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Old 06-06-2012, 06:17 PM   #46
Snowy
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For the OP, riding dirt the bike will pretty much always feel "loose".

It'll understeer, oversteer, wobble, skate, wallow and buck around on a regular basis.

If you have a dirt background you don't even think about it. My wife didn't tell me that she was terrified all the time on dirt as my pillion. She says the rear end is all over the place, and the sliding feeling from the rear in corners had her tensing up so bad she hurt all over after a ride.

My bad.

It takes years of trail riding to get comfortable. I went rail riding last weekend with a friend who raced Dakar. While leading and show boating, on very wet tracks in the pissing rain, I caught a tree root and face planted. I was riding a comfortable pace, relaxed and having fun.

Shit happens. I've probably done hundreds of hours of riding at similar pace without even a close call. Every now and then off road you pay the piper. Events conspire to put a diagonal wet tree root at the very point on a reducing radius down hill rocky turn where it will catch the front wheel as I get some understeer happening because I'm being a poser. That's why I have full body armour.

Every now and then your ego outrides your ability, and sometimes events just fall into place such that there is an inevitability to what happens.

Technique is everything, and everything you do in life is technique. You have to be pig headed and stubborn and stick with it. One day it'll "just happen" and you'll never understand how you didn't "get it" from the beginning.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:36 PM   #47
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GS stands for...

As I know, the GS on your "GS" refers to Gelände/Straße (German: off-road/road).

It is not a dirt bike, indeed. And is also not a road bike.

BUT despite os being worse than a Off-road bike when off road and being also worse than a road bike when on road, it performs really better on road than a off-road bike, and really better off-road than a road bike.

And that is all the fun about it.
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Old 06-06-2012, 09:15 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowy View Post

Technique is everything, and everything you do in life is technique. You have to be pig headed and stubborn and stick with it. One day it'll "just happen" and you'll never understand how you didn't "get it" from the beginning.
Alright Snowy!
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:35 PM   #49
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What...I actually like that Versys. The S1000RR may seem a little over done with knobbies...but how much fun would that be right up to the point where you become just another organ donor?

So what exactly is the difference between that Versys and an F-series BMW? Apart from the front wheel size?

Would it not go just as far off road? Would it not be just as versatile? It has very good adjustable suspension....Mmmmmm...adjustments (you regular BMW owners may not know what that is)...and a great little motor.

I've seen guys take them as far as any BMW has gone.

Why is the F-series so much different?

Or is the F-series a "dirt bike" just because BMW implies it in their advertising?
You can do that.

Not a Versey, but a big heavy street bike with about the same suspension travel.


I rode it up this road to the top at 12,437ft.

A different perspective, looking down. (not my pic)



About mine and the bikes limit. Not enough travel or ground clearance

When I came home, I sold it and bought the F800gs, because based on the specs, I thought it would be a better bike. After a year and $2,000 more it was. Great old bike that I really miss. If the F800 gives me 11 years of trouble free service, I will be happy.
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itsatdm screwed with this post 06-07-2012 at 12:08 AM
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:39 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsatdm View Post
You can do that.

Not a Versey, but a big heavy street bike with about the same suspension travel.


I rode it up this road to the top at 12,437ft.

A different perspective, looking down. (not my pic)




About mine and the bikes limit. Not enough travel or ground clearance

When I came home, I sold it and bought the F800gs, because based on the specs, I thought it would be a better bike. After a year and $2,000 more it was. Great old bike that I really miss. If the F800 gives me 11 years of trouble free service, I will be happy.
itsatdm, I'm right around the corner from you in Sonora. Is that road near us? Judging from the sparse vegetation, it looks like the East Side.
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Old 06-07-2012, 07:51 AM   #51
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That is Silver Canyon, east of Bishop. The annual White Mountains ride is on again, http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=793467. First Sunday of August. Look at some of the previous ride reports.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:28 AM   #52
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Hey it comes down to that everyone here has an option. Just get out and ride your bike and enjoy it. Your riding ability will grow with saddle time, take a class if you can if not get out on the FS roads and work up. You will figure out what you need on your bike because everyone set there bike up different. Not everyone one needs steering stabilizers, or knobbies all the time. It's your bike just ride it will come I love my 800 but would never take it to some of the places I take my 450. Congrats on the bike.
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Old 06-07-2012, 06:33 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by michelsavage View Post
Now I discover that, well, it ain't too good in sand, it ain't too good in mud, it's wobbly over gravel.
As others have noted your GS is more than capable for moderate off road riding. You need to learn how to ride it. to An off road course would be a great idea. As would carrying as little as you can loaded low for better handling. Don't forget you want knobby tires for dirt. How knobby depends on how aggressive you want to ride off pavement.



I bought this DVD and it is a good refresher resource to watch and a cheap additional training tool...
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Old 06-07-2012, 08:45 PM   #54
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eh......you should've bought a KLR instead. I believe you skipped that step. Its a required right of passage.

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Old 06-07-2012, 10:42 PM   #55
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The reality here is that 95% of F series bikes sold world wide would never see a road like this.

The 5% that do need to spend a lot of money to ensure the bike can do it and survive it.



Unfortunately, BMW know this and build and market accordingly. They sell us more or less what we need disguised as what we want.
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Old 06-08-2012, 05:56 PM   #56
Dan Alexander
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Originally Posted by michelsavage View Post
For a Montreal Ushuaia trip this Fall, I bought a F650GS all farkled up. On my first outing off road, I hit a bit of sand and I hit the ground. Now, I'm beginning to have doubts: is it possible that anywhere a 650 or 800 "enduro" (or any so-called "adventure bike") can go, any road bike can go too? So far, my F650GS is as wobbly on gravel as my previous Intruder, if not more due to narrow tires. Are there any REAL advantages to a 650/800 off road, over any road bike? Or is it just hype, myth, status and image. So far, I find my F650GS far less comfortable than any bike I've had in the past, almost too high, and pretty hard to control over anything but pavement. I thought that with the F650GS, you could just turn off the road, drive across the field without hesitation. Now I discover that, well, it ain't too good in sand, it ain't too good in mud, it's wobbly over gravel.
Last year I had a KTM Super Enduro and this year a 650 Dakar and the Beemer is much easier for me to ride. If you think the Dakar is tall try the KTM's .....
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:02 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by michelsavage View Post
This is very encouraging, and I'm booking at once off-road riding lessons/sessions with Moto Inter.

We all have fantasies. here's mine:

I'm riding on a Mexican at 80 km/h, enjoying the landscape. But it's getting late, and in this exotic land, I need to find a spot for the night/my tent. Oh, here's a group of trees to starboard that look inviting. Without a hesitation, I turn off the pavement and ride over tall grass up to the trees, stop, install my tent and enjoy.

That's why I bought a F650GS.

It looks, however, less simple than that.
In my opinion (and we all know what opinions are worth ) you just described what an adventure bike is designed for. As others said, the F650 will take you to that camping spot just fine.

You have discovered sand and sand sucks for the most part. As strange as it sounds, speed helps in sand. It's the getting up to speed and slowing back down that will bite you. I've been riding for over 30 years and I will take mud over sand any day.

You will be fine with practice. I've only seen short clips of the instructional DVD's but from what I've seen they look to be worth the cost. Of course a class with someone to guide you is even better if you can afford it. Back when I first started riding they did not have classes so I'm sure I have developed some bad habits along the way.

Have fun, take your time and don't feel you have to prove anything to anyone. And when you get back from your trip don't forget to post a ride report so we can share in your adventure.

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Old 06-09-2012, 07:37 PM   #58
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Hello,

I did follow this - sometimes heated - discussion with interest as I am trying to decide what bike to get. So today I test rode a Triumph Tiger 800 XC a BMW R1200GS and a F800GS. All pretty cool bikes. Haven't made up my mind yet. All I know so far is it's not a R1200GS. Anyways at the shop I was test driving they showed video from some six days events bcd in the days. And boy I would be happy if I could go where those guys.

So here is a video I found:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxQ_yZRrlZk


Somewhere out there is a video, showing Steve McQueen riding a moto cross bike having less travel than a regular street bike nowadays.


Still think what to buy

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Old 06-09-2012, 08:11 PM   #59
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Very entertaining video. Just think what those guys could do on the bikes we have now.

Maybe I'm getting to old but I have no desire to ride up stuff like that these days. Could I do it if I had to? Sure. But I paid to much for my F650GS to intentionally subject it to that.

Since you mentioned the F800 and the Tiger XC I guessing you do not really want to ride in areas like in the video. But if I'm wrong, and that really is the type of riding you want to do, then I would suggest something in the 250cc to 400cc range would be a better choice.

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Old 06-09-2012, 09:14 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Jon_PDX View Post
Very entertaining video. Just think what those guys could do on the bikes we have now.

Maybe I'm getting to old but I have no desire to ride up stuff like that these days. Could I do it if I had to? Sure. But I paid to much for my F650GS to intentionally subject it to that.

Since you mentioned the F800 and the Tiger XC I guessing you do not really want to ride in areas like in the video. But if I'm wrong, and that really is the type of riding you want to do, then I would suggest something in the 250cc to 400cc range would be a better choice.

Jon...
You are right. I don't think so, but a little off the usual roads seems like fun. And doing one of these classes would be fun too

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