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Old 07-14-2014, 06:55 PM   #1
Bumbobee OP
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Cool2 Long trip on 2013 F800GS - review

Hey guys,

Thought I would post and share my experience with the 2013 F800GS so far. I got the bike last year after selling my V-Rod. I wanted something more practical and better suited for long distance riding, and also something I could take off road if needed. The F800GS looked like it fit the bill. Bought the bike off the showroom floor without even riding it.

I just came back from a 3500 km trip from Toronto to the tail of the dragon. Most of it was done riding back country roads. Did the entire blue ridge parkway from top to bottom. Was gone 6 days.

I have the vario cases on my bike and a small back pack strapped to my back.

Ill try to divide this review up to 3 sections:

City riding:

The bike does well in city riding. It's not as fun as my V-Rod for hopping around coffee shops and doing local stuff, and it definitely doesn't have the looks, but this is a great bike for the city. I love how it's very nimble, easy to shift, makes getting around traffic cake. The only disadvantage is that it is tall. I'm 5"11 and have the low seat, and need to be very alert and conscious of where I put my feet and how I come to stops. Walking the bike around is a pain in the a$$, as before I was able to flat foot my old bike.

Day trips:

Bike does fantastic in day trips. Comfortable, fuel efficient (even with aggressive riding). Does great with 2 up riding as well with my gf on the back. She is comfortable and has lots of room. I even went on a trip with her 2 up with luggage, and the bike still did well. Power acceleration is noticeable when loaded especially off the line, but once you get rolling it's alright.

Long trip 3500 km:

Bike performed really well in the long trip. The only 2 disadvantages for me that I could think of is number 1, the seat. The seat is just terrible. I thought this late in the season my butt will be adjusted, but I was wrong. The first day of the trip my butt was ok. The second day it was doing pretty good, but towards the end of the second I had a crazy pain in my tail bone. I thought maybe I would break in for day 3/4/5/6 but it only got worse. I also had a sheepskin seat pad over the seat with a GEL cushion and it didn't help. Not really sure what the issue is, but that seat is definitely not a place you want to spend long amounts of time in. The rest of my body was ok, except the a$$. Just brutal. Anyone have seat solutions or fixes please let me know...

The second disadvantage again is the height. I almost toppled over at a gas station because the pavement was lower on one side. It went past the point of no return and I held it up, while my buddy ran over and helped me straighten it. Been riding 6 years and that's the closest I came to going down. With bags and everything, you really have to be mindful.

Also, this is the first bike I have with a chain, so I guess lubing it and maintaining it can be more work than bikes with shaft drives or belts. On my trip I just had a can of lube with me, and each night after the ride I would lube it up and that's it. Once I got home I gave it a proper cleaning and lubing.

Otherwise bike is great. It has plenty of power even with luggage. We kept a very good pace most of the time, and passed a lot of people and maybe only got passed by 2 other bikes haha. We even did some interstate riding to get to places and I had it up to 170 km/h with luggage, bike was fine and pulled hard. In turns I love how nimble it is compared to my v-rod, just goes in no problem. Grip warmers stock are nice to have, came in handy in the evenings and at higher elevations when it was chilly. The stock windscreen for me is great. I'm 5"11 and get no buffeting, also protects most of my body from flies etc. Fuel economy is great, my buddy rides a V-Rod and I filled up half of what he was putting in, was getting around 3.5-3.9 liters per 100 km.

Looking forward to my next big trip, but I need to do something about the seat...
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Old 07-14-2014, 08:16 PM   #2
qcridgerunner
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Comfort seat

Try BMW's comfort seat. Does it for me and my tender half.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:04 AM   #3
petebw
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+1 on the seat 'issues'..

I never found the height to be a problem on the GS though, and I have a 32" inseam. But, on my GSA 800, I can totally relate to the height issues too!

Great distillation of observations from your trip though Bumbobee..!
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:27 AM   #4
dyolfknip
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I just bought a 2013 800GS myself and took it on a quick trip this weekend past to Vimy and Ypres. ( I am a Canadian here in Germany) The first day was straight out on the highway for about 3 hours. It handled great and I had a 100lb passenger and the panniers had a bunch of stuff (I have the aluminum BMW panniers) My only complaint would be going around the flat faced Euro trucks tends to give you a little shove to the left, not too bad though.

On the way back we took a lot of "back roads" so it extended the trip to about 6 hours with a break for lunch. We got caught in some serious rain near Brussels just after we got back on the highway. I almost pulled over but as I am getting ready to do a 6 day trip through Scotland, I figured "suck it up". It was great in the rain. I was on a large sweeping curve and the crosswinds almost stood me up so there was a little pucker factor there.

All in all I am very happy with the bike. I bought the Comfort Seat with it and I enjoyed it a lot. I had the slightest pain in the tailbone after about 6 hours in the saddle I also own a 2009 Night Train and even though I love my Harley, after about 3 hours on a Danny Gray ButtCrack my tailbone is sore for sure.

Anyway, good to see another Canuck.....cheers and enjoy the ride.
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:42 AM   #5
RobbieO
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What tires are you running?
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:11 AM   #6
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I am running the stock anakee 2 tires the bike came with. It's got 11500 km now and I have to say these tires are fantastic.
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Old 07-15-2014, 07:32 AM   #7
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Sounds like a nice trip. You did the right thing to suck it up in the rain. I myself invested in some gore tex gear and now I ride straight through, I even enjoy it as it cools me down :P
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Old 07-16-2014, 06:25 AM   #8
dyolfknip
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Sounds like a nice trip. You did the right thing to suck it up in the rain. I myself invested in some gore tex gear and now I ride straight through, I even enjoy it as it cools me down :P
Ya i have a Goretex jacket and pants, so that was great to have. Boots are next on the list for sure.
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Old 07-16-2014, 03:19 PM   #9
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What oil were you running?
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:26 PM   #10
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I'm running what the Canada BMW puts in here, the castrol 10w40 dino oil. I change it every 3-5 k km. I was told the bike doesn't like synthetic and I should wait 10-20 k km before making the switch to synthetic.

My next oil change will be to Amsoil 10w40, I'm at around 11,500 km. Pretty sure whatever needs to be is broken in by now.
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Old 07-17-2014, 09:27 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bumbobee View Post
The second disadvantage again is the height. I almost toppled over at a gas station because the pavement was lower on one side. It went past the point of no return and I held it up, while my buddy ran over and helped me straighten it. Been riding 6 years and that's the closest I came to going down. With bags and everything, you really have to be mindful.
Haha! I almost bought it in my driveway. Did about 500 miles (to Lake Tahoe and back to SJC to get my luggage from the airport) and when I got home, I hopped off without flicking the kickstand (brain fart).

On the plus side, when you drop it, it's not expensive to fix anything that's broken (get an engine guard to protect the fairings), and scratches add character.
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Old 07-18-2014, 09:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumbobee View Post
Hey guys,
Fuel economy is great, my buddy rides a V-Rod and I filled up half of what he was putting in, was getting around 3.5-3.9 liters per 100 km.

Looking forward to my next big trip, but I need to do something about the seat...
Thanks for sharing. I did a 3600km trip back in June from Mexico City to Austin Rally with other Harley friends, same result I had almost half tank when they where running on fumes. But according to computer and Roadtrip app in the phone I was getting 5 - 6 l/100km average of 130Km/h, thats over 30% less mpg than you are getting.

I was expecting to get some chrome for the Vtwin so put the Vario cases, at the end I didnt purchased that much and only have clothes, a laptop and tools. No camping stuff. No real weight . Still the wind drag back is huge with the varios on, even in the compressed mode. Next trip I will try to stick with top case and a dry bag, No side cases unless is really needed

About the seat, I have the Comfort seat and helps a lot, I suggest you give it a try. But given your height it might be a challenge in stop&go traffic.

I had a similar situation as you did in the gas with the tip over but my friend didnt runt that fast, so my f800gs landed on the right Vario case. I was expecting to see it all trashed given the feedback but it only got some scars no exploding at all. Now I purchased a used standard seat that will be customised to get a comfort shape but a low seat height to be used in city rides
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Old 07-18-2014, 02:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bumbobee View Post
I'm running what the Canada BMW puts in here, the castrol 10w40 dino oil. I change it every 3-5 k km. I was told the bike doesn't like synthetic and I should wait 10-20 k km before making the switch to synthetic.

My next oil change will be to Amsoil 10w40, I'm at around 11,500 km. Pretty sure whatever needs to be is broken in by now.
Got to pick up my F800GS this week. I'll be asking the dealer about the synthetic - I usually run synth in all my bikes/vehicles. Great review of the F800GS, I'm suspecting I'll have the same experiences when I get mine (with the low seat!).
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Old 07-18-2014, 06:04 PM   #14
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One of my first farkle purchases for my 2009 F650 was a Sargent seat. Had the original seat on my Classic re-done by Sargent. It was great. So, I decided to stick with them for this seat. They pan out the sitting area, giving a wider area of support for your butt. Removes a lot of the pressure from just having a narrow seat. Plus they add a lot of gel foam that makes it cozy. Sargent seat is highly recommended. I have my OEM seat if there are any masochists that would like to purchase it.
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