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Old 10-24-2010, 06:47 PM   #1
yety61 OP
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Location: The Big Island in the Pacific
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Purchasing F800GS or KTM 690

G'day all,
I'm doing the usual research into buying another bike at the moment, and thought I'd ask the question. I currently own a KTM 990 ADV which I am extremely disappointed with, so it's up for sale. So, to the replacement. F800GS or KTM 690? For's and against? Pro's and con's? Good points/bad points for either? Am leaning towards the F800GS at the moment, so, what say you all? Any advice? Riding preference will be as much back roads and forest tracks as possible with some slab, not so much single track. Owners, fell free to chime in with anything.
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:01 PM   #2
TastyPants
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yety61
G'day all,
I'm doing the usual research into buying another bike at the moment, and thought I'd ask the question. I currently own a KTM 990 ADV which I am extremely disappointed with, so it's up for sale. So, to the replacement. F800GS or KTM 690? For's and against? Pro's and con's? Good points/bad points for either? Am leaning towards the F800GS at the moment, so, what say you all? Any advice? Riding preference will be as much back roads and forest tracks as possible with some slab, not so much single track. Owners, fell free to chime in with anything.
The F800GS is a great bike, but tell us why you are dissatisfied with the 990.
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:43 PM   #3
yety61 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TastyPants
The F800GS is a great bike, but tell us why you are dissatisfied with the 990.

Thanks TastyPants,
Am dissapointed because it's: too big, too cumbersome, too heavy, too thirsty, too maintanence intensive, too hard to work on, too expensive for parts, too uncomfortable and too ugly. I think I missed some but that'll do for now.
In reality, it's not the bike I wanted/thought it would be, and it turns out we have a love/hate relationship. I hate it when I'm on it, love it when I'm not. I've ridden the BM and it felt good straight away, the 690 KTM almost as good, so I'm just trying to get some feelings/impressions from owners to help with the decision.
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:57 PM   #4
RAD800
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Get the 690E... the F800 is also heavy, cumbersome and is a little harder to work on than a thumper.
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:59 PM   #5
v8toilet
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I just picked up a 690 to replace the F800.

Stock 690
120-140 mile range
No wind protection
Weaker subframe
More vibes (though less the the previous LC4/more than the F650 rotax single)
Easy 110 lbs lighter ready to ride
Better suspension
Higher maintenance interval compared to the F800
Poor stock headlight
Crashes well
No extended two up capability
Low electrical output requires thought and management to run accessories/heated vest
Bit twitchy on the highway etc (Steering dampener)


Stock F800
220is mile range
Moderate wind protection
Suspension is lack luster for DS riding
Better subframe and luggage capablity
Better factory headlight
More room for two up
More electrical output
More weight
Rock stable on the slab
Expensive to repair plastics etc. I've always said a good crash on a BMW will cost you as much as a proper used thumper .

Both have terrible stock seats.

If you want a weekend warrior for more technical dirt or supermoto duty the 690 is the bike.

If you want to go on extended pavement jaunts the F800 is the better mount.

Both require significant modifications to be better at what they're not.

Anecdotal evidence points to the F8 being the more reliable steed.

The 690 needs more range and better wind protection for longer high speed runs.

The F800 needs suspension.

The F800 will never be able to lose enough weight to be a 690 and the 690 will never have the smoothness the 800 offers.

Although I can't see selling a 990 to get an 800 that's just me.

All these bikes are a compromise, you have to decide which deficiencies matter least or which strengths matter most and overcome the others in the aftermarket.

Based on your 990 review I'd say the 690 is the bike. The F8 is not really any lighter and in technical situations will feel heavier unless you get some new suspenders, IMO.
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:35 PM   #6
YamWOW!
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Ya Its a good thing your selling that F800.
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:41 PM   #7
johngil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by v8toilet
I just picked up a 690 to replace the F800.

Stock 690
120-140 mile range
No wind protection
Weaker subframe
More vibes (though less the the previous LC4/more than the F650 rotax single)
Easy 110 lbs lighter ready to ride
Better suspension
Higher maintenance interval compared to the F800
Poor stock headlight
Crashes well
No extended two up capability
Low electrical output requires thought and management to run accessories/heated vest
Bit twitchy on the highway etc (Steering dampener)


Stock F800
220is mile range
Moderate wind protection
Suspension is lack luster for DS riding
Better subframe and luggage capablity
Better factory headlight
More room for two up
More electrical output
More weight
Rock stable on the slab
Expensive to repair plastics etc. I've always said a good crash on a BMW will cost you as much as a proper used thumper .

Both have terrible stock seats.

If you want a weekend warrior for more technical dirt or supermoto duty the 690 is the bike.

If you want to go on extended pavement jaunts the F800 is the better mount.

Both require significant modifications to be better at what they're not.

Anecdotal evidence points to the F8 being the more reliable steed.

The 690 needs more range and better wind protection for longer high speed runs.

The F800 needs suspension.

The F800 will never be able to lose enough weight to be a 690 and the 690 will never have the smoothness the 800 offers.

Although I can't see selling a 990 to get an 800 that's just me.

All these bikes are a compromise, you have to decide which deficiencies matter least or which strengths matter most and overcome the others in the aftermarket.

Based on your 990 review I'd say the 690 is the bike. The F8 is not really any lighter and in technical situations will feel heavier unless you get some new suspenders, IMO.
That sounds pretty much right on to me.
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Old 10-24-2010, 09:57 PM   #8
Motoriley
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690 or 800

Own an 800 and rented a 690 for a week. The 690 is the biggest small bike you can get and the 800 is the smallest big bike you can get. If your riding mix contains some serious highway runs I'd go 800. If you live a hop and a skip from the good stuff the 690 would be a good choice.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:18 AM   #9
TastyPants
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What others have said just about sums it up. I personally have only test ridden the 690 for about 15 minutes and it was after I already owned the F800GS. I preferred my bike. However if you are looking for something more dirt worthy it might not be the bike for you. Like others said it just depends on what compromise works for you and how you will be riding.
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Old 10-25-2010, 05:50 AM   #10
ebrabaek
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Location: Grand Valley, Colorado
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You can have 20 people recommend 40 different bikes..... Their opinions are normally biased....specially in bikes that originate in that part of the EU..... What is more important is what you have discovered with your 990...... For better or for worse. You really need to ride each to see which one suits you better. I have broken down a few times on the my f8gs..... I got over it, and still love it.... Two weeks back we were on a DS ride with a few non beemer riders joining in.... one of those were on a 990 adv..... That was my first experiance with it..... Made two observations...... One....I could not believe how fast that rider pushed it in the dirt.....A fellow rider on a very knobbied hp-2 wen`t down...twice......not the ktm... ( riders were about even) I think it has great suspension....
Second...... He constantly had starting problems.... And the last day had to jump it...... well we tried, and could`nt...... Bump start ...no dice.... One last attempt.... we got it running....... Every day...he barely got it started....and it ran rough for a long time...he had to keep it above 3000 rpm for ten minutes for it not to stall...... Not a good thing. I looked at the 990 vs the 800 before settling on the 8gs.... Factors that made me choose.... I was trading in a suv.... BMW could do that.... KTM....not..... Maintainance..... take a look at changing oil on the 990..... I was sold....but that`s just me. Go ride`em both, and then I`m sure you will make the right choice....

Erling

ebrabaek screwed with this post 10-25-2010 at 06:19 AM
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:38 AM   #11
tmex
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KTM has not figured out how to make fuel injection work. Every 990 I have ridden, large sample size, is somewhere between poor and unridable in the transition from low to mid-range. I have yet to ride any of the 690 models, but the FI would scare me off on a KTM.

The link is to a comparison of the F8 and 690 written by Chilly White, who generally knows what he is talking about, although there are a couple of errors in the article the general impressions (at least relative to the F8) seem correct to me.

http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/11/749...omparison.aspx
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Old 10-25-2010, 09:04 AM   #12
Ceri JC
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Based on the reasons you gave for disliking the 990, I would say the 690 would be more your cup of tea. I love the F800GS for the sort of riding I do and the ergonomics are near-perfect for me so if anything, I'm biased towards that rather than the katoom, but based on the sort of riding you describe yourself as doing, even I'd be going for the 690.
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Old 10-25-2010, 01:24 PM   #13
DockingPilot
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Ive owned both the 950 A and the F8.
The F8 does feel way lighter and easier to handle than the 950/990. No doubt about it. The F8 needs suspension mods (so did my 950 btw, forks anyway). But your 990 handles like the QE2 compared to the F800. And I have taken that 950 deep in the snot.
For long distance adventure trips the F8 gets my nod in favor of the 690 for sure. If I were to stay within striking distance of my truck and trailer, I'd probably grab the 690 for the pure fun of it. I also would not be surprised to see KTM dump that platform completely after the ASO shit canned it.
But thats just my opinion.
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Old 10-25-2010, 08:16 PM   #14
myblubeemer
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I think they are both great bikes....so I have one of each. But I would have to say that for the most part you are talking apples and oranges. The f8 is better on the pavement, but not near as good on more challenging dirt. The 690 is OK on the pavement, but MUCH better in the rough stuff. If you can only have one I'd pick the 690.

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Old 10-25-2010, 08:33 PM   #15
HWSNBN
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The 690 only comes in Orange as far as I know. BMW seems to come in a lot of colors that can better contrast my riding gear. For instance, I have this cool yellow latex riding outfit as seen on Kill Bill, like the one Um a Thurman wore, with a real Gorilla fur coated Arai that would look fabulous when matched with a yellow F8. Black is nice too as is the metallic sky blue I saw parked at the Lover's Leap overlook last Sunday.

I'm in the same situation actually. I can't make up my mind between a new diesel KLR or a WR250... Maybe a clean used R1200 GS Adventurerer. Mostly I'm riding single track and sand roads but a lot of interstate in the mix too. A friend said I should check out a Norton square 4, says its the best of all bikes but I don't seem to have a dealer nearby. Oh well, good luck making your pick!
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