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Old 12-17-2010, 04:30 PM   #1
Ceri JC OP
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BMW's rating of the F800GS's offroad ability

Just got the world of BMW 2011 calendar through and one of the pages tries to explain what bike will suit what level of rider and type of riding best.

Interestingly, of the 5 bikes available, F800GS places second in terms of off-road capability.

G450X - Very High
F800GS - Medium-High
G650GS - Medium
F650GS - Medium
R1200GS - Medium

I know that if you ask them nicely, the school near me have an x-country too. Having ridden one of those offroad, I reckon they'd also put that in the "medium" bracket. Likewise, they have a couple of HP2s that I'd guess they'd rate as High.

What I found interesting was the rating of the G650GS. For those who aren't familiar with this model, it's a 650 single, styled to be reminiscent of and designed to replace the old F650GS-single. Whilst the F650GS twin feels a bit long and low and lardy for offroad and I think the medium rating is fair, I thought the new single would be at least rated as highly as the F800GS. I've not ridden one yet, but it looks like by BMW's own admission that it's not as good offroad as the F800GS.

I think the description of the F800GS is pretty much an honest and accurate description of the F800GS in dirt,

"The F800GS is more suitable for confident riders, and if ridden with confidence, can be one of the most rewarding models in our fleet. With a little extra suspension and a strong engine, this bike is awesome fun! The higher seat height, however, may present more of a challenge for those who are less experienced."
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Old 12-17-2010, 04:57 PM   #2
inmate-n00b
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where can i buy this calendar?
thx
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Old 12-17-2010, 05:05 PM   #3
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No R1200GSA?
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Old 12-17-2010, 07:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by GeorgeinVA View Post
No R1200GSA?
Talk about lardy! No wait, make that "obese."

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Old 12-18-2010, 10:13 AM   #5
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I would venture a guess that the off-road capability differences between the 650 twin and the 800 twin fall largely on the fact that the 800 simply provides more power.

Honestly, after owning an 800 for half a year, I'm surprised it got rated 'medium-high' as opposed to 'medium' with the sock suspension.

$0.02
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lounge View Post
I would venture a guess that the off-road capability differences between the 650 twin and the 800 twin fall largely on the fact that the 800 simply provides more power...
... and the increased suspension travel.
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:32 AM   #7
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Agreed; but it's a pretty soft suspension for an off-road bike of this weight. I've been prone to bottoming out. Then again I'm 6'4" 230 which probably doesn't help much... have yet to really test out the new Hyperpro and Traxxion setup though ;)
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Old 12-18-2010, 10:32 AM   #8
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front wheel 19'' while the 800 has a 21''...
lower bike...
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:11 AM   #9
Lounge
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Originally Posted by tvaranda View Post
front wheel 19'' while the 800 has a 21''...
lower bike...
A very soft wide one that is now bent on mine.

I'm not trying to inspire a debate about the technical differences between the two bikes - all I'm saying is to rate the 800 as a "Medium-High" off-road capable bike in stock form is a stretch to me.
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Old 12-18-2010, 11:39 AM   #10
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These are all things that make the F800GS a better off road machine IMHO:

F800GSF650GS Twin
85 HP71 HP
83Nm of torque75Nm of torque
Front forks are 45mm upside downFront forks are 41mm right side up
Rear swingarm is WAD travel related dampedRear swingarm is central spring strut
Suspension travel front/rear: 230mm/213mmSuspension travel front/rear: 180mm/170mm
Front end castor (rake/angle): 117mmFront end castor (rake/angle): 92mm
Wire-spoked tubed wheelsCast aluminum tubeless wheels
Front wheel is 21"Front wheel is 19"
Front brakes are twin disc, floating rotor, 300mm, double pistonFront brake is single disc, non-floating, 300mm, double piston
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Old 12-18-2010, 12:09 PM   #11
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The 800's off road ability is about what I expected. Pretty happy so far. The suspension could and will be upgraded. Most of us tend to do just that.


Used ohlins in the past but considering hyper pro.
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lounge View Post
... all I'm saying is to rate the 800 as a "Medium-High" off-road capable bike in stock form is a stretch to me.
Well okay. Forgive us for not understanding that was what you meant by this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lounge View Post
I would venture a guess that the off-road capability differences between the 650 twin and the 800 twin fall largely on the fact that the 800 simply provides more power...
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:47 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Wildman View Post
... and the increased suspension travel.
...and the spoked wheels.
...and the higher seat height.
...and the better ground clearance.
...and the 21" front wheel.
...and the ergonomics more suited to standing up.

I've ridden both back-to-back offroad and providing the rider is up to it, the F800GS is a better dirt bike IMO.

Awaits flaming from F650GS owners.

I would be interested to see if this is still the case with the new G650GS. Personally, I dislike the G650X, which is probably the nearest of the current range to the G650GS. Always seemed like a poor combination of the lack of comfort and practicality of a real dirt bike, but not as competent in the dirt as a G450X or smaller capacity bike.

Bearing in mind the ratings were largely to compare it relatively to the other bikes, I think it unlikely BMW are going to call the offroad ability of their other bikes "low", particularly when trying to sell you an offroad course on them. So medium-high is really just a way of saying "this is better offroad than the other bikes, other than the G650X, G450X and HP2."

@GeorgeinVA: Not an option for customers to hire in the UK, even for those who already own their own GS12A. Most of the instructors ride them though, unless it's an Enduro course. I suspect if you had done several courses with them and asked nicely, they'd let you ride one of theirs on the "Day in the Dirt", insurance permitting.

@OMG_WTF: Sorry, I should have been more clear; calendar of events for the UK World of BMW training school. It's more of a booklet with dates of the activities in, rather than a 'calendar' in the "hang it in your garage and drool over the bike porn" sense. UK (and probably Ireland and some of Western Europe) only, I'm afraid. Freebie in the post for past customers.
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Old 12-19-2010, 05:49 AM   #14
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I'm a F650GS owner and i agree it is more set up for the roads paved and dirt. The F800GS higher ground clearance and 21 wheel make it better off road. It is a puzzle to me why 85hp vs 71hp , all above 5000 rpm is better in the dirt. both are more than adiquate. Controlling wheel spin(ie maintaining traction) in low traction situation has to be more difficult with a more peaky engine.
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Old 12-19-2010, 08:07 AM   #15
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F800gs

I rate the F800GS as medium off road and myself as poor...
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