Like many here, I have read close to 798 circular confusing posts weighing the pros and cons of the new twins (F800GS and F650GS). I am currently leaning towards buying a new F650GS. I want to find people that can distill the threads and give me some guidance. I have a few direct questions I want to pose to ADVers that I think, if answered, could help me finally make up my mind. So given the following: 1. I am going to get either one or the other, so let's not make this a wee-strom love-in. I can feel that money burnin' through my pocket as I type and I am going to have to make a final decision on this by the end of the week... 2. My total budget is about $14~15k. That means either I get a F650GS and farkle like there's no tomorrow (plus save a little for a trip or two) or I get an F800 and put on the minimum protection/safety farkle (crash bars, bash plate, hand guards, and a HID upgrade)... 3. I am a first time rider (gasp!). I am not a nut-job risk-junkie speed-freak and I will try to be ATGATT-fully careful. You're not talking me out of this though. I don't have any baseline bike experience to compare these to, so keep that in mind with your answers... 4. In my mind, I think I will be using this 50/50 street/dirt. Outside of my ADVrider thead-reading reality distortion field, this will be used for a daily surface street commute in Sunnyvale, CA (4 miles round trip), a once or twice a month weekend ride (2 days, SFbay-to-north coast/sierras/hwy1/etc-and back), and an approx. once-a-year 1~2 week long trek (vancouver, cabo, rockies, etc...). Maybe a few long weekends as well (lost coast, DV, etc...) My shorter trips should mostly consist of a 3~6hr hwy ride to get out of the bay area, followed by a couple of days of forest service dirt roads and fire roads, camping, and another hwy trek back to the daily grind... Now The Questions: Q1) I am 6'3" and 190#. I have seen a lot of posts by "less heightened" people asking if the F650GS is right for them, but not many tall folks. What do you guys think: is this bike going to feel undersized? I have sat on both in showrooms and neither seems 'awkward', but what do I know? Is my weight/height going to be a problem for the F650 suspension on dirt roads / fire roads? Q2) I have seen a review of both bikes somewhere on the intertubes that said something to the effect of: "passing a cage starting at 75+ mph is a bit dodgy on the F650GS but not an issue on the F800GS". Is this true? I mean seriously, average CA hwy speed is probably between 75-80 mph. Am I going to be praying that I can squeeze enough out of this thing out just to pass someone? Can I cruise comfortably (never-mind the lilliputian windscreen) at 75~80 mph on the F650? Q3) I have read/heard a dozen times or more that the larger front wheel on the F800 makes for less-than-ideal street handling (but better off-road behavior) and that the F650 has better street handling. If I don't have a baseline, would I miss the F800 off road? If I got the F800, would I miss out on the fun of the twisties? Would the narrow F800 front wheel mean I have to crawl around corners at a 2 degree lean? :) Q4) I would like to think that I am going to keep this bike for a long time (3~5 years). I want to slowly build on the bike (like a farkle coral reef) as I gear up for longer and longer trips. As a new rider, do you gals (and guys) think I will "outgrow" an F650 in a year or two? If I ever convince my wife to ride along with me as a passenger (not for a long while), will the F650 be enough to take us on weekend trips (she's tiny, about half my weight)? Q5) Enthusiasts like to pick things apart to the nth detail. I have read a lot about the suspension woes of the F800 and the F650, about handle-bar vibrations, seats-from-hell, disappointing headlights, premature chain failure, etc... Looking at the big picture though, I am getting a high quality bike right? It is a BMW right? Compared to everything else out there, are these issues show stoppers? Sales on these two bikes seems to indicate otherwise. Thanks a ton. -rotorOrange p.s. My heart and gut says go for the F800. Actually, I had been meaning to take the MSF class and get my license for many years. Literally: something about seeing an F800GS for the first time inspired me to finally go do it. I had never been that into street bikes, true dirt bikes, or even the GSAs (though several friends were). Something about that F800 just clicked in my brain. My rational/practical mind says the F650 will be a better first bike, better bike on the road, cheaper, and allow me to farkle 'till my heart's content.