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Old 12-09-2012, 01:00 PM   #1
moriver OP
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F800GS Forks?

Hello all

I am a looking at replacing my KLR 650 with a F800GS. The KLR does it all, just a little rough I guess. I do mostly slab and gravel riding. I am trying to figure out what all the buz is about the forks on the GS needing upgraded? Whats up with that? My KLR has stock forks, I am a big guy and have no problem. So whats the real deal? Do they have a real problem or is it just a common upgrade? Much thanks all and have a good one.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:37 PM   #2
DoWorkSon
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I think the main gripes are that the suspension is too soft and non adjustable... My F8 is fairly new and within the first few days of riding I noticed that it was really soft to the point where I had to change my whole way of riding(coming from a sport bike with adjustable/stiffer suspension....

There are some upgrades ranging from $500-$1800... My next upgrade will be the Traxxion kit, unless Ohlins comes out with a cheaper one
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:42 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moriver View Post
Hello all

I am a looking at replacing my KLR 650 with a F800GS. The KLR does it all, just a little rough I guess. I do mostly slab and gravel riding. I am trying to figure out what all the buz is about the forks on the GS needing upgraded? Whats up with that? My KLR has stock forks, I am a big guy and have no problem. So whats the real deal? Do they have a real problem or is it just a common upgrade? Much thanks all and have a good one.
Yeah they are just soft, i dont think it is a common upgrade though, so people just bitch about it. Ive never had a real problem with them, you just deal.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:55 PM   #4
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It depends on what you are doing with your bike.

For daily commute on pavement there not a problem at all. You just have an annoying diving when you're hitting the front brake.
For doing some mild offroad and back road sections just put some progressive springs in them. That's what I'm planning on doing next spring. some hyperpro will cost like 150 and the diving will go away.

for some serious off road stuff you'll probably want some adjustable ones.
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Old 12-09-2012, 04:04 PM   #5
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It depends on what you are doing with your bike.

For daily commute on pavement there not a problem at all. You just have an annoying diving when you're hitting the front brake.
For doing some mild offroad and back road sections just put some progressive springs in them. That's what I'm planning on doing next spring. some hyperpro will cost like 150 and the diving will go away.

for some serious off road stuff you'll probably want some adjustable ones.
Ive done 500miles on dirt in Death Valley with stock suspension. it wasnt the end of the world.
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Old 12-09-2012, 05:55 PM   #6
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for those that discount the improvement of upgrading the forks

Yes you can ride most places with the stock forks. they are soft and tend to be harsh for 2 reasons, 1 they bottom out 2 they hydrolock

yes the hyperpro/ heavier oil does give some improvement (no personal experience)

going to the traxxion forks was a night/day improvement. IMHO there is no bigger bang for the buck on this bike.

there is a local dirt/gravel road that was brutal at 35mph, it felt like a jackhammer. After I put the Traxxion Forks (their "Extreme Offroad" setup) I had to slow down at 50MPH, I had to look to see if the road had been grade recently it was so smooth. I find even on pavement I am willing to ride 15-20mph faster

I agree with Loutre, " It depends on what you are doing with your bike."

BUT I probably wouldn't spend the money until you really want to, it is not a cheap upgrade
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:55 AM   #7
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Traxxion

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Quote:
Originally Posted by machinebuilder View Post
going to the traxxion forks was a night/day improvement. Imho there is no bigger bang for the buck on this bike.
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:12 PM   #8
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Alright thanks all..That sounds about what I was hoping for. With my round shape and slow riding style it sounds like a non issue.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moriver View Post
Alright thanks all..That sounds about what I was hoping for. With my round shape and slow riding style it sounds like a non issue.
In fact its a non issue. Fully agree with Casejeep. Am still on standard set up, can drag footpegs on pavement and most mid size sportsbike are only faster if the rider is better. Does not happen too often

In the rough the fork bottoms out quickly. But so what. I let it bang and adjust my riding style to it as far as this is possible. No problems so far. I admit that I think about a 300 buck mod (stiffer springs and differnt oil) which would make sense but I am lazy so maybe I just keep going
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Old 12-09-2012, 09:43 PM   #10
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You will think you died and went to heaven when you compare the KLR to the 800 forks. While they aren't the best they are 10x better than the KLR forks. I've had mine from Alaska to Moab and they work fine. I wouldln't think of spending the money for an upgrade. There are too many other things to spend the money on that would do more good.
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Old 12-10-2012, 12:40 AM   #11
Snowy
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Having completely replaced the front end I can sum it up this simply:

Best move ever.

Night and day difference. Completely different bike to ride over rocks and ruts. The old set up was shit, just shit. Anyone that says different wouldn't know their asshole from their ear hole.

Average speed over rocky trails has increased dramatically, but the fatigue and stress associated with riding 2 up on 4x4 tracks has dropped to the "enjoyable" level rather than the "work" level it was. It runs straight over the top of almost anything without getting upset. If the bash plate will clear it, you just ride over it. Dead simple.

If you haven't changed one and ridden it over a good variety of terrain, then you just don't know what you're talking about. That's it in a nutshell.

It's a nice bike standard, it's a fucking great bike once you bin the front end. Make sure you include a steering damper. The best improvement you can make on a dollar for dollar basis.



Wifey resting in shade drinking iced water due to heat stress after 250kms of rocky firetrails and 4x4 tracks during 32 C day, just prior to storm breaking and temp dropping to 11.5 C. Sat on 100kph on open firetrail to Mtn highway, then 140 to nearest town (54kms away) to get out of the storm (and refuel). Absolutely shits on the way it used to handle. It would have been a handful in deep gravel at 70 or 80 before, now I sit on 100 and am amazed at how stable it is.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:18 AM   #12
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On gravel and pavement if the KLR was OK the GS will be fine
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:31 AM   #13
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I actually preferred the KLR suspension. I wish I knew how good the F800gs suspension was, I would not have spent the money.

You won't know how bad they were until you find how good this bike can be with decent suspension.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:18 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by sieg View Post
On gravel and pavement if the KLR was OK the GS will be fine

I had an 04 KLR and thought the front end was mushy. I put in progressive springs and 15 or 20 weight oil. I liked that set up. The GS tends to dive on hard braking but I'm getting used to it. The suspension is OK but not great IMHO. I would like to get into some more off road stuff and adjustment up front would be nice. The spring and oil change is just a compromise for a great system. It is pretty cheap to do!!
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:06 PM   #15
itsatdm
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This is the issue with the forks:





That is the cartridge tube. When BMW says non adjustable they mean it, the ends are crimped.

KLR's have damping rod forks. A rod/plunger forces oil through fixed holes in cartridge tube. low tech but easily modified. Thinner/thicker oil viscosity effect how fast the oil flows through the tube. You have cheap options like cartridge emulators.

The 800 has a compression valve crimped into the bottom. It uses washers for the oil to pass through. The oil flows around the washer and/or bends them. The viscosity benefit is limited. Too light an oil and it gets past the washer easily. Too heavy a viscosity and it will force the washers to bend too much/ too quick. The proper fix is change the stack of washers.

Usually changing springs will create a need to change the resistance in the compression valve. You can't do that with these.

This is a cheap solution that causes the owners to spend more than necessary to fix. At least Triumph and KTM have better suspension guru's
or accountants are not part of the design team.

My first ride of substance was Death/Saline Valley. I survived it also, though not much fun. A dinged rim (22psi) and a tank slapper between Race track and Lippincott. I am chasing an ADV rider on a Wee Strom and losing.


Not a lot of options in 2009. I did the springs/oil and later the first available cartridge tube. I fixed the abrupt throttle and moved the COG forward a little with suspension adjustments. That made a significant change in this bike.

I now have a stabilizer, but it was the last modification and not a requirement.

Yes I can ride it faster, but it is also easier to ride. Mine is a very stable bike.
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