Why the 800GS and Not the 990, thoughts?

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

  1. mousitsas

    mousitsas Long timer

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    TRUE about the hp2 vs SE comparison (but SE wins hands down due to price difference and suspension when both were produced), NOT TRUE about the weight difference of the F8 against the SE.

    It is so much lighter, it is ridiculous, in fact. The SE with a full 30lt safari tank weighs in at about 210 kgs and the F8 is 220 kgs with half that fuel (dont believe the bmw hype). A standard SE is just under 200 kgs fully fueled and loosing the extremely heavy silencers with akrapovic lightens it a further 8-10kgs.
    So, if both have aftermarket exhausts, the difference is about 25 kgs. Of course what might be confusing, is the higher seat of the SE. When I am pushing around my SE with akras and rally fairing (+3.5kgs) it feels like a bicycle in comparison to my friends F8.
    #61
  2. dr..jones

    dr..jones Adventurer

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    Well, I've been a long time lurker, but this will be my first actual post.

    I have been shopping for an Adventure bike for about a year and a half. Money and time kept me from pulling the trigger before now. I have been reading posts on this site for quite a while, but it just didn't feel right to post without actually being "in" the Adventure club with an actual bike.

    To give you some quick background, I live in southern california. I grew up riding dirt bikes, eventually got a street bike at 16, then gave up commuting in a car completely at 20. So I've been riding a long time. Also, I've done quite a bit of backpacking here in California. One day, it hit me. I love motorcycles, I love backpacking... why not combine the two! I found out that there was a whole world of Adventure motorcycling out there that I knew nothing about. And, here I am.

    After an exhaustive search of the market of bikes and of the type of riding I am doing I narrowed it down to the exact two bikes in this thread: KTM 990 Adventure and the BMW F800GS.

    I had my heart set on the 990 for a REALLY long time after riding one at the Long Beach motorcycle show. I loved the power and the suspension.

    Before pulling the trigger on a purchase I thought it only fair to give the F800 a shot. I walked in the BMW dealer and was offered a demo ride. But not just a ride, they offered to let me park my current Yamaha R1 in their service department, and take the F800 home, keep it over night and bring it back tomorrow. This extended demo really sealed the deal for me and for the sake of length I'll bullet point my thoughts on the two bikes below:

    KTM 990 Adventure:
    more powerful
    better suspension

    BMW F800GS:
    feels lighter (and is lighter)
    power delivery is smoother
    feels more nimble (to me of course, obviously this is subjective)
    cheaper (even with heated grips and on board computer)
    better turning radius
    better gas mileage
    more comfortable for a passenger (opinion of my wife)
    much better look (opinion again, but I think the KTM is pretty ugly)
    better dealer support, more dealers available
    incredible warranty and service through BWM

    In a nutshell, I realized that I liked EVERYTHING about the BMW better than the KTM, except for the extra power of the KTM. And after riding the BWM and having a great time on it, and never really missing the power, the decision was simple.

    I hope my little story helps. A year and a half of reading, researching, riding, and asking finally lead to deciding. And I must say I am EXTREMELY happy with my purchase.

    But, as my dad always says, "There's no such thing as a bad motorcycle." Find what fits you, and ride it!
    #62
  3. Pcfly

    Pcfly Dude?! Seriously?? Supporter

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    Just poking an eye in this section, thought I'd throw in my 2 cents.

    I ride with a friend who has a 990. I occasionally ride a KTM 450EXC, I have ridden the F800, I own a 1200GS. I like all bikes and appreciate each of them in their own way........BUT, KTM's stink for range!! When I ride with my buddy, going out for a long day, he always has two complaints about his 990.

    1. He's always worried about running low on fuel. I've been with him and even babied, the best he's EVER gotten from his 990 was 38MPG!! :huh The average was 34-35MPG!!:eek1 I can't imagine what it would be if he'd hooligan the bike?!

    2. He always complains about the twitchy throttle......hit a bump and it turns into a bucking bull! Don't know what this must feel like in dirt?!

    Ascetically he's got a beautiful blue 07 990R, best looking KTM IMO. I think they're great but they are not cheaper to maintain and like I said, the range and MPG SUCK BIG TIME!!
    #63
  4. Bucko

    Bucko In a parallel world

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    Motorcycles and camping go together like tequila and limes. As a backpacker, you already have all the right equipment...just strap it on and go!!:clap
    #64
  5. alexcorral

    alexcorral Long timer

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    I went through the exact same process. My brother ended up getting the ADV990 and I got the F800. He got the KTM because at the time, in Venezuela, the KTM was $5000 cheaper. I'm on my second F800 now and my brother is looking to sell his Adventure.
    #65
  6. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    I won't prolong the weight debate. Suffice it to say that neither one is a dirt bike by any means, and IMO the weight differences one way or the other would have little influence on a buying decision.

    I do like the 950SE in all respects except for the range (which can be fixed). However the OP is asking about the 990 which I have long opined is a non-starter for me because of the FI engineering and difficulty of maintenance.
    #66
  7. HighFive

    HighFive Never Tap-Out

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    Something worth mentioning (again...maybe): try picking both Of these two bikes up off the ground by yourself. I only layed down my 950 once. When I got done "raising the dead", I distinctly remember saying to myself " I'll never do that again!"

    In contrast, I've found the F8 quite easy to pick up. Maybe it's the well-placed grab handle, maybe different frame geometry....I'm not sure. Just know it's definitely a lot easier to stand back up. As silly as it may seem, that could be an important factor for those riding solo often.

    HF
    #67
  8. Ducksbane

    Ducksbane Quaaack!!!

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    I had a look over in "what do they really weigh" and according to this post ... http://www.advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=14748745&postcount=139 ... a 950 SE with a bigger tank and Akrapovics weighs about 452 lbs, which tranlates to 205Kg.

    I weighed my similar spec 800 and it was about 215 Kg. I had a full tank the KTM had about the same fuel range in its Safari tank. So ... I guess the 950 SE is about 10 Kg lighter than the F800GS. Quite an achievement really, but you probably still need to add a windscreen and maybe a different sub frame if you want to carry more weight. Oh ... and I don't think they make them anymore. :D
    #68
  9. 27rich

    27rich Been here awhile

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    Yes, there’s no new 950 se in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">Australia</st1:place></st1:country-region> and there to tall other wise I would be considering one. I think the biggest issue for myself (just got back into ridding after a 4 month lay off due to a back injury) is that the KTM has the full adjustable suspension which I can dial in where as the BMW does not. When I took the BMW for the test ride it was great on the road however I was unable to test it off road (same as the KTM), therefore both are an unknown off road however at least with the KTM you have full adjustment. Furthermore if I needed to stuff around with the BMWs suspension after trying it off road this then narrows the purchase cost to the KTM and you still dont have anywhere near the quality suspenders. I also figure that when you buy a 21-22 thousand dollar bike for fun then fuel consumption is not a concern (who here drives a V8 yet owns a 800 due to the fuel consumption of the 990) and hell for a 100 dollars strap a rotopax on the back. Anyway with that all said I am leaning towards the KTM for a couple of reasons the main being the suspension. If the BMW had full adjustable suspenders then it would be the BMW.
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    Pity BMW over looked this in there design even if they charge a couple of extra dollars.
    #69
  10. tmex

    tmex Long timer

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    I doubt BMW overlooked the suspension adjustability - it was a simple design decision. As Jimmy Lewis has said, most people have neither the inclination nor the skill to make suspension adjustments. He is probably right. I've ridden both bikes off road, quite a lot actually, and both are undersprung pigs in the dirt. With the 990 you get an adjustable undersprung pig. It is simply not that big a deal, and you will have to adapt your riding style in any case. I am frankly far more annoyed about the softer DS rims that come with the F8 than the suspension.
    #70
  11. SlowRide13

    SlowRide13 Veteran n00b

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    F8, 990, 800XC ???
    The wise man goes for the KLR!:deal
    [​IMG]
    #71
  12. Ducksbane

    Ducksbane Quaaack!!!

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    He sure does ... because he knows that when they have finished admiring the 800GS and it rider they will give him and the KLR their attention ... :rofl

    [​IMG]
    #72
  13. Motorfiets

    Motorfiets Long timer

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    :rofl still amazed how this thread has gone this far!
    #73
  14. EnderTheX

    EnderTheX Dirt Rider

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    Yeah..... that is totally not what he meant.... :*sip*


    The way I read it was you can get a whole lot of enjoyment in the short run out of the fancy bikes (F8, 8XC, etc) and fake-tan-silicone women but if you want a long lasting, reliable and still fun relationship go with the KLR and/or the homely-by-comparison-but-still-kinda-hot chick.

    :twitch So why do I own an F8? May be related to my women troubles... :lol3
    #74
  15. Ducksbane

    Ducksbane Quaaack!!!

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    My mistake ... I actually think the one in blue is kinda cute ... but shouldn't it be a green bikini ?
    #75
  16. 27rich

    27rich Been here awhile

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    Well I thought I would finish this post that I started with my thoughts on my purchasing one of these two bikes. Either the BMW 800gs or KTM 990A. When I first rode the KTM I only had 3 x 10 minute rides of which I was anxious and never that comfortable with the bike especially cornering. Where as the BMW of which I rode for 2 hours I straight away felt comfortable and confident straight away. Well after many pain staking hours of pros and cons I went with the
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    <o:p>[​IMG]</o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    I took a little leap of faith really buying the KTM, but after reading many reports that these bikes were actually great through the corners (I was hoping that these people were right) I made the deal.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The biggest selling factor on the KTM originally was the fully adjustable suspension and initially if BMW had actually put adjustability on there’s then I would have bought the BMW instead of relying on the thoughts of others.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    However after spending time on the KTM I do not regret the decision one bit. It handles the corners fantastic and on the dirt I am finding myself riding 30 kph faster everywhere than the old XTZ, and after 500+ km days I feel like I could turn around and ride another 500. On the old XTZ I would be buggered and looking forward to getting off after 300 kms. The actual size of the KTM diminishes once up and running and its very flick able on either dirt or tarmac. I have found this bike very forgiving when mistakes are made and the more I ride this bike the better it gets and the more confident I become. I actually feel more confident in the front end and power sliding this with the Pirelli scorpions on than with knobbies on the XTZ. I know the difference in the bikes is 21 yrs but this is all I have to compare it to and man have we come a long way in bike development.
    <o:p> </o:p>
    For all those considering one of these bikes good luck and what ever you do try and spend as much time on both before you shell out the big bucks.

    For me it was the KTM, no regrest


    Rich
    #76
  17. FiveG

    FiveG Been here awhile Supporter

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    Rich: Congrats on completing the puzzlement I'm going through. One week ago, I was "no question" going to go with the GS. Then, I rode one and had some ergo issues (see other thread). Then I went up and saw (none to ride) and 990 Adventure which, at least sitting on salesfloor, addressed my ergo issues. But, then I spent too time hanging out here and reading about solutions to my issues, and also maintenance/repair problems with the KTM. So, now I don't know WTF to do.
    #77
  18. divingbiker

    divingbiker True Blue Adventurer

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    Rich,
    Congrats on a great looking bike. I am sure you will be happy with your purchase. I have a F8 and have been very pleased but would also have the KTM if there were a dealer in my area.

    Enjoy your ride!
    #78
  19. Pcfly

    Pcfly Dude?! Seriously?? Supporter

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    I hate to be a Debbie Downer but enjoy the 35MPG of the 990.... Saying that tho, I love each of those bikes for what they are, great off roading machines. My buddy has a beautiful 07 special Dakar 990 & I love the bike but I absoutly HATE that it's got the range of a dirt bike! He is ALWAYS worried about gas!! How go you go on an adventure when your always worried about finding gas at 150miles?! WTF?! Now, the 990 has better wind protection I believe but you get much better range, service & amenities (at least you have a fuel tank indicator instead of a low fuel light) with the BMW.
    #79
  20. KnuckC

    KnuckC F8er

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    Five G

    I dont know what you are paying for these bikes where you are but at the time I bought my F800 (last year) the 990 was about $4500.00 more. You can do a lot to the F800 for $4500.00 including dealing with all of your ergo issues you mention as well as improving on the suspension. I suspect you would want to modify the 990 as well to some degree which would maintain the value of the F800.

    If I were you, I would not buy the 990 without riding it and I would give the F800 another try as well as the F650GS (the twin) to see which bike feels better to you. A lot of people I know who have the 990 find it to feel very large and a challenge on more technical off road trails compared to the F800.

    It seems to me that every once in awhile a great bike comes along in a certain segment and I think the F800 in the medium to large adventure category is the one, just like the WR250R is to the light weight adventure category.
    #80