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Old 08-19-2014, 09:35 AM   #1
shamoo OP
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Joined: Aug 2014
Location: Irvine, CA
Oddometer: 6
Bought a 2014 F800 GS Adventure! (pics)

Hello all, new member here. Thought I would post and introduce myself with some pictures. We all like pictures, right?

I live in the Southern California area, recently transplanted from New Jersey. I've been a rider since the late 90s with some track experience with a couple years of teaching/volunteering MSF. Started out as most young folks do with the supersports (GSXR-750, YZF-R6) and eventually ended up recently with a sport-tourer (Ducati Monster 796) that I used for commuting. Put over 26K miles on it in less than 2 years. That's what 100 miles a day of lane splitting in SoCal traffic will do.

I'm also an automotive and cycling enthusiast. I do most of the work myself and can pretty much fix anything on a car/motorcycle.

I started to take the train to work, which put the motorcycle under a cover most of the time. The Ducati also had a lot of warranty issues and the maintenance intervals were killing me. I didn't mind the price, but the 7500 mile valve adjustment intervals at ~$800 a pop PLUS ~2 weeks without a bike each time. It was getting to me.

The dual-sport/adventure bikes really appealed to me because even though I never had off-road experience, I secretly longed for it. It would only be <5% of my riding, but I like the option. I also wanted something better for the long haul. I love how you guys do cross country/cross continent tours with your bikes. Riding 2-up on the GS is a lot more comfortable than a sport bike as well (especially with the nice back rest).

Here are the motorcycles I considered:

* Ducati Multistrada 1200S/Granturismo - Okay, I knew I said I didn't want another Ducati, but the new bikes have a 15,000 valve adjustment interval. I considered this heavily, but to have it optioned out the way I want, it would be $24K. Too much for a fun bike. Plus, the valve adjustments on this 4valve motor are $1,500 a pop. No thanks. Sure, I could find a cheaper place like I did for the Monster, but it would still be around $1000+.

* Triumph Tiger Explorer XC & non-XC - This was a sexy looking bike, and VERY powerful at 125hp, and also a 1200cc engine. The price for this was very reasonable @ ~$16K as well. Unfortunately, other than the power, the reviews for this bike were not that good. I also didn't want to get a "boutique" brand since my Ducati experiences were not that good.

* Triumph Tiger 800 XC & non-XC - Pretty much same as the 1200 model above, but it lacked a TON of gadgets, plus it didn't look as nice.

* BMW R1200 GS Adventure - I seriously considered this until I went to the dealer and sat on/test rode it. These are ginormous motorcycles and I'm not a very big person (5'10" and ~175lbs). The regular GS, I could barely reach the ground, and the Adventure model, I could not comfortably even straighten the bike up from off the kickstand. I probably could have, but didn't want to do anything that could risk a domino effect at the dealership. I test rode the regular GS around the area and honestly, it was too much power for me. Also, price would be ~$23-24K. If I fit on the Adventure, I would have bought this. I wanted to love this bike.

* KTM 1190 Adventure & Adventure R - Amazing bikes and they consistently win every dual-sport bike shootout on the web. Unfortunately, they are more suited to off-road than on-road, which will be 95% of my riding. Parts are more difficult to find, and similar to Ducati, I've read your bike will be sitting at the dealer for 1-2 weeks for simple repair.

* Kawasaki Versys and Suzuki V-Strom - These were okay, but in a very different category than the bikes above. About half the cost as well. I was comfortable with spending more, so I didn't look at these.

Enter the F800 GS Adventure. I chose this bike for a few reasons. It was ~$5K cheaper than the 1200 big brother. I fit on it reasonably well. It looks cool. And well, the GS name has been a legend for years.



I traded in the Ducati for $5500, which is an AMAZING price. A 2012 Monster with an average of 7500 miles goes for $5800 trade in. I had >26,000 and they offered $5500. The trick was they raised the price on the trade in, but won't move as much on the bike price. But I was able to get them further down due to my negotiations with another dealer. So all in all, a good price for me. :)

Initial thoughts:

* Even the 800cc model was very high. A 34" seat height. I could hardly reach the ground on my tip toes. Sadly there is no suspension height adjustability. There is a low seat available, but it doesn't have the body color on it. It's all black. The low seat is 1 inch lower. I was pretty scared whenever I had to put my foot down in traffic. It will take some time to get used to. I'm used to flat footing sport bikes.

* To add to the height issue, this bike is ~150lbs heavier than the bikes I'm used to.

* I was riding with all my leathers (jacket and pants), so with the added wind protection of this bike, I was very hot, even when moving.

* The power and torque of this bike is the same as my Monster, but obviously the engine configuration is different. Monster is 86hp, and BMW is 85hp. Monster is 58 torque, and BMW is 61 (at a lower rpm). However the BMW is noticeably slower. I don't care too much since I can still cruise at 90mph with ease. I'm not going to be racing any sport bikes though.

* Tons of room on the seat, and I can scoot back to the small "backrest" if I wanted to. Although I would have to scoot back forward when I stop so I can reach the ground.

Okay, some pictures! I won't post too many pictures (unless you want more). I'm an amateur photographer so I take pics of everything. You probably know what a GS looks like. :P









Random pics of my Monster:



Pic of my old R6:



Hope you enjoyed!

I'm excited to join the ranks and hopefully when I get used to this type of riding style, I'll join you on your adventures.

I'll make sure I search the forums before I post, but I apologize in advance if I ask any dumb questions.

And since I'm here already :P, may I ask a couple?

1. Any way to lower the bike a tiny bit by NOT using the low seat? I've seen some fork modifications you can do. Also a 19" wheel, but not sure I want to get into that.

2. I have the factory rear brackets for the OEM aluminum cases. They are quite pricey. Anything less expensive, but good? I hear aftermarket won't fit on the OEM brackets?

That's it. )

shamoo screwed with this post 08-19-2014 at 10:08 AM
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Old 08-23-2014, 07:11 PM   #2
Honda574
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Welcome to the Adventure scene.
Thx for the comparison and pics.
I have a similar background along w/ 20 yrs of MX and 5 yrs of woods riding.

I've had a lot of bikes over the years but the only Adv bike I had was a 2006 TE610.

Now that I'm getting older I want to explore and eventually do some 2 wk + adventure rides. No bike is really fun for me on the straights (besides high accel and decel). I do it to get to the fun parts: twisties, hills, dirt roads, and especially technical off-roading (as much as I can on a 500 lb machine).

I've figured out a couple things:
-Thumpers are too painful for me long distance (balance is too far off road and still no comparison to my KTM 200 XC-W so need more street worthy)
-Big bikes are scary in anything beyond a dirt/gravel road (need more off road)

That puts me in the KTM 1190 Adv R, GSA800, or Tiger800 XC.

I currently have a 2012 Triumph Street Triple R. Funnest bike I have ever ridden and low/easy maintenance (like Japanese). It makes me consider the Tiger 800XC. However, as you said not getting good reviews for off-road. I was hoping to have only 1 street bike but the thought of not having a triple in the stable is depressing. May need to keep the Striple.

Anyway, back to the 1190 ADV R or GSA800. My big concern is GSA800 street worthiness. My bike concept is true explorer with fun getting there.

Can you expand on how the bike is on the street?

Thanks
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Old 08-24-2014, 12:02 AM   #3
DewaldReynecke
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Joined: May 2014
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
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Congratulations! I'm sure you'll enjoy your scoot and all the new places it will take you. Once off tar it becomes addictive.

In my (biased) opinion the 800 Adventure is the best GS bike BMW makes at the moments. It gets the balance of things just right. Don't know why more manufacturers don't enter this mid-size (it's all relative :)) enduro market.
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Old 08-25-2014, 12:53 AM   #4
somejuan
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Location: Nth Canterbury, New Zealand
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Congratulations mate - all the best for your new adventures
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Old 08-25-2014, 01:08 AM   #5
toooldtocare
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Location: Lake St. Louis
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You have good tastes. Love your Ducati too, I've owned a couple of those as well, wonderful bikes just to play around on. I sold my first one, and traded in the second one as well on a BMW, but not my GS. Enjoy your new bike.
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Old 08-25-2014, 02:56 AM   #6
gs_lad
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Great bike, great first post!

For a little lowering, look at the hyperpro -20mm springs. You will have the added benefit of better on road performance, plus reducing the diving of the front suspension when breaking heavily. Theres lots of info on the web, thinking of going that direction myself.

On the luggage system, I would suggest to use soft bags in your first excursions and if you decide on hard panniers, invest in no other system than the oem bmw aluminium.

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Old 08-25-2014, 11:08 AM   #7
shamoo OP
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Location: Irvine, CA
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Thanks all! Happy to be here. Looks like the mods/admins fixed my post since it was blank for a while.

I did some exploring around my area and did find some dirt/gravel trails. I didn't try them yet, but I'm eager to. I also tried ~50 miles of 2-up riding and I'm pleasantly surprised. The bike handled the extra weight perfectly, and frankly better than sportbikes. I didn't feel the weight and the braking distance wasn't affected nearly as much. The upright nature also allowed my gf to remain upright, and the passenger footpegs were lower so it allowed her legs to be more straight (more comfortable for longer trips).

Adding her weight (~120lbs ish) didn't really lower the bike any either. Maybe another centimeter. I thought I would be able to get close to flat footing, but I'm still on my toes.

Granted it's no 1200GS, but since riding 2-up is <5% of my riding, I don't mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Honda574 View Post
Can you expand on how the bike is on the street?

Thanks
I will try. I have only logged ~150 miles so far on it. It's definitely no sport/sport tourer but it handles on the road quite well. I'm not even close to hitting the edges of the 150mm tire and I've been pretty far over. I'm guessing the taller bike makes it feel more leaned over than it is.

It's not fast by any means, but it's smooth. I also don't want to redline it as I'm still in the break-in stage. There's a slight buzz around the 4000rpm range that I've seen other people mention. It's not too bad. I mean, hey, it's a motorcycle.

The windscreen seems to be slightly annoying since it directs air directly into my visor. Basically riding with the visor open at anything >10mph is not really possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gs_lad View Post
Great bike, great first post!

For a little lowering, look at the hyperpro -20mm springs. You will have the added benefit of better on road performance, plus reducing the diving of the front suspension when breaking heavily. Theres lots of info on the web, thinking of going that direction myself.

On the luggage system, I would suggest to use soft bags in your first excursions and if you decide on hard panniers, invest in no other system than the oem bmw aluminium.

Thanks! After this post, I did some more research and found those Hyperpro 20mm and 50mm springs for ~$360. Not too bad, but I'm also getting better at handling the height.

I have to admit, those aluminum BMW bags look sexy! I might have to grab them soon. I'll probably start with the top box w/backrest.

Some more pics:





















This area will never be this clean again!



21" front.



150mm rear. Wonder if there are good commuting tires available for this. I used to use Michelin Road 3s, but I think they only come in 170s and 180s.



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Old 08-26-2014, 07:47 PM   #8
Kamala
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Great Bike but you should of gotten the faster Sand Rover color (like mine ) ! I bought the lower seat for mine but ended up also lowering it another 1inch with the Hyperpro springs. Now I can at least get a good solid foot to the ground. They are a bit top heavy and lowering it was Heaven sent for sure. Enjoy the bike.
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:48 PM   #9
tomman
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You know you guys CAN lower the suspension on your own by taking out some preload from the rear shock if you need to, right? It's the dial underneath the seat on the right side of the bike. I think there are ~ 20 full turns (not half-turns) of adjustment in the range. If the adjustment handle is too stiff to turn by hand just use the handle tool that fits into the 2 little holes in the adjustment knob. It's under the seat sitting straight down in a slot with only the handle exposed. Don't forget to put it back immediately after you use it so you don't forget or lose it somewhere!

You can back out some preload until you are more comfortable but as you've found by now you do end up getting used to the height of the bike, too.

Enjoy the bike and congratulations!
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