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Old 08-17-2009, 07:06 PM   #1
mrbreeze OP
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F800GS vs Tiger vs Ulysses XB12XT vs VStrom

I am kicking it around, all these bikes are in the same neighborhood, price wise. I have a BMW R1100RL and the BMW dealer says he can easily sell it and would love to have it on the showroom floor. He wants to trade for the F800GS. I like this bike. It has ABS, but it is over $13k without bags on it. The seat looks like it would be very uncomfortable. It's thin and narrow and that is just the opposite of my backside. I am also somewhat concerned about the reliability, as BMW has taken their knocks in recent years.

The Tiger is way cool. I like the fit and finish and I hear the motor is great. The one I am looking at does not have ABS though, and I don't like the Triumph luggage at all, but there does not seem to be a lot of aftermarket luggage available for this bike - but there is Givi, and I like Givi. This bike is a new 2008 model, but the dealer doesn't seem to eager to come off the price.

I like the Ulysses because it is American made, and so am I. It comes with luggage and a big comfy seat. Heated grips are standard, as well. Never having to adjust the valves is a plus, as well as the belt final drive. I hear the stories about engine heat and fan noise, and again I am concerned about the reliability.

Then there is the VStrom. Great price. You can get the 650 version with ABS. Reliability is not a concern, and there are tons of after market goodies available. But some say "Suzuki" is Japanese for cheap suspension and brakes.

Oh what to do?
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:26 PM   #2
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I am in the same boat but I ruled out the Buell. Im just not a fan of them. I know it is a styling thing for me, that and the fan and heat. I have test ridden a tiger over 200 miles. FANTASTIC bike!!!! That motor cant be beat. Its on the top of my list right now. To be fair I need to ride the 800gs though. I have the same concerns as you. I see a lot of issues with the 800. But then again all the people that love theres dont start threads saying how much they love it. Easier to start threads about problems. Im a bit worried about the power though. Also, do I want to drop a 13,000 dollar dirt bike? Im really leaning towards a dr650 and a Tiger. I would be totally covered then. Oh and as far as the Strom, eh, not much for me.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:27 PM   #3
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Every bike is a compromise. Depends on what you are going to do with it, where are you going to ride it.

I rode the Vstrom - did not move me.
Owned a BMW before - interesting, but something was missing?
Triumph? I have never ridden - dealers are not very plentiful.

Uly - soul yes - fun to ride - yes. Go long distances - yes (with frequent fill ups). Heat - yes, no fun in stop and go. Reliability - not much of an issue here.

I have owned 10+ bikes - the Uly is fun in the twisties, cruising the back roads, and works well on the freeway. Is it my last bike? I hope not, but it will do for a while.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:35 PM   #4
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Yea that is pretty much why my next bike will be the ULY. Won't ever touch another BMW product again.
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Old 08-17-2009, 07:43 PM   #5
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Four different bikes. You're going to have to ride them all to see what's best for you.
I own a Uly - heat's not bad and fixable with the 2010 Rider Comfort Kit ($120.00), had a coil problem (fixed under the 2 year unlimited mileage warranty), vibration is not bad (used to ride an 03 Road King).
Parts are relatively cheap, comfortable for distance and insane fun to ride.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:14 PM   #6
EnderTheX
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Good luck with a Uly! I get a smile when people complain about BMW for various reasons. I would love to see other bikes rack up the miles like the BMWs have. The previous poster unbeliever got it right when he said most people post about problems. I have my F800GS, it is my dream bike and I can't imagine anything other.

The F800GS is a $13k dirt bike, yes. The previous owner to mine admitted to two drops (barely a scratch) and I have dropped it three times in the past three weeks. No damage, no scratches, pick it up and keep going (oh yeah, lots of mods and farkles to keep it that way).

IMHO the F800GS is out of the league of the other bikes mentioned in this thread for anything besides pavement. If you want to do dirt go for the 8GS. If you want to do street, the others come into play. Cheers!
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:19 PM   #7
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You need to test ride all of them.

BMW - I wouldn't be worried about the reliability. You've got chain final drive and the motor seems to be pretty dialed in. The price sucks. I want one.

Uly - I'm intrigued by it, as well. I really need to test ride one. Owners of them are fanatical.

Triumph - great powerplant. Definitely the sportiest of the bunch.

V-strom - the 650 has damping rod forks. Yes, they are low grade. But, for a few hundred you can get Racetech springs that will make it much more compliant. The brakes are okay. Nothing really to write home about. Have you considered the 1000? No ABS but cartridge forks and a bigger engine. Ergos are the same as the 650 if you get the same seat that is on the 1000.

Good luck in your hunt.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:20 PM   #8
mbabc
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Kind of in the same boat. I have a KLR for the dirty stuff, but want something more hwy. worthy. The BMW would be too much like the KLR (I know, I know...), I haven't looked to closely at the tiger, guess I need to. The 650 strom would be great, but I'm really leaning towards the Uly.

Choices are great.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:33 PM   #9
StinkyCheese
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The decision for me would be between the Tiger and F800GS. In fact I am having that battle right now. Leaning towards the Tiger. It's just a cool, I mean wicked cool bike! I have a KLR 650 so the dirt is covered... Ride em all and see what fits! Good luck.
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:07 PM   #10
Bushwhacker
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I had the Tiger 1050, Traded it for the F800GS. This is the response I gave someone else who asked -

I guess the best way to explain it is -

So many bikes, so little time.

There was nothing wrong with the Tiger. It was a great bike.

The triple engine is smooth as glass. The Tiger put a bit over 90 hp to the rear wheel and ran like a champ.

Fast, handled well and I never had a problem with it.

When I bought it I wanted a pure street bike and do not let anyone kid you. It is a street bike. 17 inch wheels front and rear and sport bike tires.

It did everything I asked of it and more. I took it on several trips. One to Yellowstone was 4500 miles in 15 days. Then just this past May I took it to Myrtle Beach bike week and to the smokies. 3500 miles in 12 days.

I just decided it was time for something different. Due to a previous personal experience I will not buy another primary bike without ABS. The Tiger had ABS and the GS has ABS. (That put the Uly and the DL1000 out of the running for me)

I wanted to be able to take dirt and gravel roads and maybe do a little dual track, no single track or serious off road and the GS seemed to be just the ticket.

Because of the heat (Houston Weather not Bike) I have only put a few miles on the GS so I really can not give you a good evaluation of the GS but there are lots of glowing review here on Adv Rider.

The few things I have noticed I will mention, the GS is a twin and vibrates quite a bit more than the Triumph triple.

It does not have the same power. In situations where I would just roll on the throttle of the Tiger I find I do better with a down shift on the GS.

But I expected this and do not see them as "shortcomings". Twins vibrate more than the Triumph Triple, I knwe this going in as most everything vibrates more than the Triumph Triple (Goldwing and Valkyrie 6 cylinders being the main exception).


As far as the power difference, I also knew this going in -- 85 crank HP vs 90 to the rear wheel. But the GS has plenty of power and it is really just a change in riding habits.


I feel I made a good decision due to the off road capabilities of the GS.

When I bought the F800 I had every intention of getting the F650 twin (same engine) because I did not think I needed the extra ability of the F800. When I test rode the two bikes it was just no comparison. It was like night and day. The F800 just fit me better than the F650. I liked the ergonomics better, the throttle response better and the brakeing better.


It was kinda like the line from the Transformers movie when the kid bought the Camaro. You don't pick the bike, the bike picks you.

In my opinion it really depends on what you want to do with the bike.

The Tiger is smoother and more powerful than the GS but in my opinion is a pure street bike.

The GS has more capabilities for road surface and off road capabilities but a bias ply 21 inch front tire will never be the canyon carver the Tiger is.

Again I may change my mind after I get to put a few miles on the GS (Taking a 6 day trip to Arkansas in September) but currently I have no problem recommending either one.
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Old 08-17-2009, 11:38 PM   #11
elementalg20
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Research them enough and it seems all bikes have there flaws. Suzuki seems to need money spent on upgrades, but is stone reliable. Some love them, some find them sorta bland thats entirely a personal thing.

The tiger imo is a cool bike if it fits you. Likely offers the true best bang for your buck vs reliability IMO only. The thing just doesnt fit me though so I'll never know what it's like to ride.

F800GS is a smaller bike physically and motor wise, making it more agile for dirt work. Neat bike, but a niche bike you'll have to decide if it's for you most certainly. If I lived in an area I thought I could make better use of its dirt worthiness I'd have to consider it.

There there is the buell....... The heat problems have been addressed w/ the rider comfort kit and a reflash for the 08's and up or so we are told. There are stil problems with wheel bearings, some mostly minor wiring problems(few bad connectors/grounds). Vibes like mad at idle, redlines fast, short fuel stops, yet I still think it appeals to me the most and I really want one.......see how personal this mess is :)
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Old 08-18-2009, 03:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elementalg20
There there is the buell....... The heat problems have been addressed w/ the rider comfort kit and a reflash for the 08's and up or so we are told. There are stil problems with wheel bearings, some mostly minor wiring problems(few bad connectors/grounds). Vibes like mad at idle, redlines fast, short fuel stops, yet I still think it appeals to me the most and I really want one.......see how personal this mess is :)
The 2010 Ulys have an updated rear wheel design using 3 (vs. 2) larger diameter wheel bearings with separate dust seals and an anodized axle to prevent corrosion. This looks like it should put the bearing issues to bed once and for all. The new wheel setup is retrofitable to earlier Ulys for about $350.

If you're in the market for a Uly and you're anywhere remotely close to middle Tennessee, you might be interested in this thread: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=496557
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Old 08-18-2009, 06:56 AM   #13
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For me it would be the V-Strom. The hardest decision would be choosing between the 650 or 1000.
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EnderTheX
IMHO the F800GS is out of the league of the other bikes mentioned in this thread for anything besides pavement. If you want to do dirt go for the 8GS. If you want to do street, the others come into play. Cheers!
+1

I don't understand how the 800GS is in your consideration. Or how the others are. If you're going to ride much dirt, go with the 800GS, period. If you're not going to ride dirt, go with one of the other three and compare them to a slightly used 1200GS.


I chose the 800GS.
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kidder
You need to test ride all of them.

BMW - I wouldn't be worried about the reliability. You've got chain final drive and the motor seems to be pretty dialed in. The price sucks. I want one.

Uly - I'm intrigued by it, as well. I really need to test ride one. Owners of them are fanatical.

Triumph - great powerplant. Definitely the sportiest of the bunch.

V-strom - the 650 has damping rod forks. Yes, they are low grade. But, for a few hundred you can get Racetech springs that will make it much more compliant. The brakes are okay. Nothing really to write home about. Have you considered the 1000? No, nope ABS but cartridge forks and a bigger engine. Ergos are the same as the 650 if you get the same seat that is on the 1000.

Good luck in your hunt.
$250.00 will get you Ractech springs AND the cartridge emulators...
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