The "In-between" Adventure Motorcycle
This is for others in the same boat. I am a huge BMW auto fan and love the GS models bikes and their engineering but “if it doesn’t fit you must acquit” regardless of brand loyalty. An expensive lesson learned, I personally found for my average size and weight that the R1200 GS is to big and heavy especially OFF-the bike, the ergonomics are spot on but for me having it scaled down 10% or so would have been great. The F800 GS fit great, seat height was a tad tall but it was way narrower so more confident at stops. But I found the F800 GS not substantial enough on the road, especially the brakes at higher speeds. So after an expensive dream purchase this spring of a Triple Black GS, unfortunately I was on the hunt for the missing link this summer, the "in-between" sized adventure motorcycle. I found the Ducati Multistrada 1200S and the new Triumph Tiger 800 to be substantial enough but not to heavy and bulky of a ride for guys less than 6 foot and 200+ pounds and that still wants a badass adventure motorcycle, O’ by the way did I mention they both come in black as a standard color option.
The Ducati Multistrada 1200S is on par with the big GS, it is just a little more compact and less weight - more of a custom fit for me. The Triumph Tiger 800 is very similar to the BMW F800 GS but more road worthy especially at higher speeds and it is substantial enough for a longer term purchase I feel, it did not feel as disposable as the F800 GS, but the lighter F800 is the better dirt bike. The Tiger 800 handlebars could have been extended 1/4” to 1/2” or so, I found the handlebar to be tad short for the proportion of the bike.
No one ever really talks about the proper fit of a motorcycle, and I don’t just mean lower seats and lower suspension, I mean overall proper fitment. Some times the motorcycle that suits your lifestyle, taste and desires may just not fit you right and may be too darn heavy to fully enjoy. The Enduro/Adventure Motorcycles listed hear from smaller to bigger/heaver, I find myself in-between sizes meaning the ones in the middle of the size scale listed here feels more correct to my body type so to maximize comfort, rideabality, and most important overall enjoyability. The last thing you want is a tall top-heavy motorcycle toppling over on you.
BMW F 800 GS > Triumph Tiger 800 > KTM 990 Adventure
Suzuki V Strom > Ducati Multistrada 1200 > Moto Guzzi Stelvio > BMW R 1200 GS > BMW R 1200 GS Adventure
The bikes that fit me the best at my 5’ 9.25” and 165 Lbs. with a 32" inseam are the: BMW F 800 GS, Triumph Tiger 800, Ducati Multistrada 1200S, Moto Guzzi Stelvio. I found this all out after just purchasing the large BMW R1200 GS. Basically I need a MEDIUM sized Adventure Tourer, not small and underpowered and not large and heavy, but right “in-between”. I am not into sport bikes, but I found the Ducati Multistrada 1200S to be “the one” because it is just like the R1200 GS but slightly smaller. It is really 3.5 bikes in one, it’s split personality suite me just fine and is more my style Hi-Performance Adventure Tourer - Pike Peak style. I preferred the Multistrada to the Triumph Tiger because I plan on riding daily mostly on crappy paved roads, look beyond the styling of the Tiger and you will find a fun and fast motorcycle with very smooth power delivery.
Looks like I would have to design for BMW's Motorrad division to get it just so, hit me up guys if you like. As for the bimmers bikes; the F650 & F800 GS's are like the 1 Series, and the bigger brother R1200GS is like the 5 Series, the huge R1200GS Adventure is like the 7 Series, I am just looking for the equivalent of the phenomenal 3 Series size wise, preferably an M3 with all-wheel drive of the adventure motorcycles and well that exists but it is not a bimmer it is the Ducati Multistrada 1200S
! By the way the Ducati Multistrada 1200S is still a tall motorcycle, and the Multistrada low seat sucks, but it is still not as tall and as top-heavy feeling as the R1200 GS, and well that just works better for me. I hope this helps the other average sized guys out there.
I say get what is comfortable and what maximizes enjoyability.