800GS vs KLR

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by motoman250f, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. Trail Boss

    Trail Boss World's fastest slowrider

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    No. Kawasaki only changed the colors of the bike.


    It's not clear yet. Maybe, maybe not.
    #61
  2. Mark_S

    Mark_S Fair Weather Faggot

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    how does the GS compare to the HP2?
    #62
  3. Django Loco

    Django Loco Banned

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    I got my copy a couple days ago. I was surprised how critical 'ol Dave was of the bike. He pointed out a few things I was unaware of based on my dirt only test ride.

    Weak brakes for one. Sketchy street handling for another, with TKC80's. (no surprise) I was also surprised by the low dyno HP numbers. 73 HP? :eek1

    I'd be interested in how the F800 handles a tight bumpy road compared to a well set up KLR or DR650 ridden quickly. On the roads here in NorCal HP means little. A good rider on a KLR can keep up with just about any bike in the tight, bumpy stuff. Would the F800GS really have much advantage over an KLR? Let alone a Wee Strom or DR650? One certainly gets a lot of bling for $14 grand (my buddies cost that with Remus pipe) .... but what does that really buy you in the real world?

    IMO, this bike is carrying too much weight for it's design brief. At 490
    lbs. Wet, it's too heavy. Period. Add bags and misc. crap and it's just another overweight BMW. Been there, done that.

    Wet weight of the DL650 Vstrom is just 476 lbs. And of course the KLR's and DR are 100 lbs. less than that. What was that someone said about the F800 "running circles" around the Wee Strom:poser In rougher dirt sections, perhaps, but in the dirt conditions I witnessed, the Wee strom easily held it's own. On the road it was the F800's equal just about anywhere.

    Here is a revealing quote from Dave Searle (MCN Editor) on the F800, comparing it to his DR650. This is relevant given the KLR is a similar bike. (of course the DR is better:D )

    That pretty much says it all for me. Two Thumbs down for the F800. :nono . (me and Dave!:D )

    In another part of the article he condemns the bike as not being up to the Sport touring quality of the R1200, not even close by his description. So what are you getting here any way? He explains:

    He says: " If off road exploring is something you will actually do ---
    not just a social facade --- the F800GS is a very desirable ride."

    Sounds to me like he's got the Beemer crowd's number:rayof
    Social facade about covers it around here anyway! :deal
    #63
  4. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    I believe that was me........................:D

    I was referring to rougher sections for certain that would have a strom high centered due to lack of clearance for one. If you just want to do dirt roads, well then fine the 800 is a waste money. I have a Strom and wouldn't take it nearly the places that the 800 does with ease, this isn't to say it's not possible, but it sure wouldn't be fun ,at least for me. The strom just feels like a street bike to me and the 800 feels like a big enduro. Hey, different strokes for different folks. I REALLY wish I could be happy with a strom for the dirt riding I want to do, I've tried an it didn't come even close to cutting it.

    And as for wieght, that really did suprise me to as it feels lighter. Check the wieght on the big Katooms, I think they'd be considered the most dirt worthy of all of the above and they sure aren't light.

    But really, we can disagree on this an that's fine, but the 800 has allowed me to have a riding experience that none of the others have. If it's all in my head, fine, I guess I shouldn't be able to do the things I'm doing.
    #64
  5. irishdec

    irishdec Been here awhile

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    I,ve driven about 90% slab,on my 2000 klr,2002 Klr,2008 klr,2004 vstrom dl1000 ,,and after getting speeding tickets,soley on the Vstrom........power??? dont need it,the KLR will cruise at 75 mph all day no problems ,wel, except for buffering.Ive driven from Toronto Canada to Guatemala on the KLR,and if its set up right,its as good as a cruiser,even better as when ya drop it....you dont pop a disc trying to lift it up!!!!
    I cannot comment on the '800 but for sheer reliabilty KLR all the way from what Ive read:clap
    #65
  6. Django Loco

    Django Loco Banned

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    Right on Dave. If your F800GS feels "right" that IS what matters.:clap
    The best news about the 800 is that it looks to be reliable. If you don't feel the weight ... even better.

    And I have to agree ... I didn't feel it either in my short dirt ride but the front brake was grabby but the bike steered well. I could see getting comfy on it in a few rides and some practice. Just use caution about where you think you can go. Bring help and keep your tires soft!
    #66
  7. zane121

    zane121 Been here awhile

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    Well it depends on what you want to compare. I dont think the two arve very comparable; a single 650 v/s a twin 800? I think a KLR/DR/XL/SE are comparable but not a single against a twin.

    The 800 seems like a better bike all the way around but the cost is double.
    My 08 KLR with rear rack and crash bars is over 400lbs. However I have not nor will I ever take it to the dealer. The KLR is like a giant lawn mower engine and I can do everything to it including a complete engine rebuild if required. I'm not confident enough to do that to my bmw.

    On the highway with a Corbin seat, highway pegs the KLR is just as comfortable on a all day ride. I have spent 12 hours riding it but never all interstate riding. I would expect the 800 twin to have quicker passing times but again never felt in danger on the KLR.

    If I had the money I would consider a 800gs but not before I spend some time on one.

    Have fun in your dilemma; winter is a great time to dream and plan for a new bike..
    #67
  8. Lunatik

    Lunatik Been here awhile

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    I did EVERYTHING you can do to a KLR650 to make it more acceptable on the street (highway travels).
    The bike has just been re-built now after blowing up the 705 on a trans-Canadian ride. I wanted to do a three oceans tour, ended up doing a two oceans tour (Atlantic to Pacific).

    In short, the 60 HP at motor on the KLr 705 with a 16 tooth counter-sprocket & Touring gear, aux fuel tank etc ... KILLED the TRANNY of the KLR in short order. Want to KILL a KLR ??
    Load it to 650 pounds, install a 705 KIT with stage two head and hit the freeways for 3000 miles in three days = ONE DEAD KLR motor :)

    A GS800 would have taken that in stride I'm sure, as would a DL 1000 (which I've purchased to replace the KLR705 for THOSE situations).

    The F8GS seems in my perspective to be the bike I need, I'm just doing it with two bikes now (the 705 & the DL 1000).

    My 2 cents worth
    #68
  9. Django Loco

    Django Loco Banned

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    For those super long runs like you describe (3000 miles across Canada) I think you'll find your DL1000 will be the perfect bike. Better, IMO than the F800GS.

    Smoother, faster, overdrive 6th gear and easy to pack up with all your gear ..... and of course much much less expensive than the F800GS.
    The DL1000 is just 15 lbs or so heavier than the F800GS, the DL650 is substantially lighter weight.

    I did many cross country, high speed runs on my DL1000 including three major Baja/Mexico rides. Never even a whisper of a problem.

    The blown up Hot Rod KLR does not surprise me at all, but how you got 60 hp out of a 703cc KLR is beyond me. Stock the KLR puts out about 36 HP .... so you're saying you managed to double its output?
    Did you do a dyno run? (must have been a DynoJet unit!)
    #69
  10. Lunatik

    Lunatik Been here awhile

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    50HP at wheel ... verified by many 705's on dyno ... bike is 47 hp @ motor STOCK
    #70
  11. StinkyCheese

    StinkyCheese Long timer Supporter

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    I don't think you really can compare the two. Its apples and oranges. Yeah there both dualsports but it ends there. One is single, the other twin with twice the horses, the KLR is plain jane and the 800 is a computerized prom queen. The KLR is Mary Ann and the 800 is Ginger. I'd ride both of 'em but probably only take Mary Ann home to meet momma!

    Also, IMHO my '09 KLR is fucking beautiful!
    #71
  12. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    A lot of posts here keep saying that you can't compare the two. Why not?

    Though there are many mechanical differences, including a different motor configuration, these are the aspects that are being compared. Who wants to compare two identical bikes? Yes they have quite a few differences. If we should just compare twins to twins, would it be more appropriate to compare the 800 to a Harley, after all they're both twins right?

    I think the comparison comes in that they were both designed to do a very similar job, and they both go about that same job from a different angle, each having pros an cons. That's why there are many riders on the fence right now as to what to do. Same way an Aprillia RXV twin could be compared to many thumpers that have half the motor and technology, but if you're looking for a supermoto type bike they would have a common purpose, which makes them very compareable.
    #72
  13. Desert Dave

    Desert Dave Enjoying the moment

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    That's the exact conclusion I came to. Problem was I could only ride one bike at a time.

    I'm keeping my strom just because it is a fun bike and I still want a street bike without knobbies an some more power, but I could be really happy without it and just keep the GS.
    #73
  14. motoman250f

    motoman250f Been here awhile

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    can you give a little more information about the failure? What speed were you maintaining? What oil were you using? What went bad in the tranny?

    Thanks,

    #74
  15. Trail Boss

    Trail Boss World's fastest slowrider

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    Could somebody with extensive mechanical knowledge help me out here and explain how modifying a KLR engine caused the failure of Tinkerer's transmission?

    Would loading a stock KLR with 650lbs and then riding it for 3000 miles on the freeway kill the transmission? Or is the failure mostly due to the 705 kit + stage 2 head + 16t countersprocket?
    #75
  16. Django Loco

    Django Loco Banned

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    Dozens of stock KLR's have done RTW rides with minimal problems. Granted, a few have exploded, a few broken frames and quite a few broken sub frames .... and of course the infamous Doo Hickey failures which can take out the engine/trans. But overall, over the last 20 years, KLR's have done pretty damn well in hard use, overloaded, on long mile treks over much worse terrain than the OP describes.

    Hard to say, IMO, if the 700 kit was a direct cause but to be certain, it is putting an extra load on everything. I have a theory about what happens when round eye enter an Asian motor. But we won't go there for now. There is a chance this guys motor/trans could have had problems coming down the line anyway. Who knows?

    I would not allow this report to put you off klr's. As long as the DooHickey has been dealt with, should be OK .... and by the way ...
    leave it stock! :deal
    #76
  17. Trail Boss

    Trail Boss World's fastest slowrider

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    No chance of that happening. I've got an oil burning '08 and plan on installing the 685 kit in the next few months to permanently fix the oil burning issue.

    Then, with a little luck, I'll follow that with a stage 2 kit and a 16T countersprocket.
    #77
  18. Lunatik

    Lunatik Been here awhile

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    The reason the KLR 705 blew up on my trip was a number of things, too many to actually see WHAT was the mitigating factor ... there were many.
    1. the bike was putting 60HP at motor (KLRcary told me that STOCK, the bike could have been ridden all its life at full throttle, but when you increase the power load substancially, things start to stress)
    2. The bike was OVER-LOADED (just ask drif10) ... I used a 10 gallon fuel tank mounted on rear of bike, PLUs the top trunk was on top, adding to the SAIL EFFECT
    3. I rode 1100 miles, 1421 miles, then 1491 miles in three days (19 hours, 32 hours & 36 hours straight).
    4. the speed was about 75 mph the first day... and was less and less over the next two day .... as bike motor was failing due to SHAVINGS in oil tearing at the Con Rod Bearing (it's a needle bearing there, and Very suseptable to shearing oil too).
    5. OIL was Amsoil and was changed out twice on ride.
    6. stock cooling system couldn't keep bike head cool (heat from POWER, LOAD, SPEED)
    7. head was stage two ported, and cylinder was at 10/1 compression

    SO ... in short, the bike cooling system over the first four hours of the ride began to loose to the heat output of the motor.
    That over time, plus the speeds, and the loads, were tearing down the tranny gears (CARY told me he thought the gears could NOT take the kind of loads I was placing on it... he ended up being correct (RIP Cary))

    Now I have the bike at 9.2/1 compression ... I use a 2000 Yamaha R1 radiator with Stock KLR fan (wired to a switch) ... and the head is ported to stage Three by Mississaga Engines now. I have had ZERO trouble now, but it's winter here.

    I know from experience that this WILL happen again ... IF I place those kinds of loads on it again ... SEE above for reasons.
    It's a KLR ... not made for this type of riding ... If loaded light, and ridden slower, it's going to be perfect ... as it was intended

    OH ... yes ... I did run the 16 tooth front counter as well... increasing tranny loads as well

    all those things, add to destroyed KLR motor (Connecting Rod disinitigration). HEAT KILLED IT
    #78
  19. tomatocity

    tomatocity Retired and lovin' it

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    Where is the BMW F800GS...
    ...engine built?
    ...motorcycle built?
    #79
  20. Django Loco

    Django Loco Banned

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    Great explanation and it all makes sense to me. I love your idea of going to the bigger Rad. This should help. World class pistons/rings/bearings and proper coating on the barrel will help also.
    Very few can do Nikasel coating like the factory can.

    Good luck with the oil burning '08. I've heard of a few of these oil burners. Kawi better put some pressure on the Thai plant to turn around the QC over there.

    Honda and Triumph both have factories there as well and both are putting out good bikes. Most KLR's built there in the last ten years have been OK however. But Starting in '07, something slipped. I know they will get this under control.
    #80