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Old 09-26-2008, 06:16 AM   #1
mrpete64 OP
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'09 650 vs 800 GS??

I would appreciate any "insights" you might offer comparing these two bikes. I know about the horse power, etc. I would like those of you who have actually ridden both bikes to offer your comments.
I will not be "bashing" this bike over rocks and unforgiving terrain. At 61 I don't have the nerves I had at 30!!
Thanks for your help.

Mr. Pete--->
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:18 AM   #2
Toadride
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At 61 you deserve the 800. That's the way I look at it. (58).
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Old 09-26-2008, 06:28 AM   #3
Wildman
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It's not quite in the 990 league but due to the extra horses, the 800 requires a little more skill/concentration/adeptness to ride smoothly than the 650. I adore mine but it doesn't let me get away with things the G650X Country that I learned on did and it shows up my inexperience sometimes.

I bought it because it was the "last bike standing" that hadn't been crossed off my list; 990 Adventure too aggressive, 1200GS too heavy, G650X Country too short a range, G650X Challenge too tall, 640 Adventure too vibey, V-Strom too damned ugly, 950 SE too dirt, Triumph Tiger too road... It's not the best justification for forking out the money for a bike but I'm really not regretting it. It is superb.

At 61? I'm hoping still to be riding mine! Good luck.
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:04 AM   #4
slide
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A visit to your dealer or the BMW site will tell all in detail. For me, the big diffs are suspension more sophisticated on the 800, wheels are spokes on the 800 cast on the 650 and the 800 has the (for me) less desirable 21" front wheel. Also the 650 runs tubeless while the 800 is tubed making (for me) an easier flat fix on the 650.

If I didn't have the G-X already, I'd get the 800.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:04 AM   #5
John Ashman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpete64
I would appreciate any "insights" you might offer comparing these two bikes. I know about the horse power, etc. I would like those of you who have actually ridden both bikes to offer your comments.
I will not be "bashing" this bike over rocks and unforgiving terrain. At 61 I don't have the nerves I had at 30!!
Thanks for your help.
I'd say the only reason to get the 800 is if you are going to be bashing it over rocks or if you like winding out engines. I like low band torque and HP more than what's happening at 7000 rpm anyway, personally.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:36 AM   #6
E900Vadar
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Simple

Its all about the rules in Europe.

Beside a bit of body work, money, and a de-tuned engine.

It is also about the mind set of a little bike or a big bike.

Vadar


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpete64
I would appreciate any "insights" you might offer comparing these two bikes. I know about the horse power, etc. I would like those of you who have actually ridden both bikes to offer your comments.
I will not be "bashing" this bike over rocks and unforgiving terrain. At 61 I don't have the nerves I had at 30!!
Thanks for your help.

Mr. Pete--->
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:05 PM   #7
mrpete64 OP
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Thanks!

Thanks for your comments. I appreciate it!

Mr. Pete--->
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:46 PM   #8
HighTechCoonass
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you will find some will say I wish I would of going for the 800 but I dought you will here any 800 owners saying I should have going with 658. Only fear I had is that the 800 would be too big...no problem!
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:53 PM   #9
JakeCWU
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If you're going to "bash over the rocks" go with the 800. If you want a smooth street rider that you can tackle easy to moderate trail work/off road, go with the 650. In my experience riding both, the 650 rides like a good street bike. It handles well in general, the suspension is comfortable, the brakes are more than adequate, the low end power is outstanding, and it corners like a dream. The 800 is a great bike as well, but definitely rides more like a dirt bike. It has a stiffer suspension, it's torquey and pulls quite a bit more, and sits notably higher. I also noticed that, IMHO, it takes notably more work to corner. Both are outstanding bikes. While I respect Coon's opinion, I don't think anyone who does their research on which to buy is going to regret it either way. If you want a street bike to play with once in a while, buy the 650. If you're honestly planning on riding some real trails or do some crazy around the world remote area camping trek, buy the 800. My personal call was to get the 650 for my daily riding, keep my XR (the red beast) for trailing and pick up a KLR for a better cross over in the future. There you go, that's my opinion and you know what those are like.

G-
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Old 09-27-2008, 06:12 AM   #10
JRWooden
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I vote with Jake

I vote with Jake!

I could not have said it better....

Only thing I would add is to take into account what bike you will be coming FROM... and how much of a change you want in your new bike and how will the way you use it differ...


Jim
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:14 AM   #11
EdOriginal
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Ridden both for a few hours

Went into the dealer to order the 800 but made a mistake and also test rode the 650. I found only a small power advantage on the 800 vs the 650. 650 for me was a more comfortable riding position and significantly lower. But a hard decision for me is the seat height for both 800 and 650. I found the 800 low seat significantly not as comfortable, less padding.

Your best bet is ride both for 1/2 an hour on a freeway. I was concerned about getting blown around and found that was not the case. Dealer's don't like to get their new toys in the mud.
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:23 AM   #12
mrpete64 OP
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800/650

I went to Max's BMW, in Troy, New York, and sat on both. For me the 650 was much easier to get on and off and felt better. I will ride both this Tuesday. I like being able to put both of my feet "flat down" on the ground. With side boxes and a top box loaded up with "stuff" and the extra weight I think this might be an advantage.
I was also told that the 650 is about 30 pounds lighter.

Again...thanks for your comments...I appreciate it!

Mr. Pete--->

P.S. one of the people who work for Max's rode the 650 and thought it would be a perfect bike to go to South America on. He has been there several times.
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Old 09-28-2008, 04:26 AM   #13
mrpete64 OP
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the lower seat on the 800 gs

I also found that the lower seat on the 800 GS put my legs in a very uncomfortable position. The stock 650 felt...very comfortable.

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Old 09-28-2008, 07:12 AM   #14
Desert Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdOriginal

Your best bet is ride both for 1/2 an hour on a freeway.
And then after that ride for a half hour on a rutted dirt road, sand and mud.
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