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Old 09-16-2011, 04:36 AM   #71
HighFive
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Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Okiehoma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertSurfer View Post
As Quoted by MotoTex:

As a fellow who was considering the F800, seriously considering it, before I decided to buy an 04 950, the reason I went the way I did hadn't been mentioned by the time I stopped reading the article.

Here's the deal-breaker for me and the F800. I did not want to purchase an "adventure" bike that is WIDELY KNOWN to bend the frame when landing jumps. Maybe BMW doesn't expect folks to actually ride the bikes as the advertisements show them being ridden.

Now, to emphasize my point, I'm not talking Evel Knievel jumps. In fact, a friend picked up a new F800 this Summer, and he rides very conservatively. As in, he doesn't like getting dirt on the bike. Well, he ordered one of the kits to strengthen the upper shock mount as a precautionary measure.

With less than 1500 miles on this new, tenderly ridden bike and having never taken it off-road and having avoided most dirt roads, he went to install the kit and found the upper shock bolt was already bent. This was from riding mostly solo and a couple of hundred miles of two-up. If this bending goes too far it bends the frame of the bike. BMW has reportedly warrantied several bikes over this, but, to my knowledge, haven't stopped production and addressed this seemingly significant issue with a redesign of the frame.

To say that I'm disappointed in the German engineering is an understatement. Why would anyone spend this kind of money on a bike that bends the upper shock bolt on routine street riding, much less a bike that is presented as an off-road capable bike derived from a Paris-Dakar racing pedigree?

Call me crazy, but I went with an old KTM over a new BMW when I could have gone either way. (also bought old KTM over new KTM, as pre-farkled has it's own advantages as well) END QUOTE...


As quoted by DesertSurfer:

I simply would not risk riding an f800 until it gets much more product development. I'm sure BMW has every intention of working out the kinks on their mid sized adventure tourer, just as every manufacturer does throughout the evolution of every new product release.

When I purchased my KTM 950 adventure tourer, it was to upgrade from my modified Honda Transalp, which I had followed during it's development process. My Transalp was ahead of it's time. A product designed and developed from the rigors of Dakar Rallies. I really wanted an Africa Twin, but that bike was never released in the states. I am a hardcore follower of the Dakar, and watched the KTM 950 develop into a solid machine for Rallies and Adventure touring. The development process for both of my bikes had similar histories, a method I believe sound in an adventure touring bike. One that's proven.

I believe BMW used that same development process for their early GSPD, but they ended those commitments extremely early on and certainly did not carry that over into their f800 product. In my personal opinion, the f800 would have benefitted greatly had it undergone those criteria.

I, like all dedicated adventure tourers, were anticipating the release of the f800 with high expectations. The f800 weighs no lighter then my slightly modified 950 and offers no advantages to make me want to change over.

And, believe me when I say this... at 52 years old, I'd love to reduce about 100 lbs. off the ass of my 950. But not by sacrificing the overall handling, dependability and torque to weight ratio that my bike possesses. BMW played it's hand out when it released the f800, and it is not a revolutionary design, and certainly not a trendsetter.

When motorcycle manufacturers continue to advance design to shed weight without compromising durability, like using trellis frames to link motor with subframe, or lighter weight motor design, and inexpensive versions of carbon wrap... then you will see the next jump in revolutionary design.


You want examples... look at how much carbon fiber is available stock on a Ducati Teste or Multi. Watch how revolutionary Aprilia is going with their mid sized dual sport swing arms and framettes.

I didn't see any of this in the first generations of the f800.

The trellis, front suspension and first and foremost... the LC8 motor of the KTM 950 were design virtuosos for an adventure rally and adventure touring bike.

These features are 10 years old and still the basis for their bikes.

I just need to see more out of BMW on the evolution of the f800 before I get excited. The f800 is not an upward design path and I just don't have the time for it yet.

But trust me, I'll continue watching out from the corner of my eye.

Just my worthless 2 cents.

All joking aside this time.

Now....that's an excellent post, DesertSurfer.....thanks!

Valid points to a strong degree....some valid concerns which have fixes available. All things of which you should not have to do for a bike so expensive from a company with such a long history.

I'm jumping my highly modified F800 with no problems. I run it on my track in back yard....for fun. I don't think I've bent my frame, but I did overhaul the suspension and the shock mount.

No doubt the 950 is more exponential motor with better offroad toughness (out of the crate). I loved twisting its throttle, but because of that, the back end was more prone to get away from me in the dirt. The F800 motor seems very linear in power deliver. I can just hammer it hard and it goes forward with excellent traction.

I have some more thoughts. Need to run....I'll be return.

HF
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