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73datsun 03-04-2013 09:32 AM

Bike dilemma: 700 vs 800 vs 1200
You guys probably hate threads like this. So I'm sorry. But honestly, the sheer amount of knowledge in this forum is just incredible. So I'm hoping to take advantage of it.

Roughly 6ft tall; hangup is a 29" inseam. All torso. Stubby legs. Slightly chubby 215lbs. But expect to be down in the 190-200lbs in the next few months.

I have a 10k mile / month long ride coming up (july), from MPLS to AK and all around. My riding will generally be 80% paved 20% logging/gravel, etc. I highly doubt I'll be doing single track or technical off road.

Bike considerations

PROS:fit's well, I feel very comfortable straddling it. I like the ability to get ESA, ASC, ABS and all that other shit. :D Price is the lowest of the bunch so allows plenty of extra money for farkles and gas
CONCERNS: cast vs spoked wheels, I know that's a can of worms, but I would (ideally) like a set of tubeless spoked wheels (which will cost me another $2500 from Woody). Maybe I'm over thinking that part. Given my weight and luggage, I'm curious if the suspension is up to the task of 10k mi touring.

PROS: love the looks of it, capable, suspension set up fine for what I'm doing
CONCERNS: really don't feel comfortable on it. Granted I tried the seat at the standard height. Just felt too dirt bikey. While wheels are spoked, they aren't tubeless.

My experience was on the current generation air cooled. If I got the the 1200, I'd get the new LC
PROS: with the seat in the low position, I felt mostly comfortable on the bike. I like the idea of drive shaft vs chain. It's only $500 to upgrade to OEM tubeless spoked wheels. Huge aftermarket. No immediate suspension concerns, could handle me, luggage and (occasional) pillion with OEM set up.
CONS: realistically, it's a great bike, but bigger then I really need. It's certainly the most expensive. First year woes.

So I guess it's mostly between the 700 and the 1200. But I'm still open to thoughts on the 800.

Let me know if I left anything out that would help you with helping me. :D


mamm 03-04-2013 09:47 AM


Originally Posted by 73datsun (Post 20861897)

Is there a pillion involved? 1200 all the way.


Originally Posted by 73datsun (Post 20861897)
First year woes

Yeap, the Bavarians are famous for using first (even second) model year customers as unpaid beta-testers (servos, "maintenance-free" FD fiasco, etc).

Why not one of the very good, completely debugged (famous last words), air-cooled ones?

73datsun 03-04-2013 09:54 AM

Pillion. Sorry. That's few and far between. 98% of the riding will be done by just me. She'll hop on for local/around town trips.

I should have prefaced pillion with "occasional."

You know, you're right. I probably could consider a used R1200GS.

I've been stuck on new for some reason. Namely because, I'm hoping for something as reliable as possible for my AK trip. I'm apprehensive about buying someone else's problems. Or not knowing the full disclosure.

Is that a valid concern?

mamm 03-04-2013 10:01 AM

For me, it is a valid concern. I always buy new vehicles (and cling to them for 5 or more years).

Are all the last brand-new air-cooled ones gone from the dealers in your neck of the woods? It's discount time, after all they are being replaced for a "new and improved" model! :evil

biodieselandon 03-04-2013 11:16 AM

I think the F700 is a great bike. If I were you I wouldn't be concerned about the Mag wheels. I had a 2012 G650GS with mags and you wouldn't believe the places I took it. No cracks!

73datsun 03-04-2013 11:21 AM


Originally Posted by biodieselandon (Post 20862717)
I think the F700 is a great bike. If I were you I wouldn't be concerned about the Mag wheels. I had a 2012 G650GS with mags and you wouldn't believe the places I took it. No cracks!

That's really great to hear. Did you tour/long ride on it? As I can discern from BMW's site, the thumper has even a bit less suspension travel then the twin. So if you were ok then I should be ok.

biodieselandon 03-04-2013 12:32 PM


Originally Posted by 73datsun (Post 20862746)
Did you tour/long ride on it?

June-2012: Spokane, WA to Hamilton, MT via Route 12 in 1 shot
June-2012: Spokane, WA to San Jose, CA via Highway 101

I rode between Spokane and San Jose several times last summer, and the last time my brother and I came back up we knocked the 925 miles out in 18 hours. We pretty much only stopped for fuel every 150-200 miles and averaged at least 70 mph. If my old 650 could do it, the 700 would shine.

73datsun 03-04-2013 12:38 PM

Perfect. You just saved me a lot of money. :D

brakedw 03-04-2013 01:18 PM

I'm a new rider and I do love my F700gs but I will say that if you are riding interstates then you would have to at least get a taller windscreen and may want an optional seat. I'm not comfortable with it on the interstate for long distances but that my be my lack of experience. But for any highways and the fire roads I've been on I love it.

73datsun 03-04-2013 01:20 PM

I've heard good things about the BMW Comfort seat. And just saw that Cee Bailey has a bunch of big ass screens. All the way up to 22"

Otherwise, you've been pleased?

wortho 03-04-2013 02:07 PM

Just remember the Comfort seat is a little taller than the stock seat. I'm 5'11 with 32' inseam and the 700 with comfort seat is perfect for me.
I bought the 700 as 90% of my riding is on tarmac and I don't plan on any single track. It feels fine when I have the Wife on the back and she finds it really comfortable, but then again she's comparing it with my DR650 which was not a good 2 up bike.
The only gripe I have with the comfort seat is I feel I need to be sitting an inch or so further back for the maximum comfort, trouble is I can't reach the bars then so maybe some adjustable risers to bring the bars back a little would sort this out.
It really comes down to size and frame of the rider though as one guy on here reported he felt he was sitting to far back on the comfort seat! I guess its hard to make a seat as a one size fits all.

73datsun 03-04-2013 02:14 PM

If I'm spending that much on a bike, I really shouldn't complain about the seat. I'll look into multiple options, once I finally pull the trigger.

epicxcrider 03-04-2013 02:41 PM

I think for you the 700 sounds about right. There are lower seats for the 800 but they sacrifice comfort. It's just a tall bike.

1200 would be great, but too expensive IMO.

Dude69 03-04-2013 02:48 PM


I'm 5'6" on a good day.. 28" inseam... had an R1200GSA for 4 yrs, 36K miles and up to AK too....

You'll want the 1200 for a few reasons... no chain to maintain (yes final drive horror stories.. all anecdotal).

1200 will give you better power... better wind protection... won't get pushed by sidewind as much... better overall comfort... larger alternator for electrical gear...

29" inseam w/a low seat, you'll be fine.

Just find a lightly used 1200GS... there are lots of them out there for the same price as a new 700/800GS.

PatrickM 03-04-2013 03:38 PM

F800GS all the way.

The F700 is plenty capable on road (more so than the other two) because of the wheels and the height. You can farkle it up just like the F800GS so it'll take you from A to B on pavement w/o a problem.

But when you get off road, those cast wheels cause a little bit of concern for me. If you run into a nice pot hole and dent the rim, you're out because of the lack of air. Solution? Pack a tube just in case.

The 1200GS is simply a big and heavy bike. I couldn't imagine dropping it on a hill and trying to right that thing more than once. It's a great bike on the road but off road I'd be really concerned about the additional weight if I didn't need it.

If you had a passenger, then they'd be there to help lift, but otherwise it's an endeavor and would turn a ride into a fear and that fear could cascade into a less than enjoyable experience.

One person, with gear for a few days? The F700 and F800 GS have plenty of engine to do it.

I would get the F700GS if I planned on abusing it and would be shopping for a new bike in 2-3 years. I'd get the 1200GS if I was planning for the 5 year time frame. The F800GS otherwise.

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