Joined: Jun 2008
Hey Zapp, you are quite correct in your categorization of the two.
1. Loaded handling on gravel - I ran almost the exact same set up, knobby front with standard non knobby rear, ( I refer to the tire style as opposed to an exact brand and model as IMO for most average riders in average terrain, one would be hard pressed to tell the difference. Some will disagree and for them it is probably different). For long stretches of gravel and off road, I carried a knobby rear (in this case a TKC 80) and would swap back and forth when required for better traction and handling.
With the same equipment, handling becomes dependant on geometry, weight distribution etc. I would say that the 800 handles better, but not as much as you would think by just looking at the bikes side by side. Luggage is a great equalizer, you're carrying a lot of weight and you ride accordingly (or should). Unloaded is when you begin to see separation in regards to the performance advantges. There is a reason that bikes have been optimized to run at the 21/17 or 18 ratio off road, it pretty much works best and given the two, the 800 will feel more natural in gravel and off road There are probably some soft reasons for this as well.
2. ABS - I actually was riding a DL1000 so no ABS on that model, sorry. But in general comparing the ABS to other bikes, it does get better with every generation. It isn't as fooled by short sections of gravel/debris on highways etc. but is still dangerous when you forget to turn it off in the gravel. Not many will care, but it does get a bit finicky when you start the bike in zero or sub zero conditions and it won't clear when it runs it's start up diagnostic. Not an issue as you are riding with it off (or you should be:)), but you can tell the sensors etc. don't like it too much. Once it warms up a bit, it all comes back online but it sometimes can take a while. Here's a repost of the temperature gauge pic.
3. Weight distribution - as you mention, it is definitely different. Lol, I won't touch the issue of center of gravity as that will no doubt touch off a maelstorm of debate on the definition of center of gravity, but to the average rider, yes it does mostly feel the way you describe. Not sure if you have ridden mountain bikes before but as they are so bare bones with no weight, you get real feedback in regards to how much difference small changes in geometry will make. The best way I can summarize the 800, is that when I sat on it, it feels very natural, almost ergonomically neutral, you will immediately know that you are on an enduro style bike, and it makes you feel more confident when the riding gets a little more nasty.
4. Loose, downhill rocky sections - Lol, sounds like there is story there, care to share it?
5. Engine performance - over Wee, I can't say with certainty but believe so, but the DL1000 has a great motor that goes a long way back to the TL so I would say that on long, fast highway sections, you do notice the 800 has to work just a bit harder.
6. Range - the Wee is so stellar, hard for any bike to beat. The V has the 22 litre tank so the range is great and I did miss the additional 50 -100 km.
Originally Posted by Zapp22
Thank you for posting this. Its more helpful frankly than all the other things I've read or seen on this very interesting bike.
I know the following would help me characterize a bike I have not seen in person, much less touched, and will help a bunch of people like me that have the same reference point. You are familiar with the ugly-but-lovable Weestrom.
Comparing the two, I can see from some of your remarks the obvious differences: the Weestrom is a roadbike that just happens to be able to do things a roadbike shouldn't quite so well. But would you Contrast the two on a few specific riding points, so we who know the one can understand the other better? For instance:
1. Contrast the two in terms of loaded handling on Gravel: how would the two, with similar tires, compare on that surface?
2. Any comments on the performance of the ABS system on the two?
3. Similar to 1 - on other surfaces such as hardpack or loose rocky
4. Weight distribution. They are both similar in weight, but looking at how they are made, the GS should FEEL a lot more nimble in the front. I'm betting weight distribution front-tire/rear-tire is remarkably different. It would seem that center of gravity on the GS is lower and shifted a tad to the rear.
5. My personal issue....[don't ask]... How would you compare the two going down a STEEP downhill grade on a loose dirty/rocky surface?
It looks like the 800GS has an advantage in engine performance, and the Weestrom has an advantage in Range. Is this right?
RTW Motorcycling screwed with this post 08-27-2008 at 10:05 AM