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Old 06-23-2010, 09:12 AM   #1
derrickholt OP
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Question I would love some advise

I have no experience as an adventure rider. I am looking seriously at the BMW f800 gs. My wife of small frame also with no experience is thinking of the G650 gs. We will most likely be riding day trips or overnight trips at most. I sure the extent of her riding most likely will be nothing more rough than forest service roads. I would like a little more challenging at times. Please give feedback.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:32 AM   #2
Ronin ADV
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F800gs is great bike (within it's limits)

I've put about 3500 miles on my new 800gs in the last few months. So take my limited impressions with a grain of salt. The bike is great on the road and eats up twisty stuff even with TKC's on. I don't particularly like it for any longer distance on the highway (then again I don't particularly like riding on the highway) even with a taller windscreen. Off road, the stock tires (pirelli Scorpion Trails) were insufficient. With TKC's (or Heidi's if they ever fucking materialize again) the bike is great on the dirt short of real single track. You will drop this thing and it is a heavy bitch to pick up repeatedly, so plan your rides accordingly. There is a ton of info on this forum about the bike, it's limitations, problems, strengths, etc. This bike can definitely suck up money in aftermarket mods / additions. At a bare minimum If you plan to ride off pavement you need different tires and some decent crash bars / bash plate (unless you like to pay for expensive plastic). Despite all her shortcomings, I am totally in love with this bike and get stoked every time I take her out for a ride.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:51 AM   #3
WyldKard
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I'm only at about 600 miles, but I can say that my 800GS performs admirably on the highway. I traded in my 1200GS for the 800GS, and aside from the seat being less comfortable and the windscreen being too small for lots of highway riding, I've had no other complaints. I'm not sure why the bike has a bad highway rep around here other than the aforementioned issues, but they're easily addressed.

I'm still learning the off-road stuff, but the 800GS is definitely confidence-inspiring compared to it's bigger GS brother.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:14 AM   #4
Bucko
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Question Tell us more

What is your riding experience? And your wife's? I wouldn't recommend the GS8 to anyone for learning off-pavement riding when there are so many lighter, less expensive bikes to drop repeatedly.

Also, how far do you have to ride to have and 'adventure' experience? If the forest roads are nearby, you could easily start on smaller machines.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:06 PM   #5
tmex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derrickholt
I have no experience as an adventure rider. I am looking seriously at the BMW f800 gs. My wife of small frame also with no experience is thinking of the G650 gs. We will most likely be riding day trips or overnight trips at most. I sure the extent of her riding most likely will be nothing more rough than forest service roads. I would like a little more challenging at times. Please give feedback.
Do it. It will be a positive life changing event for you and your wife. It is a cheap experiment since the resale value of these bikes has been strong so far. I am much more enthusiastic about each of you on your own bikes than I would if you were asking this question relative to "two up" riding which I personally believe is a very bad idea relative to real adventure riding.
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Old 06-23-2010, 01:34 PM   #6
tmex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucko
What is your riding experience? And your wife's? I wouldn't recommend the GS8 to anyone for learning off-pavement riding when there are so many lighter, less expensive bikes to drop repeatedly.

Also, how far do you have to ride to have and 'adventure' experience? If the forest roads are nearby, you could easily start on smaller machines.
Good advice there. I would not start my off-road riding with a GS. I assumed you both had that experience. My bad.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:14 PM   #7
giodog2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmex
Do it. It will be a positive life changing event for you and your wife. It is a cheap experiment since the resale value of these bikes has been strong so far. I am much more enthusiastic about each of you on your own bikes than I would if you were asking this question relative to "two up" riding which I personally believe is a very bad idea relative to real adventure riding.
Like he said.....
Do it... but keep in mind these bikes are heavy to pick up in mud or sand. Stay on unpaved rodes at first (almost tarmac like rodes) , build your abilities slowly before hitting those tougher trails . If you always travel together , picking them up shouldn't be a problem . Working yourself in harder trails requirs lots of technic and balance with a heavy bike. I've been stuck a few times in the woods (alone) thinking the bike would have to sleep there for the night cause I couldn't get it unstuck (mud hole). You find a solution , get dirty , hands on and then you realise , it's all part of the adventure . It's a great feeling.

What lighter bikes will do for both of you is it will give you the offroad fever guarantied. Starting with heavy bikes , is a risk of having the exact opposite effect , but if you start slowly and maybe take an offroad class you'll do fine. Also keep in mind a 21'' front wheel is better for offroad although my F650 twin has a 19'' and I'm doing fine. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:07 PM   #8
derrickholt OP
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Thankyou for the input!

My off road experience is fair but many years ago and on dirt bikes. My wife has none on a motorcycle. I'm sure when we ride together it will be on roads that are paved or gravel more than anything else. We prefer to stay off the Interstates as much as possible. I am Interested in challenging myself a bit more eventually off road but only after much more experience than I now have. The weight at this time does not concern me as much when it comes to picking up the bike as it does to controlling the machine off road. I am 260 lbs with not as fat as you would expect on someone of that weight. A corn fed boy who has been told by many workout enthusiast that my strength is impressive. That being said I was not interested in a thumper for myself because I would like reasonable power on the road if needed. Is my thought process justified.

derrickholt screwed with this post 06-23-2010 at 05:18 PM
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:25 PM   #9
giodog2000
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In that case , I wouldn't give it a second thought...get the 800 you'll do just fine.
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Old 06-23-2010, 06:15 PM   #10
Tor
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Just got my 2010 800GS about 2 months ago. Wife got her lowered 2010 lowered 650GS about a month ago. She loves it. Her inseam is about 29 inches and the lowered frame fits her perfect. Haven't put too many miles on them yet, but during the farkle stage, the dough adds up quickly.
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Old 06-23-2010, 06:45 PM   #11
NHRedleg
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Been riding bikes on and off for 30 years. Started with the uncle's dual sport as a kid, first street bike at 18 a Yamaha XS400, have owned standards, sports, and cruisers before getting my F800GS...it is the best most fun bike I have ever owned! Go for it, get the protective farkles (crash bars, skid plate, hand guard at a minimum so it won't hurt so much when you drop a $14,000 bike) and have fun. I am with you on the interstate thing, don't like it and try to avoid it. The bike is fine though on the highway, but lives to ride anything but.

As for the wife, my wife started riding 4 years ago. Started with an inexpensive cruiser (Honda Shadow 600), traded up after a year to a Vulcan 900 Custom, and this spring traded that for a F650GS...she loves it. She wanted to be able to follow me on most, but not the more challenging stuff, that I was riding. She keeps saying; "Wow this bike just handles so well, it goes where I want it to, and so easy to ride". I think your wife will be fine on the G650GS; though you might want to start her on something a little less hurtful to drop...because she will. Maybe an older used F650GS (the single variety) or maybe even something smaller. A TW200 is fine for anything other than extended interstate riding, an older dual sport like the old Honda Scramblers, smaller Suzuki DR's, Kawi KLR 250 or Super Serpa's. Any of these would be great for her to learn on and won't be such a big deal to drop or intimidate her when learning verses learning on a new and shiny G650GS. And any of them are fine for other than interstate riding. Just some stuff to think about.

Either way, do what you want. You will love the F800GS and she will love whatever you get for her. Have fun and don't forget ATGATT!
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