Talk me into/out of an F800 GSA

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Nophix, Jun 27, 2014.

  1. Nophix

    Nophix Get Lost In The Moment

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    With the total loss of my s1000rr, thanks to some punk who thought it ok to borrow it without permission, I'm shopping.

    I've still got my z1000, and it does all the things I need a sport type bike to do. I need a touring mount that can handle me, my daughter, and hard luggage, with some off-road capability.

    I've been looking at used 1150 and 1200 GS's, as well as Buell Ulys and Vstroms. However, I stopped at BMW on my way to Team to pick up parts for the Z1000, to look at big GS's, and the f800 really caught my eye. Lighter, chain drive, seemingly better off-road.

    My riding style is shifting, I'm too old to bounce anymore. I do a lot of road miles, but I'm looking to do a bunch more fire roads and trails. I thought about getting a used KLR and used FJR, and calling it good, but the daughter wants to go adventure riding and camping with me now as well.

    Should I just stick to the big boys, or is the F800 Adventure a viable option? Daughter is still small, and I doubt she'll ever really exceed 125lbs. She's built like her aunt. But, I do want a bike that will hold a hard luggage set so she has a backrest.
    #1
  2. Cdlabate

    Cdlabate Been here awhile

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    The 800 sounds ideal for your needs. I just picked one up last weekend. Awesome! My other bike is a Superduke for stupid fun!
    #2
  3. Bad Daddy

    Bad Daddy Been here awhile

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    I have been looking at the F800GS and GSA.

    Originally I was going to go with the GS. Had one in stock.
    Then the next time I'm there, it's gone, and a GSA is on the floor.
    A few more features, tank and windshield, a few more options, fog lights and suspension....
    I really like the capability of the GSA. I would like the ability to mount different panniers than the BMW ones, though. Maybe they will be available by the time I'm ready.
    I was ready to go with the GSA, and I stupidly asked, "what was coming for 2015?"
    "Suspension" was the answer. So now I'm gonna wait. Too late in the season for me to do anything now.
    If nothing changes then I'm in for a GSA.
    I think that as humans we are swayed by "feature creep".
    I started out looking at a simple low option bike, and now I'm ready to go all in for something that I may or may not get to put 3000 kms on in a season.

    I should have just bought it. Then I wouldn't be writing this. I'd be on the road to somewhere.
    #3
  4. FredRydr

    FredRydr Danger: Keep Back 300 Ft.

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    Could you be more specific?

    Fred
    #4
  5. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    Yeah...what Fred said.


    Specifics.


    Not that I want to buy another BMW....fuck...this shit again....no, no, no, no,no...how many times do I have to tell you "stupid self"? Yeah, but "optimistic self", you know you have fun with it? Yes "stupid self" I do, between sessions of frustration and rage...and long nights in a cold garage trying to make dodgy German engineering function....


    Can you guys hear these voices too? Is it just me? Am I talking to myself again?
    #5
  6. PatrickM

    PatrickM Been here awhile

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    Next year will always be better... Same thing with brands that just came out, they're going to be ahead of the curve just a little so much.

    So you're going to be looking for a brand that you like, with the features that meet your requirements.

    If you're doing more slabbing, a larger and heavier bike could be in the cards. If you had more money to spend, you could always go to the larger R1200 (but lose out on the chain).

    If you look at it purely formulaic, then the F800GS might be right for you.

    1. How much money do you want to spend, including the luggage?
    2. Is the chain really all that important (ability to change sprockets) or is a final drive better?
    3. A larger bike makes highway cruising a bit more acceptable, but we're not talking about driving a car here.
    4. Do you need the larger gas tank of the GSA (riding out west, around Elko, Tonopah)
    5. Do you want to add your own "farkles" such as aux lighting, or just want it all inclusive?

    After you narrow down the few brands/models that meet your criteria, you go riding. Things like center-of-gravity, distance to the ground, flat footing it, heat from the seat, wind protection, etc. are all intensely personal.

    Considering the passenger + luggage, would I go smaller? Nope. Would I go larger, maybe. But would the F800GS do what you're asking?

    How much does she pack? :)
    #6
  7. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    You.....you..you, you.

    You and your damned "logic".

    If we used logic to buy bikes we'd all be riding Hondas. :lol3
    #7
  8. Dorsland

    Dorsland Long timer

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    Be interesting to hear about the dodgy German engineering :huh
    #8
  9. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    There's a "known issues" thread.

    If you bought one so you could put on all the BMW riding apparel and head solo to the local cafe for a latte...you're in luck.

    If you bought one to do that "big adventure" in the remote spaces of Darkest Africa....you might want to brush up on the mechanical skill set, and buy a satellite phone.

    I'm up to 3 rides failure free at the moment. I'm getting all nostalgic for the pile of junk again.

    Taking it out in the snow in the morning. So...I'll be all maudlin and depressed by this time tomorrow no doubt.



    I could always buy a Honda...or slash my wrists...same thing really...


    Who would have thought buying a bike could make you a manic depressive....or as my wife likes to call me, a depressed maniac...
    #9
  10. Hamish71

    Hamish71 Been here awhile

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    Well, if you were local, I would do all I could do talk you into a GSA, and then tell you its crap afterwards....but Id be happy to pay bottom dollar to buy it off you:evil
    #10
  11. Dorsland

    Dorsland Long timer

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    I guess I'm somewhat ahead of the "known issues" then. I'm on my second 800GS now and all I've had on either of them during my jaunts between the various Starbucks outlets on the Dark Continent is a niggle with a failing fuel pump.

    Bad Germans! :lol3


    On my way out for a quick decaf:

    [​IMG]




    Sleepover en route to the local pub:

    [​IMG]




    Almost time for a skinny latte:

    [​IMG]
    #11
  12. CheckerdD

    CheckerdD Long timer

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    I have had 2 800 ADV riders complain to me that their bikes are two heavy. I think my regular 800 is perfect and I never hear complaints from others. Do you really need that extra gas? Dave
    #12
  13. Nophix

    Nophix Get Lost In The Moment

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    I'd like the extra range, as well as the few other options. I fully intend on keeping the bike for a long time, and between some more remote areas and an attempt to get on the IBR, the range would help a lot.

    I've ridden 1200GSA's before, weight didn't bother me.

    I like a few of the options on the big GSA enough it may justify the price difference. Cruise control and LED lighting for sure.

    Sent from my Q10 using Tapatalk
    #13
  14. chasbmw

    chasbmw Long timer

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    You could always get a standard GS and fit a camel tank, extra 7 liters of fuel.
    #14
  15. GPHusky250

    GPHusky250 Been here awhile

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    I'm thinking the weight difference between a GS and GSA is really a non issue.

    Weight (fully fueled):

    GS - 472lbs
    GSA - 505lbs

    Difference - 33lbs

    Since the GSA carries 2 extra gallons of fuel...that's roughly 12lbs depending on ambient temperature. If you only put 4 gallons of gas in your GSA, the weight drops 12lbs and now the difference is 21lbs.

    I suspect some of the extra's found on the GSA and not on the GS have weight..such as the engine protection bars, larger windshield mounting bar and to some extent, however negligible, the larger plastics and larger windscreen...it might add an extra 5 lbs. If so, you're down to 16lbs difference if you remove them.

    Hey, a 220 lb guy on a GS might weigh more than an 180 lb guy on a GSA. :)

    Looking at this another way, if you take a look at the GS guys that add some of the things the GSA comes with, a camel tank, lights, engine protection bars and so on...the 33 lbs evaporates pretty quickly.

    I think it's safe to say that both bikes are big and heavy..and if you had to lift one into the back of a truck...you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

    If weight was truly the measure by which a person purchased a street legal offroad bike...no one would purchase a BMW...we'd all be riding around on 350 and 500 KTMs and Huskys. :)

    As for waiting for suspension...nothing BMW puts on their bike will get you to the luxury of a Konflict front end...for example. Making the suspension truly work offroad would put them way above an acceptable price point and guys in this forum would be moaning about the price and how they don't need the upgraded suspension since all they are doing is riding on pavement.

    I've owned a lot of bikes over the years (cars too) and there's one thing rarely discussed here when owning a bike...(after all the parsing of specs and capabilities of course)....which is simply...do you like the way it looks? When you get off your bike and walk away...to you stop and look over your shoulder and say.."wow, that bike looks great. glad I bought it".

    Guys are visual creatures...otherwise we would have all married ugly women with good specs. Often, we go after the good looking ones without even thinking of how they might perform after the warranty period has expired. :)

    I like the way the GSA sits, I like the extra do-dads it comes with and I like the color (red)...but that's just me.

    As I sit here writing this short note and watching TV...I'm seeing a region of the world locked in perpetual war with US Forces, Israeli Forces, fighting between ISIS militia seeking to create an Islamic state irrespective of political boundaries, Sunni vs Shiite Muslims, Ebola outbreaks in Africa, the killing of Christians in Sub Saharan Africa, the bloated national debt and so on...we are all some pretty lucky bastards to be able to be free of all of that crap and able to sit around and endlessly split hairs over 33 lbs.

    Bottom line...life is short, time is precious, roads are waiting...go to the dealer and buy whatever bike floats your boat and go ride it. When you have a big grin on your face and your adrenalin level is through the roof, you won't really care what the bike weighs...since you won't be bored sitting in front of a computer discussing "ad nauseum" something that matters so little.
    #15
    delux2769 likes this.
  16. Swashbuckler

    Swashbuckler Been here awhile

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    Not trying to start a BMW vs KTM threadÂ….but have you tested the KTM's?

    I initially bought an F800GS. Great bike. Fun on the road. Decent off the road. Dirt roads it was good, but I struggled on trails. I did have fun at some supercross tracks! But the only reason I bought it was because there were no KTM's for sale at the time (in my price range).

    I tried the KTM 690 for a while. But it would have cost me too much money to make it into what I wanted it to do.

    Which brings me to the KTM Adventures. I recently bought a 950 and it really is a Super Dirt Bike. It feels natural on the trails, and surprisingly, was more comfortable on dirt roads than my 690.

    The big difference to me is that the KTM has all it's weight down low. The tanks are on the sides of the bike with the majority of the fuel being down near your feet and the battery is behind the front wheel. These are a few of the ways that makes the KTM feel great off road. The BMW just had too much weight up high for me. Off road I constantly tipped over on the BMW.

    I'm not saying that one is better than the other, but I'd definitely give them all a ride before you set on the BWM.
    #16
  17. Nophix

    Nophix Get Lost In The Moment

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    I've never had good luck with KTM. That, and with no local dealers, I'm dealing with a headache if I need one.
    #17
  18. BMWHD passion

    BMWHD passion Adventurer

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    ::clap. You earned applause dude, great post on July 2!!!!!!
    #18
  19. Krummemusic

    Krummemusic Adventure Dreamer

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    Dear fellow rider,
    I was lucky enough to have driven in the past 2 x KTM990 Adventure, 1 x 1200 GS and now own a F800GS, on which I just returned from a 18,000 km tour around selected Asian countries.
    I was planning for years this Asia tour and first planned to use a 2007 KTM 990 Adventure. Over 28,000 km around SE Asia, the bike let me down on numerous occasions...sitting in the Pampa (clutch slave leakage, sudden battery deaths, numerous thermostats, cooling system). Bike was fun to ride, but obviously not the right one for a tour through an area where the next workshop is more then a day and reliability an important factor.
    I took a 2nd, 2011 KTM Adventure, problems became less (I fitted a Sigutech Clutch Slave and 2md Ventilator)....but still the bike did not gave me the confidence on reliability one would need to travel far away as I planned. Still not possible to run even 10,000 km without problems.
    So I went for the 800GS....and did the tour....up to remote areas in Laos, Thailand and the 'no-mans-land" between India and Myanmar...without any service around.
    On now 23,000 km ..I had two burned light bulps....and drove thousands of km on hard tracks. Bike FULLY loaded with 2 x person on it.
    As on off-road capability. Though there might be an advantage on the KTM, given its pedigree, for a normal off-road rider the 800GS performed perfect. We did some VERY bad tracks in Nepal and North East India, 400 kg....it worked great. Sure for hard-core off-road rider who bring their bikes on trailers into the mountain, drive around with little to no luggage and drive it back home (or to the next dealer) ...the KTM could be more fun.

    I dismissed using the 1200GS...way to heavy...and surely I would have had problems when driving through narrow road with trenches.
    So...if I read your planned use for the bike and understood you correctly..and given my personal experience after > 50,000 KTM, 22,000 km F800 and 20,000 km on R1200GS...my money would go on the F800GS.
    I have not even talked about serviceability...another factor where I would go at any time with BMW instead the KTM.
    Now waiting for the fatwa from the orange fraction...
    Cheers
    Uli
    #19
  20. Snowy

    Snowy Long timer

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    No no no Dorsland....I wasn't referring to Cafe Latte touring like yours, I meant off road:

    Getting rid of the last Latte:
    [​IMG]

    How deep was that water crossing?
    [​IMG]

    Where are we going?
    [​IMG]

    Are there any more water crossings?
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Oh look, a camp ground
    [​IMG]

    Powerline Road
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    just to clarify......this is a road

    [​IMG]


    this is a road on a beach
    [​IMG]

    This is a mountain road
    [​IMG]

    This is the middle of my mountains
    [​IMG]

    This is a bad idea on a bike
    [​IMG]

    This is a fire trail water soak
    [​IMG]

    Another campsite
    [​IMG]


    To do this, the bike will cost a small fortune in repairs. To do some back country road touring, not so much.
    #20