I think the F8's front end is most of the reason behind the damaged rims. Mine gets a work out because it does rocky fire trails 2 up, and the rims bend like butter. So the serious search for a replacement commences.
I actually rode a 1200GS solo years ago and didn't like it. It felt huge and horrible. Rode alright, but huge.
I bought the F800 without test riding one.
I was surprised at how different it was to the 1200 from an engineering sense, but how similar it handled in many ways.
Given that I ride 2 up, I decided to start testing bikes with the wife on the back.
The 1200 is back in the running after I spent an hour or so on one yesterday. For 2 up, it is a far better bike. Yes, it's bigger, yes it's heavier, but it works. Instead of spending thousands on suspension, I push the ESA button and select 2 up sport mode....and it works.
It works. I was full of disbelief. But play with the settings, soft is soft, hard is hard, 2 up comfort actually feels like my F8 does with all the suspension work it's had. 2 up sport makes a noticeable improvement. Better straight up off the showroom floor.
Then select off road hard and it raises it's ride height. Good God. It works.
Riding around town 2 up, to be honest it feels a little bigger than the F800 at standstill, but feels much livelier on the move.
The handling is surprisingly similar between the 2. Riding style to get the optimum from it is transferable from one to the other.
The F800GS is a nice bike, don't get me wrong. It does a lot of things very well.
Off road 2 up with camping gear is not one of them.
So at the moment I'm not sold on the 1200, I like it a lot...but I want to try the 990 off road with a pillion before I pull the trigger. It's a lot of coin.
But the choices so far are - sell the F8 and buy the new 990, or keep the F8 (and really modify the crap out of it) and buy the new R1200GS, and sell my 2 DRs.
It's nice to have choice, but you really have to put them through their paces to make sure it's going to work for you long term. Most shops want you to ride around the block and make your mind up. BMW didn't care how long I rode their GS and I gave it a workout, and it didn't disappoint. Now it's up to KTM to play the game for a decent 2 up test ride or I'll buy the big Beemer.