Originally Posted by Inniswhe
thanks for all the input. I think I am going to have to go the one bike route. A second bike will not go over well so I think I will be into compromise . It will be 50/50 duty. the f800gs is looking pretty good for an only bike. I know it will not be the best off road but does anyone know if it would be equivalent or better than the old transalp'?.
The hp2 looks awesome but rare and pricey. The x challenge also looks really good. Again a rare bike in these parts. The 690r is also very appealing. If I could get a comfortable seat and add a decent tall screen for touring it might just be the ticket. Stock it would be to spartan
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I too am 6'3" and over 200 lbs. When you consider an HP2 and its price point (if you can find one) compared to an F8 with the necessary upgrades you will probably find they are priced pretty close - or actually will tip in favor to the HP2.
You will definitely need risers with longer front brake lines to accommodate, upgraded front and rear suspension, HTC or power commander to tame the throttle for the technical stuff, possibly Woody's Wheels (though I haven't done that upgrade yet), not to mention the seat, hand guards, and crashbars... You get the idea. That said an HP2 won't require much, if anything to get it dialed in for you.
Most of my riding is done with guys on 1200 GSA's and believe me they are more than capable of going places I would never have dreamed of going on. Two of the guys finished 1 and 3 for the BMW GS Trophy contest. One is starting his BMW International Trophy contest in South America right now. The GSA's have a great 1st gear that makes for more comfortable smoother technical riding. Sometimes watching these guys you'd think they were on trials bikes. The RawHyde BMW training would be a great opportunity to sharpen the offroad skills. I know PEI is a ways a way, they open their Colorado training grounds in 2013 which wouldn't be a bad flight. The 1200 GSA's have a lower center of gravity (especially if you don't fill the massive tank), and wouldn't be much different for you to handle compared to the 800. From the multiple times I've helped lift bikes I'd say the 1200 may even be easier to get upright as those heads allow it to not lay completely on its side.
I had a F650GS but found it under powered and soft for my size. I enjoy my F8, but if I had to/got to do it all again I would just get a 1200 GSA, with dreams of a second offroad bike like the X. That day may come as one of my sons is going for his permit. Maybe I'll start watching for an HP2 myself.