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Old 04-21-2013, 07:21 PM   #1
amschnellsten OP
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Cincinnati
Oddometer: 92
Any F800gs owners?

Hey everyone,
I am in the market for a new bike to replace my aging but faithful 885i tiger. I have test ridden some f800s locally and had the chance to take one through the outback so I am familiar with the bike and I thought it would be the bike for me. Now I am trying to decide if I should buy the 1200 or the 800. I love the size, height, and weight of the 800 but I was disappointed with some aspects of the bike after spending a lot of time on the road and offroad. Some of the things I think can be fixed but wanted to get some of your guys opinions.

1. The thing that bothered me most is the light feeling front end in high speeds on the road. Speeds above 80mph felt scary! The bike I rode had a stock screen and a Heidenau front tire. I would run knobbies most of the time but I was wondering if a taller screen, steering damper, or something would help with the front end. Two other guys with me that were on f800s had the same complaints and were riding on different tires.

2. The power of the bike is great offroad and I like the gearing but the bike feels very strung out on the highway and was wondering if any of you guys have changed the sprockets without loosing too much grunt offroad?

Other than these two areas the I love the bike and it can really take a beating. The bike I had I could not turn the abs and traction control off at the same time and even after scanning and resetting the bike something was wrong with the controller so I just disconnected the front abs sensor.

I have been looking at the tiger 800xc also but I like the front forks and the settings on the Bmw better. So I am torn between an 800 and a 1200 and if i could customize the 800 a little in these areas the 800 would be my preference. Thanks guys......
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:33 AM   #2
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Joined: Nov 2010
Location: On route to Morocco
Oddometer: 324
85 really?

Have to agree with sorebutt. Bike feels very good at "regular" highway speeds. Not sure how often it make any sense pushing a 800 to 85 mph? Loaded with panniers and knobbies I would say never. Bike just isn't made to do it. I think people fail to remember that the 800 is a compromise and a great one at that. Bike literally does it all.

If high speed blacktop cruising a big part of your riding then the 800gs isn't your bike.

A note about the Scotts steering dampener, fantastic product for the 800 which both my wife and I love on our bikes.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:42 AM   #3
too old for dirt
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Joined: May 2010
Location: Moscow as in tennessee
Oddometer: 163
An adjustment in the rear suspension will solve the front end issue at high speed. Probably not enough preload as already noted.

+1 if you want to cruise at 70+, you should buy the 1200, but if you want to ride the back roads, gravel and dirt, then the 800 is the bike that can do it all.
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:58 PM   #4
amschnellsten OP
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Cincinnati
Oddometer: 92
thanks for the replies guys. I think I am going to go with the 800 and maybe swap out the rear shock for something different and add a scott steering damper. I stopped by a friends today and took his 1200 for a quick ride down a fire road and a little on the highway. I have never ridden a 1200 and I have come to the conclusion that it is just a little too much for me to handle. It does not fell much heavier but it feels huge in size. I absolutely loved the the 800 on my trip but I was concerned that riding in the US I would be on the pavement quite a bit more. I guess I will slow it down a little on pavement. The bike handled wonderfully in sand and gravel and it was able to handle 60-70mph constantly for hours on end it the dirt.
Do any of you guys run a larger screen and does it effect the handling much?

I think I am going to take the plunge this weekend and hopefully can post a new Bike pic next week. I really appreciate the thoughts and opinions

amschnellsten screwed with this post 04-28-2013 at 06:42 PM
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Old 04-22-2013, 04:41 PM   #5
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Joined: Jun 2004
Location: Nor Ca.
Oddometer: 4,912
I have had my F800 for 4.5 years. Not entirely happy for the first year. More recalls and service upgrades done than I thought worthy of a "Superior" motorcyle. All fixed under warranty and NO problems for the past 3.5 years.

I thought it felt light in front. Certainly got the weave above 75 with dual sport tires. It is light in front according to Motorcyle Consumer News. Depending what you weigh and what you carry, a simple adjustment of the rear preload, lowering the forks a little probably will fix it. If you are 200 or better, respringing the bike will certainly fix it.

I added a Laminar lip for the front. It keeps wind off the chest, but you can get blasted by contrary wind. I bought it because I did not want to spend a lot of money on something I am likely to break if I dump the bike.

I have replaced my suspension. Not Ohlins quality but good enough for where I take the bike off road. If you plan on some low speed dirt crawling, get a fuel module. High tech Coon ass makes one that is cheep.

I also have the Scott stabilizer. Between it and the suspension this bike is on rails. Off road, if it gets a little loose, just tweek the throttle a bit.

It you plan to cruise this bike with luggage attached at 80mph. Be prepared for a major dump in your mileage. I have run a 17 tooth front sprocket. It makes the engine smoother, but you may find yourself shifting down a little more often. Not that much saved in fuel mileage.
The engine seems smooth at that speed for me. Either is has broke in or I got used to it.
BMW Motorrad USA customer service: "We make superior motorcycles and continue to improve them."

itsatdm screwed with this post 04-22-2013 at 06:49 PM
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:17 PM   #6
amschnellsten OP
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Cincinnati
Oddometer: 92
wow very helpful and thanks. What rear shock did you use?
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Old 04-25-2013, 01:05 PM   #7
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Joined: Mar 2012
Location: "No shit when I was back at Bragg!!!"
Oddometer: 805
Originally Posted by BcDano View Post
Have to agree with sorebutt. Bike feels very good at "regular" highway speeds. Not sure how often it make any sense pushing a 800 to 85 mph? Loaded with panniers and knobbies I would say never. Bike just isn't made to do it.

I do that all the time actually!!! Albeit my TKCs wear down but sometimes it is not the ride to the destination but the destination that I care about!

"It all works fairly well as long as you realize it is not really a 500# dirt bike." Yeah I kept trying to bring my bike to that level, and no matter what it is a tank! So I bought a Husky TXC510!

Also I think you will like the scotts damper, it really made my travels much more enjoyable, it also made it easier to ride in soft stuff like sand and mud as the front wasn't slapping around too much. Windscreens, well that is preferential. You will see many types on here. I have a calsci wind screen and love it, it does not obstruct my view and I even keep it on when I am off roading.

runnin4melife screwed with this post 04-25-2013 at 01:11 PM
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:17 PM   #8
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Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Lewiston,ID
Oddometer: 1,885
I've had mine in the tripple digets and never had a problem with the front end feeling light. I do move ahead on the seat when cornering to add weight to the front wheel. I'm guessing it is your set up. Many times it is the back end being too low. You can either add preload to the back shock or raise the front forks in the clamps.

I don't know what you mean by strung out on the hwy. I run 65-70 mph a lot and it just purrs. It is running in 4000 rpm range, which is lower than a lot of bikes.
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Old 04-21-2013, 08:46 PM   #9
amschnellsten OP
Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Cincinnati
Oddometer: 92
It feels like the front end starts to wonder. The two other guys complained about it also. 60-70mph feel fine but above 85mph the front end gets very floaty. Are you running a taller screen? I played with the rear shock a bit but it did not make much difference, I also tried the different front shock settings and could feel the difference but still had a sloppiness to it.
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