Riding the F800gs off pavement

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by itsatdm, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    The last thread about this, morphed into venders. I am going to show pictures of a short ride and mention a spring supplier so we will see where this one ends up.:norton
    To refresh your memories, I assume some of you will ride the 800 gs off pavement and may have an interest as to how they do in that respect.
    I have been kind of critical of the front suspension but after 850 miles I have detected that it has gotten more compliant so I thought a short dirt road ride might be in order to test it out.
    The ride to the old fire lookout not far from my house seemed to be a good place to start
    [​IMG]
    Got the feeling it won't be long before some idiot topples it.
    [​IMG]

    Anyway the view is great. That body of water in the background is Melones reservoir, one of California's larger ones.
    The Quarry in the foreground has been in continual operation since 1854, first producing marble which was used in reconstruction of SF after the 1906 earthquake. It also supplied a granite block laced with gold meant for the Washington Monument, but went down with the clipper ship, "Yankee Clipper". Now a producer of limestone.
    [​IMG]
    The road getting there is pretty typical of the western slope of the Sierra and the source of the problems I have with the suspension:
    [​IMG]

    This stuff raises havoc with the front suspension on my 800. The jarring is not as bad as it was before, but still bad enough to cause unintentional throttle application. It is also accompanied with a plastic, hollow, clacking sound that emphasizes each impact.
    While compliance over the small stuff is poor, it deals with the larger stuff very well.

    [​IMG]

    So I have ordered a set of Hyperpro front springs because they worked well on my old TDM that was having similiar issues. I "think" the noise I am hearing as the suspension works over the sharp jolts may be the plastic spring guide that is inside the existing spring, as it rattles around. Don't know if it is required and may take it out.
    If anyone is having similiar issues I will report back on my progress.
    #1
  2. Dr. Zaius

    Dr. Zaius It's a mad house

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    I have the same noise in my front suspension as well. I have decided it doesn't impact any performance...it just bugs the hell out me as I become fixated on the noise as I ride...

    #2
  3. berkly

    berkly Adventurer

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    I hear the same sound, like plastic slapping plastic. Ive heard it on another ktm 990 as well

    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. jimmy650

    jimmy650 South Canol Racing Club

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    Hmmm... My 990 has never had that clacking. If there is a sleeve it may keep the spring from rubbing on the fork tube. I guess you could try removing the plastic tube and see if it improves. I think it might just clack on the fork tube.
    #4
  5. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do

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    As long as you aren't the one selling springs, it'll stay right here. :deal




    If it's the little, sharp-edged chop that's getting you (rocks, roots, etc), try running a slightly larger air gap (lower oil level) in the fork. You have a margin to play with before you'll notice any degradation on the higher amplitude damping, and you'll probably notice some marked improvement on the smaller rock hits right away.


    Have you measured your sag settings? That's where springs come into play. (Did you order stiffer or softer springs, anyway?)
    #5
  6. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    Yes it is the sharp edged stuff. The front is non adjustable, but the sag is about right for my weight. Nobody has a manual for the bike yet, so I don't know what the proper measurement is for the oil. Though the helpful girl at the dealership said "the mechanic said the forks take a quart":eek1 , Somehow that didn't sound right.
    Hyperpro springs are kinda a one size fits all, in that they are really a progressive spring but each coil is incrementally closer to the next. In any event they seem to work well for a wide range of weight. They also include their own fluid, so hopefully will give a base on the amount.
    #6
  7. RedHawk47

    RedHawk47 Adventurer Supporter

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    Quote: It is also accompanied with a plastic, hollow, clacking sound that emphasizes each impact.

    Check your steering bearing adjustment. Other F650/800GS owners have reported loose bearings.
    #7
  8. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    Thanks for the heads up. I had checked the front end for play and not discovered any but I think I will recheck once I know the torque values.
    #8
  9. vasculopath

    vasculopath You are not your bike Supporter

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    I have the same sound. Had the dealer check the steering head bearings at the 600 mile service, and they were fine.

    Their suggestion is that I might be hearing/feeling the floating rotors bouncing in their buttons....I'm not so sure.
    #9
  10. mac444

    mac444 Adventurer

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    OK the forks on this bike have way too much compression dampening at both high and low speed....it is my biggest gripe.

    My headlight fell off after about 50 miles or semi rough dirt roads...that says something. I saw another rider on here who lost his front brake. Harsh suspension in the front.

    The clacking appears to be the front fender and fork guards hitting the fork tube. Again, the thing is really stiff in front and thats the result of some of the harshness. My 2 cents. Love the bike hate the front forks and hate the rear shock a little less.

    BMW made a mistake for not putting a proper adjustable suspension, front and back, on a bike with a 21 inch front wheel.

    The suspension on the F800 is not even int he same league as the KTM990.
    #10
  11. jessehere

    jessehere Ridin'

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    The forks specs: (thanks Blackie!)from http://f800riders.org/HoW/showentry.php?e=43


    <TABLE class="stg_table tborder"><TBODY><TR class=alt2><TD>765 ml </TD></TR><TR class=alt1><TD>Level of fork oil in fork leg (air chamber) </TD><TD>Forks fully compressed, spring removed, spacer installed </TD><TD>60 mm </TD></TR><TR class=alt2><TD></TD><TD></TD><TD>Consumables/lubricants - Hydraulic fluid SAE 7,5 </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
    My forks are harsh as well in the first part of the travel and have the plastic hit sound. If anyone can figure out how to make them more compliant - post up
    #11
  12. itsatdm

    itsatdm Long timer

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    The clacking appears to be the front fender and fork guards hitting the fork tube. Again, the thing is really stiff in front and thats the result of some of the harshness. My 2 cents. Love the bike hate the front forks and hate the rear shock a little less.

    BMW made a mistake for not putting a proper adjustable suspension, front and back, on a bike with a 21 inch front wheel.

    The suspension on the F800 is not even int he same league as the KTM990.
    [/quote]



    I agree on the lack of adjustability, even my dealer claimed surprise, did the same on the new Husquavarna. Since BMW bought them out I smell conspiracy.:evil
    I wasn't going to add anymore, because I seemed to be in a minority, but since there a few here who seemed to agree, this is where I am at present.
    I mounted the Hyperpro progressive springs, first using the stock oil with 2 oz syphoned out. That softened the ride, but made it a little loose in the dirt and it wallowed a little on pavement curves at high speeds.
    Today I refilled with the supplied 10 weight oil to 70 mm short of the top of the lower leg. (stock is 60mm). The result feels like the stock suspension, with hard edges knocked off. Next I will probably go with a 80 mm level.
    I am no suspension guru, but am coming to the conclusion you can't soften the front end without harming its road handling ability.
    #12
  13. jessehere

    jessehere Ridin'

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    I have a husky 06 TE250 which has the marzzochi shiver forks as well. They look identical!! except they are adjustable. What would it take to add the adjustability to the stock 800 legs. I am also no suspension guru
    #13
  14. mac444

    mac444 Adventurer

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    Funny stuff. I havent had to resort to oil levels and weights on a new bike since I bought dirt bikes back in the 80s..ok early 90s too. This is a joke.

    BMW probably knew that 90% of he folks were buying the bike for looks and they obviously valved it for the street. To fight the fork dive that they are not so used to anymore with the para-lever I guess the resorted to a LOT of compression dampening. The harshness is a result.

    I dont like how the bike feels with the stock street tires. It definitely is more unstable feeling than the KTM990 at speed and I personally think my old 990 felt better with a TKC 80 than the new 800 feels with the street bias bridgestone battle wing...and that is on the street. It should be the other way around. I am afraid it will really shake its heat with the TKC mounted.

    Yes the thing has some headshake under hard breaking and mostly hard acceleration. The suspension is really hurting the handling on this bike.

    I feel sorry for the guys who bought the 800 instead of or to replace an R1200GS. They will be very disappointed. Mine is in my rental fleet and I bought it because I know there will be a demand. I actually sold a new 990 for the 800. had it been a personal ride I would be in tears about now.

    My clients all like the BMW so now they can ride one. That should help kill a lot of F800 sales right there. ! LOL The Wee Strom is not as harsh on the dirt roads and LOT better handling on the street for 1/2 the price. I also think it will smoke the 800 in a roll on. I will post on that later.

    Think before you buy an F800GS, hype is hype and 12 grand is a lot of hype. If you really want it for off-pavement you are Ok. Other wise put a 17 on the front and call it what it really is. A poser bike and a half ass motard ride. I wont buy any more for my rental biz.
    #14
  15. jessehere

    jessehere Ridin'

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    Here is the shop manual for the Husky has the same/similar forks except adjustable. It show the exploded diagrams. can the adjustabilty be added at a reasonable cost. the fork section (in english)starts on page 338 of the pdf file here:
    http://www.cagivausa.com/PDF/husqvarna/05HUSQ_4STRK_SERVICE.PDF

    Hope someone in the know chimes in.
    #15
  16. mac444

    mac444 Adventurer

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    I have no idea if you can swap forks and still use two front brake rotors. Does the Husky fork have mounting tabs on both fork legs , ie for the other brake ? If not its a no go unless you go to a single front rotor.

    Besides, why spend so much and then have to replace the entire front end ? Thats a bit extreme and expensive dont you think ?
    #16
  17. jessehere

    jessehere Ridin'

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    I was thinking about the internals of the forks and /or adding the adjustability.
    #17
  18. jessehere

    jessehere Ridin'

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    #18
  19. jessehere

    jessehere Ridin'

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    From reading the marzochi service manual, I'm thinking it might help to go with 5 weight oil and less of it.
    #19
  20. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do

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    The clacking pisses me off. Not even so much the sound of it, but also that you can feel it in the bars. At first, I was convinced that my steering head bearings were loose, but that's not the case.



    The clacking is the floating rotors smacking in their buttons. Go look at them and check out how much free play there is. :bluduh
    #20