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Old 09-03-2008, 08:23 PM   #121
eoR
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I see one has arrived and is on the floor at my local dealership.
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My continuing tale of life and riding in the Arkansas Ozarks: Wandering About In The Hundred [Thousand] Acre Wood
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:08 PM   #122
RTW Motorcycling OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOREVER HANDSOME
RTW, add me to those who are loving this thread and your thorough and articulate way of relaying your experience. Question, how did you snag this bike here in Vancouver? I've been checking at Pacific Yamaha and it may be December before they get any. I may also take you up on your offer of coming to meet you and have a look at the bike - I have a 1200 but have been thinking that it would be good to have a dedicated road bike (I miss my RT, sniff. . .) and a nice back - country/ commuter.
If you are open to me dropping over for a half hour to have a look at the beast, I would be more than appreciative.
Handsome
Hey FH,

Thanks and you are welcome to drop by anytime to check it out. I'm in Kitsilano so a short hop away.There is a very expensive test ride fee of a beer.

As I was coming up through from South America, everyone was pretty curious about the bike that they had never seen so I offered the dealers at which I stopped that they could leave it in their shop for a day or two if they wanted as there were quite a few riders that had bought the bike unseen or were thinking of buying it. I certainly appreciated being able to throw a leg over the bike and thought that any other riders out there would appreciate the same. I had it tuned up in Kelowna but popped into Valk when I got here to look for a rear sprocket and offered the same to them. I'm dropping it off there tomorrow and have foolishly agreed to show a couple of crappy pictures on Saturday. If that day works for better for you, you can also pop by and shoot the breeze. If not, let's hook up for a ride one of these nights:)
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:11 PM   #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebull2007
RTW, excellent comments, thanks. I also have an 800GS I have to say I agree with everything you said. I find it fantastic on dirt, very easy to ride.

The only other extra in catorgary (5) is hand protectors that I think you might not have mentioned.

I have also ridden the new 650GS quite bit and found it lacking a lot more off road - that smaller front tyre does make it harder. The 650 runs faster than the 800 too, but the torque is less in the lower revs. The throttle is also less senstive. Otherwise the bikes are almost identical and have no problems in keeping up with one another. I would go for the 650 if I did less dirt road, and wanted a smaller bike than the 1200.
Hey Bluebull,

Excellent points, the handguards are an essential piece of kit. And the 650 is a very compelling alternative, the value equation of performance at that price is pretty tough to ignore.
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Old 09-03-2008, 09:52 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by njneuberger
This is a fantastic thread. I do have one question, which builds on your experiences on the KLR as well. A few years ago I took a KLR across the US and into South America. Obviously, I had the KLR fully loaded - panniers, trunk, random junk shoved into a dry bag and strapped down, etc. Three or four times in the states, when travelling at high speeds on the highways across the plains, I got hit by a gust of wind which forced the bike into an oscillating lean: left right left right, with the lean to such a degree at the extremes that I felt that the bike was about to go down. Eventually physics would work itself out, and I would resume on an upright, straight path. But it was terrifying. It never happened outside the US when we weren't in windy interstate condititions. But it was enough to make me consider never buying a bike with a similar weight/profile again.

Did this ever happen to you on your KLR? How about the 800gs?

Thanks. Again, thanks for all your thoughtful answers.
Hey NJ,

Awesome ride, that's a classic trip. Got a favourite pic?

In regards to the KLR, it really is a testament to how tough it is that we can load it up like a mule and push it well beyond the original parameters for which it was designed. I can't imagine that when they designed the old model 20+ years ago that they thought that it would be taken where it has been.

Having said that, when you ride it, depending on the load, you can feel that it is exerting itself at higher speeds and when the load weight gets up there it weighs heavily on the frame, the shocks and alters the setup and stance of the bike. For my KLR, it was overloaded and at high speeds it had a bit of a death wobble. A few things would set it off, sometimes ridges in the highway or a series of bumps on a gravel road. Not much from wind in my case but pretty much the same concept. Sometimes you can reduce the instability some by putting more of the load lower on the bike, setting the preload higher, moving weight forward, etc. but it is still carrying a heavyweight load on a middleweight bike.

To answer your question, the 800 felt very natural with the same weight and luggage set up. I usually carry too much old, heavy gear because I'm too cheap to buy new stuff until the old stuff wears out but it certainly felt to me that the bike could easily handle the weight and performance did not suffer very much at all. This makes sense as well as one of the good things about BMW is that they are dedicated to the long distance adventure riding and RTW touring space and despite our love of this area, it is a niche area from a global perspective. Because of this, they certainly would have sat around when designing the bike and thought about how it would look and handle with rear luggage and a top bag or case. The bike feels like it was very conciously thought out from that perspective.
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Old 09-04-2008, 04:44 AM   #125
JRWooden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebull2007
RTW, excellent comments, thanks. I also have an 800GS I have to say I agree with everything you said. I find it fantastic on dirt, very easy to ride.

The only other extra in catorgary (5) is hand protectors that I think you might not have mentioned.

I have also ridden the new 650GS quite bit and found it lacking a lot more off road - that smaller front tyre does make it harder. The 650 runs faster than the 800 too, but the torque is less in the lower revs. The throttle is also less senstive. Otherwise the bikes are almost identical and have no problems in keeping up with one another. I would go for the 650 if I did less dirt road, and wanted a smaller bike than the 1200.
BB:

I suspect you knew this, but the gearing is taller on the 650...

17/41 vs. 16/42

I think the 650 would do a much better job engine-wise with the low-buck modification of a 16T countershaft sprocket to get closer to "parity" on the gearing.

19" tire and shallower suspension ... well they are what they are

Jim
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:06 AM   #126
TheCowboy
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Laugh Thanks, I have no money now!

Thanks to this thread, my BMW dealer is much richer and I have a brand new F800GS in my garage. It can only hope to be as good as my DR650 has been. I will do a comparison thread after I put the first 1000 miles on the 800.

Cowboy2
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:48 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowboy2
Thanks to this thread, my BMW dealer is much richer and I have a brand new F800GS in my garage. It can only hope to be as good as my DR650 has been. I will do a comparison thread after I put the first 1000 miles on the 800.

Cowboy2
Congrats Cowboy. The DR650's are great bikes, but you should see a certainly difference on the long highway rides getting to and from the dirt. Switching away from a thumper can be emotional though, our teeth get used to the chatter and we miss it at times.:)
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:51 PM   #128
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I'll add my thanks to this as well. Good stuff. What time are you going to be a Valk's Sat?
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:38 PM   #129
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I went to the dealer today to pickup my KLR (got new tires) and saw a GS800 for the first time in person, all i can say is wow, what a good looking machine, however the tank is too small for adventuring unless the bike gets 70+mpg which i highly doubt being that it makes 85hp.
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:02 PM   #130
cba191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSEARS
I went to the dealer today to pickup my KLR (got new tires) and saw a GS800 for the first time in person, all i can say is wow, what a good looking machine, however the tank is too small for adventuring unless the bike gets 70+mpg which i highly doubt being that it makes 85hp.
what kind of adventuring are people talking about? i've put a few tanks in and can say that 225 miles per tank are very reasonable. stap on a couple of 1 gallon gerry cans, and you're looking at 350 miles. that's fine by me.
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:06 PM   #131
WoodWorks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSEARS
...however the tank is too small for adventuring unless the bike gets 70+mpg which i highly doubt being that it makes 85hp.
Riders who've had the bike over in Europe are reporting 250 mi. plus range on a tank. Not good enough for ya?

David
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:13 PM   #132
cba191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodWorks
Riders who've had the bike over in Europe are reporting 250 mi. plus range on a tank. Not good enough for ya?

David
that sounds about right if the damn ethanol affects fuel consumption by about 5-10%. my light came on at about 180 miles, but the indicator said i had about 75 miles left. i do realize that is about as accurate as the thermometer, but it is probably pretty close.
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:57 PM   #133
Keystone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSEARS
wow, what a good looking machine, however the tank is too small for adventuring unless the bike gets 70+mpg which i highly doubt being that it makes 85hp.
I took my 800GS 230.4 miles on a tank of gas. The OBC said it could go 10 more miles, and it took 4.217 gallons. That's 54.6 mpg.

I've not run it down that low again, but my personal best mileage was all highway (including some stop and go traffic) over the course of 55.9 miles. Average speed was 41mph. My calculations say I got 67.3mpg and the OBC says I got 66mpg. Without the traffic I'm confident it would have been more like 70.

I sure wish that style of riding was more suited to my temperment. I've gotten a low of 46mpg which was another highway run, but I really opened it up. I think I'd be hard pressed to get lower than that.

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Old 09-04-2008, 09:19 PM   #134
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I can do over 300miles on a tank with my KLR, my Uncle reports being able to do over 400miles on a tank with his 1200 GSA (and this is all at 70mph on the highway) I would like to have seen the GS800 get 6+ gallon tank, but besides that looks like a awesome bike (I still want one!)
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:44 PM   #135
Keystone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSEARS
I can do over 300miles on a tank with my KLR, my Uncle reports being able to do over 400miles on a tank with his 1200 GSA (and this is all at 70mph on the highway) I would like to have seen the GS800 get 6+ gallon tank, but besides that looks like a awesome bike (I still want one!)
And where are you riding that there's 240 miles between gas stations? Do you dislike stretching your legs? I'd think 5.7 hours without stopping would be brutal(ly boring) even on a great bike like that GSA. You and your uncle are carrying 10% of your bikes' dry weight in fuel just so you can pioneer research into deep vein thrombosis.
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'09 F800GS (Yellow)
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