Would you buy a F700GS again?

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by browneye, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    I was looking through this section for some kind of test review or comparo to other competing bikes in the segment but didn't see anything for several weeks, so....

    My grown son is thinking about getting a bike for urban commuting, some weekend jaunts in the hills around SF, maybe some jeep tracks but not hardcore dirt riding. He grew up riding dirtbikes with me and was/is a very accomplished rider, but it's been awhile since he rode while he went to college and then got a great job in Silicon Valley.

    I haven't wanted him to ride on the road but he did get is motorcycle add-on for his drivers license and will have him complete a trainer course before venturing out. I might be able to do a few trips with him as well, I've been at it now for about fifty years. :gerg

    Anyway, having owned several dozen bikes over the years I find I really like the BMW's, have a '15 R1200GS as my regular rider, and a Husky TE630 as a dualsport. I can get him a deal on pretty much any brand, and of course something slightly used is always an option.

    The F700GS came up as a bargain option with my dealer and the more I read about it the more I like it. I have not ridden one, tried out a G650GS a couple of years ago and liked it but thought it was a little heavy for a 650. And I had a Tiger 800XC at the time and of course they were apples and oranges.

    So, comments please - F700 yay or nay, do you like yours, would you buy it again, any problems?
    Would you recommend something else? If so, what else?

    I think he may have a pillion some, his fiance will come along, and some of the fellas he works with have a variety of bikes, from roadies to cruisers to dualsports. I think a big trailie like this might work all around for meetups and group rides. And something he won't get too many tickets with or kill himself on - sportbikes are out. :umph

    Also considering DL650, and DR650, maybe even Versys, but I had one of those and they're not quite as nice as the others IMO. The DR is really old school, so I'd rather see him get something more technically modern.
    #1
  2. BigGazza

    BigGazza Adventurer

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    I have been delighted with my F700GS for over 12 months/10,000km. Our small 'gang' regularly ventures out on short dirt road trips and yearly long trip - 3500km long.
    I am not a supreme off-road rider, much preferring tight twisting bitumen. The bike handles the bitumen with more confidence than a Ducati I had years ago.
    I am a 'normal' height rider, aka 'short', so I have the low seat fitted. No real problems there. I am also quite light - 72kg wringing wet.
    My only very slight disappointment is the suspension could be better for the dirt, with the forks being rather harsh and the shock not really up to the task when the track gets rough. I am getting Wilbers progressive springs, lighter fork oil and new adjustable shock fitted next week to overcome this.
    There have been no real problems at all so far.
    The battery terminal connection came loose due to vibrations of rough track in very isolated location, but a spring washer and touch of Loctite fixed this.
    Performance is fine for me. Crash bars, bash plate, radiator guard and luggage fitted.
    I also prefer the look of mine over the just released new 750 version. White body/Red frame. Subjective of course.
    Hopefully your son will be very happy should he decide on this option.
    Regards, Gary.
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  3. ChicoProf

    ChicoProf Been here awhile

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    I've had my F700 since 2014, and have put about 20,000 miles on it so far, a little (1% ish) on dirt roads, some commuting, a number of day trips with some twisties, and two ~3000 mile road trips. I considered the DR650, the KLR650, Versys, CB500x, Vstrom, G650gs, etc. On top of the versatility, I wanted good fuel mileage and smoothness on the road ...and to keep the price as low as possible. For all the conditions I ride, this was a great choice. While I could see myself moving to a slightly lighter bike like the 310 (when the 310gs hits the shops), I doubt I'd be happy with the passing power, even if the bike was smooth enough.

    One big issue, covered fully by warranty: the water pump and thermostat failed. With any other brand that I can think of, I'd have been out of warranty and holding the bill. Wish it hadn't happened, but BMW treated me right.

    The F700gs has been the best choice for me given all of the above. I don't see anything else that would hit as many of those points nearly as well.
    #3
  4. Tigershark48

    Tigershark48 My other BMW is a Roadster.

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    I went from a Tiger 800 XCX to a new F700 and it’s night and day as you said. The XCX was extremely top heavy. It was over 7” taller than the F700 and the fuel was up high versus under the seat. If you son is closer to 6’ tall (like me), the standard height is a great fit. It’s much easier to ride and maneuver around than the Triumph. I don’t go off road, but it’s certainly capable. I came from several sport bikes and you’re very wise to steer him away. Great adrenaline rush, but always begging for a ticket or worse. I don’t miss them. The power of the BMW is more than adequate for traffic merging, passing and any steep hills. It has not left me wanting at all. Like you, I have a lot of rider/owner experience. The F700 is a superb all around motorcycle. Pricing on new F700s should be excellent at this time due to the new F750 release. Happy shopping!
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  5. darmahman

    darmahman "Illogically Deluded" Supporter

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    I'm on my second - enough said...
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  6. ubermick

    ubermick Long timer Supporter

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    Ironically, I've got an F650GS twin (basically the 700) but am eyeing a Tiger. That triple engine - just...wow.
    #6
  7. morfic

    morfic Been here awhile

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    I have mine since mid August.
    I commute with mine, zero highway on way to work and it is great in the city.
    I enjoy how well it handles in the curvy Hill Country on weekends.
    It did well on dirt roads around here following an avid KLR dual sport rider on his usual ride.

    I fought the small windscreen from the beginning at 6'2 but would say if I had my current helmet when I bought the bike, I would have likely cared less.
    Some of the shaking I blamed on turbulence admittedly is my jacket's air vents, at 100F I'll deal with that at 80MPH because I don't want to sweat like crazy, now that I know what it is, I just accept it.
    I'm contemplating getting an upgrade to front suspension but it's more a gut feeling that it could be better based on 20 year old memory of what a front fork upgrade did for the riding enjoyment.

    The bike really surprised me on way home from the dealer after not riding for 20 years, it felt like it anticipated every curve and it made the ride that way very relaxing and fun.

    About its power.
    The bike moves my 6'2, 240lbs with ease.
    If you don't want him to get tickets, the bike won't help him with that, it moves and while it's not a sports bike, it'll get you in trouble easy because it's easy hitting 100MPH with it.

    If it is a new bike and y'all take it for a test ride and hands go numb from vibrations, it went away for me within the first 300 miles and vibrations felt further controlled after the 600mile break-in service. I have the OEM hand guards, which may also contribute to not having vibrations I keep reading about 800s having.

    If you look around the forum and see what all I changed then I'd say most is because I'm a tinkerer and won't be happy until everything is "right" and I'd do that to any bike.

    Only upgrade I actually will suggest is Cyclops LED headlight bulb replacements, of all I have done, this might be the best upgrade so far.
    Lights felt a little weak before.
    Cyclops LED lights will help be seen during day as much as help you see at night.

    Nothing bad I could think of (other than wishing I wouldn't work so much that I could ride it more), get the lights, you'll be glad he has them.

    Hope this helps you any,

    Daniel


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    #7
  8. elcabong

    elcabong Been here awhile

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    I think the F700GS is a great bike for both beginner or veteran riders. It handles extremely well, cruises comfortably at 75-80 on the slab all day long and has some comforts that other bikes in its class don't (like heated grips and ABS). It's a big bike in a small package. I've gone on multi-day trips and it's heavy enough to combat the wind but lightweight enough to be a great commuter. In my case, never had a problem, 15,600 miles and still going strong. I baby the bike, service it per its maintenance schedule and I don't overly abuse it so I think that's half the battle of reliability. I heard that even the Riverside Sheriff's department uses the F700GS as their training bikes. It's made for the road with a fire road in between for exploration. The two Cons that I would have to point out for me is the Stock wind screen (or lack thereof) and the OEM seat. Those need serious replacing IMHO to make it touring worthy. Sure, the F700GS is on the expensive side for its weight class but sure worth it. Finally, the F700GS engine is really an 800cc (okay - 798cc) that sits in the chassis of all the F800 series bikes - just detuned. You can't go wrong in my book.
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  9. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    He's 6-2 about 200. I don't want him on a Tiger 800 - I had one, it's butt-fast if you wind it up and I almost always did - it saw 100 a lot. I don't want him riding like that. The 1200 is even faster if you twist it but I don't as much anymore.
    I finally had to get a radar detector. Lol

    I told him if he wants something else in a year or two then I'll take it. I need t ride one for sure.
    I can see us doing some trips together - we rode a lot when he was younger, all off-road. He got pushed a lot but also learned quickly and did very well. As typical, not enough fear.

    Anyway, good comments, very helpful.
    #9
  10. XRman

    XRman Long timer

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    Hi Browneye!

    I am thinking that your son is possibly too tall/ heavy and too experienced to be satisfied riding the F700 in the dirt with the stock suspension. I recall one rider commenting that after riding a more dirt based bike ( KTM690) he was surprised how soft the suspension was on the F800 that he bought was. Can he use your Husky 630 for a while, or is that not street legal ?
    #10
  11. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    That's actually a reasonable idea, all around. I passed over that early on cuz it's my dirtbike, but with a set of tires it would be fine. :hmmmmm
    #11
  12. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    No
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  13. morfic

    morfic Been here awhile

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    What would you buy instead?


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  14. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    I'm getting a new DR650 next week...been riding BMW's since 1976....I'm done....I want a simple easy to maintain bike now...I ride all backroads from my place in NC to Alaska and back every summer (see my signature line).

    Now I want a simple air cooled single, easy to maintain (adjust and check valves), light weight (100 pounds lighter than my current 700), a worldwide dealer network, reasonably priced, and NO ELECTRONICS :thumb

    I travel all backroads, nice forest roads, and run up and down the Dalton every year so, for me and the way I travel, the DR is my choice.
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  15. Capt CF

    Capt CF Pontificating Nobody

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    No, but I won't sell mine either. I went in specifically to buy the G650GS as a commuter bike (I was a sport bike guy and wanted the G650GS for daily urban commuting), but ended up preferring the 700 so walked out with one of those. That was 4.5 years ago and almost 30k miles. It's been a great commuter and got me interested in adv and offroad riding (have sold all my sportbikes since then), but if I were buying today for a commuting use case I'd probably get a cheaper Japanese bike (Vstrom, Tracer, FJ09, XSR, CB500x, NC700X, etc.). For adv riding I'd get an F850GS, AT, 1090 or R1200GS. For dual sport stuff I'd get a DR, DRZ, 690/701, whatever.. If I had to pick one bike to rule them all I'd probably go with one of the midweight ADV bikes and ride it everywhere I could.
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  16. ubermick

    ubermick Long timer Supporter

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    You're getting a new one next week??? That escalated quickly!!!
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  17. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Yep I want simple and bullit proof. Since the dash on my 700 melted and the front wheel bearings went at 17k miles and left me in the side of the road Im going in another direction. I’ll keep the 700....for a while though.
    #17
  18. ubermick

    ubermick Long timer Supporter

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    Wow. I read in this year's Traveling Circus thread about the issues you had with missing bits around the airbox when you got back, but turned out they were removed for US market, and gave it a fairly glowing review. Something to bear in mind with my even older Parallel Twin.

    But if'n you're ready to buy a DR next week, come buy mine so I can pay mah damn property taxes!! :rofl
    #18
  19. Tewster2

    Tewster2 Long timer Supporter

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    Haha I’m fixing to pay mine too! I’m sure yours is great but I found a super deal on a new 2017 that is hard to pass up. $5500 put the door. I plan on riding the 700 back to Deadhorse again next summer then after that I’m in the DR full time.

    Now back to the OP’s thread....
    #19
  20. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    Considering all those too. We still need to do some soul searching and be honest about what kind of riding he’ll do.
    Turning him out on my Husky would provide opportunity to actually do that.

    A DR is a very good option as well. They’re a bit agricultural but solid nonetheless.
    #20