Breakin in the F8 in Baja

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by themanfromars, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. themanfromars

    themanfromars Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Nowhere near home...
    after sifting through every Baja RR on ADV i was hooked enough to head down there on my own....i had some prep to do of course like buying a bike, getting a license and learning how to ride......i have to credit a few inmates before i begin telling my story. Chitown, Boogie & csiptav are work friends who have answered countless questions and offered nothing but positive advice - never saying i was crazy for wanting a bike for my mid life crisis. we all travel tons with work and when i finally had a break at home last summer i decided to chase down a license and tie in my love of travel to my interest in bikes.

    originally, i was going to start a RR to document my experience with the new bike and new license, but decided to just ride and let the stories evolve.

    so here it is..turned 40, got a license, needed a bike and was surrounded by BMW fans (and lived 1 block from a dealer...) so the choices were few i guess...was not confident about the bigger bikes and wanted freedom to travel just about any roads so took a deep breath and pulled the trigger on an F800GS....wanted grey, but the only option at my dealer was a yellow & black thing...

    i have since grown quite fond of the the 'new bumblebee'...especially given its lineage..here's a couple of fine rides i think the the F8 owes some styling to:

    [​IMG]

    and

    [​IMG]

    now that's some cred - i always like pulling up to these other great rides...and it changed my mind on the color.

    now the first pic was my stock F8 and the second was the final version leaving las vegas for Baja - a few bits have been added to the bike working up to this trip and here they are:

    - TKC 80s
    - Jesse Safari II's
    - BMW Handguards
    - BMW Skid Plate
    - Wild@heart Crash Bars
    - GIT tail plate
    - Best Rest Headlamp Protection
    - Best Rest 1 Gal Peg Packer
    - Tour Tech Kickstand Plate
    - Tour Tech Instrument Panel Plate (Dual Plug)
    - Centech AP2 5-way fuse block & switched relay
    - Garmin GPSmap478 & GXM-30 on a swivel RAM mount

    Other stuff i used:

    - Wolfman Expedition Tank Bag (wired up with Powerlet input)
    - Wolfman Expedition Dry Duffel Bag
    - Rev'it Cayenne Pro Jacket & Pants
    - Rev'it Tempest & Zenith gloves
    - Gerbings Jacket
    - Shoei Hornet
    - Sidi On Road Boots
    - Back Pack & 3 L Camelback
    - Pelican 1450 Camera Case
    - Benro Tripod
    - SPOT Tracker

    at the end of the day, i had no idea i was getting into such an investment, but the riding has been more amazing than i had imagined. now that i'm rolling Boogie reminded me, 'its just gas now!'...

    now that i have put some ruff roads under the bike i can seriously endorse all the gear and have to thank everyone who posts here for their help because this is where i learned most about everything i used!

    so there's 8500 km of riding getting the bike out of toronto and down to vegas where i jumped for the baja adventure - i'll try not to bore you too much, but it was an adventure getting to the adventure!
    #1
  2. gsstampeder

    gsstampeder Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,137
    Location:
    Wandering
    nice looking bike indeed!
    lets see it get....dusty in baja!

    :lurk
    #2
  3. Matt

    Matt Dirt Virgin

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    2,178
    Location:
    Newtown,Sydney
    Waiting........should be good. :thumb
    #3
  4. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    67,901
    So how did you get the bike from Toronto to Vegas?

    :lurk
    #4
  5. joenuclear

    joenuclear Still here....

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10,233
    Location:
    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    "so there's 8500 km of riding getting the bike out of toronto and down to vegas where i jumped for the baja adventure - i'll try not to bore you too much, but it was an adventure getting to the adventure!"
    #5
  6. Haywood

    Haywood Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    433
    Location:
    Chula Vista,CA (spittin' distance from Baja)
    Baja is the perfect place to break in / test your new bike. Please, go ahead and 'bore' us with another Baja ride report.:thumb
    #6
  7. Thorne

    Thorne Sherpa-ing around

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
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    1,206
    Location:
    Lone Pine, ON, Canada
    :lurk
    #7
  8. Boogie

    Boogie This way...

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    31
    Love the new TCK 80s on the F8!

    You better not being taking time away from your report to go work...

    :freaky
    #8
  9. themanfromars

    themanfromars Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Nowhere near home...
    the idea of actually getting the bike out the country was not even hatched back in July when i took the bike out for its maiden runs...

    in fact, Boogie actually drove the bike off the lot for me in the pouring rain because he had all the gear for it (i did not even own a helmet...). He had just rode in from Halifax on his Kawasaki Versys to work on a show with me and was already soaking wet from the ride..:D

    during the gig we did some local riding around town to get comfy on the bike. Boogie blocked and i was finally ridin. now i have always rode pretty gnarly mountain bike trails on 2 wheels, but Toronto traffic looked a whole lot different without a car around me. one of our favorits stops was BMW motorrad where Boogie fell for a 1200GS..i might have fanned the fire some being excited about my F8.

    he headed home and i finally got on the road by myself with a run up to my friends cabin by Lake Simcoe. there she was, all dressed up for the first solo run:

    [​IMG]


    looked pretty sharp with all my camping gear packed up:

    [​IMG]

    the ride was gorgeous and i soon realized how much i enjoyed riding the countryside being in the moment while you traveled. Also, dragged the camera out on the trip - I now had new subject matter for photos! and the bike is the patient subject of so many of these now...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and of course the first of many dopy portraits taken by my friends:

    [​IMG]

    instantly my friends big orange dog Finn (no relation to Chitown) became my guard dog...

    [​IMG]

    i would much later find out how much better this is than being chased un expectedly by a nattty baja rancho dog...
    #9
  10. themanfromars

    themanfromars Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Nowhere near home...
    funny looking back how clean the bike was....

    anways, after that trip had to put the bike away because of work. Boogie flew into town and we were off on our summer gig:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Would you ask this man for a raise?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Boogie hard at work:

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. TemeculaRider

    TemeculaRider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2009
    Oddometer:
    569
    Location:
    La Paz, Baja California Sur
    [​IMG]

    If there's ever been a sexier bike made, I'd like to see it. I don't have one, but I do have a 1:12 scale diecast model of this exact bike on my desk to drool over!

    Lookin' forward to the report...
    #11
  12. Timo Explorer

    Timo Explorer Trail Wizard

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    272
    Location:
    Newmarket, Onterrible
    Keep it coming, please. We are riding along with you, sucking up the dust.:freaky
    #12
  13. GoGoGavin41

    GoGoGavin41 Waves to Moto Cops (and they wave back)

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,329
    Location:
    The Holy City
    :lurk

    Perfect choice in my opinion. Those Jessies are primo, why no top box though?
    #13
  14. Wildabeast

    Wildabeast Wide Open

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    309
    Location:
    Vermont
    Dude that's a sweet job...
    #14
  15. themanfromars

    themanfromars Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Nowhere near home...
    i was sold on the jessie's early on but was always wanting to keep the packing simple. i figured packing a bike was similar to packing a back pack - buy a bigger backpack and you will stuff it with more stuff....the top box was an option in my mind for 'future expansion'

    so far the pack is:

    Right Side (larger box) = clothes, first aid, day shoes, toiletries, small camping bits

    Left Side (small box over muffler) = tools, camp stove, day jacket, small water bottle (500ml just in case), pump & air guage, hat

    Top Bag = sleeping bag, tent, sleeping roll, water purifier & some dehydrated meal bags

    Back Pack = 3L Camelbak plus i would stash my Rev'it liners i was not wearing in there (SPOT lived in top pocket of back pack)

    Pelican Case = Camera body & 3 lenses with Tripod tied down on top

    Tank Bag = maps, phone, battery charger for camera, headlamp, small bits

    i never really changed the pack at all, it seemed just about right for me.

    the pack was designed so i could leave the camping gear behind easily if necessary and still have the essentials. i guess a top box could have done the same thing, but i liked the expansion of the bag for extra food/water and the camera case sat perfect on the GIT plate for quick access (as quick as an SLR could be i guess)

    I will say this about the Jessies....i had to drag the bike around on uneven ground more than a few times to lift it back up - the Jessies are bomb proof (another story about side bags to come)..
    #15
  16. Boogie

    Boogie This way...

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    31
    That's the nice thing about riding. T-shirts, socks and gotch and away you go! If you can find somewhere to rinse out your riding gear every so often - so be it!
    #16
  17. themanfromars

    themanfromars Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Nowhere near home...
    so after the summer mud, Boogie stopped into bmw one more time to have a second look at 1200 GS...this time, with a little extra cash in his pocket:

    [​IMG]

    he was back in my garage doing some wiring on his new ride. not sure what he did with his return ticket to Halifax, but he was riding home now. Actually,he had planned the purchase & the ride. he even shipped some Jessies over to my address so they were waiting there for him to install on the bike. can't really remember how many beers went into the installation of those bags, but i am sure we might have finished earlier than 3 am if we had been drinking ice tea.

    the next morning we were all ready for a camping trip out in Ganaraska on his way back East:

    [​IMG]

    So not many pictures here, but i can explain the situation a little:

    [​IMG]

    we got to Ganaraska a little late, but still wanted to check out the park. we purchased our day passes (Ganaraska is a private forest with tons of trails of all sorts) and headed in, too excited to bother taking off the side bags. well we found our way in, but the further we went, the more gnarly the trails got and we got a little turned around. as you can see, we did not exactly have great tires for the job and the up/down trails turned from dirt to rocks to sand in a heartbeat.

    [​IMG]

    if you look closely, you can read the look of disgust on Boogie's face as he finally managed to conquer a particularly mean hill with his new (but not dropped!) ride..

    we eventually worked our way back across the park and set up camp for the night. the site was great and campfire and a couple beers later we were having a good laugh about the day.

    the next morning we packed up to head home. Boogie heading East and me heading West. as we were getting ready to leave Boogie ran into a local who was laughing about him being such a wuss on the trail

    [​IMG]

    not feeling any remorse for taking on the older & little man, Boogie was having none of it

    [​IMG]

    we headed out to the highway to find a local diner for breakfast. after some excellent brekkie, Karma reminded Boogie to be nice with 1600 km of rain for the ride home :eek1

    [​IMG]

    i did not have any rain gear and the sun came out for my ride back to Toronto...:rofl
    #17
  18. themanfromars

    themanfromars Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Nowhere near home...
    quick side bar :norton

    i did not have a bash guard on the F8 and after popping rocks off the underside in the park was pretty sold on the usefulness of one.

    i had been interested in how tight the Wild@heart bars worked with the F8 and saw an inmate's post with a BMW bash plate so i decided to go that route too. however, i did a little mod:

    [​IMG]

    found a powder coater in town to sort out that hunk of aluminum before bolting it on

    before:

    [​IMG]

    after:

    [​IMG]

    no comparison really

    [​IMG]

    the final version was pretty sweet i thought

    [​IMG]
    #18
  19. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,118
    Location:
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    This has all the elements of a great ride report.

    Lets go!
    #19
  20. themanfromars

    themanfromars Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 22, 2009
    Oddometer:
    205
    Location:
    Nowhere near home...
    next addition was a tank bag..liked the info another inmate posted on the Wolfman so pulled the trigger:

    [​IMG]

    and all fitted (minus the logo):

    [​IMG]

    i have good pix for the install of the powerlet and the mounting i can post separately if anyone wants.

    a couple more rides and i was off to work for the fall...
    #20