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Old 07-28-2008, 04:31 PM   #22
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Livermore, CA
Oddometer: 39
f800gs-1000 miles review

I just rented one of these brand new from Moto Mader in Switzerland. Impressive bike. I rode it about 1500KM in 4 days through Swiss and Italian Alps near Andermatt and Pontresea (sp?). Mostly street but some dirt fire road type things. I am about 6"1" and about 205# and ride a Buell Ulysses at home along with a DRZ400 and a RMX250 Suzuki

1)Seat and riding position=super comfortable
2)Great Luggage
3)ABS makes the brakes feel soft so I had it off most of the time except in really sketchy conditions (0 degrees and rain/snow)-nice to have a choice I guess
4)good power through the range for a light great handling bike like this fully loaded--not camping just hoteling it but had a lot of stuff because I had work samples with me and my laptop and stuff (about 60lbs of gear extra)
5) super stable off road with big dirt bike style foot pegs (removed rubber pads) and high and wide handlebars (good quality bars too)
6) heated grips rock! 2 positions-low and hot. With only leather gloves and some very cold temps these were great
7) minimal damage when dumped over--I layed it down once at 0 mph on a gravely righthand uphill switchback on day 2 looking for a lower gear fully loaded. It was a bitch to pick up because it was so new I didn't want to throw it over so the wheels would be downhill like I would have my DRZ. This was rider error but a lower gear would have definitely helped. Basically a gouge on the saddlebag and a scratch on the handguard was all I saw from that.
8) decent wind protection from stock shield. I was packing light and didn't have the full compliment of gear I have in the states but was pretty comfortable with the heated grips and protection on the bike

1) Leaked oil from day one--I think someone overfilled it maybe? It was leaking high in the top end somewhere. Never enough for me to refill but significant enough to spray my left pant leg pretty good-probably 4 oz or so in that amount of miles. I found a guy with some tools and retorqued the side case a bit thinking that was it but it wasn't.
2) headllight fell off attachments but was still wired in--not tightened enough at factory?--duct taped initially stopped at a hardware store and replace bolts no more trouble
3) zipper pulls on the tank bag broke the first day due to harder to use waterproof-type zippers I think.
4) could have used a lower 1st gear (see #7 above)

In the just one bike category, if the engine turns out to be decent and the oil thing was a fluke, I would say this is a great choice and you could go most places on this bike save the real gnarly off road single track type stuff and maybe with some full knobbies you could even do that although not really what the bike would be good at. One of the best 4 day m/c rides you can take if you have the time and are in the area IMO.

no nothing about the 990--sorry
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