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Old 01-16-2013, 03:01 PM   #1
rcliffor OP
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Bike swat 1200 to 800

Have any of you changed from a R1200GS to the F800GS? If so, are you happy with the swap and what are the differences? I have been riding an R1200GS for about 5 years, but as age catches up with me, I have been thinking about the 800 being a little lighter and easier to handle on dirt roads. It looks like the weight difference is around 50 pounds and that should be noticeable.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:13 PM   #2
ebrabaek
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Originally Posted by rcliffor View Post
Have any of you changed from a R1200GS to the F800GS? If so, are you happy with the swap and what are the differences? I have been riding an R1200GS for about 5 years, but as age catches up with me, I have been thinking about the 800 being a little lighter and easier to handle on dirt roads. It looks like the weight difference is around 50 pounds and that should be noticeable.
I have the 8GS, friend of mine have the 12GS. His is better on the highway...... But there is no way I would ride the same dirt trails on his 12 GS. I will say this short and precise (imho) The 8 can do highway, so can the 12GS, but better. The 12 GS is limited to gravel roads, with some about 6 inch pot holes. The 8GS will do just about it all.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:49 PM   #3
DoWorkSon
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I went from an 1150 to 800... Obviously, the 1200 is a little lighter and has much more power than the 1150, but the ergonomics seem similar.

800 is much lighter/nimble. In all honesty, with a new windscreen, it's fine on the freeway. A new seat would even help more for long distance.

Just doing a couple of off-road rides on my 1150 had me wanting something smaller and lighter. I am extremely happy with the 800
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Old 01-16-2013, 05:53 PM   #4
GJGSRider
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R1200GS then F800GS now

I had a 2005 R1200GS and rode it for 30000 miles. It was a great bike on the highway and handled gravel roads fine. I have had a F800GS for 39000 miles and over four years now, and it is a better choice for me. On the highway and in the twisties it will keep up with anyone and has plenty of power. I have to downshift to pass instead of just rolling on the throttle like I did with the 1200 but the engine loves to rev! In fact I think the Rotax engine is way better than the 2005 R1200GS boxer engine. I get 55+ mpg now instead of 45 with the R1200GS, and the engine is much more responsive.

The F800GS is very well balanced and handles rougher dirt two tracks much better than the 1200GS. One reason I like the F800 is that I could lower the gearing a little by changing the sprockets. I am using a 15 tooth front sprocket and that lowers the gearing about 6%, which results in better handling at slow speeds and that is important to me here in Colorado when the gravel roads get rocky, rutted and bumpy. The F800GS also carries its weight really well; I canít believe how light and well balanced it feels. I think some of that is due to the rotating mass being parallel to the axles of the bike. When you rev the R1200GS it tends to tip the bike. The F800GS does not do that. All in all I think the F800GS is a great all around bike for Colorado and dual sporting. It gets you wherever you want to go with whatever luggage you want to carry, on road or off, is really well balanced and very versatile, a big improvement for me over the R1200GS.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:46 PM   #5
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I had an 07 gs then HP then 2011 gs12 which I still have only because I traded my wife's 650 twin to get my 2012 800 gs.
Lots of accessories, money and 4000 miles later I am back on my 12 and another one for my wife.
The 800 is a great bike for traveling dual sport but be prepared to spend if you really like the ergos of the 1200. I am in Va and most riding involves a minimum of 200 miles to get to some nice off road in the va/ wva area and once there it was always apparent that the trails we were riding I comfortably did on the 1200 while the road ride out was far less enjoyable on the 800.
Secondary roads and twisties the 800 was every bit enjoyable and performs awesome. It comes down to the fact that I just love the torque and roll on of the 12 when traveling to and from the off road riding where I can enjoy the trails equally as we'll on either.
Out west where the off road is likely faster riding the 800 would have a bigger place in my heart but the slower tractor/technical riding off road is what I enjoy.
It's just money. Don't be afraid to try if you are that intrigued. Both great machines with slightly different edges to the blade.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:11 PM   #6
Tonopah
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I have an '09 R1200GS and an '11 F650GS. Very different bikes. I have done long distance riding on them both and some off pavement on them both. I typically have TKC-80's on them both. I have 36,000 miles on my R12GS and maybe 10,000 on the F650GS. I did upgrade the suspension on the F650GS (Ricor valving up front and a Ricor shock in the back). I am going to fit a Scott's steeroing stabilizer on the F650 next week to help tame the somewhat nervous front end.

On the highway the R12GS is just great. Comfortable, stable, and easy to control. Great brakes. The F650GS on the highway is quick and sporty but nowhere near as planted. Protection from wind and elements is lacking on the F650GS whereas the R12 is good in that area.

Off pavement the R12 is like a tractor -- very planted and lots of torque. I only ride dirt roads as a rule (gettin' old -- 65) but I have done double track and single track on the R12 and it handles things surprisingly well if I do my part and keep my speed reasonable. Off pavement the F650GS is a hoot. The suspension mods help tremendously. The F800GS has more clearance, a 21 inch front wheel, and lower gearing which must mean it is considerably better off pavement than my F650GS but the F650GS is no slouch and is capable of doing more off pavement than I care to do.

I prefer the R12 overall and in fact I have my deposit down on the 2013 model -- that's how much I like the bike. But I'll be keeping the '09 R12 and the F650GS as I cannot part with either one and want the '09 R12 available for my son-in-law to ride so that we can do short and long trips together.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:24 PM   #7
JustKip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GJGSRider View Post
I have had a F800GS for 39000 miles and over four years now, and it is a better choice for me. On the highway and in the twisties it will keep up with anyone and has plenty of power. I have to downshift to pass instead of just rolling on the throttle like I did with the 1200 but the engine loves to rev! In fact I think the Rotax engine is way better than the 2005 R1200GS boxer engine. I get 55+ mpg now instead of 45 with the R1200GS, and the engine is much more responsive.
.








"Keep up with anyone on the highway or in the twisties" (with that anemic engine and 21 inch front tire)?

The 1200 isn't really a fast bike, but IT can be pushed fairly well. Performance wise, the F800 is a dog on the road, and (almost) everybody says so. It's not just me!

The F8 is narrower, but taller with much better ground clearence (can be lowered) Although it's still heavy by dirt bike standards, it's MUCH better in the rough stuff than the 1200. Some people do, but I wouldn't travel 4,000 mile/week like I do on the 1200.

I'm 6' 1" and only comfortable on the F8 for an hour or so, where the R12 is good for all day, every day. If you're going to be covering long distances, or strafing the twisties, you don't want an F800GS.

If you're comitted to longer stretches of dirt road (or rougher stuff) and not much highway it's the other way around.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:38 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tonopah View Post
I prefer the R12 overall and in fact I have my deposit down on the 2013 model -- that's how much I like the bike. But I'll be keeping the '09 R12 and the F650GS as I cannot part with either one and want the '09 R12 available for my son-in-law to ride so that we can do short and long trips together.
If no one has ever said it before to you:
you are a very nice guy!
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:38 AM   #9
killianm
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Tough choice!

I went from an 1150 GS to the 800 GS. Both are great bikes but they are different. I echo what has already been stated. The bigger bike is much more stable on the highway. The 800 is adequate on the highway. My daily commute is 10 miles of highway and 16 miles of secondary roads. I added a sergeant seat. During play time I like the 800 better in the dirt. Iíve added the adventure bags for traveling. Power/Knee dragging Iím slowing down so I donít push it to any limits. I do find that I try to shift into 7th on the 800 when on the highway. I plan to get a 1200 for two up riding when the funding is available as the 800 is tight with me and the wife (but great with my 9 yr old). Iím loving my 800 and plan to go to a two bike stable when I can.
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:15 AM   #10
Kaw4Life
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I have both, if I had to get rid of one it would be the 1200.

Everyone is different, a very personal choice.
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:40 PM   #11
Shropdog
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I have a '05 R12GS and have really been considering going to a F8GS due to the aging thing, less weight, etc. I downsized both size and financially from a '09 GS Adventure to the '05 GS but, still think I may want to go even less in size. However, I hate to get rid of the R12GS and be sorry I did. I think the smart thing may be to pop for a F8GS, keep the R12GS and see which one gets ridden the most. Whichever one sits the most...gets sold! We are planning a trip from the Midwest to Oregon this summer and would need some seat time on a F8GS to see if I think I would be comfortable on it for a 5,000 mile round trip ride (would not be a two-up ride).

I really like the parallel twin motor as my wife has a 2010 F650GS and even though it has been lowered and feels a bit small, I REALLY love that motor! There are some good deals out there to be had on left-over 2012s. I am going to pull the trigger either way within a couple of weeks.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:07 PM   #12
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Just switched

I just switched form an 05 1200GS to an 09 800GS for the very reasons you mentioned too. I enjoyed the 1200 but did not do big tours so the 800 will better suit my day riding. I got it last week and rode 150 miles Saturday and could have stayed on for a couple hundred more. It is a good all around bike. No complaints so far but I will make a few changes. I'll add bar risers and lower the pegs . I'm 6'5" and 200 lbs and never ride two up so that is a deciding factor on choice too. Good luck.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:51 AM   #13
JustKip
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Anyone considering the swap from R1200GS to F800/700GS needs to do themselves a favor and take a test ride on a Tiger 800(or Tiger800XC). The Tiger is much better on the road than an F800. The engine is smoother at the speeds that cause vibes to be intrusive on the F8, and continues to build power a couple of thousand rpms higher while maintaining most of the low rpm torque.
Unlike the BMW twins, the Tiger uses the same 94 HP triple in both versions. The standard "roadie" Tiger 800 has 17/19 inch tires like the F650/700, while the XC has 21" up front like an F800GS. Both are better on road than the similar BMWs.
Off road, OTOH, an F800 still has a noticable advantage, but as I said; ON road, be it twisties or touring, the Tiger is the clear choice. (F650/700 has no off road advantage over Tiger "roadie")
Tiger 800 is more powerful, handles better, and is more comfortable. Prices are similar. If you're not dirt riding, or mostly street and urban, get the Tiger


Disclaimer; I've only ridden an F800 less than a hundred miles combined on 2 occasions, and the Tiger...more than that.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:11 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by JustKip View Post
Anyone considering the swap from R1200GS to F800/700GS needs to do themselves a favor and take a test ride on a Tiger 800(or Tiger800XC). The Tiger is much better on the road than an F800. The engine is smoother at the speeds that cause vibes to be intrusive on the F8, and continues to build power a couple of thousand rpms higher while maintaining most of the low rpm torque.
Unlike the BMW twins, the Tiger uses the same 94 HP triple in both versions. The standard "roadie" Tiger 800 has 17/19 inch tires like the F650/700, while the XC has 21" up front like an F800GS. Both are better on road than the similar BMWs.
Off road, OTOH, an F800 still has a noticable advantage, but as I said; ON road, be it twisties or touring, the Tiger is the clear choice. (F650/700 has no off road advantage over Tiger "roadie")
Tiger 800 is more powerful, handles better, and is more comfortable. Prices are similar. If you're not dirt riding, or mostly street and urban, get the Tiger


Disclaimer; I've only ridden an F800 less than a hundred miles combined on 2 occasions, and the Tiger...more than that.
It seems to me that the F800 is better for tall riders. There seems to be more room between the seat and footpeg. Does anyone know the stats on this?
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:23 PM   #15
OtterChaos
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It seems to me that the F800 is better for tall riders. There seems to be more room between the seat and footpeg. Does anyone know the stats on this?

Look at http://cycle-ergo.com/ and check out each bike. My numbers 6' and 31" inseam show both bikes about the same, 4 deg foward lean, 91 deg knee bend BMW, 92 deg knee bend TigerXC, seat height on BMW 35.6" and on Tiger 35.9".
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