800GS vs 1200 GSA

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Dagwood_55, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. Dagwood_55

    Dagwood_55 Long timer

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    Meybe this has been asked before, if so, skuz me and direct me:

    I've got a '07 1200GSA, with Russel DL seat, Wilbers, Comm set, Zumo, Radar Det and more. Finally set up like I wanted it. Had ideas of me and the misses riding to Key West, Hill Country, Big Bend, etc, you get the idea. We did make one trip to the Hill Country and the bike was the best. Road a few good gravel roads and still good. Or so I thought...

    Well, the only problem is: My wife don't like long trips on the bike. She had rather ride for a day in the Ozarks down the NF roads and county roads. We've done this on the big Beemer, but once in a while, we get into trouble at a stream crossing, or the road peters out and we gotta turn that big beast around in a narrow rocky road. Or the going just gets a little ruff for the big pig. Though I love the GSA, it seams to be a over-kill for what we (she) likes to do. Now I do also have a 650 XCh, and we've road it 2 up a little, but its to the extreme the other direction, so....

    I've been thinking about a 800GS (or possibly a 650GS) in the back of my mind. I know its not that much lighter than the GSA. But for what we want to do, it might be better suited for us. We (again she) just wants to poke around on the NF roads while carring a little gear, visiting old sites, creeks, cemetaries and such.... Though I hate to think about selling the GSA, not that I've got all the farkles on it and starting over.

    What does someone think that has ridden or owned both?? For this type of riding???

    Or do I just have a bad case of the 'Greener grass' syndrome???
    #1
  2. Bucko

    Bucko In a parallel world

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    Might sound crazy, but I'd recommend a KLR650 for your two-up daytrips. My wife isn't into bumpy roads, but she loved the KLR for tooling around town before I sold it for my GS8.

    I can see the GSA being a handful, and the GS8 would definitely be easier to man/woman handle, but if you like (and get to) tour by yourself on it, keep it and pick up a used KLR for marital outings. The CV carb and low horsepower plus the soft suspension guarantee a smooth ride, and it will be much easier to ride through or turn back from questionable territory than either the GSA or GS8.

    Great country you live in. I've ridden horses along the Berryman trail in MO and seen plenty of places I'd like to explore on two wheels. One of these days...
    #2
  3. peter_sd

    peter_sd Adventurer

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    I sold my GSA and got the 800 i am glad i did. I was doing more offroad and the GSA was a pig offroad.
    #3
  4. SCQTT

    SCQTT Zwei Kolben

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    Just wait. They want a bunch of people to trade & then trade again. F800GS Adventure here in 12-18 months for certain.

    I've got a 1200GSA & a XCH too & I think the 800 might be perfect for me, I just know I want an Adventure version.
    #4
  5. levity

    levity nano-Adventurer

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    The 8GS feels much lighter than the 12GS (on and off-road) - and is lighter, of course

    the centralized mass (parallel twin, fuel under seat) may be a major contributor - seems well "balanced"

    I find that the 8GS feels closer to the X-Challenge than it does to the 12GS
    #5
  6. CourtFisher

    CourtFisher Been here awhile

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    I've switched from a 12GS to an 8GS, and am so far happy for all the same reasons as others, but for what you + wife want, I'd think at least a 2-up 8GS test ride from dealer of choice should be part of the decision.
    #6
  7. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    Just wait? I waited a full year with a deposit an a year or two before that reading the rumours. If the adventure version is still just in speculation.......

    :lol3:lol3
    #7
  8. JustKip

    JustKip Long timer

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    Any chance of getting her on her own mount? Visit the "Battle Scooters" forum. Something in the 125-250 cc range, twist and go, would suit a novice on secondary roads and easy trails. My wife has never ridden but just took her second look at an MP3-250. Put an Autocom in her jacket pocket to give her confidence...

    Of the two, for your purposes, I would take a good look at the 650GS instead of the 800. The gentle power on take-off would be better for 2-up.
    #8
  9. dsavage

    dsavage Been here awhile

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    I own a 1200gs and recently bought a f650gs twin. I have put more farkles on it than I have miles but I really like the power to weight ratio. I'm taking it to New Mexico next week for a shake down on the dirt and gravel roads around Ruidoso. I do not ride two up but both bikes are lighter and easier to manage on dirt and gravel than the gsa.
    #9
  10. The Griz

    The Griz Long timer Supporter

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    The F800GS is the "adventure" version. The new F650Gs twin is the "non-adventure" version. Whatever that means. Either way, BMW is not going to make and "adventure" version of the F800GS. I heard straight from the horse's mouth.
    #10
  11. Bigem

    Bigem Long timer

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    Correct, I think they are more likely to do a "HP3" or similar. I absolutely love my F8.
    #11
  12. conrado

    conrado Been here awhile

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    I own a 1200 GSA, having previously put 50000 km on a 1150 GSA. My girlfriend has a F650GS (twin) and for a while I considered getting a F800GS.

    After test riding the F800GS I felt disappointed. Funny, since I considered the 650 such a nice bike. My points:

    a) The 800 is lighter than the 1200 GSA, but not that much. I consider the 1200 GSA (wisely loaded and with the right tires) a very balanced bike on gravel roads. Admitedly, this has something to do with the rider's build and my previous experience with the 1150 GSA.

    b) The 800's engine is nice, but there is no comparison to the 1200's.

    c) Fuel range, and anti-knock sensors are important to the type of travel I like to do.

    d) I couldn't imagine riding two up with luggage on a 650/800 for any serious distance.

    Depending of what you intend to do with the bike, points c) and d) are of no relevance to you.

    Perhaps, if I've never had an 1200 GSA I would be all over the 800 ...
    #12
  13. The Griz

    The Griz Long timer Supporter

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    Take the above quoted post with a grain of salt. Yeah, if you're a "heavier" person and ride a lot of "two-up" with two "heavier" people a R1200GSA is the way to go. By the way, in the F800GS manual, it says that the spring pre-load on the rear shock set all the way counter-clockwise (weakest/softest setting) is for a 187lb rider with a full tank of gas. The F800GS has a VERY burly rear spring. It can handle a huge load, heavy rider, and rough terrain very well. I mean, yeah, the R1200GSA is an amazing bike. But a HUGE, HEAVY amazing bike at that. The fuel economy is no where near as good on a R12 either. See attached images and thread about long distance on the F800GS:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=377088

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
    #13
  14. Kev_England

    Kev_England Been here awhile

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    I can relate to this.
    I have a 650 X Challenge and am thinking of buying it a partner. I want something more robust for long distance and need much more power. The F800GS sounded perfect, on paper. Went to the dealer and sat on it and was immediately dissapointed in how "small" it felt. Im 6' even and was expecting something much bigger. I know maneuverability is important but I dont want a scooter! (OK an exageration).

    So,I look at the G120GS and that just seems too big for off road. Great for roads and cool looking but I wouldnt want to get stuck in the mud with that thing.

    What Im thinking is: how about a 1000GS Adventure? Sounds perfect to me. BMW are you listening?

    #14