Why is the bike so TALL? (F800GS)

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by Migs, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Migs

    Migs Sometimes we cry with everything except tears.

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    So I'd like to get a BMW G800, I even test rode one. I'm 5' 7" (172cm) and I can't for the life of me figure out why they make them so TALL!
    I know they make another seat for them, but it is still tall.
    Those of you with my height. Have you accommodated or does it really not matter? I'm wondering if it is not going to be a pain in the butt at every stop.

    Migs
    #1
  2. RED CAT

    RED CAT Bumpy Backroader

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    Gotta make um tall to get that suspension travel.
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  3. configurationspace

    configurationspace delooper

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    They make a version with a lower seat. I think I've seen it at the local shop--it has a different rear subframe.

    But to answer your question, it's all about ground clearance for the most part. If you want decent clearance and half-decent ergonomics while on the bike (ie: knees at a reasonable angle), with footpegs *under* your centre of mass, you have to have a tall bike. If you're happy having bad ergos or the footpegs not below your centre of mass, or if you don't care for ground clearance, there's no need for a tall bike.

    The whole tall bike issue isn't a big deal, IMO. You get used to it after a while and learn how to compensate. I find non-tall bikes far more awkward now.
    #3
  4. DaZbrah

    DaZbrah start me up

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    I am 5'7" on a good day and have been on my F800 for about six months. Stopping on rocky or even burmy dirt roads is a drag as well as going slow and turning over those that stuff. Only down once and that was in the back yard showing the bike off during a BBQ (ya half drunk):puke1
    #4
  5. TonyT

    TonyT Been here awhile

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    I'm 6' 4" with a 34" inseam and I was surprised how tall the 800 GS was. Seemed even more of a climb on board than the 1200 GS I had just vacated.
    Maybe the original poster should try the 800R. It'd probably go 98% of the places the GS will go.
    With a few more bangs from underneath, however. :lol3
    Cheers,
    Tony
    #5
  6. Limey 1

    Limey 1 Been here awhile

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    Lets face it, only a very small percentage of us travel over rocks...creek beds and the like....BMW should offer the same bike in two different set ups.Hi and Lo.....and maybe even the"LOW"...with a shaft drive option..!....I love the looks of the GS's and want one, but I can't live day to day with the tall seat height...and chain...won't happen....
    #6
  7. SelkieRider

    SelkieRider Adventurer

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    I am 5'6" and have the low seat (33" vs 34" normal height). I love how it handles offroad, but yeah: I have to pay attention to where my feet go when I stop, especially if the ground is off camber. I think it's totally worth it, though.

    The F650GS 2 cyl is a good option if you think the 800GS is too tall. I did think about getting one of those instead, but opted to learn to accomodate the bike's height and am happy with it.
    #7
  8. space

    space a.k.a. Jake

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    They do. The parallel twin GSs are available with a lowered suspension and/or a low seat. (Speaking of parallel twins ... they go in Beasts!)
    #8
  9. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Moved to Beasts.
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  10. -W-

    -W- Flying Finn

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    I don't get it why people who aren't really riding offroad are still wanting to buy F800GS and are complaining about the height, lack of shaft, hard seat and etc.. If you aren't riding offroad, why are you complaining about things which make this bike capable of doing the offroad stuff like it has been originally designed to do? It's not a steet bike or even touring bike - never has ment to be..

    If you in the end want a streetbike or touring bike, why just don't buy one? There are lot of better bikes for that stuff than F8GS.. And if you just want to be "a wannabe offroader" who has bike which looks like it could do some offroading, but in reality can't, then you just have to accept the fact that you have to buy lower springs etc. to make this offroad capable bike more suitable for your street bike needs.

    If you haven't noticed, ALL true offroad capable bikes are tall (like for example every KTM is even taller than F8GS), have hard seat, etc. They are tall because they have to have long travel suspension, big front wheel, decent ground clearance and acceptable ergonomics. They have hard seat so that you could easily shift you weight and get you ass up in the air while driving at the pegs. They have chain because it is light, easy to repair and changing ratio is fast..... etc.... etc..

    All of these features are making this bike what it is - and for damn good reason! It is decent bike at road, but also decent at offroad. To make it truly excelent bike at offroad it should have even a bit longer travel suspension and bigger 18" rear wheel, but then it would be even taller... ;)
    #10
  11. Migs

    Migs Sometimes we cry with everything except tears.

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    Sometimes doing a quick turn you have to put the leg down and drift the tail around. This is very hard if the bike is too tall.
    To give you an example, I have a KX250 which is a bit lower (still tall) and it's much easier to turn. The G800 also makes it a bit harder to get forward on the bike (and take weight off the rear wheel). By the way, the G800 (stock) has street tires... -Migs
    #11
  12. Bucko

    Bucko In a parallel world

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    Could it be that your KX weighs half as much as the GS?:evil
    #12
  13. -W-

    -W- Flying Finn

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    Yeh, I agree that the shape of the "tank"/seat isn't perfect to get your weight more forward while sitting and can be quite painfull to you balls when you quickly drop from the pegs to seat...:evil

    And the stock tires are joke - like the radiator attachment parts for this kind of bike..

    But I also agree with Bucko that weight has everything to do with the turning! Even 3" taller light enduro bikes are ten times easier to turn because they weight half of the F8GS.
    #13
  14. Maxacceleration

    Maxacceleration Off the grid

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    Way to tell it W.
    Most people can't handle the truth.

    The BMW badge has something to do with it too...

    Good riders know how to stop with a foot on the peg and a foot on the ground.
    Good riders also, most of the time :D, can find a high spot to put their foot off-road.
    And good riders also know to get a real dirtbike for real dirtbiking.
    But some good riders take their GS and whatever else anywhere!

    Hats off to them!

    Good day.
    #14
  15. wickit

    wickit Adrenaline Junkie

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    This bike is targeted at a much more true off road ADV type bike. There are a ton of road bikes people take on dirt roads currently available. But if you want a bike that can actually be ridden off road you need suspension. Suspension means a taller bike. If you want a road bike that you get dusty just pick one. If you want an off road bike that can be ridden on the pavement then it needs suspension. Personally I want an off road bike that can be ridden on the pavement (10-12hrs at 70-80mph) and made in Japan. Japan is out of the question currently, so the only current NA offerings are the 800 bmw/900's ktm.
    #15
  16. doubleoh7

    doubleoh7 AKA Chief FallsAlot

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    dude, i'm 5'8" and have no problem on this bike. 30" inseam. fully loaded I'm flat footed on the tarmac. just do it -
    #16
  17. Bike4Fun

    Bike4Fun Smooth IS Fast

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    This topic has been discussed before!

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=528914

    You want the bike, get it, PERIOD! You will figure it out! Sure you won't be hard core off road but you will drop the bike eventually. Don't worry about it. Riding on the street there is no reason that you can't put one foot down and be comfortable.

    Whats the worst that can happen you sell the bike. The look for a used one so you don't take the depreciation hit.

    There is no way that you can predict every scenario when riding off road! The key is to knowing your limitations and being able to handle them. You need to dab, you slide over to the appropriate side and dab and ride on. If you don't have any experience then it will present a problem because you will most likely want to stop and attempt to walk through a section instead of standing on the pegs and riding through it.

    although it may not be F8GS sepcific
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=539714
    #17
  18. Migs

    Migs Sometimes we cry with everything except tears.

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    Yup- I see all your points. I'm sure at one time or another they have gone through my grinding head. I guess I was just venting at why - even though I consider myself "normal" sized, those awesome bikes are just sized for GI Joes. Maybe next year I'll try a few BMWs. First I need a quad for my kid...

    Migs
    #18
  19. capriccio

    capriccio Long timer

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    Mr. w, Migs asked a valid question! The seat does NOT rest on top of the suspension, its in the middle of the bike. They could have designed the bike with a seat height adjustment from 30" to 35" to accomodate all inseams. Its all engineering!
    #19
  20. -W-

    -W- Flying Finn

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    Yep they could have, but would people accept that that kind of bike would have less than 3 gallon fuel tank (because there wasn't any room for bigger one)? I doubt very much..

    It is definitely engineering, but we have to also remember that there are lot of other components in bike than just wheels and seat.


    And when you get used to, riding F800GS with 30" inseam isn't problem. Yeah, you are going to drop the bike, but it will happen anyways if you are riding off road. (and personally with the factory low seat, normal seat and rally seat options I think beemer has already covered that 30-35" inseam problem better than any of the other manufactures, or how many bikes can be ordered with three different seat heights..?)
    #20