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Old 08-12-2009, 07:51 AM   #16
tmex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrytori
I just unloaded my KLR in favor of the GS 800.

So far, a good swap. The KLR is a fine ride that would be made better with
more power and upgraded suspension. Having run a KTM LC4, i think the
KLR is remarkably smooth for a single but that is pretty much in the minds
of the riders.

In all likelihood, i will probably add more of a sporting tool to the garage.
The G 800 is decently quick and reasonably nimble but there is much more
to the sporting feel than both of those characteristics.

If i were to consistently show a flagrant disregard for the speed limits
on the hard black stuff, and i was in your situation, i would most likely
keep the KLR and add the VFR to my garage.
You are right. The LC4 is much worse than the KLR650, but I still find the KLR vibration annoying and I am not particularly sensitive to vibration. I have a Husky TE510, for example, but I would not ride it 50 miles on the slab unless I had to.

Also, the F8 will cruise acceptably well on pavement. I bought mine in San Diego and drove it up to San Jose, and enjoyed the trip quite a lot. However, I would have preferred a liter bike and would use a liter bike for trips over a 100 miles or so if I had the choice.
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:06 AM   #17
reinerka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmex
The KLR is a dog by any measure. My GF's G650GS eats KLR's for breakfast (which is not saying much). At 35 or so HP the KLR just does not get it done compared to the 50 or so HP the 650GS puts out. My neighbor is a Honda/Kawasaki dealer and he can't understand why Kawi can't raise the bar on the KLR. Cost is the only explanation.
A friend of ours once said "the KLR is the only disposable motorcycle in the market" - I could not agree more to that statement. For the price of the bike it is hard to beat.

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Old 08-12-2009, 08:10 AM   #18
reinerka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmex
None of your choices would really be on my list for road duty. On the slab I want at least 1000cc (current bikes 12GS, Duc 998, YZF1000). My 800 feels like a toy on the slab compared to these bikes. Can you hit the slab on an 800? Sure, but it is connect the dirt activity IMO. It just does not make the horsepower needed to be interesting. At 85 HP it is sorely lacking unless keeping up with Harley's is your mission statement. The KTM 990 Adventure is actually a much better slab machine than the F8.
I wouldn't say that a bike needs at least 1000cc. I've done a trip from Denver, CO to San Jose, CA (2days) on the KLR and if it had a tad more power it would have been doing pretty well.

85HP is about 5 less than the original R1100RT did (and I think the R1100GS had 80 or 85HP). It certainly is enough power for the slabs. The only problem is probably comfort (seat and wind protection) but that is an issue with almost any bike sold today and can be easily fixed.

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Old 08-12-2009, 08:48 AM   #19
springfish
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"The KLR will do everything, just not anything well."

I love my F800GS. I ride her everyday and always look forward it. My personal opinion is she's 50/50 (on-road to off-road). In fact, I think she's probably even a little more at home on the pavement…of course depending on how you define "off-road".
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Old 08-12-2009, 08:49 AM   #20
Bushwhacker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducksbane
I find the 800 has enough power for me, but I've never owned a big road bike.

In Australia you spend a lot of time worrying about cops and our ridiculous speed limits, so I am not really after something that will cruise at 200Km/hr plus. I certainly have no problems dealing with traffic.

Most of the time the bike would like to go faster than I think is prudent on highways. This is only about a genuine 110 -120km/hr, but it seems to be quite happy at 140 - 150.
I find the F800GS has enough power for me and I have owned a big road bike.

I rode a Valkyrie for three years and I traded a Tiger 1050 for the F800.

The F800 does not have near the power of either one of these bikes but how much power do you need to cruise at 80. I have done that on a KLR (for 5000 miles on an Alaska and Canada trip).

The one thing I have noticed is that in situations where I could just role on the throttle on the Tiger I have to downshift the F800, but that is just changing your driving habits and not a comment on whether the bike has sufficient power or not.
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Old 08-12-2009, 01:00 PM   #21
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Wow thank you all for the great responses, having not done test rides yet (and this is a big point because I may do a 180 once I do), you all have my really leaning towards the F8. I'm thinking it might be a good stand in til I can afford the R12GS.

My experience with VFR's is an '85, but heavy weight for a sport bike+standard bar risers made it very comfortable to me, and felt very planted on the road. Standard hard bags, and I think I'd be very happy, and never need a faster bike, which I could replace the KLR with an F8 later, maybe when some of the bugs have been worked out hehe. I like dirt riding don't get me wrong, I just feel my money is wasted on a KLR because I never end up on dirt.

Which is why I considered the VFR in the first place, because I still like going on adventures, even if I don't see any dirt in the process. Not to mention that OTD with bags an F8 is gonna resemble closer to 13k not it's 10.5 msrp, where a VFR 2 years old, with no miles, with bags, otd would be around 8.5k. Problem with that is, I keep wondering in the long run, would the F800GS fulfill to me the same niche that the VFR800 might? at least then when I am in the mood or have the time, I could hit the odd gravel or forest road and not worry. (I live in the Mt. Rainier foothills go figure).

But like I said, test rides are in my near future and I think that will really tell a lot.
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:47 PM   #22
vasculopath
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The common thread of criticism with all of the three bikes in question is that they are all compromises. They are pretty good at alot of things, but neither of them are focused bikes. That can be good or bad, depending on how many bikes you want. VFR is a good compromise road bike, it is sporty but not a full on race rep, and it can tour, but it's not a wing or bloated ST. The KLR is a good compromise dirt bike, not a full on MX. The way I see it, if you can't have 5 bikes (street tourer, hard core sport street, track, adventure tourer, dirtbike) the KLR and VFR would give you a damn good spread of options.

An F800 is even more in the middle, but bridges both street and dirt. Still pretty broad options, but it's hard for any bike to cover it all!

If you can have only one, and ride street and dirt, and can afford it...It's amazingly good.
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Old 08-13-2009, 02:34 PM   #23
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Another bike I just started looking at because the local dealer has some screaming deals on them is the F800S and ST's. That belt drive is sooo appealing to me. But my worry would be that I'd basically be buying a F800GS with a belt drive and be able to take corners only slightly tighter, but have essentially the same long distance manners, and not be able to hit the dirt.
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