ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > GSpot > Parallel Universe
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 08-24-2008, 01:19 PM   #1
RTW Motorcycling OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: B.C.
Oddometer: 112
Bmw F800gs Q&A

On the last leg of an around the world ride, I was fortunate enough to ride the F800GS from the tip of South America (Tierra del Fuego) to the tip of North America (Prudoe Bay). Quite a few people have asked questions about the bike and with the aim of contributing something back to the biking communities that have provided so much information and help over the last year, here are a few bike pics and general comments. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to ask away and I'd be happy to provide feedback on the bike from my perspective.


RTW Motorcycling screwed with this post 08-24-2008 at 01:25 PM
RTW Motorcycling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2008, 01:45 PM   #2
John Joel Glanton
Studly Adventurer
 
John Joel Glanton's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Texas (DFW)
Oddometer: 927
Thank you for opening this up to questions. Like many other riders, I am extremely interested in this bike. A few questions:
  1. Are the tubed tires a pain to deal with? Do they cause any problems at high speed?
  2. How does the bike handle in sand and loose gravel?
  3. What modifications or add-ons do you recommend for this kind of journey?
  4. Not sure if you can speak to this but how does it compare to the big GS and the V-Strom?
  5. What do you like best about the bike?
  6. What do you hate the most about the bike?
Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.
__________________
They rode on. They rode like men invested with a purpose whose origins were antecedent to them...

John Joel Glanton screwed with this post 08-24-2008 at 06:50 PM
John Joel Glanton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2008, 01:47 PM   #3
RTW Motorcycling OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: B.C.
Oddometer: 112
I used the bike for long distance/around the world touring so my comments on the bike as based on that perspective. Each rider has their own unique needs based on the intended use, ultimate destination, terrain along the way, and their personal riding style. No one bike can possibly overlap all these needs, hence the long winded and grey nature of the "which bike" debate.


RTW Motorcycling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2008, 02:38 PM   #4
RaY YreKa
I Am the Mayor
 
RaY YreKa's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: YreKa BaKery
Oddometer: 16,130
Well done on your trip, on a relatively untested bike. I am sure you will shortly be inundated with questions

I'm just going to pour a drink and sit back here..
__________________
IBA #40578

shine on, you crazy emo diamond

RaY YreKa screwed with this post 08-24-2008 at 02:47 PM
RaY YreKa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2008, 03:27 PM   #5
Mobiker
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Missouri
Oddometer: 1,509
I'd be interested in what kind of mileage you got. Thanks.
Awsome trip BTW
Mobiker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2008, 03:32 PM   #6
WoodWorks
House Ape
 
WoodWorks's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2003
Location: Ashland, OR, USA
Oddometer: 2,203
Thumb Thanks!

Yeah, thanks for offering your time and insight, RTW. In addition to texagator's questions:

1. What sort of real world gas tank range did you get?
2. Did you run into any of the issues some early buyers have experienced; unexplained engine stall, loose steering head bearings, rapid chain wear?
3. What broke first, and why?
4. How'd those Pelican cases and brackets work out? Caribous?

David
__________________
David

I'm tryin' ta think, but nuttin' happens!
--Curly
WoodWorks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2008, 04:33 PM   #7
FXRocket
Phoneticide Squad
 
FXRocket's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Hoosier
Oddometer: 5,315


This is gona be cool.
FXRocket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2008, 06:15 PM   #8
* SHAG *
Unstable
 
* SHAG *'s Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2001
Location: Bradford, Pa
Oddometer: 4,235
Were you happy with the overall performance, handling?
__________________
2013 Yamaha TW200 2k
99-RT- Graphite 50k Gone
01-GS- Mandarin 42k Gone
05-GS- Rock Red 90k
06-GS- Dakar-40k Sold
* SHAG * is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2008, 08:23 PM   #9
dcwn.45
Frozen Rider
 
dcwn.45's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Waconia,Mn
Oddometer: 752
I am also interested to know the miles per tank of fuel.
How is the seat?
Is it comfortable to stand, both for control off road, and for butt relief on the road?
dcwn.45 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2008, 10:40 PM   #10
Wildman
In my castle
 
Wildman's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: The Kingdom of Kent
Oddometer: 17,719
Excellent!

__________________
Ridden; GBR CYM DEU FRA ESP AND MCO ITA BEL SCT LUX CHE SMR LIE AUT NLD POL LTU LVA EST SWE FIN NOR DNK CZE SVK HUN ROU BGR GRC MKD SRB ALB MNE BIH HRV SVN MYS IRL BRA MAR PRT ARE USA ISL JPN MLT Planning; AUS TUR MDA UKR MEX BLR MNG RUS KAZ TJK KGZ SEN ZAF ZMB MWI NZL IND CPN
Wildman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2008, 10:48 PM   #11
RTW Motorcycling OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: B.C.
Oddometer: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by texagator
Thank you for opening this up to questions. Like many other riders, I am extremely interested in this bike. A few questions:
  1. Are the tubed tires a pain to deal with? Do they cause any problems at high speed?
  2. How does the bike handle in sand and loose gravel?
  3. What modifications or add-ons do you recommend for this kind of journey?
  4. Not sure if you can speak to this but how does it compare to the big GS and the V-Strom?
  5. What do you like best about the bike?
  6. What do you hate the most about the bike?
Thank you in advance for any advice you can offer.
In no particular order to the questions:)

1. Tubed tires are not really an issue. Granted it is easier to fix a flat on a tubeless tire, but on a trip of any duration, the occurence is rare and the time you stop to fix a flat is insignificant in the scheme of things. Most flats on the trip in one day was 8, yes eight, but luckily that was in Mongolia, we were on KLR 650s at that point and they all happened to my riding partner:)(bad Chinese tubes with faulty valve stems). They were all fixed using spoons stolen from the hotel in Vladivostok as tire levers as that was one small item that was left behind.

2. Sand and loose gravel. It handles as well as can be expected from a fairly heavy bike (197kg shipping weight with all fluids except gas). I was carrying a big load for a long ride so it wasn't light but in sand it handled well enough with the tire pressure reduced. In gravel and loose grave, I found it was dangerous, with knobbies (TKC80 rear, MT21 front) it felt so positive that I would find myself riding much to fast and inevitably I would come around a corner and see some soft deep gravel and realize that I should really try to keep my speed down. Honestly though, this is one area where the bike excels, it's ability to transition between various road surfaces without dramatic differences in performance.

3. Necessary mods - long list, and I'll get to more later but in brief:
1. Crash bars - a must as you have a big blob of plastic around the rad that is the first to hit the sand if you crash. Plus the rad is only suspended by a plastic tab on the bottom so a fairly light dump will break that and your rad will be hanging from the hoses until you get back to fix it.
2. Skid plate - a must for the oil cooler and the oil filter
3. Hand guards - it is a dual sport after all
4. Windscreen - the stocker is quite low, gives clean air but for any duration you will be catching a lot of wind.

4. Comparison to the 1200GS and the Vstrom
It's a long story, but I put about 35,000 km on a Strom through Europe and Africa and about the same mileage on the 800. I'll write more later, but IMO, the 800GS is the perfect dual sport bike, IF you will actually be riding on highway, off highway, AND offroad. If you are mainly a "touring" rider rather than an "adventure" rider". then the Strom or the 1200 is a better choice for your style of riding.

5. Likes - Many, such as versatility, performance

6. Dislikes - Not many, you catch a fair bit of wind, even after farting around with the screen set up.


Brief comments but I'll add more later.:)



RTW Motorcycling screwed with this post 08-25-2008 at 07:44 AM
RTW Motorcycling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2008, 11:06 PM   #12
klarue
Gnarly Adventurer
 
klarue's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Oddometer: 235
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTW Motorcycling
In no particular order to the questions:)

3. Necessary mods - long list, and I'll get to more later but in brief:
1. Crash bars - a must as you have a big blob of plastic around the rad that is the first to hit the sand if you crash. Plus the rad is only suspended by a plastic tab on the bottom so a fairly light dump will break that and your rad will be hanging from the hoses until you get back to fix it.
What are your crash bars of choice? There is no small amount of debate on this particular point! Thanks again for sharing your real-world experiences.
__________________
'09 Magnesium F800GS - the classic
klarue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2008, 11:11 PM   #13
RTW Motorcycling OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: B.C.
Oddometer: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobiker
I'd be interested in what kind of mileage you got. Thanks.
Awsome trip BTW
Mileage. Yikes, you know I actually was ok at this at one point as Canada used to use the imperial system when I was a kid (now metric) and there are a few holdovers here such as height (when you ask someone how tall they are they'll say six foot, not 182 cm) and ocassionally fuel mileage (car owners say their new car can get 50 MPG).

But I started to get mixed up in Africa riding a bike that had a speedo set to miles and all the fuel you buy is in litres. So after a while you get good at determining your miles per litre. Then this bike has a metric speedo so through South and Central America it is mostly kms per litre and then in the US I had to figure out kms per gallon. Long winded story, but I'll give you some general distances and you'll have to convert:)

Couple of things, the brochure says the tank is approx. 16 litres but if you run it until it sputters and then top it up, it will take very close to 17 litres. I did this enough times to be absolutely sure of that. No need to try this at home:)

For a tank, I got between 300 and 350 kms depending on speed and therefore rpms. Litres per 100 km were between 5 and 6, which roughly translates to between 20 and 17 kms per litre. If you can stand going 90 km (55), the mileage is exceptional. If you are really cranking along the road trying to make the border crossing, the engine is working and the mileage really starts to suck.

Having said that, in comparison to a 1200Gs, once you take tank size into account, you get pretty much the same distance, a little less for the 800. I rode with a navy guy in Alaska who was on a 1200 and we would fill up and compare.


RTW Motorcycling screwed with this post 08-25-2008 at 07:59 AM
RTW Motorcycling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2008, 11:32 PM   #14
RTW Motorcycling OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: B.C.
Oddometer: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodWorks
Yeah, thanks for offering your time and insight, RTW. In addition to texagator's questions:

1. What sort of real world gas tank range did you get?
2. Did you run into any of the issues some early buyers have experienced; unexplained engine stall, loose steering head bearings, rapid chain wear?
3. What broke first, and why?
4. How'd those Pelican cases and brackets work out? Caribous?

David
1. Gas tank range, see previous post.
2. Issues:

a. Engine stall - none.

b. Steering head bearings, yes, noticeable at 500-750 km, straigtforward to tighten. VERY common according to the dealer. I would suggest asking them to check at pre delivery inspection and ask them to tighten regardless at 1000 km service.

c. Chain wear, not an issue. Caveat, I don't like replacing things before their time and because I knew that I couldn't get parts in South or North America, I was carrying a new set of sprockets and chain. Not knowing if I could additional parts later, I hung onto the spares as long as I could and I rode the bike until the chain needed to be changed, not when it might need to be chnaged. This was at 34,000 km. Not many will have the spares with them and will need to push their bikes this far, but from my perspective, there is nothing wrong with the stock chains at all. And to answer some typical questions, standard to lazy chain maintenance, run dry in the sand and fine gravel, very wide range of conditions.

d. Broken - nothing except a small plastic V when you take off the front beak. Nice dealer in South America, I guess he just didn't know how to reinstall it as he hadn't seeen one yet.

e. Cases - I've used Pelican' s on a couple of different bikes, couldn't say enough good things about them. when I bought the bike, there was almost no aftermarket parts available for the bike. The case system (caribou's) I took off the Strom and about 40% we made or changed specifically for this bike in Buenos Aires. I couldn't say enough good things about the Pelican cases, super hard and withstand a lot of abuse. Only downside is a little bit narrow and side loading instead of top. Roger at Caribou is a good supporter of the industry as well with his caribou setup.

RTW Motorcycling screwed with this post 08-25-2008 at 07:17 AM
RTW Motorcycling is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2008, 11:42 PM   #15
RTW Motorcycling OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: B.C.
Oddometer: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by * SHAG *
Were you happy with the overall performance, handling?
Very happy with overall performance. Many aspects to this that I'll add later, but within a very short while, you will feel like the bike fits you very well. It's versatility allows you to ride almost any terrain within reason. From the long gravel roads of Argentina, to the wicked twisties in Colombia, to having to hammer along the freeway of Mexico to make a self imposed deadline, it does it all. What I would add is that it was great on gravel, but I guess that I expected it by it's look and feel. What pleasantly surprised me most was the way it handled curves and winding roads. There are many great roads, but at some point you forget your on a big bike with a ton of gear and your cranking around corners almost like you would on a street bike. Don't get me wrong, you won't forget that you have a 21" front tire, but to be able to do it as well as it did is pretty impressive. On the topic of long freeways, yes it will do it, the bike will be fine, you might get a bit tired though:)
RTW Motorcycling is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 07:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014