F800gs - Almost perfect except for poor suspension.

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by mac444, Oct 22, 2008.

  1. The Griz

    The Griz Long timer Supporter

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    Bitubo released a statement that they are working on a fully adjustable system. Looks bad-ass. Could possibly rival a KTM with these puppies installed!:
    [​IMG]

    Don't know where they're at in development though. Haven't seen any news.

    Also, rumor has it that Ohlins is working on fully adjustable cartridges. No actual confirmation from Ohlins as of yet though. They make replacement springs and oil only at the moment.
  2. dendrophobe

    dendrophobe Motorbike Junky

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    :tb wow, that's sexy.
  3. DockingPilot

    DockingPilot Hooked Up and Hard Over

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    Traxxion.
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  4. johngil

    johngil Reseda, CA

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    Ohlins has a setup in testing right now as stated by another inmate earlier in this thread. Full cartridge and adjustable was what I was told by Ohlins.
    No availability yet.

    We'll see.
  5. EasyRiding

    EasyRiding n00b

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    Looking forward to see the complete set-up of WP on f650gs 2win... :clap
  6. huckleberry

    huckleberry BACK ROAD BOMBER

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    Just out of curiousity, has anyone measured the travel of the rear wheel of their bike when they had the spring off the shock? I mean i know bmw would never publish false info!:lol3 The reason i'm asking is they list the seat height on the 658 as 32" but now that i finally have the suspension adjusted close it's 35" now it would be 34" if i didn't have a tt high seat but?
  7. Singletrack_mind

    Singletrack_mind Cave Man

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    This is proving an interesting and useful thread. What brought me to it was a recent change for the worse in my fork's behavior. I'd left it stock so far, not 'cause it's IDEAL, but 'cause it was really pretty OK 90% of the time so it wasn't my first priority with limited funds. I happen to be a little lighter than many listers at 165lbs + gear, and my measured sag is just barely over 25% of travel. I ride everything from highway to sand & rocks on 2-track jeep trails. If I have a complaint it is uncontrolled springy hobby-horse pitching in really lumpy rocky stuff at slow speeds. But anyway:

    A little while ago my dealer replaced fork seals for me under warranty. It was a couple more months before I got to ride the bike again (waiting for other parts), but when I did I found something was wrong; the fork pogoed rapidly in the upper portion of it's travel while just motoring on pavement to work and back. Fairly quick bouncing, set up by nothing in particular, and most evident between 30 & 50 mph. steady speeds. Any time I was working the suspension harder that feeling went away. This problem is what caused me to return to this thread.

    I started looking into it, and found that the BMW mechanic had taken it upon himself to use BMW PN 31429062158 oil, which is 10wt. The original spec. is BMW PN 83192182459, which is 7.5wt. He did fill to the correct capacity. I pass this on in case it happens to anyone else. I'm not sure if the guy thought he was doing me a favor, or if there is a new service bulletin out there advising it, or just didn't have the right oil available, but at least now I know that with stock springs and stock cartridges, heavier oil is not the way to go! (for me; YMMV) Makes me think I might try refilling with lighter oil instead, like 5wt . . .
  8. ecce

    ecce Been here awhile

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    I like the thread but I would like to put to the record that the f800gs actually has pretty good suspension. I am able to go very quick on gravel as well as quick and tight pavement and most importantly have fun in the woods on single tracks in a fun, safe and durable way. Most of the time when I cannot get going further it is because of too much mud and yes the 17" in the back does not open up for a lot of choices when it comes to tires but then again I want, and bought, a dual sport not an enduro bike - yet I seem to have quite a lot of fun when riding together with other people who have the larger enduros such as the ktm 690 etc.

    The rear on the f800gs is not that bad. If you have an issue I guess you have emptied all the possibilities when it comes to preload and rebound?? and if you are heavy weight have replaced the spring?? And you have made sure that the issue lies not in the maintenance / parking stand (is that what it is called..?)?

    The front is more of an issue but the still very good and versatile given the different ways this bike is ridden. In my case I happen to be 10kg/20punds overweight (due to being tall of course), which means that I will probably replace the front springs but not the oil or anything else.

    There are few bikes you can ride long stretches in full comfort as well as have fun in the dirt in combination with long service intervals and a pretty solid engine and chassis from a durability perspecitve.

    Frankly I dont get all the whine!!!!
  9. ecce

    ecce Been here awhile

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    To further strenghten my case. The r1200gs is the best bike in the world. All aspects considered and accounted for.

    Still, it is not the best bike for me right now. The f800gs is..

    If the 800gs had a higher seat, was leaner, weighed less and had even more offroad oriented suspension it would be an enduro. In which case the bike would not be right for me right now and not for a majority of the people that buy the bike,

    I seriously quesion whether the people that whine on the poor suspension of the f800gs knows how to ride the bike or if they are simply owning the wrong bike.

    Every bike can be made better or further tweaked in one particular owners given interest or perspective from a driving style point of view. There are tons of guys and girls out there who buy new and upgraded suspension for their mx bikes as well as their road bikes.

    To go from there to call the f800gs suspension poor is a veeeery long strectch. :freaky
  10. BMW_BIKER_KEITH

    BMW_BIKER_KEITH Been here awhile

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    Let the beatings begin....:D
  11. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    There is dirt and there is dirt. Try riding it over some baby head size rocks at speed and report your findings.

    The cartridge tubes just do not respond well to high speed compression. They do the equivalent of hydrolock.

    This is the 3rd time I wish I took of pictures of my route Friday. I managed to bottom a set of .55kg Olins so hard it rang like a bell. Can't imagine what the stock .46kg springs would have done.

    If you are happy with stock, more power to you. Some of us must ride faster or tougher ground.
  12. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv Super Moderator

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    Maybe there is "dirt and dirt" but there is steet aswell. I had no chance to test-ride it offroad but even on normal street roads the front forks just sucked. I really mean it, they dove all the way on every bump (and don't get me startet with the front brake, but then again you know what I mean :lol3). I love that bike but in my budget is already a pair of wilbers included.
  13. antonyp

    antonyp Adventurer

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    ecce, I totally agree with you on those points - I actually own an enduro bike as well as the F800GS and I appreciate each bike for what it is. When I want to ride the hard stuff and do it fast then I will simply go for my KDX rather than my F800 :D. Would I (or could I) ride an enduro bike on long streches of highway with sustained speeds of 100mph ? Hell, no !!! Can I do that with my GS ? Hell, yeah !

    Dual sport is always a compromise - those who think that the F800 should be capable of doing the "Erzberg Rodeo" might as well wait for a 2-stroke version :rofl
  14. ecce

    ecce Been here awhile

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    there is dirt and there is dirt - and the same goes for streets.
    I guess anyone who have tried the f800s knows that this type of bike can be equipped with more street oriented suspension as well as the x-series have more offroad oriented suspension. The difficult thing is to make it work in as many scenarios as possible.

    the fact that the f800gs performs poorly in certain speeds and curcumstanses in "bad" conditions doesnt make the suspension bad imho. I just makes it unsuited for driving quickly over rocks and bolders. I do however guess it will be able to pass the rocks allthough at a lower speed and this I think is the main thing to remember and be amazed about. That we can take this bike from a to b in difficult road conditions and even where there is no road at all.

    Maybe it is a silly discussion but I think a lot of less offroad experienced people beleive that their suspension is poor before they have even learned to master the bike and offroad driving in general. And threads like this one is one of the reasons for that :)

    Not saing we shouldnt be able to discuss how to make the suspension better - just saying that I think the f800gs receives more crap than about the suspension than it should based on how it actually performs under such varied conditions.

    People who have tried to make the suspension better whilst maintainting the versatilty have probably noticed that it puts a pretty big dent in the pocket. Dual sport suspension IS difficult all things considered. Cost, longevity, maintenance, performance etc etc.
  15. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    I see what you're saying and I don't necessarily disagree.

    But the point is, if simply slowing down and taking things a little slower fixes every thing, that makes a 1250 Bandit an off road bike if I put some TKCs front and rear, drop the gearing and just take it real slow.

    Think about that for a minute. If you do a lot of off road work on big bikes you're thinking about a Bandit and already thinking about ground clearance and suspension upgrades....why...because that's what you've had to do to every "dual sport" bike you've bought. The first thoughts of any dual sport rider when contemplating a new purchase...bash plate...suspension....more fuel load....racks...



    I've modified a few DR650s by fitting motorcross suspension to them, respringing and revalving as required. The transformation in them is magical and across the board. They handle and perform so much better on road and off. If other owners thought gold valves and springs were the answer their minds would explode if they knew what was possible.

    It is true, however, that the more OFF road oriented you set them up the more they ride and handle like a dirt bike ON road. But my trail version of the DR still rides better on road than a standard one, even though the geometry and suspension all come from a RMZ450. The only negative issue is the increase in ride height.

    It makes even a beginner ride like a pro in rocks and ruts because it'll track straight and true over just about anything. As I said to my friend before he rode it, "if it's less than a foot tall, just ride straight over it", he thought I was shit stirring. He came back absolutely rapt because you could just point it at the gnarliest shit and just ride right over the top. He was so impressed, he got me to fit similar suspension to his XR650R. That thing is great fun now.

    The transformation comes via the ability to adjust the suspension, the rear has high and low speed compression adjustment, and the low speed compression and rebound adjustment front and rear can be tuned for road, dirt track racing, or trail riding. It can be set up firm and tight like a motard, for jumps and berms on a motoX track, or you can set it up to handle trail chop and tree roots.

    Versatility is what the adjustability gives you. Far more versatility than non adjustable sealed units give you.

    The BMW X450 has a better 45mm front end than the F8, but from what I'm told it still isn't up to the task in competition (based on talking to guys that race them in Safari style events). It would, however, give the F800 an entirely adjustable and revalvable front end for owners to have set up to suit what they want to do.

    Imagine a dual sport bike with adjustable suspension....wow...what'll they think of next! A bike you can use for anything...and you can adjust it to do it all well. Amazing.:clap

    Oh....it doesn't exist.:cry Bummer. For a second I thought it was 2012....not 1972. The dual sport market segment seems to be dominated by manufacturers that think "2nd rate" and "almost" and "capable" is good enough, selling bikes with antiquated suspension....when compared directly to the sports bike and general road bike markets. Considering the words "dual sport" seem to automatically constitute a price premium you'd think you could get some bang for your buck. Imagine trying to sell a bike in the litre sports bike class, and not having ANY adjustability in the suspension. Even Suzukis have adjustable suspension in that market.:rofl and they're waaaay cheaper than a BMW.:eek1 but dual sport owners seem content with non adjustable suspension. Well, you'd think so by our purchasing trends. You'd think the opposite if you read through the forums.

    The manufacturer that comes up with a well set up, adjustable bike with a good engine will clean up. None of them seem to want to raise the bar that high.

    The F800GS is close....so close...but as my high school teacher said in all my reports "Spend less time trying to find shortcuts and more time paying attention to the finer details" ...send that message to BMWs engineers and it might amount to something.

    That's my "serious stone cold sober interlude" thoughts on it anyway.
  16. stege

    stege Wonderer

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    This bike is an enduro-touring bike. Think its suspension is bad for heavy stuff? Buy an EXC 250 and than complain about its flaws when riding it on road all day long! :evil
    In my opinion, its the most balanced bike out there for the enduro-touring segment! I wouldn't own a different bike..for now. :deal
  17. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    I have often wondered if BMW made some suspension changes between 9/08 when I and the other pre order buyers got their bikes and 4/09 when they went on general sale. BMW is known to do that unannounced. Probably the worst front suspension I ever experienced. Possibly there was something wrong with it.

    I actually complained to the dealer, but did not follow up with their offer to adjust my non adjustable suspension for me.

    It was not only dirt, it was bad on paved or more correctly, patched 1 lane roads that abound around here. It was not the springs, it was the cartridge tube compression damping. It gave harsh feed back on every pothole.

    My 17 year old thumper, also with non adjustable front suspension, was much better. All is good now, my chief 2 complaints are fixed thanks to the after market. Twitchy low rpm throttle response being the other. Great handling off and on road.
  18. monsterscout

    monsterscout Adventurer

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    don't know if this is the right place to check, but I rode through Yosemite last weekend, and the temp dropped down to 20F and snow. I've had no problems with leaking fork seals, but when I stopped where it was done snowing, I noticed that both forks had started leaking...over the next 2 days of riding...some off pavement, and in much warmer temps, I didn't see any more leakage. Has anyone else experienced this? I am running the Hyperpro progressive springs and heavier than stock oil (can't remember the SAE). I do understand that maybe I leaked all my oil out (suspension does clatter a tad now), but didn't think that would happen so fast. Could this be a purely temp related issue, and if so is there a fix. Or did I happen to blow both seals at the same time?

    Thanks
  19. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    USD fork seals leak because as they wear they start to suck air in on a rebound stroke and gradually pressurise themselves.

    The internal pressure then forces oil out of the seal on compression strokes.

    They gradually get worse and worse.

    If yours isn't handling too bad, as in absolutely atrocious, I would suggest there is still oil in them. It may just have been a function of the cold. Though I can't think of a reason why it would be a function of the cold.

    If you lost all the oil you and the bike would be coated in it. I had a seal go once and the fork leg pumped dry in a short space of time and there was no missing it. It was everywhere. From memory, the last time I changed the oil there was well over half a litre in each. Nearly 700ml....from memory.
  20. monsterscout

    monsterscout Adventurer

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    Thanks Snowy...There was hardly any oil on the bike, so I think I'll try to empty them and refill with oil first. Changing the seals is probably not much fun...It wasn't on my f-650gs(s).