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Old 04-13-2014, 04:25 AM   #1
trailz OP
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Question Engine Vibes - 2014 F800 GSA vs 2011 KLR 650?

Hey all,

I'm looking at 'upgrading' from a 2011 KLR 650 to a new f800 GSA (I need more on the highways, the KLR has no guts at speed, and I'd like some power to pass or get out of a bad situation when touring...and what am I going to do, get some silly street bike and be forced to shed a tear while passing the entrance to some unknown fire road? No, I tell you! NO! ;) )...BTW, i put 'upgrading' in quotes so I have plausible deniability with my KLR brethren, lest I be ostracized prematurely

That said...I keep reading that the f800gs/a engine is "vibey"....does anyone here have experience with hauls on both bikes? I mean, I'm on a KLR right now, and I've done 1000km days on it; my a** hurt like only a KLR rider can appreciate , but I was OK in the hands....will I even _notice_ any vibes from the f800?

So, how do the vibes compare with both engines? Anything else I should know about between the bikes? The high octane fuel for the f800 is a bit annoying, but I'm prepared for that....probably.
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Old 04-13-2014, 06:39 AM   #2
FredRydr
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I owned both at the same time. You would go to a smoother, pricier engine. Just beg, borrow or demo an 800cc GS and see for yourself.

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Old 04-13-2014, 07:02 AM   #3
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The vibes are not as bad as people describe. you're basically doubling your horsepower and going to a bike that can cruise all day at 75mph without much effort from the 800. KLR are good bikes, for what they are, 650 cc underpowered single cylinders. They do a great job but going up to a twin motor with twice the power is very much an upgrade and you'll like the ability to have an "all around" bike that can highway cruise at real speeds, back road cruise and hit the off road when you want to, all with a motor that can stay up with your friends on street bikes easily. You are only limited by tires and your abilities.

I had a 950 Super Enduro for 5 years and loved it, but I like the 800 better as it "does it all" even better than the 950SE did IMO.
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:26 AM   #4
beeper
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I traded a KLR for the 800GS and am very pleased with the result. I liked the KLR but on the highway the 800GS blows it away, in 6th gear @ 70mph vibes are a non issue and the 800 is cruising along effortlessly.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:53 PM   #5
Full Power
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I have both, and ride both KLR650 and F800, back to back.

The KLR is surprisingly smooth for a 40 inch single.
The F8 has more vibration than you would expect from a massively counterbalanced parallel twin.
That said, the F800 is a technological leap ahead of the KLR, twice the horsepower, twice the brakes, 10 to 15 percent better fuel economy. The F800 will CRUISE ALL DAY, AND ALL NIGHT FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES at or in excess of the top attainable speed of a KLR650.
.
A KLR650, in perfect tune will barely make 90 miles per hour on flat ground, a stiff headwind will require downshifting to maintain 65mph, and the KLR will consume 8 to 16 ounces of motor oil per thousand miles, at touring speeds and loads. This is not a defect, just normal service from the platform.
.
in contrast, an F800 will maintain any speed you desire, up to 125 miles per hour.
An F8 can and will cruise effortlessly at 90 miles perhour, oil consumption is barely measurable, estimated near 3 ounces per thousand miles.
At lower speeds, 50 to 55 miles per hour the F800 can make 65 miles per gallon, loaded 2-up.
There is vibration, whether it is objectionable to you can only be discovered by trial.
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Old 04-13-2014, 03:20 PM   #6
trailz OP
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good info

Many thanks to all so far....very good information. To test it's absolutes I personally have had the KLR up to 100mph/160kph but it took a long time to get there, and was a pretty loud ride on the KLR (obviously I was on a deserted private road...to claim otherwise would risk legal culpability...) I then passed a flock of wild turkeys in the ditch and was immediately reminded of outside factors, and of my stupidity; and have basically obeyed all speed limits since then. I am glad to know that "vibes" in these magazine reviews are indeed subjective, and negligible compared to the KLR, which i have easily dealt with so far. That 6th gear seems very very necessary. Also, glad to hear about the extra fuel economy and the oil non-consumption...always keeping an eye on my oil with the KLR something I wouldn't miss; it can be a real pig about that, and I have taken to carrying extra quarts when slabbing.

In any case, i went to visit the new passion today; i am basically at that point of trying to talk myself out of it, claiming to "know better" than my other self...you all have aided my cursed id, and I think I will be waiting on the quotes from my insurance and then cruising to the dealer to bargain about my trade in...

Next question...the Sand, or the Red? Red is in stock, Sand I may have to wait a month. Sand seems good if i decide to head to South America (unlikely, I am in Ottawa Canada)...the Red seems nicely understated and somehow more Northern. Thoughts?
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:11 PM   #7
adkfreeridex
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Two weeks ago bought and F800 and sold my honda NX-650. I'm not motorcycle savvy. Besides those two bikes, I have ridden a r1200gs, three honda shadows, and a harley road king. That said, and in my own opinion, the F8 is a very smooth ride compared to the NX (which is very similar to the KLR) and only the 1200 has been smoother. As for engine buzz, I cant sense any, especially compared to the NX. But my bar is set low and I'm inexperienced. I rode my F8 for one solid week before the NX was sold. The NX was my first bike, and I thought I would really miss it, so I took it out for one last spin before the guy came and bought it. It was my first time on the NX since before the F8. After the ride I had only one thought; Good riddance! Though it was a reliable bike and great to learn on, the F8 is such a giant leap forward in all aspects, and it seems just as nimble in the dirt as well.

Hope this helps!

Bobby
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Old 04-13-2014, 05:49 PM   #8
machinebuilder
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WHen I moved from a 2008 KLR to my 2009 F8, I said 2x the $$ 4 times the fun.

I never had an issue with vibrations.

the KLR was ok until I took a trip on it, as much as we all complain about the stock BMW suspension the KLR was MUCH worse. when I loaded my camping gear etc on the KLR I found it had a very dangerous headshake. Then I thought something was wrong when I couldn't mantain 60mph (then I saw the 16% grade sign)

with the BMW my first trip with it in Colorado really opened my eyes, fuel injection is great when changing altitude 10,000 ft, and I could still pass almost anything else on the high passes.

I did upgrade my suspension and IMHO it's some of the best money spent.

Now I would say the F8 is 2x the $$ priceless on the fun, until you get the heavy pig someplace you shouldn't have.
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Old 04-13-2014, 11:31 PM   #9
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Just returned from a weekend of riding down in Baja....mostly on either sand or decomposed granite surfaces with loose gravel thrown in for good measure.

Lots and lots of riding at 4-5k RPM through sand washes and difficult off camber up hills. All doable the the capable f800 GSA....and I can tell you from my experience this weekend and other weekends when offroading in challenging situations where you need to be on the gas constantly and hanging onto the bars while you power through some section....both my right and left "pinky" and right and left "index fingers" go numb from the vibration. This has never happened on any bike I've owned previously.

Riding around on the street...no issues...but sustained operation at the aforementioned RPM and the vibration coming through the grips affects my fingers...maybe I'm the only guy on the planet this is happening to...but it's real and "unnerving" (no pun intended)

I'm either going to have to get some gloves with some "gel" in it like my bicycle gloves, or maybe a "grip puppy) or something like that.

This and many other things you'll come to discover about ANY bike only present themselves in certain situations. A test ride on the street isn't going to ever be a good test of the bike's capabilities...good or bad.

Still love riding the F800. There's more than enough power to do anything offroad and it's a great choice.
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Old 04-14-2014, 07:19 AM   #10
trailz OP
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Only waiting on a call back from my insurance broker :) Thanks to everyone for helping quash my fears of a generally "vibey" engine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GPHusky250 View Post
Just returned from a weekend of riding down in Baja....mostly on either sand or decomposed granite surfaces with loose gravel thrown in for good measure.

Lots and lots of riding at 4-5k RPM through sand washes and difficult off camber up hills. All doable the the capable f800 GSA....and I can tell you from my experience this weekend and other weekends when offroading in challenging situations where you need to be on the gas constantly and hanging onto the bars while you power through some section....both my right and left "pinky" and right and left "index fingers" go numb from the vibration. This has never happened on any bike I've owned previously.
This sounds like more duration of gnarly stuff than I would do...i have to try really hard to find challenging stuff where I am....mostly it's just a lot of fire roads, trails, following power lines etc. Good to know though, and I may preemptively get some gel gloves if I think I'll be offroading for any serious length of time, thanks.
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:00 PM   #11
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I sold a KLR (had two previously) to get into my 2014 Red F8 GSA. The GSA is much, much better....less vibes, increased comfort, and you'll get to 100mph much more quickly. It'll also keep speed/power when loaded down for camping.

I vote red!

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Old 04-16-2014, 08:05 PM   #12
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I own a 2009 klr 650 and a 2013 F800gs. Before buying the gs i was in the same boat, wondering about vibes. To sum it up the klr is a great bike but the gs is an amazing bike. Even if you dumped 5grand into the klr it would never be as good as the gs. Be warned though, the seat on the gs is a torture device. Needs sorting. I highly recommend the f800!!! Go for it dude!!!!
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Old 04-16-2014, 08:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trailz View Post
Many thanks to all so far....very good information. To test it's absolutes I personally have had the KLR up to 100mph/160kph but it took a long time to get there, and was a pretty loud ride on the KLR (obviously I was on a deserted private road...to claim otherwise would risk legal culpability...) I then passed a flock of wild turkeys in the ditch and was immediately reminded of outside factors, and of my stupidity; and have basically obeyed all speed limits since then. I am glad to know that "vibes" in these magazine reviews are indeed subjective, and negligible compared to the KLR, which i have easily dealt with so far. That 6th gear seems very very necessary. Also, glad to hear about the extra fuel economy and the oil non-consumption...always keeping an eye on my oil with the KLR something I wouldn't miss; it can be a real pig about that, and I have taken to carrying extra quarts when slabbing.

In any case, i went to visit the new passion today; i am basically at that point of trying to talk myself out of it, claiming to "know better" than my other self...you all have aided my cursed id, and I think I will be waiting on the quotes from my insurance and then cruising to the dealer to bargain about my trade in...

Next question...the Sand, or the Red? Red is in stock, Sand I may have to wait a month. Sand seems good if i decide to head to South America (unlikely, I am in Ottawa Canada)...the Red seems nicely understated and somehow more Northern. Thoughts?
The sand is not a great looking color if you ask me. I sell them and I don't even order the sand. The red on the other hand is great.

Funny thread as they are very different bikes but also very much the same. The KLR really is half the bike at half the cost. I tell people if they can't or don't want to pay for the F800GS then buy the KLR and never look back. However, if you can and want to pay for the F800GS you will certainly never look back

Both great bikes in their own right.
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Old 04-17-2014, 09:55 AM   #14
trailz OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vandal 62 View Post
...Be warned though, the seat on the gs is a torture device. Needs sorting. I highly recommend the f800!!! Go for it dude!!!!
Supposedly they have sorted this on the GSA, sat on it (a few times now) and it holds me in all the right ways :) The KLR seat is....well, we all know about that seat :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephenmarklay View Post
Funny thread as they are very different bikes but also very much the same. The KLR really is half the bike at half the cost. I tell people if they can't or don't want to pay for the F800GS then buy the KLR and never look back. However, if you can and want to pay for the F800GS you will certainly never look back

Both great bikes in their own right.
I figured there would be a lot of people here that probably have already 'upgraded'

The KLR because of the cost, and longtime rep as 'bulletproof'. Love it in the dirt and on trails, and if I never took it on highways, I'd likely put more money into it. Since I commute with it throughout the fun months though...i really need to be able to pass at highway speed, and the KLR just doesn't have it to give. I know I will sacrifice some dirt capability with the f800GSA...but I'm fairly capable off-road, and I figure if I could wrestle a 400 lb pig through single track...I can probably do it with a 500 lb pig, slowly....that said...if/when I pull the trigger on the deal (insurance finally got back to me), I'm going to stick to just fire roads for a good while and postpone the tears that will follow the inevitable first good scratch on the bike
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Old 04-17-2014, 10:47 AM   #15
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The F800 engine becomes less vibey after 20,000km, IMHO. The vibrations are mostly low frequency which I find more tolerable. After 6000 or 7000 rpm, then it feels more buzzy.
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