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Old 02-15-2009, 09:08 AM   #1
Motowalt OP
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800GS vs 1150GS

Who's owned both?

Since the 800's have been on the road for a while now and riders have been able to put some miles on them, I'm interested in your honest comparisons between the two including any mechanical issues.

My current (and only) bike is the 1150 and the new 800 is enticing
The approx. 100# weight savings and the "livlier" vertical twin vs the "more sedate" opposed twin are the most attractive aspects to me.

I only ride solo, mostly on road, average ride is probably about 300 miles, with the ocaisional 1,000 mile trip; but I want to do more exploring in the dirt and the 800 appears to be a good all around choice. My last true dirt bike was an XR400...

Let me know what you think...
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:29 PM   #2
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Since no one else is responding....

I'm in the same boat...wanting to get back to one bike, but more off-roading. Have a 1150GS and KLR, sold the KLR yesterday. That was a good combination having a KLR & 1150GS but the 1150GS was just getting too heavy for me for any off-roading and KLR was not a good solution (comfort-wise) for long over the road travels (ie: planned trip from Atlanta to Portland, OR).

Bottomline: I was fortunate to test ride an F800 for 8 hours and in my opinion it's a GREAT bike. The F800 will handle 80+ mph on freeways all day long with no sweat, but heavy luggage (ie: Jesse's), long saddle days would be more comfortable on the 1150GS. My 1150 is not even straining to deal with 80-90 mph loaded down. Never any wind buffeting on the 1150GS but would except to be getting blown around by big 18 wheelers on the F800, but never encountered that on a 100+ mile freeway ride.

On the negative side my 1150GS is set up exactly the way I need it and the F800 would probably take $3,500+ in farkeling to get it set up like my the 1150GS. On the positive side, my 1150GS gets 35 to 37 mpg whereas the F800 would probably provide 55 mpg.

Major changes for me would be:
1) Major seat upgrade
2) Mid height windscreen
3) Jesse's
4) Bars
5) Knobbies

My opinion is you'll definately give up some comfort factor on the F8 but should expect that with a smaller F800GS.
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Old 02-15-2009, 01:54 PM   #3
WoodWorks
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R1100 GS relevant?

I owned a 1998 R1100GS, not the 1150. But I had it for 8 years, 72,000 miles, took it up to Prudhoe Bay, down into Copper Canyon, across the country and all around the western U.S. I loved that bike. But my F800 will easily do all the 1100 did, and more. Yes, it's probably not as stable on the Interstate playing with big rigs in crosswinds. But off pavement it's in another league entirely. And after having my final drive crater on me (and take the transmission with it), I'm happy to lube and adjust (and replace) a chain every once in a while. From the description of your riding style, I'd say you'll never look back.

David
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:02 PM   #4
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F800GS vs the other GSs...my view

Well, having spent a few hours on the earlier 1100 and 1150GS machines, and then owning an 05 GS, then an 06, 07 and now 08 GS Adventure (the 07 got traded for another Beemer), so now my spouse and 'share' the Adventure and the F800GS. However, since getting the 8GS in early Oct, I have pretty much lived on it, roads or no roads.

As a former KLR owner and having raced and owned a few dirt machines in the past, I can state that the 8GS holds up extremely well to any and all machines, past and present. When compared to many of them, it is the superior machine.

I owned an F800ST for a year (traded early in 08 given the pending, then delayed arrival of the 8GS), so I had no concerns over the motor, and the 8GS is actually 15 hp stronger, which is very much noticeable, and useable.

The two biggest pluses of the 8GS is its size and weight, and versatility. I had some concerns over the 21inch wheel on the road at speed, and to some degree, still do - the winds will impact slightly, but its not a major issue. For long distance touring, I still believe the 1150 and 1200 models provide more stability and for many, more comfort, especially for two-up or heavy load duties.

But, for single rider duties, with all the luggage options available already for the 8GS, I will have no hesitation in loading it up and pointing it anywhere that the 1200s have, or would have gone, pavement or otherwise.

The 8GS is very light, and even adding a good load doesn't make it unstable or slow (trust me) and when the dirt gets loose and the rocks bigger, that 21in wheel, light weight and dirt-bike characteristics of the 8GS will come to the fore, quickly. The 8GS is a hoot on the road (almost as much fun as my now departed Multistrada) and off road, its just a slightly 'bigger' dirt bike.

My fuel consumption average is close to 60mpg (Imperial gallon), the Scott Oiler takes care of the big long chain that has not yet required adjustment after 3500kms and that has been that.

I put on the large BMW skid plate (probably the best and widely available, at least up here), a SW-Motech Quick Release rack that lets me use GIVI or SHAD top-case adapters or a wide rack for the BIG duffel bags. A set of the GIVI engine guards went on quickly and work well, and provide convenient mounting points for other planned farkles.

A couple of RAM mounts host the GPS and the cameras and that is about it right now. Next up, probably, is a set of removable side pannier brackets, so I can use either soft or hard luggage, when needed. If not travelling distances, the machine stays stripped for the hard-core off-road stuff. Oh yeh, going to get either a BMW Touring Shield or other after-market item for the longer trips... So far, the stock seat has proven just fine, a sheepskin helps for a full day of riding.

Complaints, none yet...I just think of it as the 'smaller' but more capable member of the GS clan.

Cheers, Bruce
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:48 PM   #5
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I mostly avoid interstates in my travels so the lighter weight and being blown around by big trucks doesn't concern me, but is something to be aware of going over to the lighter bike.

A Scottoiler would definitely be a good addition...I hadn't considered that one.
So far, the responses sound just like what I'm hoping to hear...

I have my 1150 farkled up just where I want it and would have to start all over, but hey, that's all part of the fun.
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:12 PM   #6
Harry Swan
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I've got both

I spent a few hours today riding my 1150 and f800 GS's ... Needed to run them before it gets really wet here. For how you ride I'd have to say the F800GS would be more fun, but as others have noted I'd be hard pressed to leave the R1150GS in the garage if I were riding to the Yukon this summer. Trips from LA through out the Southwest would be a blast on the F8 and knowing I could take off down any road I come across is just sweet. That's something I now hesitate to do on the 1150 mostly because of my last spill on the Dempster Highway in '05. I spent 30 minutes waiting for someone to help me pick the GS up and I really don't want to chance injury and that feeling again. I am a solitary rider by nature and I did break a rib in that Dempster crash, so take that as a FWIW.

Bottom line, from the three months I've had the F800 is it's become my favorite bike and I just might have to sell the 1150. I'll let you know but it's a definite thumbs up for the F8GS over the R1150GS from me.
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Old 02-15-2009, 05:38 PM   #7
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so how does it compare picking up my 1150 vs a 800. latter is a bit lighter, but not a huge amount. riding by myself and not being able to pick my 1150 by myself limits where I can go. it is the only reason why I would want to switch.
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:13 PM   #8
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I had both

I sold my '04 1150GS after purchasing my F800GS. I really loved the 1150GS and took it on some great trips. On one of the trips we took a 200 mile dirt road excursion through Utah where I found that I wished I were on a bike that was "dirtier". (We were completely loaded up with camping gear, and supplies for a couple of week on the road)

Now that I own the F8GS and have put a couple of thousand miles on it I am very pleased. While I would not describe it as a "dirt bike", it is a outstanding dual sport bike. Blasting down the road at 80 MPH or moderate trail riding at slow speed is not a problem. Bottom line, for me and my riding style, I love this bike.

I have installed the following stuff:
GIT skidplate and engine guards
Throttlemister
Barkbuster hand guards
Cal Scientific windshield (large)
Jessie safari saddle bags and large top box (with quick release)
GPS mount

I am waiting on the following:
Comm system (StarCom digital)
Sargent seat (I'm on the list)

Planned trip:
Alaska, late June '09 from LOUISIANA
(that would be from the Gulf Of Mexico to Prudeau Bay)
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Old 02-15-2009, 07:32 PM   #9
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Harry, please keep me posted as you determine what to do with your 1150 as you get more miles on the 800...I've had broken ribs before and it is not fsomething I want to repeat. And since I also ride solo most of the time, I need to think about what would happen if the Big Girl tipped over in some remote location on the side of a hill....probably shouldn't be there, I know, but...

And Darrell, be sure to post a thread of your trip from Louisiana to Alaska on the 800 as well...I'll be most interested in that!
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Swan
I spent a few hours today riding my 1150 and f800 GS's ... Needed to run them before it gets really wet here. For how you ride I'd have to say the F800GS would be more fun, but as others have noted I'd be hard pressed to leave the R1150GS in the garage if I were riding to the Yukon this summer. Trips from LA through out the Southwest would be a blast on the F8 and knowing I could take off down any road I come across is just sweet. That's something I now hesitate to do on the 1150 mostly because of my last spill on the Dempster Highway in '05. I spent 30 minutes waiting for someone to help me pick the GS up and I really don't want to chance injury and that feeling again. I am a solitary rider by nature and I did break a rib in that Dempster crash, so take that as a FWIW.

Bottom line, from the three months I've had the F800 is it's become my favorite bike and I just might have to sell the 1150. I'll let you know but it's a definite thumbs up for the F8GS over the R1150GS from me.
I travel more than a fair amount alone and are usually concerned about my physical ability to correct some of my errors in judgement, i.e. pick up my own bike after a drop. I have owned both the 1150 GS Adventure and the 1200 GS Adventure and ridden them on the Dempster and the Dalton, so I wanted to add some other insight into the "pick-up the bike" equation.

Granted, I have absolutely zero experience with the F880GS, other than a butt test or two. From the printed data and the road tests I've read, it seems that the F800GS is about 50 pounds lighter than a standard R1200 GS, which means it's at least 100 pounds lighter than the Adventure version. That's great and a definite positive on the scale of being able to hoist the beast up from a horizontal position. The other consideration that may or may not move things slightly toward the 1150/1200 GS is that with the boxer motor the bike usually, and I do mean usually, isn't quite as horizontal as a narrow, flat sided bike as the F800GS or a KTM 950/990. From personal experience, it does make the big GS easier to set vertical again. I'm not a big hulk of rider that would be able to bench press either of the bikes as I'm 5'8", 160, 60 year old rider in training. Just a thought.

Steve
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:08 AM   #11
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I'm not sure that I could pick up a beer with broken ribs. But picking up an 1100 or 1150GS isn't a matter of brute strength as much as it is a matter of technique. I picked up my old 1100 more times than I can count, because I almost always was riding alone, and because I tend to get in over my head a lot. The way that almost always worked for me was to pull the handlebars so that the front wheel pointed up, and then with the bike BEHIND me, squat down, grab the handle bar with one hand, the seat with the other, and push with my legs until the bike was upright. Do it that way and it's almost easy. Of course, on some rides I ended up doing it about 20 times, and it gets a little harder by then.

David
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:25 AM   #12
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Besides holding the bike up a bit, the Boxer motor's cylinder heads allow you to spin the bike around and get it headed in the right direction before standing it up. I'm hoping the Jesse Bags and SW Motech crash bars on my GS8 will keep if from lying completely flat when I drop the sucker.

The weight savings of the GS8 over the 1150, whether you're picking it up or picking your way through ruts and rocks, is a big enough advantage that I passed on buying a friend's nicely accessorized 1150 when he upgraded to a GS12, waiting instead for a GS8.
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:13 AM   #13
WoodWorks
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucko
I'm hoping the Jesse Bags and SW Motech crash bars on my GS8 will keep if from lying completely flat when I drop the sucker.
The Givi crash bars work almost as well as the boxer engine.


(Stolen from Tim Cullis's post over at UKGSer.)

Plus, they give you a great resting place for your legs during long bouts on the slab.

David
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Old 02-16-2009, 08:35 AM   #14
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Big storm no power and damn it's wet

Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodWorks
I'm not sure that I could pick up a beer with broken ribs. ... David
No problem lifting a glass, beer is medicine ... Beer and Tylenol #4 got me home. Along the way I had Motorphoria's debate. I decided to get a bike with less heft and more dirt worthy geometry for the next journey north. While home recovering I did my research without a reasonable result. In short, trading from an R1150 to an R12 wasn't that big a difference and a KTM 950/990 just changed the equation but not by enough, so I kept the 1150. The F8GS just hits all the right notes for me. That and the KTM dealer never got my 690....

As to righting the bike the Jesse's will definitely aid both as a point to pivot and keeping the bike from going over too far. Hepco & Becker crash bars and the handlebars on mine should prevent a lot of the damage.
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Old 02-16-2009, 12:37 PM   #15
One Eye Mike
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I sold my 03 1150 after buying the new 800 this fall. I do miss the road worthy 1150 when I'm on the highway, the 800 does get blown around a bit in the Alaska wind...... BUT.... I love the new 800. I prefer the path less taken, and the 800 will take me places I wouldn't have taken the 1150. I think you are missing out if you don't get the 800.
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