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Old 07-17-2008, 08:45 AM   #1
duct tape OP
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Colorful Colorado
Oddometer: 473
F650GS or 800GS vs. 640/690 Adventure

I'd appreciate some general BMW vs KTM riding comparisons, realizing some of these models are new or not even out yet. I'm looking at getting on the waitlist for the 800 for 75%+ dirt adventure travel and have no experience with any of these bikes. I've owned and currently ride multiple KTM dirt bikes (300, 530, etc) for singletrack riding.

Just some general comments on characteristics of either brand, strengths and weaknesses, maintenance record and ease, riding ergos, etc.

I'm sure much of this is posted in earlier threads and believe me I've tried to look through the two giant linked threads here and performed some searches. TIA for any help.
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Old 07-17-2008, 05:54 PM   #2
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Joined: Oct 2005
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Oddometer: 1,043
I would guess that since you ride singletrack on a KTM your focus on dualsporting will be similar to mine. On the trail is where you will have the most fun, and that's where you'll spend most of your time. IMO, the smaller the bike, the more you would enjoy it. A 690 Adventure should certainly be a strong consideration..................... once it becomes reality.

The F650 GS twin is a street bike with long travel suspension, which is exactly what I want. The 800GS will take you a lot of places but you'll have to work at it, and pay for it, and wait for it. It's almost 400 lbs dry. I do a lot of offroading on my DR650, and although it's 60 lbs lighter than the BMW, it's still a pig.

BTW, I started riding dirtbikes in '92 and just sold my last race bike, a '04 KTM 300. I started dualsporting 2 years ago, and I'm loving it! But I want some variety like you do. So to replace my SV650, I ordered a new F650GS twin. When I need to get muddy, I'll hop on the DR650 and not worry so much about dropping it.
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Old 07-18-2008, 10:33 AM   #3
duct tape OP
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Colorful Colorado
Oddometer: 473
Navaho, thanks for the info. Sure would appreciate some other input.
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Old 07-18-2008, 04:54 PM   #4
Moto Junkie
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Joined: Apr 2006
Location: NH- Home of the frost heave
Oddometer: 143
I too have been a big KTM fan in the past, many 300's and a couple of 520's. Sold my last offroader last year, GasGas300, and now want a dual sport, mostly for dirt roads and two track. Been waiting to see the 800GS or to ride a 690 Enduro.
THEN,two weeks back at BMW demo day, I was surprised to see, and take a ride on the 650GS. What a blast! Lighter than the 800GS with wheels that will allow street rubber, probably one inch less suspension, more stability in the turns and I hit every pothole in site and the thing was comfy.

On the back roads, the thing left the 1200 gs, 800s and all the BMW 4bangers in the dust. Still showing 60-70 mpg while doing so. The motor had decent poke and was very smooth, despite low miles. Seemed as smooth as the 650 weestrom from the past and way less topheavy. The only thing toocomplain about is the price. I think I want one.

BUT, then again, 950 sm's and se's are starting to show up cheap.
07 Tiger 1050
KTM 950 SM (Frost heave ride)
Past Flings: 08 990 Adventure, 05 Tiger, 03 Caponord ,02 Aprilia Futura , O8 Guzzi 1200 Sport , 08 Speed Triple, 02 Falco, 07 Tiger, 04 Sprint RS, 2000 VFR (Pretec), 00 KTM 640e, Bonnevilles and Tbird's (Triples)
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Old 07-18-2008, 06:01 PM   #5
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Nelson BC, fer now.
Oddometer: 857
Well, my money's on the 800. Literally. Too bad I probably won't see the thing till Christmas.
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:24 PM   #6
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Joined: Feb 2002
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Oddometer: 38,096
I think the middleweight GS series is going to be a good seller. I may try to get one in the fall or winter.
Always mindful of obstruction, do your duty, never fail;
Keep your hand upon the throttle, and your eye upon the rail.
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