why I choose the 800 GS INSTEAD of KTM ADV

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Krummemusic, May 10, 2014.

  1. Krummemusic

    Krummemusic Adventure Dreamer

    May 31, 2013
    Valued Forum,
    Just came back from 20,000 km + tour around selected Asian countries. Why I used an F 800 GS - and why I did not used my KTM.

    As this question has been discussed several times on this forum and I had experience with both.. allow me to share it with you. It is MY experience and it is understood that this might not be extrapolated to experiences others have made with either bike.

    For a long time I planned a 5 months tour around selected Asian countries

    Initially, I bought KTMs and rode them several times on short trips through Malaysia and Thailand. I think the ""Ă„dventure" behind the 990 come, because the adventure starts the moment you leave home.
    KTM let me down several times in the middle of nowhere (Battery, Clutch Slave Cylinder, Thermostat, cooling system, constant overheating in stop-and-go traffic in hot SEA). I found basic maintenance on the bike quit cumbersome. I requested my local KTM dealer to show me some basic maintenance tricks, so I am better prepared when travelling to the remote countries ..which he refused.

    So...I did it on a F800GS
    My experience over 20.000 + km through Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, India, Nagaland, Nepal..with some tricky roads especially in Nepal and NE India..

    Problems on the bike: 2 burned light bulbs

    I rode on nasty roads in North East India and Nepal, with full luggage and sometimes 2 x person....the bike took it (original suspension)
    However, I changed the upper bolt of the rear suspension before, to avoid a possible bending as reported several times.

    I am not an experienced off-road driver, but standing in the pegs and on the throttle... the bike told me where to go

    As Nepal was running out of fuel , I had to buy it in bottles over the counter. Experienced pinging only on steep, uphill dirt tracks with tight 180 degree turns. I did not modify the mapping for low octane fuel.(which I should have)

    Basic maintenance was easy ..especially oil change (needed for crating and shipping the bike by air)...where it is helpful to get it done simply and quickly while in dusty customs halls.

    Thinking about the numerous problems I had over 50,000 km with 2 x KTMs, I am happy I did this tour on the BMW..which did not give me ANY trouble. Though the mileage is still on the low side, I got stucked at least 4 x on the KTMs over the same distance.
    So I did not dare to go on a KTM further then I can bring it on a truck to the next KTM dealer.

    Being prepared for a shitstorm from KTM colleagues...please direct it to KTM..not to me. I just share my humble experience.

  2. eddyturn

    eddyturn Eternal Wannabe Supporter

    Oct 27, 2009
    Hesperus, CO
    Too cool.
  3. Scubalong

    Scubalong Long timer

    Apr 25, 2012
    So Cal
    Thanks for sharing :thumb
  4. JRose

    JRose Been here awhile

    Sep 11, 2011
    Birmingham, 'Murica
    The orange mafia will be watching you.... sleep with one eye open.
  5. runnr548

    runnr548 BMW Pilot

    Mar 16, 2012
    The Atomic City
    Cool information on your experiences. I saw several KTMs and one F800GS Trophy in Tellico Plains, TN. They were at the Tellico Grains Bakery, which is AWESOME and at the TN entrance to the Cherohala Skyway. Anyhow...seeing the KTM riders and the lone BMW rider among them...I felt sorry for the KTMs. :D
  6. FredRydr

    FredRydr Danger: Keep Back 300 Ft.

    Aug 16, 2005
    Carlisle Pennsylvania USA
    Ducati owners tell me that's called "character."

  7. YrianX

    YrianX Viking Adventurer

    Feb 21, 2014
    Oslo, NORWAY
    Interesting observations for sure. Thanks for sharing.

    I have been contemplating a long road trip in the USA trying to get all states in over 3-6 months or so (Hawaii and possibly Alaska without bike though) and have narrowed things down to the F800GS/GSA or KTM 1190 if I was to do it.

    Your experiences pushes me further towards the 800, especially combined with the fact that I am SUPER HAPPY with my current F800GS and have had no problems with it what so ever and wrenching on it is quite easy.

    I would probably have to arrange for upgraded suspension and an AF-XIED module on one I would buy in the US before such a trip though...

  8. Christof

    Christof Adventurer

    Apr 22, 2014
    Antalya, Turkey
    I like KTM's and I like that they are on the market giving consumers choice and competition to BMW. I was going to buy a 990 Adv last year after having rented one for a 10 holiday. My best friend insisted that I was making a mistake and after a lot of talk he made go with him to Demaks' (the dealer) repair shop in Istanbul.. It's across the city from the showrooms. There were motorcycles under warranty in various states of repair everywhere! Engines were on benches, on the floor, on shelves... It was unbelievable. The chief mechanic said they couldn't get parts.

    So I bought the F8GS instead. It was too bad, because I think the KTM goes way better out of the box. But I don't want to be stranded 100's of kms from a service shop that has trouble keeping parts in stock. I've recently ordered 1500 euros worth of suspension for the beemer and hopefully it will make it handle as brilliantly as a stock KTM.