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Old 08-14-2009, 08:21 AM   #1
CrazyD2.0 OP
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F800 or GS1200

Seeing as I'm in the market for the BMW adventure bike - I have a question for you all ... I like the F800 for its price being $5000 less than the $17,000 basic "1200", but wonder about its ability to ride with a passenger, which is the other factor that would force me to buy the 1200. I had the 06 KLR, and at 35 hp, with me being 6'4", 200lb was not really strong enough to carry my wife of 5'8", 140 lbs and no other gear. At this spring's bike show, I found out that the F800 has 85 hp and felt somewhat bigger in size than the KLR and if loaded out with hardbags, could it handle the workload? I obviously new to the world of MC, had license for 3 years now, but without a bike in the last year due to home renos (sold the bike, bought a pickup).

I'm ready to get back into it, and I definitely want something that wife and I can ride comfortably together and carry weekend gear for whatever trip, etc. I know the 1200 would obviously handle it, but after having spent $120,000 on renovations, price is an issue. Of course I could buy used, but there isn't much for sale in my area. Has anyone imported from the States? There seems to be a lot of 1200's for sale there, but not having the required passport would make that job harder ... Or would the F800 handle the job?


Edit - sorry, the F800 71 hp as per my info
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:43 AM   #2
97Octane
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyD2.0
my wife of 5'8", 140 lbs

Pictures please
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Old 08-14-2009, 09:52 AM   #3
Bike4Fun
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You didn't really say what % of riding your would be doing... how much road, how much dirt. If its mainly going to be road two up with gear then the 1200 is the bike. You will have a much better trip, IMO. I have the 800 and although I have no doubt that it will do what you want, the 1200 will be far more comfortable on multi-day trips that are predominately road.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrazyD2.0
Seeing as I'm in the market for the BMW adventure bike - I have a question for you all ... I like the F800 for its price being $5000 less than the $17,000 basic "1200", but wonder about its ability to ride with a passenger, which is the other factor that would force me to buy the 1200. I had the 06 KLR, and at 35 hp, with me being 6'4", 200lb was not really strong enough to carry my wife of 5'8", 140 lbs and no other gear. At this spring's bike show, I found out that the F800 has 85 hp and felt somewhat bigger in size than the KLR and if loaded out with hardbags, could it handle the workload? I obviously new to the world of MC, had license for 3 years now, but without a bike in the last year due to home renos (sold the bike, bought a pickup).

I'm ready to get back into it, and I definitely want something that wife and I can ride comfortably together and carry weekend gear for whatever trip, etc. I know the 1200 would obviously handle it, but after having spent $120,000 on renovations, price is an issue. Of course I could buy used, but there isn't much for sale in my area. Has anyone imported from the States? There seems to be a lot of 1200's for sale there, but not having the required passport would make that job harder ... Or would the F800 handle the job?


Edit - sorry, the F800 71 hp as per my info
There are no shortages of low mileage well setup used R1200gs bikes for sale for less than the price of a new naked F800GS.
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Old 08-14-2009, 10:30 AM   #5
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First off, where the heck are you located? Filling in your profile would help.

Second, I traded in an '05 R12GS for my F8GS, and sold my KLR to help pay for the F8GS. This is only my opinion, and worth what you pay for..

* I'm 5'11" and 260 lbs. I don't ride two-up. I do a mix of backroads, some 4-lane (when I have to) to get to the interesting stuff, and like to explore those gravel roads and Colorado mountain passes. I do stay away from the "hero" sections.

* The R12GS was more comfortable on long hauls than the KLR, and seems to be more so than the F8GS. The F8GS has no problem running at 80 mph.

* In some of the Alaska road construction I went thru the R12GS was a bit much for me. In truth it was more my skill & comfort level than the R12GS. I'm working on upgrading my skill set.

* The F8GS is lighter and more easily handled by me, at least on the gravel roads so far. Still, I haven't had a chance to take the F8GS over the same territory I did on the R12GS so I have no thorough basis to compare the two.

* As to prices, v8toilet is right, there are some good deals on R12GS's out there. You're not going to find many used F8GSs just now. For me, yes I consider price however life is short and death is long. As long as my financial basics are covered I'm getting the M/C I want. Uhmm, within reason (I can't afford a Duc 1199RR or whatever the $45K race-replica is).

I was basically trying to combine the R12GS and KLR into one bike. For my needs and at this point in time the F800GS does it.

My $0.02 is find a used R12GS and start there. After you have more experience you'll be better able to decide what riding you like. Then either keep the R12GS or sell it off and get something else.
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Old 08-14-2009, 11:11 AM   #6
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The other responses are dead on. Riding style, location, and anticipated trips would really help. I too had a KLR which I sold to help fund my F800. For me, it was the perfect upgrade. I like the weight and maneuverability of the KLR but needed something with a lot more power. The F8 has yet to leave me wanting for more on the power and the weight is about as good as you can get for a bike of its capability for me personally.

If you are going to ride 90% pavement with a passenger with 10% dirt or trails the 1200 is probably the better option simply because of the sheer difference is on-road power. However the power comes at a substantial increase in weight. The F8 on the other hand isn't as heavy but won't tow you, your passenger, and your hard bags as well as the 1200. Not to say it won't do it, just not as well.

Again they are both stellar bikes, it's just up to you on what you want to sacrifice on one bike to gain on the other.
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Old 08-14-2009, 05:32 PM   #7
GeckoRider
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I have had a few folk on the back and I really don't like it. On my last bike, Bandit 1200, this was not a problem. Less about the engine I think and more about how tall the bike is. I really did not plan on going two up anymore and I am looking for a partner who rides their own anyway. I have been riding for about 12 years now but the 800GS would not be my choice, nor would I pick the 1200GS. Maybe a K-bike or one of the Rs.

Tipping over would be more of an issue in my mind.
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Old 08-15-2009, 01:43 PM   #8
SCflyer
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=487054

FYI. Read through and you'll see on page 4 or so I think that this fella was riding the Colorado portions of the TAT 2 up on an 800GS. Probably not as comfortable as the 1200 on pavement but seems to be capable for 2 and luggage.
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:17 PM   #9
EnderTheX
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Dude, just get yourself the F800GS unless you never plan on doing any road more difficult than gravel. Not saying the 1200GS can't do some off road stuff but the 800GS is just heaven on any road/off road... and can do the super slabs just as well... if you slap on a tall windscreen, highway pegs, comfy seat, cup holder, stereo system, air conditioning, dvd player, blue-tooth thingy to talk on your cell phone with the wifey. Oh heck if you just want to do super slabs get yourself a harley (just kidding lol, get one of those awesome touring BMWs).

Seriously, there was a thread on a couple who did the colorado/west section of the TAT two up with gear on the F800GS and they were hauling!!! I think it is great for some serious adventures. Cheers.
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Old 08-15-2009, 09:02 PM   #10
CrazyD2.0 OP
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First for 97Octane - this isn't JoMamma - But if you search my posts in the members list - you'll find a 2 year old pic of my wife. And she looks better now than she did then ...

As to the responses, I thank you all. I read that report of the TAT trip (don't really know what that is, but I get the gist of it). I did feel that the F800 would be the ideal bike if I were to ride that on my own all the time, but there will be times when I want to take my lady on multi-day trips. Seeing as I won't likely be doing much beyond the gravel road (like streambeds, 4X4 trails or the like) I think I'll go with the 1200 GS. It just makes better sense, after all, having ridden the KLR for 2 years both on and off road (ATV trails, even a couple deer trails) - it was always on my own and I felt like I was leaving my SO behind, so wanting to include her, the bigger bike with some carrying capacity seems the way to go. And I did a Craigslist search for the Vancouver (Canada) area, and found a couple machines - but I'll be buying in the springtime, and really want a red/black one, so will be looking out for that. Again, thanks for the input.

CRD
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:42 AM   #11
Terrytori
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Funny what happens in a few short years.

In 2002, a R 1150 GS was considered the epitome of 2 wheel,
2 up adventure travel... critics consistently called it the one bike to
have when you're only having one.

Flash forward... 2009... F800 GS... same horsepower as 1150 GS and
damn near 200 pounds lighter and we wonder if it's up to the task.
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Old 08-16-2009, 10:29 AM   #12
YetiGS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrytori
Funny what happens in a few short years.

In 2002, a R 1150 GS was considered the epitome of 2 wheel,
2 up adventure travel... critics consistently called it the one bike to
have when you're only having one.

Flash forward... 2009... F800 GS... same horsepower as 1150 GS and
damn near 200 pounds lighter and we wonder if it's up to the task.
Very true, but I read it as more a question of the size of the bike and whether, size-wise, it's suitable for two up.



Of course, I think I read somewhere that the 800 is pretty close in size to the 1150. Or was it the 1200? Or am I on crack this morning?? No matter.
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Old 08-16-2009, 04:29 PM   #13
AQUN
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have a look

I had 2 GS 1200 adv in 3 years did a lot of kms and had a great time with them both, but!!!! I looked into the 800 and a good friend lent me his 990 ktm wow... there I found more power than the GS and great road handling, a real bike for true adventure on all kinds of roads a real 50% on 50% off road. Can take 2 up with no problem.

Look in to this option as well.
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Old 08-16-2009, 05:32 PM   #14
HighScore
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after owning a ktm 990, and still owning an 1150gs I would recommend the larger displacement bmw.
However, if cost is an issue then the 800 is the winner without a doubt.
It does all the 1200 can do, for less money.
If your wife tags along periodically the 800 will pull it off however the 1200 will be far more cozy for her.
That being said, the 800 is still the better value.


(the KTM was nice, but not nearly as reliable as the ten year old bmw I still continue to own).
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:38 PM   #15
capt_enduro
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Two-up no problem

F800GS will do two-up with no problems, it's got plenty of car passing, curve pulling power. On-road, I forget my passenger is back there. Compared to the bigger GS, might need to stop more frequently, but it's all relative. We can ride all day, but two hours is as much as we'll go at a time on the 800 without a short stretch break. (more a function of padding than power).
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