The GS keeps getting Heavier...would you switch to a lighter bike like the KTM 790?

Discussion in 'Parallel World (790/890)' started by rforrester, Nov 8, 2018.

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Would you trade your GS for the new KTM 790 Adventure R? (and pocket a few thousand)

Poll closed Nov 18, 2018.
  1. Yes, I want a lighter bike and the 790 ticks all the boxes...

    100 vote(s)
    65.8%
  2. No, I want to keep my GS and possibly buy a new one.

    52 vote(s)
    34.2%
  1. keithmckenney

    keithmckenney Adventure riding for fun and adventure Supporter

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    Living in Maryland and riding 'out there' where the off road adventure rides are awesome presents logistical challenges, not the least of which is getting 'there' and back. I rent a storage unit it Ogden Utah for my bikes and fly to SLC, then public transportation to the storage unit and ride the bike (s) to wherever the next adventure ride is. I don't know how long I will do this set up but it has been going great for two years and there are so many more BDRs and the like to ride I'm looking forward to 2019. Currently the 'bikes' are in San Diego staying at a good friend's place, getting ready for Baja in a few weeks. After that, perhaps another month in San Diego so we can ride Death Valley in January and then likely back to SLC for the winter. Spring comes early in Southern Utah......
    #81
  2. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    I wasn't aware they had winter in southern Utah. :-) I've been through there and golfed in St George in February.

    ...ken...
    #82
  3. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer Supporter

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    I will be trading my '17 1200GSA for a '19 1250GSA early spring. I don't expect much difference in the two bikes. I would never exchange the 1200/1250 for the 790 KTM, it is just a "not quite as heavy" heavy bike. I put 35,000 miles on a F800GS, nice bike but I traded it for the WC 1200GSA because the 1200GSA had a lighter feel to it in the parking lot and on rough roads even though it is 50-80 pounds heavier depending on who you ask. And it is a much better bike on the slab at 80++. I would expect the 790 KTM to be a somewhat different bike than the F800GS but if you are wanting a light weight adventure type bike go for the 701 Husky or the 2019 690 KTM, plenty of upgrades on the 2019 690 that should make it a better bike than the 790 unless you are looking to ride 2 up, that's a different ball game.

    I really like two motorcycles, the 1200/1250 GSA for long trips and forest roads, and a truly lighter dual sport type bike that can do single track with no problems if need be, my 701 Husky is that bike and can be loaded up with the exact same gear that I take on the big GSA. I find myself looking for gnarly single track less and less so the 701 is good for me. If I could only keep one it would be the 701 because it is easy to load into my van or on a trailer and cover the 100's of miles of interstate to get to some riding areas. If just a couple of hundred miles of slab the 701 is just fine.

    This is a good thread because it is bringing out many ideas as to why to pick one bike over another. It seems everyone has their own use for a bike so you just have to consider all the variables and choose what fits your style the best.


    .
    #83
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  4. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer Supporter

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    But. But.
    We rode the MABDR this summer and it was great riding, and I could tell we were passing a LOT of fun looking riding. And there is more both south and north of the MABDR route.
    So for me there are two "out there" riding areas, one 800 miles east of me and one 800 miles west of me. And then of course there is the secret great 'out there' riding in Arkansas that is only 150 miles from me. So as I said just above this I ride the 701 Husky to Arkansas and home and trailer it to the farther 'out there' riding. Or just ride the big GSA anywhere no matter the distance (in North America) and just avoid places I don't want to take it. There are more places it can go than I have time to ride anyway so I don't worry about missing something.

    .
    #84
  5. Beairmo

    Beairmo Keeping it real Supporter

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    100% concur with your explanation, for what its worth, on the subject. Specifically the feel of the 1200 vs 800. My list of "go back and explore on smaller bike" places is really long.
    #85
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  6. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    I don't know how old you are nor your time/life situation. But I caution you not to let that list get too long before you start to do something about it. I'm 72 in a few weeks and no longer physically capable of the off-pavement antics I once was. That means a large portion of those "smaller bike" places are no longer possible, no matter what bike I use.

    The up side (there's always an upside!) is that the list is no longer a distraction from hitting those places on my other round-to-it list of places that don't require any special considerations. ... Except to get off my butt and go there. :-)

    ...ken...
    #86
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  7. Bowser

    Bowser Been here awhile

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    how about an option of none of the above.
    Dont want the new GS as too big and heavy even for long distance touring, and the 790 does not tick the boxes, is has lost 20 bhp on the 990 kept almost the same weight, and gained electronics I really dont want oh and they want to charge over 12,000 apparently.
    #87
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  8. Velociraptor

    Velociraptor TrackBum Super Supporter

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    Never had a GS. Went with the KTM 1290 SAR and am happy with that bike but have a deposit down on a 790r. Will see how the reviews go and decide whether to keep the 1290 or switch to the 790r. I just do day trips so just tank and tail bags, so probably the 790r is a better fit for me. For years I did weekend rides that started at a BMW shop so spent a lot of time looking at the GS bikes, but they never really inspired me enough to buy one.
    #88
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  9. RAGrote

    RAGrote Fishin w PICO

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    790 will eat dirt roads...... I did a 950KTM just fine on all but the smallest tracks but my 1290 will RARELY see dirt - it's the T model and too good for the dirt. The GS? Meant for the old guy that wants to look like he's going on expedition but can't.
    #89
  10. deadzed

    deadzed Meat Popscicle

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    14 years on my old 1150GS. It's been a great bike & so far nothing that's come along has made me want to trade, But that 790 is definitely going to get a test ride. And then, who knows? I don't often ride two up, but 12hr slogs on the freeway happen a few times a year.
    #90
  11. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    Hey, I resemble that remark!!! :-)

    ...ken...
    #91
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  12. Shawnee Bill

    Shawnee Bill Long timer Supporter

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    Been riding a LC 1200 GSA for 4 years now, I will take the GS any where I would take a 1290 KTM. I ride forest roads often. That is ME riding either bike, no difference in where I would go except I think the GS will look more at home parked in front of my local Starbucks.:*sip*

    The 790 looks like it will be a little better at maybe a little rougher roads. Like I said a few posts back, it is just a 'not quite so heavy' heavy bike.

    My 701 on the other hand I will take places I wouldn't even consider taking the 790, that is what I have learned having only seen you tube videos of the 790. I don't think my opinion will change much when I see it for real, possible but I doubt it.

    .
    #92
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  13. lonerockz

    lonerockz Permanent n00b Supporter

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    Does the trip to AK include going to Deadhorse? To me, that was a primary destination (in fact it was the only thing that really mattered to me). I that case I would strongly recommend that you avoid the GTL.

    The Dalton highway can totally be ridden on a 1600GTL, but only in the best of weather and even then there will be sections that will make you hold on with your ass cheeks for dear life. If the weather turns bad (and its typically a 4-day round trip so you're going to have at least a little bad weather) that GTL is really going to make you rethink your life choices.

    I rented an Africa Twin up there. Didn't have the vacation time for the round trip, nor do I own the ideal bike for the whole trip. I wouldn't take Tiger Explorer on the Dalton, nor did I want to ride my WR250R 7000 miles round trip. The WR would have been a blast on the Dalton though! Even the Africa twin is kinda heavy for the 20 miles of construction that featured an inch of marbles for its top coat.

    If you're like me and have more money than vacation time I strongly recommend renting up there. You can rent the bike that is optimized for travel in the area, as opposed to buying a bike that isn't what you would really like most of the time you are at home. The bike that can get you to Alaska in comfort isn't really the best bike to ride around Alaska.

    BTW, I'm selling my Tiger Explorer for the 790. My eyes are turned to South America now where I expect to encounter worse roads than the Dalton. It's still too heavy (and I'll be carrying more spare parts than I'd prefer), but 90% of my driving will be on poorly paved 2-lane highway. For that, the 790 will be great.
    #93
  14. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    Those are all good points and underscore why I asked the question in the first place. I have encountered a large percentage of prople who have the preconceived notion that nearly anywhere in Alaska will be on questionable roads. We both know that's not the case.

    The ratio of good pavement to questionable surfaces is likely the same as states with large rural areas like Montana, Wyoming, Utah, or the Canadian Prairie provinces and British Columbia. You can have a great riding vacation in, and through, all of those, and states like them, without ever leaving the pavement.

    However, just like all of those areas, there are a number of desirable destinations at the ends of more challenging roads, varying from graveled freeways to goat tracks, and everything between. And weather conditions can also have a varied effect on them, from really good gravel that can be minimally affected by rain to excellent wide dry surfaces that can turn into slick slippery nightmares after a few raindrops. And worse.

    You can't make any assumptions. If you are going to travel in areas you've never been and have never discussed with anyone knowledgeable, you have to do your homework. Decide where you want to go and the sorts of roads you prefer to travel on, then check the maps - whether Google/Bing/Whatever or paper. There are tons of great resources available just a quick search away.

    Once you know what's between where you are and where you want to go you can make an informed decision about what will best get you there and back.

    And the forum is always here and ready to answer informed questions about what might work best.

    ...ken...
    #94
  15. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    I just got the chance to ride the 2019 BMW F850GS and Triumph 800XC back to back. The Triumph felt as bulky as a 1200 BMW. It was powerful enough, but just felt ungainly to me. (I currently ride an Aprilia Dorsoduro 750 "supermoto" that is in the low 400 lb range with 90+ hp, so I'm a little biased toward sporty.)
    [​IMG]

    Then I rode the BMW F850GS. What a difference! It felt like I was on it, rather than in it. It felt as fast as my Aprilia, but with more off road bias. I really liked it, and consider it in the top 2 choices for my next bike (along with the Ducati Hypermotard 939 I haven't ridden yet).
    [​IMG]

    This past summer, I also borrowed an older KTM 950SM for the day. I really liked that one as well. It was simple, but burly. The feel of the v-twin on the open highway satisfied my need for speed, yet I felt like I could take it off road. I bet the 950SE would be a beast!

    Somewhere between 750 and 950 cc, 375-475 lbs, and 90-100 horsepower, is the bike for me.
    #95
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  16. krussell

    krussell Gravel Warrior Supporter

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    I took the dealers 850 out while I was getting tires done. I was really impressed.
    #96
  17. Path_Less_Traveled

    Path_Less_Traveled It's all about the ride there

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    If you can pick it up it's not too heavy. Seems like the older I get the heavier my GSA gets, but this machine has gotten me out of all the stupid shit I've ever gotten into and I feel like I owe it a debit of gratitude. Perhaps I'm a bit too loyal.
    #97
  18. Ken in Regina

    Ken in Regina Long timer Supporter

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    My problem was that as I got older the power weight, and good handling of my F650GS was getting me into stupid shit instead of getting me out of it as it used to. Switching to the Versys-X 300 solved that without having to give up anything.

    ...ken...
    #98
  19. drbeemer73

    drbeemer73 Adventurer

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    The R1200GSA or 1250 CAN be ridden *anywhere* BUT only if you are a good enough and skilled enough rider. I ride my R80G/S most places, dirt or street, but if it is cold or the ride is a long highway ride, I take the GSA because it has good wind and cold protection and is a great bike at gobbling up highway miles.

    I have taken both the BMW Raw Hyde course in CA, and the BMW dirt riding course in Greer, SC, but there are very few places to ride in dirt near my home in eastern PA so I can't keep up my R1200GSA dirt riding skills, so I take the R80G/S, which I've ridden on the Trans America, MABDR, etc. Fabulous bike.....

    And as has been said, I REALLY like shaft drive; I avoid chain drive. And as has been said, I WISH BMW would make a light 800 cc shaft drive bike, similar to the R80G/S, which was last produced for the US, in 1986!

    And my wife had an F800GS which eventually she mostly stopped riding, she also tended to ride her R80G/S because the F800GS was, and felt heavy. The R1200GS has a lower center of gravity due to the cylinders hanging out each side, compared to the F800GS, and the R1200GS weighs almost the same anyway!
    #99
  20. 2 SPOT

    2 SPOT bring the rape whistle

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    we all want a lighter bike, the key is balancing the compromises in your favor,,, if the 790's compromise is where your headed then yeah, i suppose you should get one.