Why the 800GS and Not the 990, thoughts?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by 27rich, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. Wildman

    Wildman Long timer

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    #21
  2. nordicbiker

    nordicbiker Been here awhile

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    Pro F800GS: comparatively cheap insurance and very low fuel consumption. Reasonable maintanance costs.

    Contra F800GS: unreliable engine. Mine was replaced early 2010 (it had been damaged allready before I bought it with 750km on the clock, as a demo bike) and started leaking oil the following summer.

    So I traded the BMW in against a 2009 990Adv and hope this one does not turn into a frequent workshop visitor like the GS. Ask me again in 12 months! :ddog
    #22
  3. spqr

    spqr Been here awhile

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    +1

    BMW spans the globe, otherwise it would be a coin flip.
    #23
  4. mcdirtnap

    mcdirtnap Adventurer

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    As many have noted the lack of power of the f800gs (my sv650 can just about leave it for dust,) I was not necessarily concerned of this from the start. Realizing this bike is designed to go anywhere, vesus how fast I get there, speed was not a concern. Dynojet offered me a free power commander, (the last upgrade I ever thought Id be getting for the f800, but free is free), and I can't believe the difference it made. I'm mainly a long trip rider, on road, yet it smoothed out first gear, and doesnt feel like its going to die after 5k rpms and infact speeds up without any problem. Dynojet also gave me a fuel map for better fuel economy. If overall power or speed are the biggest concerns, as ive read it is for many. Id still rather take a slower more versatile bike, over the 990. I wasn't allowed to test ride the 990, but I was with the 800, and then 990 just felt huge in the store, even less versatile than the 1200gs. Think about the type of riding you'll be doing, base other peoples similar views around that. Keep in mind the f800gs has an upgrade for just about anything you could imagine.
    #24
  5. Chop Chop

    Chop Chop Long timer

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    If your'e at the crossroads in your decision, you could compare the running costs over three years say from your expected use. Including insurance, scheduled services etc and decide whats best for your financially. The big Kato's power is addictive but it chews through fuel and tyres to give it. I don't know anyone who is happy with rear tyre life, but they wouldn't swap the KTM for quids. But then again I chewed through tyres on the 800 (2800k's out of Mitas E09 Dakar, so much for a great wearing tyre imo). The 800's engine really comes to life after 6k rpm and is just pure joy (my experience anyway). It obviously doesn't have that cracking power delivery on the KTM but it is much smoother. Twisting the throttle on the 990 in any gear will get the rear out in a corner, you pretty much have to drop a gear to do the same on the 800 in comparitive conditions and speed (IME). Both bikes are great and you won't go wrong with either one for pure enjoyment.
    #25
  6. Freerk

    Freerk Adventurer

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    KTM = Keine tausend Meter
    Inspection intervals are 7500km for the KTM vs. 10000km with the F8. At least over here in Europe.
    #26
  7. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    That surprises me if you're talking about stock bikes. I have both and have ridden them back to back plenty of times. I've even ridden 2 of each sort of bike back to back, so there were no oddities caused by one duff bike. I agree that the handling of an SV650, particularly one with sorted suspension, is leagues ahead of the F800GS and that through smoothly tarmaced twisties, a competent rider will be quicker on an SV650. In terms of power though? The F800GS has always felt faster (until you get to really high speeds) to me, which is quite a feat considering how much higher up off the ground you are. Similarly, drag racing my (4 stone lighter) brother, with me on the F8 and him on the SV, he couldn't catch up until I hit 90 and intentionally stopped accelerating.

    Are you really light (in which case the P2W ratio might be improved on the SV)?
    #27
  8. TheJoker

    TheJoker Adventurer

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    A bit late to the party but, here's my £0.02...

    I was dead set on getting the 990, as I had owned the R1200GS before, and I was riding a SuperDuke R. My girlfriend wanted to ride the F800GS, so we took them out for a ride. After only a few minutes I was really enjoying myself. The F800GS was so effortless. It "just went". The handling was fine, power was lacking, but torque was there. We just enjoyed ourselves so much on the backroads.
    However, I had set my mind on the 990, so I took it out. Remember, I was black/orange at the time.
    I was totally underwhelmed. The snatchiness from the SuperDuke R 130bhp engine could be felt in the 990. They sure were related (this was a 2010 machine, dealer demonstrator) to each other. Other than that I thoroughly enjoyed myself, but I was underwhelmed. It was nothing more than a bigger F800GS. More powerful, more weight, more bulk.

    I went back to the dealer, kicked some tyres, asked for some numbers, came way infatuated with a fully loaded one with alu panniers. It was cheaper than the KTM, it was newer, etc, than the KTMs I'd been looking at. When I got home I cranked some numbers and now I have an F800GS... as does my girlfriend. :clap

    We both love them, and we ride them as frequently as we can. We've also been off road on them, albeit big, they can cope better than you might think. :evil :rofl

    But for you, get the bike that makes you grin. That's the only way to buy a bike.
    #28
  9. Bucko

    Bucko In a parallel world

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    Would you rather ride (GS) or wrench (KTM)? :wink:
    #29
  10. 27rich

    27rich Been here awhile

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    thanks for all the input, keep the thoughts coming, hopefully able take a 990 out for a test soon. Will let you know what ever way i go
    #30
  11. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    KTM has not got the FI sorted on the 990. Some run OK, and some are impossible to fix. Dealers cannot fix it. Pull the fairings on a 990, and that alone will make your decision easier. Routing of cables etc. looks like it was done by a college intern. Basically the 990 is very unfinished relative to the F8. JMO.
    #31
  12. mousitsas

    mousitsas Long timer

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    Fixed!
    #32
  13. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Are you implying the dealers have no factory parts that fix the fuel injection issues on the KTMs but there are home-bred solutions for it? Just wondering...
    #33
  14. mousitsas

    mousitsas Long timer

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    Sort of...most dealers don't know/don't care. There is no such thing as factory parts necessary. For most, O2 eliminators and removing secondary butterflies work at zero cost. More involved individuals reflash the ECU. Its no hard science to make it work. No gremlins live under the bonnet. Standard things, as long as you know how to do them.

    PS Look (if interested) for posts on the 990 FI issues by tahoecr. He knows how these things work better than KTM themselves.
    #34
  15. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    That is correct. The dealers cannot remedy the problem.

    I know a couple people (quite well actually) who have made heroic efforts to get the 990 FI to work. Removing secondary butterflies, Tuneboy mapping, TuneECU mapping, pinching of crossover tubes, swapping out complete ECU's and cable harnesses, complete swapping of all the sensors from a bike that runs well, loading known magic maps produced by people from this as well as other sites - basically every "solution" ever published or hinted at in any forum. Of course, frequent dealer visits as well. They finally reverted to a carb conversion which is both non-trivial and fairly expensive (see detailed post in the Orange Crush section by BillyD). Frankly, I don't have a dog in this fight and could care less what anyone buys. The 990's which run well are truly a fun bike to ride - some are truly evil and seem to be unfixable.
    #35
  16. LJRAT

    LJRAT LJR Adventure Tours

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    Had both for awhile. Along with several dirt bikes and performance sport bikes. A very funny thing kept happening! Evrytime I went to go riding, I ended up riding the F8. Go figure! The fleet got smaller and the F8 got farkled.

    Go blue koolaid and ya won't go back!
    #36
  17. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    :lol3.....:thumb:thumb

    Erling
    #37
  18. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    LJRAT has a great point that easily gets overlooked because many don't have multiple bikes in their garage. While I didn't have my 950 and F800 at the same time, I've had multiple stablemates with both. And yes, its very interesting fact.....given the choice.....I keep selecting my F800 over and above all other options, again and again. Initially because of the honeymoon, as it is with any new bike in your garage. But more lately, because of the sheer "pleasure" factor. I simply love riding this bike everywhere....to the detriment of her stablemates. Back when I had my 950, "the love" was distributed more evenly. This has got me thinking again.

    So, I broke down the difference a little further (between the 950 & F800). The F8 has a more useable acceleration. Rather than the exponential arm-ripping power delivery of my 950, the F8 is more linear, while still maintaining a crisp delivery. This makes it much easier to carry plenty of momentum without worrying about the power either dropping off or raging away. Makes for a smoother more predictable ride, even while being agressive, regardless of the surface. Its naturally confidence inspiring. On the F8, I'm more relaxed...which makes me more fluid through the curves....and thus, more comfortable (& actually faster, if I want to be).

    The F8 has an amazing amount of useable torque. I really don't have to shift as often, if I don't want to. This bike will lug down low and easily pull (rev) back up in several higher gears. There is far more range in the individual gears than I initially thought.

    This makes the F8 more useable for me offroad. I have excellent throttle control from many years of Observed Trials Competition. Even so, the 950 was always a challenge to keep "hooked up" in the dirt. I really had to keep my attention on the throttle control at all times. No such problem with the F8. Just grip and rip....very useable power delivery off the pavement. Its one of the things I most surprised and pleased with.

    For me, its really all about "useable" power. And I've found loads of that in the F8. It pushes my button and makes me blush! That's all that really matters. To each, their own. Just decide "what characteristics you are really looking for" so you'll know it when you finally find it.

    HF :deal
    #38
  19. stevevaltin

    stevevaltin French Cowboy

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    Alright guys. This is a VERY IMPORTANT post as it will most likely decide what my next purchase will be.......:happay

    I have my mind on either this:

    [​IMG]
    (yes the 2011 Dakar edition, no other models)

    or this:

    [​IMG]

    My mind is set on either of them BUT! I want one that can do the trans-america.:rayof

    I have always loved the KTM adventures since being little and watching them take off from Paris to Dakar with hose beauties... But the BMW seems like a more "comfy", more reliable sort of deal....

    WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?
    #39
  20. Grits&Gravy

    Grits&Gravy Been here awhile

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    I'm not trying to hijack this thread, but I do have a question

    I looked at a 990 adventure recently and felt like there was too much covered and hard to get to places along with the maintenance effort. I also looked at a 990SE and it was a totally different animal and extremely tall. I've been considering a F800, but have read about all the "problems" people have had. I've also read every post in this thread and get the feeling that regardless of any known issues with the F800 most everyone is totally satisfied with the bike and willing to overlook those issues. Has BMW fixed all or most of the problems? Are the new model bikes free of all the problems that were common?

    We are on the internet, and I don't believe everything I read. I know that you will hear more from people that are dissatisfied rather than those that are pleased. I complain a lot myself, but I just want to know if the problems are getting resolved on these bikes. If I buy one the dealer is 2 hours away and I don't want to be traveling back and forth dealing with issues. I want to be riding the bike and enjoying every thrilling moment.

    I appreciate any input.
    #40