Need Help trying to decide on a bike - F800GS or V-Strom?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by dukedar, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Erase

    Erase Missouri

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    Moto Guzzi Stelvio
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  2. Rick West

    Rick West Function not Farkles

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    :clap Wise choice!

    I also picked a 800GS up a few months ago. Like you, I need a bike capable of more than smooth gravel roads, so a V-Strom is out of the question where I ride.

    Enjoy your new bike,
    Rick
    #42
  3. Saso

    Saso Happily sporting the DRD4 gene Supporter

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    The G450/650 are BMW's DR equivalent. The 800 may be dressed for it but it'll still be used primarily for what the Wee Strom is designed for. I do hope Ewan and Charlie have enough sense to ride 800s on their LWU journey - or better yet, they seek detente with KTM.:deal
    #43
  4. pbansen

    pbansen Hosehead Supporter

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    I would suggest that while both the F800GS and DL650 are technically dual-sports, they have about the same off-road capability. Neither is going to be nearly as proficient off-road as a DR650, DR-Z400S or the Honda or Yamaha variants, but both are going to do an equally good job on dirt or gravel roads.

    The Suzuki has an advantage in purchase price and the price of replacement parts. There are also several choices of engine protection bars and skid plates, although product offerings in those areas will doubtless increase for the F800GS with the passage of time.

    Bottom line? The DL650 and F800GS are both very nice bikes. If you think that the F800GS is going to flat-out walk away from a Wee off-road, I suspect you're going to be disappointed. Anyone who expects these bikes to handle really rough terrain is going to be on a first-name basis with the parts guy and the service manager.

    Most big dual sport riders rarely go off-road anyway, so on-road performance is really what it's about. In that regard, they are both going to do very, very well, with the edge going to the BMW for horsepower and newer design. So yeah, the F800 is a little faster, newer, cuter, etc, etc, but for about 50% more money, it should be, don't you think? Whether that is worth it to you is a matter of personal choice. As others have said, buy the one that makes you happy and fulfills your needs.
    #44
  5. Rick West

    Rick West Function not Farkles

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    You are correct. That is why I bought a 800GS. I have no interest in pavement riding yet I'm forced to endure it sometimes. I stay off pavement as much as possible. I have ridden a V-Strom and it can't even go where my GS1200 goes. There is not enough ground clearance or suspension quality.

    If budget was the only qualification then a V-Strom is a clear winner for pavement only riding. I don't want a bike that is less capable than my GS1200 off-road, I wanted a bike that is even more capable off-road. I have no problem paying more money to buy a better bike for my needs.

    As you stated, most riders rarely go off-road. That and the low price is why V-Stroms are so popular.
    #45
  6. Moving Pictures

    Moving Pictures Sir Loin of Biff

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    I am CONSTANTLY irked by folks that figure the DL650 is only good for smooth gravel. Yes, it's a bit wonky in mud or sand, but find me a bike that ain't.... unless it's geared up with knobbies.
    #46
  7. Saso

    Saso Happily sporting the DRD4 gene Supporter

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    They get the same crap from the KTM folks which is what they'd buy if they had as much smarts as they do $s.
    #47
  8. Kidder

    Kidder Poser Super Supporter

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    Good post. I agree with you whole heartedly about the Strom having a lack of ground clearance. That's definitely their weakness. I added a skid plate due to protection from rocks because last year I put a nice dent in one of my exhaust pipes due to a rock (oops, I mean gravel based on the guy above that said it's only good for gravel) strike.

    Yes, it is too bad the Strom 650 has damping rod forks. I with it had the cartridge forks like the 1000 but, to keep the cost down, they cut corners. Of course, stiffer springs and racetech emulators can easily remedy that.

    The 800 GS does look like a great bike and I hope to ride one sometime.
    #48
  9. Kidder

    Kidder Poser Super Supporter

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    Ahh, ignorance is bliss. One question, have you ever ridden a DL650?
    #49
  10. pbansen

    pbansen Hosehead Supporter

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    I hope that you find that the F800GS provides that capability. Personally, I suspect that the difference that will provide the most striking improvement in off-road performance between the 1200 and the 800 will be the lighter weight of the smaller bike, and that will be significant.

    My point was to question your assertion that the F800GS is considerably more capable off-road than the Strom. Given a objective and realistic trial, I don't think there's a lot of difference between the two, but, like I said, you should buy the bike that makes you happy and it sounds like you did.

    For my money, the BMW product that best satisfied the paradox of off-road capability and all-day freeway cruising capability was the F650GS Dakar. It would totally own a 1200GS in rough terrain, but would happily tool along at 80 mph with complete composure and excellent fuel economy.

    By the way, I'm not some sort of V-Strom zealot. I owned an R1100GS and currently ride an 1150GS Adventure and a DL-650 and have had dual sports, motocross bikes, etc, etc. My point is to be realistic about the capabilities of the F800GS and the Strom - both fine bikes and with far more similarities than differences.
    #50
  11. Rick West

    Rick West Function not Farkles

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    Ignorance? Did you read post #45?
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  12. Kidder

    Kidder Poser Super Supporter

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    Apparently, I am quite blissful! :freaky
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  13. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks House Ape

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    Well, having owned both a DL650 and now an F800GS, I can tell you that there is a considerable difference in their off-road capabilities. The much better ground clearance on the F800 and the 21" front wheel being only the two most salient ones.

    Yes, the skill of the rider makes a big difference. But if you put the same rider on the two different bikes, the F800 could easily take that rider where the Wee would struggle. This is from experience, not speculation.

    David
    #53
  14. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    And the winner is teh F800GS. case closed. :lol3
    Any one else looking at the Delvio?



















    :hide
    #54
  15. The Griz

    The Griz Long timer Supporter

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    Umm, there's a HUGE difference between the V-Strom 650 and the F800GS off-road. The F800GS is designed for off-road as well as on. The V-strom designed for road and possibly some gravel. The suspension on the F800GS is FAR superior for off-road, as well as the frame geometry, 21" front wheel, etc, etc ,etc...Seriously? You think there's no difference between a V-Strom and a F800GS for off-road?? :loco
    #55
  16. ]I)Money

    ]I)Money D NOT I Supporter

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    :lol3
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  17. 100mpg

    100mpg Self Imposed Exile

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    I hope dinosynth. Only the best!
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  18. Shepski

    Shepski Been here awhile

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    I had a GS800 out for a test ride for a whole afternoon, BUT after 45 minutes i gave it back to the BMW dealer, Why?

    I thought it was one of the worse bikes i have ridden in years. Virtually no wind protection, rubbish seat, average gearbox and an engine that produces power too high up the rev range, also vibey.

    No comparison with my V Strom and i so wanted to like the BMW as it looks really good and like an adventure bike. I am friends with the BMW dealer owner. I told him what i thought, and i offered him my DL650 for an hour, he took me up on my offer. Lets just say HE AGREED WITH ME !!!!! he also thinks the standard GS1200 is far better than the Adventure GS1200

    The only mods that my DL650 has had is Michelin Anakee Tyres, Madstad Bracket, and Sonic Springs.
    #58
  19. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks House Ape

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    Well Shepski, I owned a 2007 DL650. Put 18,000 miles on it. Then I sold it and bought an F800GS. My reaction to the two bikes is the opposite of yours. So what? :norton

    David
    #59
  20. The Griz

    The Griz Long timer Supporter

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    Hmmm.....:loco
    #60