Why the F800GS?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by eal1284, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    I am not a BMW fan. I've seen up close and personal many failures with Boxers. From final drive, shaft, trans, ABS and ECU crap outs. I've ridden all the R GS's since the R100, which I owned.

    I also owned a KLR. Rode one all over California and Baja and mainland Mexico back in the 90's. I was not overly impressed but the KLR never let me down. More than you can say about certain BMW's. :eek1

    Recently, I rode a F800GS. Well shut my mouth! :huh This is one sweet BMW. I am totally sold on this bike. And guess what? The one I rode had 30K miles on it. At tick over it sounded like a brand new engine. I got to spend a couple hours on very technical, twisty wet roads with lots of redwood slop and mud on the road. A blast on the F800.
    The F800GS ate this shit up, all the while giving great, positive feedback.
    Wow!

    Not too touchy brakes, nice easy power with a bit of a kick at about 6 or 7 grand. Not much torque, which is good when powering out of a wet up hill hairpin. Nice. The front suspension was magic. P L U S H!

    I'm in.

    The KLR would be a good RTW bike. Like someone said, somewhat expendable. For riding somewhere in the 3rd world the KLR might make more sense. Losing a $13K bike would be tough. Losing a 2nd hand, $3000
    KLR is easier to handle.

    Overall, the riding experience on the GS is going to rock in most situations.

    Looks like this bike is going to be reliable. Quite a breakthrough for BMW.
    (and long overdue, IMHO)
    But what will happen when F800gS production shifts full time to China? :eek1

    I'll be shopping for a nice, Made In Germany, used F800GS! :freaky
    #21
  2. capt_enduro

    capt_enduro tool whore

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    Interesting to read the responses of folks who have owned both KLRs and have ridden the F8GS. Not the same response from the v-strom or KTM crowd (for entirely different reasons). It's all relative I guess - and please, let's not get that started. 205'd to death.

    I've read it here, and many other places on ADVRider that the F8GS has no soul, or that it's hard to find compared to other bikes. I guess that's relative too. I think all machines have "souls" if you're tuned into that - the connection you make with the machinery. I dare anyone to take an F8GS and pull the throttle WFO down a stretch of fire road and tell me this bike has no soul. Cross it up around a gravel road and tell me it has no soul. I think you'll find it. This bike can be ridden timidly - drag it around in third gear all day long and lug it at 3K RPM. It won't complain or show you its soul. Open it up and push things a bit, and you'll see it.

    It has a nice "bark" when you open it up. Try it, you'll like it. :bert

    This one is hard to explain, but rather then compare the F8GS to other bikes as "this one's better, so yours is crap", it's better to appreciate the good points of any bike. The KLR crowd that responded here seems to have done that better than any other group that's tried to compare bike X to bike Y.

    Even though this is the bike I'd have if I could only have one, It makes me want to have a garage full of different ones (a Ducati monster, R1200R, Brammo Inertia, Husky TE610, etc.).

    :D
    #22
  3. If you're going to do any real off-road riding, don't get the F800. When the OP stated 3 times more expensive, you can count on it.

    I would recommend a KTM 690 Enduro R but its your bike, your call.

    The F800GS will be a better bike for touring and is more comfortable, but you can invest a couple grand in KLR and get there.

    The suspension really sucks on a F800GS as does the KLR. So its a toss up. The motor on a KLR can be modded much easier and can be made to produce more output. This can be a plus...

    Range on the KLR is much better.
    #23
  4. RAD800

    RAD800 Been here awhile

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    I bought the 800GS because i didn't trust myself with a 990adv.:shog
    I did test ride a KLR while i was looking and it didn't do anything for me nor did the transalp, strom ect, plain and simple im happy to jump on my BMW every morning and take a detour to work, thats all that matters and maybe thats the "soul".:dunno

    EDIT: Im not convinced on the KLR range off road, similar luggage weight my BMW was using alot less fuel than the KLR after 380k's of mostly sand i used my 16L and 5L the KLR used everything and 9L if i recall.
    #24
  5. KLRscoob

    KLRscoob Been here awhile

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    The 800GS because it just does everything a bit better. I loved the KLR but the beemer is just a more refined machine. Power, brakes, suspension. As far as smoothing it over with the wife: Safety First: ABS (to keep the rubber side down), heated grips (so you can feel the bars), better lights (so you can see and be seen) That should be eough I hope. Good luck.
    -J


    #25
  6. Terrytori

    Terrytori Namaste

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    I think we're confusing performance with soul/character here.
    On that basis, A Honda 1000 RR would have boatloads of the stuff.
    #26
  7. capt_enduro

    capt_enduro tool whore

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    With my example, I can see how it would sound that way. I like the term "character", it avoids any argument on whether or not motorcycles go to heaven. :rofl

    For a machine to have character (at least good character), you have to be able to access it; put it to use. I would compare the concept of soul or character to the personalities of several horses I've known and ridden over the years.

    For me the character of the F8 is indeed a lot about performance. My KLX has character too, but is lacking in the performance department. It's character is more around how easy it is to throw around on back-woods trails. More of a sure footed mule (KLX) to the quarter horse (F8GS).


    :D
    #27
  8. dsrydr

    dsrydr Been here awhile

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    One of the big differences between the two bikes to me is the fuel below the seat on the gs. Six gallons of fuel on the klr is 50 lbs of weight that is higher than the seat. Much higher center of gravity. It's like standing on the pegs moves your weight much lower on the bike. To me, this is a big reason why the 800GS handles so well and feels like a lighter bike than it actually is.
    #28
  9. Bushwhacker

    Bushwhacker Dirt, Sweat & Gears

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    A bit of a minor point and it really does not make that much difference but gas weighs ~6 lbs per gallon not 8. It is water that weighs 8 lbs per gallon and gasoline is much lighter.
    #29
  10. dsrydr

    dsrydr Been here awhile

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    May be a minor point, interesting though, I didn't know that.
    #30
  11. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    The very fact your KLX can rail on the technical single track shows that it outperforms the F8 in anything technical off road. My guess is your F8 wouldn't even make it a 100 yds on a deeply rutted, muddy, steep and nasty trail. My guess is that Georgia clay would quickly bog the F8. A good rider on the KLX could probably cope?

    I know my WR250F makes me look good in such conditions and I can go places I'd never dream of taking an F8 or even a DR650 or Vstrom 650.

    Performance has many facets. Character is an overall vibe ... a good vibe hopefully as the relationship is built via empirical evidence.

    People say a Vstrom has no character but when you've put 70K miles on one without so much as a whimper and when that bike saves one from treacherous 3rd world conditions, it's character is found and savored.

    The F8 clearly captured me .... and it only took an hours ride to realize the BMW and I are a good match! Some day I'll own one! :freaky
    #31
  12. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    That looks more like Two track to me. This is more what I had in mind.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This junk trail is a lot steeper than it looks in the pics. Note the trail between the cut log in the first pic. Not really F800 territory. :eek1
    #32
  13. It was ST.. just washed out there...


    Lame single track BTW... :D Need to go visit Colorado, Utah or California.

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    [​IMG]

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    #33
  14. Bike4Fun

    Bike4Fun Smooth IS Fast

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    I agree its the rider not the bike. This is my first street oriented bike in 10 years. I have 10 years of off road experience. Recently I did a pig friendly ride, my first true off road experience, with an 1150GS, 2 KLRs and a 650 Dakar, me on my 400 mile F800GS! We rode 75 miles down the road to get to the dirt... everybody wanted to stop... wow...really I feel really good! Rode to the top of the pass... yes its Colorado!

    [​IMG]

    Going down the back side it was a lot steeper and rockier... The guy on the 650 Dakar was a chicken with basically both feet on the ground and could not get past the fact that it would be easier to just ride over, down, through! The KLR rider was better but I know he had a lot of pucker and actually baby sat the Dakar rider so not to sure how big his balls where. The other KLR was some kid that was 23 or some shit and had no fear! The 1150 guy organized the ride and his only fear was dropping the bike and needing some help to pick it up.

    If you take the F800GS off road and I'm talking about truely unknown terrain...sure you can take it on some fire road that you don't know but if its flat and you know that its not going to be a big deal, you are not rolling the dice...yes I looked up this pass, Georgia Pass, and it didn't look bad.. I knew the back side was more challenging... pictures on the net do not provide the type of information that you need...so anyways... it was awesome.. I got so much arm pump not only from the challenge of the back side mountain pass but from the fact that I now had to handle this 500 pound pig! I loved it sliding it sideway pass the Dakar who was so afraid of the 10% grade that we initially faced! I loved putting my senses on call and having every muscle at my every command.

    The point is, Define What You Will Be Riding, Define Your Riding Skill. Just because your are below average does not mean you can't get the F800GS...it just means you need to be very careful of where you ride off road. I have a lot of experience.. I was so afraid of taking my $13K machine off road without knowing some basics. I knew I would drop it, which I did. No biggie, I had the expectation... If you want the bike its awesome. You will not regret it.. Just be sure to clearly define what you want to ride and stick to the plan... You will be over your head off road with this bike, no matter what your skill... be smart about it and you can't loose!
    #34
  15. Bike4Fun

    Bike4Fun Smooth IS Fast

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    I loved the back side of Georgia (going into Breck) I was scared to death on my new machine but definitely will be making that a routine, I'm bored, trip!

    With some snow and ice I can see how that pucker facter goes up times 10!!!:eek1
    #35
  16. Here we are in disbelief we made it up. What a ride... Jesus I'm ready for summer.

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    #36
  17. Motoriley

    Motoriley Still riding like crap after all these years.

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    Not sure why you think the KLR motor is easily modded for more power. When I owned KLRs the consensus was that there was no easy way to get noticeably more power out the thing. Louder maybe but I never saw a Dyno chart that showed more than a couple of horsepower for thousands of dollars. A KLR makes sense if you are going to add real hand guards and a skidplate. Beyond that buy something that comes better equipped from the factory. This is coming from someone who tried twice to turn a KLR into a silk purse...

    #37
  18. sethro

    sethro Been here awhile

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    well said, I too tried to hop up a KLR, just does not work. If you want more your on the wrong bike

    Sethro
    #38
  19. You guys are pretty clueless...

    Go google engine MOD's for KLR. Infact go Google Wiseco and look at all of the aftermarket MOD's just that company makes for KLR motors.

    Go check this site for your DYNO.

    http://www.patmanracing.com/klrdyno.htm


    :rolleyes


    This doesn't even justify a comment...

    #39
  20. sethro

    sethro Been here awhile

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    ok by me
    #40