A lurker in need (F850 vs 790ADV)

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Trirrad07, Jun 12, 2020.

  1. Trirrad07

    Trirrad07 Adventurer

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    Just a heads up, my BMW dealer called me and told me it looks like 2020 F850 GSs are getting 0% interest for 60 months. In my case, comparing 0% against the best rate offered at a local credit union, it saves about $1,620. That's pretty significant for bikes that are in really tight supply right now and will be for the foreseeable future. The dealer is verifying the 0% rules (he said the language made it a little confusing to determine if certain bikes may not qualify, but the F850 looks like it does). Either way, just wanted to let others know. So I'm working on this sale, we'll see how it goes.
    #41
    mandatedmotorvation likes this.
  2. Trirrad07

    Trirrad07 Adventurer

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    Alright folks, closing in on a buy here!

    I went down to the dealer and they had a used F850GSAdventure for me to take for an extended test ride just so I could get a feel for the 850 engine. It had all the goodies with electronic suspension, keyless start, etc. Well, I enjoyed the hell out of the thing. It made me smile and laugh during the ride, was sporty but not out of control, and the suspension soaked up bumps beautifully. I even did a U-turn in some gravel and the bike just shrugged it off like it was normal pavement. Wonderful!

    So the dealership has a brand new F850GSAdventure in stock with a color I like more. It does NOT have the electronic suspension, or keyless start, but it has the TFT stuff and rider modes. No cruise control or heated grips, but those can be added later. So basically it's a mid-range trim F850GSAdventure. I actually like that some of the electronic stuff isn't there. Less stuff to break, imo.

    Pricing -- the new bike is cheaper simply because of the 0% offer.

    So here's my question: is the manually adjustable suspension just as good as the electronic suspension? I'm assuming is the same stuff, just an electronic adjuster. I wanted to be positive because the test ride on the electronic suspension was dreamy. If I can achieve that on the manual suspension, I'll be a happy camper.
    #42
  3. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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    I find it hard to believe that it has all the rider modes but not ESA... I would double check this to be sure.... If not I would make a deal where they switched the bodywork in the color you prefer with the other bodywork on the bike you actually rode.
    #43
  4. Trirrad07

    Trirrad07 Adventurer

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    The used and new bike are actually the same color. The used is a 2019 and the new is a 2020. I specifically asked about rider modes and they said it had all of them. I didn’t see the label with the bike options, so the salesman could be potentially mistaken. Maybe it only has 3 rider modes and not 5 or whatever it is.
    And I don’t think there’s any way I’d pay for the used bike. It’s just so much more expensive. There’s always the regular F850GS at their sister store across the state. It’s fully loaded and is still cheaper than the used bike due to the 0% (although it is in a color I really do not like).
    #44
  5. Trirrad07

    Trirrad07 Adventurer

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    Just looked it up. It has the Essential Package, which is the cheapest of the 3 packages that can be added to a GSA. The essential package does include Rider Modes Pro (so all the modes), and does not include ESA. So things I lose out on are quick shifter, heated grips, cruise control, and ESA. So really I only want to make sure the manual suspension is the same as the electronic (aside from one adjusting from a button, and the other from a twist dial).
    #45
  6. SnoDrtRider

    SnoDrtRider I've been lost here before...

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    I am not familiar with the non ESA suspension on the 850 but my 800 had the manually adjustable suspension... The only adjustments on that were Spring Preload and Rebound. The ESA has Spring Preload (electronic) as well as both compression and rebound adjustments (both electronic) If you look at the swingarm near the shock on the ESA bike there is a sensor that not only senses suspension height but wheel travel while riding. The ESA module can adjust dampening making it stiffer on rough roads when the wheel is traveling more and softer on smooth roads to improve ride quality.
    #46
  7. Trirrad07

    Trirrad07 Adventurer

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    Aha! Now this is what I was looking for. With your comment I went and dug a bit, and sure enough, the ESA will be better than a manually adjusted system simply because, as you pointed out, it is making adjustments on the fly. The used bike only has 5k miles on it. If i can get them to negotiate a little, I'm willing to stretch slightly for ESA and the other top trim goodies. We'll see what I can get them to do. I know the back story on the original owner, who had to let go of the bike due to forces outside his control (didn't wanna let it go), and its service history. So this could be a solid deal.
    #47
  8. rcb78

    rcb78 Been here awhile

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    I can't find info on how the ESA works on the 850 platform, but on the 900 (XR and R) platform they say it's semi-active, meaning it's compensating on the fly based on input from a travel sensor on the swing arm. You tell it to go hard or soft (road or dynamic) and it will make adjustments within that range based on road conditions. This is an improvement over the previous 800 series that just turned the damping to preset levels, but did not adapt to terrain as you road. That is the question I'd ask about the ESA on the 850 since the 900 is a progression of the 850.
    Another thing to consider is that if you are planning to upgrade the suspension, ESA complicates it and may limit your choices.
    Upgrading to heated grips, at least factory ones is expensive and I never knew how much I'd love cruise control until I used it.
    #48
  9. Trirrad07

    Trirrad07 Adventurer

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    I've been digging through articles all morning and am struggling to find anything regarding the manually adjusted suspension. It would seem the reviewers were only given models with ESA. I thought I had read that the manually adjusted preload suspension ALSO comes with the dynamic dampening. In other words, you adjust your preload manually, but the dampening still happens dynamically on the fly via the computer. Struggling to find that reference. For now, even if upgrading the ESA suspension in the future is more difficult, it provides a quality ride from the get go.
    #49
  10. rd400racer

    rd400racer Long timer

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    I hate to admit that I have ESA on my BMW and never use it to any potential at all. It might be great but I just ride.
    #50
  11. heatmizr

    heatmizr n00b-tastic

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    I would look more at the track record of ESA on the former 800, and the big boxer GS bikes, to see how reliable it is over long periods of time. If they don't seem to fail much, then I would highly recommend it. It is so nice to push a button and not have to worry about all your settings in your garage before you leave on a ride.
    For example I put mine on road setting for the highway portion of my ride, once I exit in to get into fun back roads I put it on dynamic. You can also set which of those it should apply to your throttle response setting... For instance road ride mode will dial up whatever suspension setting you last left it in when in that mode. Dynamic throttle ride mode will do the same... So I like to leave my road ride mode using the road suspension mode, and the dynamic ride mode using the dynamic suspension mode. You can alter those but they "stick" when you switch modes. Also the Enduro pro Ride mode automatically uses dynamic suspension settings dialed in for off-road. That is something you'll never do when you get to the dirt sections of your ride, pull over and adjust all of that manually.

    I guess it comes down to if you want something simple that will last for 20 years, or to take advantage of the latest and greatest technology.
    You can bet they gave all the reviewers a fully loaded up model, they want them to experience all the latest tech and write about it. Reviews of base models are practically non-existent.
    #51
  12. mistermouse

    mistermouse Adventurer

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    I would have a ride of the Triumph and decide for yourself which is the better fit. Get the Triumph or BM For the long rides and 2up AND then get a DR600 for exploring on your own .
    #52
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  13. Trirrad07

    Trirrad07 Adventurer

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    there's always room for a plan like that!
    #53
  14. heatmizr

    heatmizr n00b-tastic

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    Kind of what I have concluded.
    I like my 850GS, but since it has to do both pavement and dirt, it isn't the best at either.
    Having a sport tourer, AND a dual sport sounds very appealing to me.
    #54
  15. Wveniez

    Wveniez Adventurer

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    For what it’s worth, I’ve always found the ESA on my F800 to be a little gimicky. Gives you 3 increments of adjustment compared the infinite clicks on a manual shock. I know the 850 is more advanced, but I’d rather take the extra time to dial it in perfectly for me rather than a generic computer preset that will never be perfect.

    Most owners who really plan on riding their ADV bikes will upgrade the suspension anyway, especially considering the criminal lack of adjustability in the forks. The shocks are also not meant to be rebuildable, so they’ll have to be replaced eventually.

    I’d be more concerned with the loss of cruise control than ESA or heated grips.
    #55
  16. slider162

    slider162 Been here awhile

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    I'm in the same boat. Tested a 790 Adventure R yesterday. Great bike but I'm in need of a ride that can 2 up one day and give me a 12 hour day the next. Weather protection on the 790 is a bit anorexic. I sat on a Tiger 900 two days ago but couldn't test ride it due to a brake line issue caused during shipping. The warranty work wasn't signed off yet. I looked at the 790 the same day but the brake recall wasn't complete until yesterday. The KTM dealer unlocked the ECU for me but said to only take it a mile up the road and back. Why a manufacturer won't let a potential buyer take a test drive is beyond me.

    The fact that dealers have no inventory right now and even when they do I can't take a test drive has me thinking about just waiting this out. I can't even find a 850 GSA for 350 miles.
    #56
  17. heatmizr

    heatmizr n00b-tastic

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    That stinks. On the other hand, as hard as these times are for individuals right now, it's hitting companies just as hard or harder. Unfortunately they can't have inventory everywhere and in enough quantity for everybody's need. As to the test drives, that's the dealer... The Ducati Triumph BMW dealer here will give test rides at request, you just have to schedule them so they can make sure a bike is available.
    #57
  18. Wveniez

    Wveniez Adventurer

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    Wouldn’t buy a bike without a test ride and wouldn’t buy from a dealer that won’t let me test ride.

    A dealer not allowing a test ride due to low inventory is another matter and is totally understandable, but I’ve heard KTM dealers are notoriously stingy with test rides.
    #58
  19. Trirrad07

    Trirrad07 Adventurer

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    I have yet to find a dealer that allowed me to test ride a new bike more than like 2-5 miles. Used bikes are a totally different matter. The same dealers I've been at have offered to let me take the bike overnight when it's used. They're just reeeeeally stingy on new test rides. Now with such low inventory the problem is even worse. The motorcycle industry is all around kind of crappy for new buyers. Unless you're a talented impulse buyer, you end up on youtube and motorcycle journalism sites for way too much time trying to glean how the top end trim motorcycle might work out for you when you're buying a less equipped variant. It's tough.
    #59
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  20. Wveniez

    Wveniez Adventurer

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    Motorcycle journalism is kind of a joke, with 97% of the reviewers being wined and dined in exotic locations for bike launches. Yea, if I got an all expense paid trip to Morocco to rip around on a newly released top-of-the-line bike, I’d probably give it a positive review too.

    I’d steer away from YouTube reviews and pay more attention to average online testimonials and known design shortcomings. However, you’ll always be able to find something “wrong” with any bike.

    Wait it out my guy. The only thing worse than not having a bike is having a bike you regret buying. For what it’s worth, buying a bike for me isn’t logical. If it ticks all the “spec” boxes, go with what your heart wants. All that matters is that you’re stoked to swing your leg over it.
    #60