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Old 11-16-2012, 12:13 PM   #16
biodieselandon
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The Sertao is a good option. I think the G650GS is a pretty good road bike. I rode mine (not a Sertao) back and forth between San Jose, CA and Spokane, WA several times, a few of those times in a straight iron butt shot. I pretty much accepted it wasn't very good in the dirt and I should have got the Sertao, but I traded for the F8 instead and I couldn't be happier.

The nice thing about medium to big bikes in the dirt is it really helps develop your skill. When I ride a small thumper or a 2 stroke now it feels like I am just floating around.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:43 PM   #17
8thdwarf
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I have a '98 XR650L and took it on a 4k mile loop up the CA cost to Seattle, then to Yellowstone NP to the CD trail. that was in 2011. It's loves the desert. California city, jawbone area, death Valley... it's in it's element. while on the slightly heavy side, IMO, for chasing dirt squrrles, it is a blast. super reliable, easy for 90% of repairs, engine has been unchanged for eons. That being said, if you do a lot of pavement riding, I'm doing more pavement than dirt lately, it is close to it's envelope. getting from point A to point B on the pavement can feel like you've been holding on to a blender full of ice . 65 to 70 mph is it's top cuzing speed, any more throttle the BRP (big red pig) just makes more noise. top speed is 95 on a good day, in a tuck with wind at your back. I bought a 2010 F800GS and took pretty much the same trip except hitting Glacier NP and no Continental divide route, in 2012 and found the 2010 F800GS is WAY more highway friendly, it loves the pavement. cuzes at 80 with out missing a beat, and VERY smooth. run it up to 100 and it can hum there all day long...Canyon cruzing and freeway flying? loves them both and makes both fun. Fire roads? OH YA!!! WOO-HOO!!! it can dance in the dirt, but take it on a single track and it will start to become work. it's like dancing with a big lady... you have to coax and conjole and finesse rather than power through stuff. and picking the F800 up is a after an oops is a BITCH...tipping the scales at 460LB + gear can be interesting on the side of a hill. I love them both. I am thinking of getting a Yamaha WR250F for more single track stuff, but that's just a dream. I find myself using my 800 more and more, especially since the price of gas is in the stratosphere as of late. I run the XR on desert days only now...... just my .02

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Old 11-16-2012, 07:17 PM   #18
johngil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avner View Post
My problem with it (other than being spoiled) is that when I ride with full panniers and camping gear at 65-80mph on the 650 it is hard to stay ahead/between traffic pockets, and you are really "working it" plus being blown from side to side with wind-gusts and 18 wheeler. I've done it many times - yes, but I rather be on the 800 on long slab days.
I can't argue with anything you've said.
I guess I prefer different types of travel and avoid the scenarios regarding traffic and higher speeds you've described at all costs.
I have changed to soft panniers and lighter camping gear/carrying less items as well.
One mistake I made with my 800 was being realistic in it's overall abilities. It was an okay bike in a transitional (bike) time of life for me, but I'm much happier with the thumper, and I'll admit my surprise about that.

Multiple bikes is where it's at if you've got the option. I'm still not there yet.
Still haven't bought a personal vehicle for hauling my bike either, so a thumpin' I will go!

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Old 11-17-2012, 08:28 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by TowPro View Post
I agree with those that say you really need (at least) 2 bikes.

I grew up riding off road for 38 years. I still ride off road (some).
I had an xr650L and a Buell Ulysses , sold the Buell and bought my F800.
The XR650L can be a more capable off road bike then the F800. But if your only riding stone/dirt roads, the F800 can do everything the XR can (accept mud, but that is because you can get better tire selection for the XR).


I ended up selling the XR650 and buying a slightly used Husky TE250. The Husky is a much better dirt bike then the XR650 would ever be, plus its street legal.

But since we are allowed to all have our own personal opinions,I refuse to take my BMW somewhere that I can do major damage to it, while I would never think twice taking the XR or Husky into that same situation.
I figure why beat up my BMW trying to do something it's not really designed to do. Kind of like using a hammer to loosen a bolt when you know you have the right tool in your box.
That's the setup I am planing to get. A small street legal dirt with my F800. I just took the F800 to some minor dirt a first for me. It was doable, but no fooling around at that weight. But to get from a to b with some dirt mixed in not a bad choice. Have a look at some of the ride reports in this forum and you learn about the limits this one is good: Bella Coola and Beyond: 9 days in and out BC on 2 F800GSs.

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:46 AM   #20
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I agree with kiwi i have x and f8 and te250


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi Tinkerer View Post
I have had a bunch of bikes. Original f560 funduro and then Aprilia pegaso.
OK in gravel and good on the road.
Then got an r1200gs which I found too intimidating for dirt.

So sold that and got a BMW G650 x-challenge. Fantastic.
Very competent off road. closest bike to it is KTM 690. I love dirt. Took it in mud and dirt and learned how to ride off-road.
And I regularly toured on it. Just needs a better seat and a little extra gas for touring.
V
had a mate with DR650. the xchallenge has much better, modern, suspension and brakes and more power.

Thoroughly recomend it.

Now I have f800gs, purely so I can take my wife on the back. Great in the gravel. less power than the old 1200.
I do not expect to be taking it the places I took my xchallenge.
Good luck.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:15 AM   #21
itsatdm
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Modern suspension=F800gs. Sorry, I just had to say that. It was the first thing I changed.

I love my F800gs. Good on pavement and I prefer it when riding fire roads. Maybe it is the long wheel base that helps with the stability. It may be lighter than an 1150 or 1200 but it is longer than either, which is not going to help on single track. It has the same transmission as the street version, which shows up trying poke along at low speeds.

It is well balanced, that can suck you into believing it can do more than what it is designed for. It is a 500lb bike, good for all types of dirt roads. Push it any further and it becomes a handful.

Because of your size, you can probably take it places I won't go.

My other bike is a KLX680c, with all the typical add ons. Plenty of HP to cruise with, but its comfort zone is about 70mph. I have ridden long miles on it. Being lighter, (at 390lb, 5 gal tank) it gets blown around more and at altitude it loses power like any other carbed bike.

The XRL is too tall for me, but ridden with plenty. A torquey engine with decent suspension for this venue, if limited to the Japanese bikes. The height, weight, carb and engine will limit its hwy capabilities.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:02 AM   #22
njoytheride
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Good questions and great answers. I ened up with the F800GS and 2000 street legal XR650R. I take the 800 places it really shouodn't go. It will do it but it is a lot more work. Still fun mind you but a lot more work. I would hop on it today and ride 1200 miles to Moab and do the White Rim Loop then hop on it and ride back home. The Honda is just plain fun off road and surprisingly not bad on the highway. I wouldn't ride it to Moab but if it was there I would do the Top of the World and Elephant Hill after doing the White Rim Loop. Just not a perfect all around bike but the F800GS is as close as it gets.
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Old 11-17-2012, 07:09 PM   #23
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thanks for all the input. I think I am going to have to go the one bike route. A second bike will not go over well so I think I will be into compromise . It will be 50/50 duty. the f800gs is looking pretty good for an only bike. I know it will not be the best off road but does anyone know if it would be equivalent or better than the old transalp'?.
The hp2 looks awesome but rare and pricey. The x challenge also looks really good. Again a rare bike in these parts. The 690r is also very appealing. If I could get a comfortable seat and add a decent tall screen for touring it might just be the ticket. Stock it would be to spartan

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:45 PM   #24
Snowy
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I have 2 DR's and an F800GS.

Solo, on the highway - speed limit of 110kph - there isn't much between them. The DR that has full RMZ suspension feels more like a dirt bike, the other DR feels more like a cruiser by direct comparison.

The F8 does seem to be a little "rev happy" with standard gearing. But from a handling view point it's pretty much somewhere between the 2 DR's.

Off road, the DRMZ, as I call it, rules. Think RMZ450 with a 650 lazy engine. It's great.

Then comes the ADV DR version. It's basically got similar travel suspension, and more like the F8's handling, but it's lighter than the F8.


If you want to put a pillion on, then the DR's just don't cut it. I ride the same trails on the F8 with a pillion as I do with the DRMZ solo. The only difference is the speed you run them at.

I have single tracked all of them, and yes, they are a handful. But after doing that if you jump onto something like a KTM300 2-stroke and go do some enduro style riding, you feel like an enduro god. I was amazed at just how hard I could push my crusty old busted ass on the 300. Visions of my 2-stroke MX youth came to the fore, and I was off in a cloud of synthetic 2-stroke smoke.


Different horses for different courses. You can do it on any of them, it just gets harder and slower as the bikes get bigger and you get older.

Tyre choices are where you win or lose with big bikes of road.
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Old 11-20-2012, 05:21 AM   #25
Steveman
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I bought the F8 after seeing to many vids of Motoriley Riley seems to be the far better rider and I struggled with the heavy F8 out in the woods. It's OK for fire trails and a bit more but it is heavy. I have also a KTM 450 EXC which is a pure Enduro bike but nott street legal.
I recently bought a XR650 and its just what I wanted. Light compared to the F8 but still a fat pig compared to the 450.

However, its easy to ride has good low down grunt and keeps going where the F8 struggles. Its a pain on the road although the former owner replaced the original seat with a softer and 2,5 inches higher seat. As I have got real knobbies on it, it is not fun to ride on pavement and due to the low gearing (which you can of course change) I dont go over 110 k's.

Best is to have 2 bikes. The F8 is great on pavement, fire roads and for travelling. The BRP is best out in the woods, but I would not travel with it...

One of my buddies travels with the 650 but he is going slow, no more than 100 kp/h due to the gearing. He sees it different, for him its a great travel bike and he prefers it due to having no electronics and it is just simple to repair.

The worst with mine is that it is a kicker and I sometimes get out of breath after trying to get big red pig runnin'. But well if it does not start I hop on the F8
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:46 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 8thdwarf View Post
... I bought a 2010 F800GS ..., it loves the pavement. cuzes at 80 with out missing a beat, and VERY smooth. run it up to 100 and it can hum there all day long...Canyon cruzing and freeway flying? loves them both and makes both fun. Fire roads? OH YA!!! WOO-HOO!!! it can dance in the dirt, but take it on a single track and it will start to become work. it's like dancing with a big lady... you have to coax and conjole and finesse rather than power through stuff. and picking the F800 up is a after an oops is a BITCH....
So, I'm wanting a bike to complement my C14. Can't get a plate for the WR-400, so that is going to become a wall-mounted trophy. Just got back from checking out a real-live F800GS for sizing. Seems ok. (used to have a KLX-650c) 8dwarf, your description above had me recalling a bar moment back in my earlier youth. Was at a girlie club with a bud. One of the girls was attractive, and the beer goggles filtered the few extra pounds. So, I'm dancing with this chick (can't recall the song) and she raises a arm straight up and leans backwards. We both ended up on the floor! So, I go to help her up being the gentleman that I am, and she pulls me back down to the floor, and there we are again/still! The house was coming down, by this time. So, I don't want to relive those types of events.

The KTM 690R or 500EXC look more my size.
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Old 11-24-2012, 07:12 PM   #27
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Laugh HP2 or F8 and upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inniswhe View Post
thanks for all the input. I think I am going to have to go the one bike route. A second bike will not go over well so I think I will be into compromise . It will be 50/50 duty. the f800gs is looking pretty good for an only bike. I know it will not be the best off road but does anyone know if it would be equivalent or better than the old transalp'?.
The hp2 looks awesome but rare and pricey. The x challenge also looks really good. Again a rare bike in these parts. The 690r is also very appealing. If I could get a comfortable seat and add a decent tall screen for touring it might just be the ticket. Stock it would be to spartan

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I too am 6'3" and over 200 lbs. When you consider an HP2 and its price point (if you can find one) compared to an F8 with the necessary upgrades you will probably find they are priced pretty close - or actually will tip in favor to the HP2.

You will definitely need risers with longer front brake lines to accommodate, upgraded front and rear suspension, HTC or power commander to tame the throttle for the technical stuff, possibly Woody's Wheels (though I haven't done that upgrade yet), not to mention the seat, hand guards, and crashbars... You get the idea. That said an HP2 won't require much, if anything to get it dialed in for you.

Most of my riding is done with guys on 1200 GSA's and believe me they are more than capable of going places I would never have dreamed of going on. Two of the guys finished 1 and 3 for the BMW GS Trophy contest. One is starting his BMW International Trophy contest in South America right now. The GSA's have a great 1st gear that makes for more comfortable smoother technical riding. Sometimes watching these guys you'd think they were on trials bikes. The RawHyde BMW training would be a great opportunity to sharpen the offroad skills. I know PEI is a ways a way, they open their Colorado training grounds in 2013 which wouldn't be a bad flight. The 1200 GSA's have a lower center of gravity (especially if you don't fill the massive tank), and wouldn't be much different for you to handle compared to the 800. From the multiple times I've helped lift bikes I'd say the 1200 may even be easier to get upright as those heads allow it to not lay completely on its side.

I had a F650GS but found it under powered and soft for my size. I enjoy my F8, but if I had to/got to do it all again I would just get a 1200 GSA, with dreams of a second offroad bike like the X. That day may come as one of my sons is going for his permit. Maybe I'll start watching for an HP2 myself.
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:37 AM   #28
Inniswhe OP
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I would consider an hp-2 if any come available at reasonable distance.
I ask pretty sure the 1200GSA is out.I know good riders can do wonders with that bike off road but I am not one of them. My 1150GS is too heavy for confidence off road in my hands, it does it but you can tell there are better tools.
I am on the f800gs/ktm690r fence. If the 690 could be made reasonably comfortable for occasional highway tours that would be ideal but I haven't ridden one yet so that may be a stretch. A custom seat and custom wind screen could probably make a huge improvement. I never usually travel over 75mph on highway.
I may try and get a test on a 690 before snow sets in here.


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Old 11-25-2012, 12:35 PM   #29
3Rrr
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Husqvarana TR650 Terra

Have you considered the Husqvarna TR650 Terra?

http://husqvarna-motorcyclesna.com/p...?pid=64&cid=24

Not sure about availability in Canada - or a dealer near PEI.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:58 PM   #30
Inniswhe OP
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I have looked at the terra online but at 58hp in the same weight as a f800gs it looks pretty underpowered for asphalt. The only real complaint I had with a friends F650GS (single) was inadequate power on pavement (and way too small for me)
I also like the fact that the f8 and 690's have been around for awhile with lots of aftermarket kit to make them fit the tall guy.
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