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Old 07-21-2014, 04:33 PM   #1
Outland OP
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Wink Taking the plunge.. Need some tips

Hi everyone,

First post and to quickly sum it up I'm bored as hell of beaches and pubs and my friend and I are looking to spend our time creating more satisfying memories. I haven't ridden much in the past 15 years outside of dirt bikes on private property so this will be my first purchased bike. Now for the details :

The short-term goal is a bike that'll spend 50% of its time on City/Side roads, 10% on the highway, 25% dirt roads and 15% off road. The medium goal is Toronto->BC and the long-term goal is happiness wherever the road takes us (during our time off work ;).

I'm looking at an F800GS. My friend, who has a lot more bike experience, doesn't understand why and thinks a 1200 would be better for me (though he's primarily been a street rider). I'm 6'4", around 250, and capable of picking up the thing (two or three times :) but it just seems like something I wouldn't enjoy driving through the woods on the weekends and definitely not threading through traffic on the crawl to work.

I also figure that extra 7k would be better spent on all the things I don't currently have as a new owner.

My head's spinning from everything I've read over the past couple months since we seriously started talking about this so some tips, suggestions and considerations would be very helpful.

Cheers,

Jon
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:35 PM   #2
Outland OP
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I should add that as part of the medium goal I'd like to venture off the beaten path as often as my friend can tolerate. I'm a photographer and don't want to let some mud and rocks to hold me back from some shooting opportunities.
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:49 PM   #3
BMW-K
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Hi Jon,

Before this gets too deep...can you share how much dirt experience you have already? (doh! you already answered that...)

PS: LOVE the idea of creating more lasting memories. Isn't that what it's all about?

I'll answer more later.
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Old 07-21-2014, 05:53 PM   #4
mapuda
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I have over 68k miles on my 2009 F800GS. The only thing that the R12 can do better than my F8 is freeway crosswind riding. I would much rather pick a F8 up than a R12

I can do anything an R12 can. I have ridden over Black Bear Pass in Colorado on my F8 (there was an R12 on the same ride) but it was ridden by a very talented rider and had a 21" front hoop.

For my money the F8 fits the bill nicely. Although I am considering a R12GSW as I find at 58 years old I ride less in the dirt.
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:04 PM   #5
Outland OP
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Well, I didn't go too far into my experience. Just mainly an old Kawasaki 250 and some piece of junk Yamaha. Despite their quality I'm sure they're easy compared to a F800 all geared up. Horsing around on a dirt bike is fun but I've never driven on a highway or in particularly heavy traffic for more than a couple minutes. Fortunately I live in an area where I can avoid both while I get comfortable.

I'm not too worried about any potential learning curve. My main concern is the bike's size compared to me, whether or not the F800 will fit the bill given my above requirements, and maybe some ideas on things I haven't yet considered.

I'm in no great rush so I'll likely hold out for 2015 models. My friend says we need to hit the bike show later this year before we make any big decisions. I guess with all the excitement and piles upon piles of info I'm a bit afraid of forgetting some obvious head-slapper before I lay 15k down on a bike I'm inexplicably drawn to.

-J
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Old 07-21-2014, 07:19 PM   #6
Bumbobee
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You're a big guy which is great because this is a tall bike. F800GS is a practical bike, good on fuel, nimble, etc. The 1200 will have the power. My next bike will be a 1200 or whatever is out, but right now I'm loving the F800GS minus the height and terrible seat. I plan on riding this bike into the ground.

Cool to see another TO person.
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Old 07-22-2014, 02:08 AM   #7
Loutre
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first of all go fill out that profile noob (wow what a relieve, haven't said that in month, started to miss my catch phrase!)

anyhow, the 8GS is an amazing machine (don't ask Snowy about it ) easy to work on. Problem is that it is undersprung, especially for what you plan on doing, so keep in mind: don't take it with that ESA and ASC. keep the money and invest it in some decent suspensions / seat if you don't get the comfort seat OTD. Other than that I'd say go for the bike! They are terrific, nice smooth engine and great torque.

that said if you plan on waiting untill the bike shows in fall/autumn, I'd wait for the new afrika twin which will be a 1000cc (between the boxer and the parallel twin) and very offroad oriented, and the new XTZ 700 with the great new twin engine from yamaha. Both will be presented this fall, will cost less that the 8GS and I think that the XTZ will give it a big kick in the arse.

to conclude: Welcome to the asylum!
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:24 AM   #8
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I'm all of 5'8" and 180#. I find the F8 to be "right sized" for me. I've put about 2k miles on in 4 months of ownership and have little to complain about.

Previously I put down 47k on my 2007 R12GS and specs aside, the big Boxer always felt like a pig no matter what I did. I can't really explain it when the specs really aren't that different overall...the F8 felt significantly smaller even on the bars (identical spread and bend, so how does that work?).

The F8 puts down a whopping 75-ish HP at the rear wheel and I've never felt particularly underpowered from 0-85 mph. Sure, it's gets a tad breathless over 85 but this isn't an S1000rr. The motor is really well sorted for the mission of the bike.


Having said that, my F with crash bars and wolfman luggage is tipping close to 500#. A 500# bike off toad is handful! knob bids or not. It works great on dirt highways but deep sand, rocks, steep inclines...it's going to beat you up.

For that kind of riding I have a wr250r and it's much better suited to the heavy off road DS category.

So the real question is: what do you really intend for the bike? A do it all dual sport that's great at touring and might be the perfect bike for a raid on the Dempster? Sure thing, sign up.

Hare scrambles and the like? I'd honestly tell you to look elsewhere...and something a whole lot lighter.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:52 PM   #9
Outland OP
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Thanks a lot for the replies, everyone =)

I'll fill out my profile as soon as I figure out what that means and how to do it.

Concerning off-road:

This won't be an off-road bike in the sense that I'll be spending the day pushing the bike to go someplace no one has been before. It's going to be a "get over there one way or another" where "there" is a place that's already on a map, and if the "one way" doesn't work out, we'll settle for "another".. If that makes any sense. If a dirt road turns into a bike trail, great. If it turns into an ATV trail, let's give it a shot. If it turns into a Hiking trail, time to have a sandwich and turn back.

In general :

Daily, I'd like something that I can stuff my camera gear into safely (which weighs too much to carry comfortably in a backpack) and I can cut across some dirt if it looks interesting. On the weekend I'd like to take it to my family's place on the lake or head out camping with my friends (provided I can convince a couple more to join us in taking the plunge). Finally on vacation trips I just want something that won't shake the crap out of me at speed (120k tops), handles dirt roads just fine, and when the challenge presents itself I won't have to shy away from a messy looking trail because I bought a V-Strom that's afraid of rocks or a Ducati I'm afraid of scratching.


I've left myself a good amount of time to make a decision but either way I'm getting pretty excited.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:27 PM   #10
Morgan Steele
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outland View Post
I'm not too worried about any potential learning curve.
In that case, I'll worry for you.

While you're waiting for your dream bike to come out, take a motorcycle training class. Then, buy a reasonably priced and modest cc bike so you can get some experience in traffic.

You'll feel much more confident when you get your brand new, expensive to fix when you drop it, BMW. Cheers!

Morgan Steele screwed with this post 07-22-2014 at 04:33 PM
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:36 PM   #11
shedmarket
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Hi mate, I am 6'4" and 120 kilos, had a 2009 F800GS from new to this April where I upgraded to the Adventure model. I find it is more than enough in the bush or on the road. While my ability is limited in the real off-road, a few mates riding the same bike take theirs place my 4wd struggles so they can and do go anywhere your ability will allow.

The 1200 is more restricted and a little harder work off-road but is easier cruising longer distances. I considered it myself before this latest update but couldn't justify the extra cost and have been more than satisfied with the old bike so the choice ended up very simple. The main reason for the upgrade is the bigger fuel tank for the extra range, which permits a greater scope of exploring without having to worry about fuel.

The new bike has all the options, while the ESA is a waste, the ESC, particularly in the Enduro mode, is worth every cent, especially so if your experience is limited off-road.

Cheers
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:52 PM   #12
Outland OP
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Originally Posted by Morgan Steele View Post
In that case, I'll worry for you.
I appreciate that! I've actually already got the course booked for August and as of August 3rd can use an older (mid 00's) KLR650 to play around with until October when the owner takes his bikes to his cottage to store them until Spring. Apparently it's purple =\

-J
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:52 PM   #13
Morgan Steele
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Cool2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Outland View Post
I've actually already got the course booked for August and as of August 3rd can use an older (mid 00's) KLR650 to play around with until October when the owner takes his bikes to his cottage to store them until Spring.
Good on ya!
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