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Old 12-02-2012, 06:31 PM   #1
Vandal 62 OP
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New guy here!!

Greetings! I will confess I have been lurking on here for some time now. In Parallel Universe and Orange Crush. I am in the market for another motorbike in the next few months. I have been glued to the interweb for the past month every night reading, researching, watching videos and immersing myself into this decision. For some strange reason, my wife has given me the nod to buy another bike! The plan was to sell the KLR, but after talking with her we are going to keep it so she can ride in the spring.

I rode sport bikes my whole life and three years ago I sold my last one and decided to hang up the leathers. Being an avid outdoorsman and motorcycle enthusiast I put two and two together and figured Adventure Touring was right up my alley. I didn't do any research, I just threw a leg over my buddies 08 KLR650 went for a quick ride, went to the dealer the week later and picked up an 09 for myself. A few thousand dollars later I was ready for adventure.

I used the bike to its limits, dirt roads, fire roads, ATV trails, highways etc. Something was lacking though. I kept it subdued for the past three years but could no longer kid myself. The bike was lacking in many areas. I do love the KLR for what it is. It has taught me a lot about off road riding and back woods maintenance. Problem is, the bike is just....well.....its bloody boring. It does everything you ask of it, nothing less and nothing more.

I started researching the F800GS, then I went to the new KTM 1190, then it was the triumph tiger 800xc, then the KTM 990 Adventure, now its back to the F800GS, The background on my laptop has changed about 5 times lol.

I almost bought a KTM 990 adventure. I was hesitant because of the massive price tag. That was the only thing I could find wrong with it. Just so expensive.

My question would be to any former KLR650 riders that have put some miles down on the Kawi and are now on an F800GS. How does it feel? I've read about some vibrations on the GS at highway speeds.

I need to get this next bike right. I need it to be the 10+year motorcycle. I have buyers remorse from the KLR, don't get me a wrong its an outstanding bike, just not for me.

I want something with more power, can cruise at 130-140kph smoothly (My KLR feels like its going to buzz apart at that speed) and I can throw it around the back roads, dirt roads, and trails. As well pack up and crush a long trip.

I don't buy into all the BS hype about reliability issues or any of the drama.

Just want an honest opinion that the 800GS will be night and day from the KLR650 and no other former KLR guys have regrets getting the 800GS.

Long first post I know!!! For anyone who reads all of this and is kind enough to reply thanks in advance.

Regards, Paul.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:38 PM   #2
sunset_ryder
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No advice, but I did read it.
Ah~ the elusive search for the perfect bike.
Best of luck
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:56 PM   #3
Motoriley
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KLR to F800GS

Well I bought a KLR twice and fell out of love both times.
I also owned an 1150GS for quite a while. I've had my 800 for four seasons. I've used it as a dual sport for three of them. It is heavy and can be a handful at times. But I still love it. Cruises well on the highway. Lots of power for climbing those long dirt hills. Heavy, did I mention that? I have a hard time on the 650s they feel cramped and low on power. Love riding them on the technical stuff though. I might get a second dual sport but it will be a 250 since I find the gap between the 650s and the 800 isn't wide enough to justify owning both. You can watch some of the videos in my sig line to see how I like to use my 800.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:03 PM   #4
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I can say that I love the F800GS.
Totally different than the KLR, but I love KLaRissa too.
I will not get rid of her and I still ride her often. More so on the dirt and sand trails in NJ.
Only because I want to keep the 800 as clean as possible.
But I also take the KLR on moto-camping trips.
The KLR actually has more pep now that I re-jetted the carb, so I don't feel like she's lacking.
I've done other mods on the KLR as well to make her better. Mainly suspension.
Now the 800 has a lot of HP and you will love it compared to the KLR.
As for vibes, there are some. But very slight and they shouldn't bother you at all.
The KLR has a lot of vibes, but they seemed to quiet done with the re-jetting. Still a lot though.
If you can take a test ride of the 800 at a BMW dealer, go for it.
I went to BMW of Manhattan in NY and test rode it. I liked it and took it home that night.
If you have any other questions about my having both the KLR and F800, ask them here and I'll answer.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:04 PM   #5
Vandal 62 OP
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Ha! already a step ahead of you! My wife is sitting her feeding the baby and I have about 12 tabs opened up on my laptop, one of which is youtube wataching "Awesome Players Drowned bikes". I've been watching intently as you are on an 800GS. Good skills!!

No KLR buzz on the highway? Did you upgrade your suspension?

Cheers!!

I forwarded your videos to a mate and fellow KLR rider of mine, he is pumped we plan on coming down to Calabogie in the spring. Hopefully I'll be on a new steed....800GS perhaps?
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:11 PM   #6
Vandal 62 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandoCommando View Post
I can say that I love the F800GS.
Totally different than the KLR, but I love KLaRissa too.
I will not get rid of her and I still ride her often. More so on the dirt and sand trails in NJ.
Only because I want to keep the 800 as clean as possible.
But I also take the KLR on moto-camping trips.
The KLR actually has more pep now that I re-jetted the carb, so I don't feel like she's lacking.
I've done other mods on the KLR as well to make her better. Mainly suspension.
Now the 800 has a lot of HP and you will love it compared to the KLR.
As for vibes, there are some. But very slight and they shouldn't bother you at all.
The KLR has a lot of vibes, but they seemed to quiet done with the re-jetting. Still a lot though.
If you can take a test ride of the 800 at a BMW dealer, go for it.
I went to BMW of Manhattan in NY and test rode it. I liked it and took it home that night.
If you have any other questions about my having both the KLR and F800, ask them here and I'll answer.
Great info thanks, this is keeping me away from one of those gawd ugly KTM's!!

The beauty of this is we are keeping the KLR, like I said my wife wants to get into it, she has a license but no experience. Whats the "so what" of that? I get two bikes!! ssshhhh...s

The KLR seems to be a money pit, it requires so much time money and effort to even be on par with an 800GS.

This is helpful guys, keep it coming. Every webpage under BMW F800GS on google is light up purple for 6 pages on my computer!!
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:16 PM   #7
runnin4melife
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I have never had a KLR so I cannot speak for them. The 800GS was my first adv bike, I raced MX and road in my youth and honestly love this bike. I have modified it but stock I loved it too. It is big but if you are a skilled rider and sized appropriately not to fall over too often it is a great moto. I won't lie that I am in the market for a BMW 450 to burn up some more technical stuff but I think the bike is awesome.

In terms of a money pit, you may wish to shy away from everything on two wheels haha or any wheels for that matter. Many people on here have an easy $5-15k in their machines, on top of the cost of the bike.

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Old 12-02-2012, 07:47 PM   #8
RandoCommando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandal 62 View Post
Great info thanks, this is keeping me away from one of those gawd ugly KTM's!!

The beauty of this is we are keeping the KLR, like I said my wife wants to get into it, she has a license but no experience. Whats the "so what" of that? I get two bikes!! ssshhhh...s

The KLR seems to be a money pit, it requires so much time money and effort to even be on par with an 800GS.

This is helpful guys, keep it coming. Every webpage under BMW F800GS on google is light up purple for 6 pages on my computer!!
The KLR will never be on par with the 800. The 800 has more than twice the HP.
But I trust my KLR more for reliability and repair.
I'll take the KLR places I won't take the 800 and I won't worry about it.
I can pretty much tear my KLR apart on the side of the road and get it running.
Whereas the 800 will need a tow. LOL
Not to mention, the parts and labor on a BMW are expensive.
As far as expenses on the KLR, I opted to spend what I did on it to make it better, but I had the bike for 12 years with no mods at all and still loved it.
The main things I replaced and felt were needed was the rear shock and fork springs to Progressive, doohickey, subframe bolts, steel foot pegs, shifter, carb T-Vent and jetting. These were the main expenses.
I added an aluminum skid plate, but went further with the highway pegs and PD Nerf Bars and other farkles that weren't really necessary, but I wanted them anyway.
I put rim locks on both rims and put knobbies on.
The reason I put the rim locks on was due to getting a flat on my way home from riding and being stranded for a couple hours. I didn't have any tools or tire repair stuff with me at the time. Lesson learned.
I now keep plenty of tools, two HEAVY DUTY tubes (front and rear, even though you can use a front in the rear), tire repair kit and slime, and three options for inflation. CO2 cartridges, foot pump and electric pump.
I replaced all my light bulbs with LED bulbs to save on power consumption for heated gear.

As for the F800, I added Vario side cases, skid plate, engine guard and hand guards.
I could have bought three KLRs for the cost of my F800. LOL
Both bikes are fun, but different kinds of fun.
For highway riding, the 800 is the winner hands down.
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Please. Ride careful, ride safe, ride defensively! This thread should be mandatory reading!
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:37 PM   #9
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I owned a KLR and now own a 800 GS. There is no comparison. The 800 is much more stable everywhere. The frame is much stiffer so it handles a lot better in dirt and gravel. I never realized how much the KLR frame flexed until I rode the 800. I feel more comfortable on the 800 going up to twice the speed of the KLR on a gravel road. The KLR is really top heavy, especially with a full tank of gas. The balance on the 800 is much better. The ride is also a lot better.

I've had my 800 from Moab to Alaska riding every type of surface. The only time it gets a little tricky is when I take it places that no one in their right mind would take anything but a dirt bike. It still gets me there, it just makes me work a little harder.

I had a number of mechanical problems with the KLR, but the 800 has been flawless so far. The only think I liked better about the KLR is I didn't care as much if I tipped it over.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:44 PM   #10
Indy Unlimited
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I love riding this bike fast off road.
ATVs and dirt bikes just clear out of the way as if a runaway dump truck was coming their way.

Welcome to our parallel universe!
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:44 PM   #11
toowheels
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Hey Vandal 62!

I've put over 140,000kms on KLR's (the older ones though) so I think I can give you some info:

The newer one you have gained a lot of weight over the old ones so the weight discrepancy isn't as big as it might seem.

The F800GS feels way more planted and solid! That is compared to the old one but I think the frame has a lot to do with that as well as the upside down fork. (as was just said)

The vibes are less but there are still some. I wish 6th was a little taller myself but I'm not going to sacrifice low end to get it unless I'm doing a slab-a-thon. Really easy to change the front sprocket up one for that.

On road the F800 is a lot nicer.

Off road as you know the KLR is a tractor and will claw it's way up/over almost anything. The F800 prefers you don't be shy! You have to commit and go for it a bit!
It loves to go really fast in the dirt and encourages you on!
I do miss a taking the F8 a few places that I would take the KLR.

The F8 is a blast to ride! It's an animal compared to the KLR. You can bring the back end out with barley a twist in the dirt.

Factor in some $$ for protection/fork springs at least and I'd recommend a power controller to smooth the throttle...

Ask away if you have any q's!

Dave
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:47 PM   #12
sorebutt
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I owned a KLR and 800. There is no comparison. The 800 is better in every way. It handles so much better. I never realized how much the frame flexed on the KLR until I rode the 800. I can go twice as fast on a gravel or dirt road and feel more comfortable. The 800 is just planted. The lower center of gravity makes it much easier to ride.

I've had my 800 every where from Moab to Alaska and on every type of surface. I've had it places that no one in their right mind would take anything but a dirt bike. It is a little bit of work riding it in tough places.

I haven't had any mechanical problems with the 800. I had a number of problems with the KLR.

The only thing I liked better about the KLR is I didn't care as much if I tipped it over.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:58 PM   #13
HoneyBunz
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The milk crate on your KLR should fit the F800GS.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:18 AM   #14
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I'm don't understand the question


I started with a '08 KLR, They are good bikes, BUT when you weigh a bit over 200lbs, throw on a weeks worth of camping gear, you find out they are also underpowered and VERY undersprung.

I took the BMW performance center offroad course on a F800GS ,before I bought mine, I left the class knowing I was buying one.

it is everything the KLR is but better. I've never needed more power, there seems to be a lot of worry about back country repairs, the BMW just works. I did upgrade the suspension, but it took me some time to realize I needed to. With the new suspension it feels like a different bike. Indy's got it right blasting down dirt roads is a hoot.

You can read everything you want on the internet (remember most of it is noise) but GO RIDE ONE, let that make your decision.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:36 AM   #15
Ceri JC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motoriley View Post
Well I bought a KLR twice and fell out of love both times.
I also owned an 1150GS for quite a while. I've had my 800 for four seasons. I've used it as a dual sport for three of them. It is heavy and can be a handful at times. But I still love it. Cruises well on the highway. Lots of power for climbing those long dirt hills. Heavy, did I mention that? I have a hard time on the 650s they feel cramped and low on power. Love riding them on the technical stuff though. I might get a second dual sport but it will be a 250 since I find the gap between the 650s and the 800 isn't wide enough to justify owning both. You can watch some of the videos in my sig line to see how I like to use my 800.
Same here; torn between TE250/310 Husky or KTM Freeride. I have very little interest in owning a 500+ whilst I have my F8 as there's not enough of a difference what I can get them along.
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