's support for that bike everywhere but the US, and who cares about the US? i have a close buddy that's been riding for 35+ years. just bought his first TDM and told me straight up, it's the absolute best bike he's ever had. he's a bit of a loon, but he says after eight hours in the saddle he feels just fine... ready to do it again. infact, he won't shut up about it, the bastard.

    then he tells me he's leaving in december to spend 4 months going from georgia down south america. he calls me up "hey, were going to south america!"

    lord help us all.
  6. glasswave

    glasswave Long timer

    Feb 4, 2007
    Wasatch Mtns, UT
    In most developing countries, you will look cash rich on any bike that is not a common local bike. No one in India, Tajikistan or Bolivia is going to discern any difference between a KLR and a 1200GSA, let alone a vStom and a 800GS. Even my Honda Falcon 400cc (a local bike) was considered by most locals in Peru and Bolivia to be a monsterous rich man's bike. Some even asked if it was a Harley.

    Even on an Enfield in India, in a small village I once had a throng of locals 200 strong cramming forward to get a look at the white guy. It was enough to make the 2 cops holding them off to nervously say "Please you go now!" And I did!