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Old 01-07-2014, 05:00 AM   #1
Squale OP
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F700GS, Ground clearance and Dirt prep

Im looking for a little help here on getting my bike ready for the season. Last year I had the cash for a new bike and decided to purchase a 700, I was oogleing over the 800 but had it set that i was not going to take a loan to purchase more than I could afford. Well the bike has 6000 miles now and my intention this winter is to get it ready for some rougher dirt rides come spring
So far I have done: bark busters, black dog skid plate "after cracking the oil sump", Happy Trails Alum. Panniers, SW crash bars, GPS, I have tkc80's in the mail 140/80/17 and 110/80/17, and I hope to drop the front sprocket to a 16T,

What I am looking for is any information on ground clearance, I understand that the 800 had quite a bit more than the 700 is there any way I can attain this extra clearance through suspension. Equally are there any other suggestions that can be made to help prep my bike to be more dirt oriented short of purchasing a new one
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:27 AM   #2
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Black font looks good till you post it.

The only way I know would be a suspension swap. Put an 800 shock on the rear, readjust your chain and done. The front is way harder. You'd have to get an 800 front end from the triple clamps forward. I don't think you can or should lengthen your existing front. You'll have to research a 650 single Dakar swap. Parts are available cheap but you'll have to measure everything and use trial and error. Not sure if anyone's done a 700 but yes on the 650 twin which may be identical except the dual disc.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:46 AM   #3
Squale OP
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I like the sound of increased suspension and certainly would be interested in looking for an OE 800 rear shock. I assume that any year 800 will work providing that the bike does not have any type of electronic adjustment do you suggest any particular OE shock. Does that go with the front as well, will any year front suspension fit, is it correct to assume that I will need to replace my front wheel as well or are the hub diameter and axle the same size?
Does anyone have a spare rear shock??
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Squale View Post
I like the sound of increased suspension and certainly would be interested in looking for an OE 800 rear shock. I assume that any year 800 will work providing that the bike does not have any type of electronic adjustment do you suggest any particular OE shock. Does that go with the front as well, will any year front suspension fit, is it correct to assume that I will need to replace my front wheel as well or are the hub diameter and axle the same size?
Does anyone have a spare rear shock??
For the front you'll have to change the clamps since the 700 has 41 mm and the 800 45mm then 43mm.
Have a spare rear at home if you want but shipping to US will cost a couple of bucks I think. If no one else has one I'm glad to help.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:45 PM   #5
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You would have been better off going with an 800 from the beginning. By the time you change the front, rear and side stand you will have spent more $$$ If you search hard enough you will find a guy that put longer tubes on an F650. Cheaper but you will end up with a bastard bike that nobody wants but you. Trade it! GH
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Old 01-07-2014, 06:45 PM   #6
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You would have been better off going with an 800 from the beginning. By the time you change the front, rear and side stand you will have spent more $$$ If you search hard enough you will find a guy that put longer tubes on an F650. Cheaper but you will end up with a bastard bike that nobody wants but you. Trade it! GH
I don't think that's fully true. Many F800 users here upgrade their forks and suspensions. Once you factor in that part, the cost to upgrade becomes roughly similar for both models. Now, I don't know if the F800 forks are bolt on, and there is probably some surgery involved to get a fork lower to accept the mudguard and the brake rotors.

Now, I have a F800 and I am mostly happy with it. I actually wanted an F658 at that time, and the dealer had a wait list of 4 months for one. The lure of a shiny toy is great, I decided to screw the wait and went for the F800GS. Overall, I am not regretting that decision.
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Old 01-09-2014, 05:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Squale View Post
I have done: bark busters, black dog skid plate
I'd like to see a pic of your 700 with the Black Dog Cycle skid plate if you have one.
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Old 01-15-2014, 07:48 PM   #8
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I'd like to see a pic of your 700 with the Black Dog Cycle skid plate if you have one.
[IMG][/IMG]

First picture I hope it's not blank, after much pondering I am really considering replacing my rear shock with a great offer from Loutre. Does anyone have any idea on what the increase in rear ride height will be with a OE 800 shock in my 700. I do understand that until the front is also replaced I will be high in the rear is this just crazy to consider Knowing it will be a while for a new front suspension. I am truly wishing I purchased the 800 originally
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Old 01-15-2014, 09:31 PM   #9
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I don't think you appreciate the potential cost of making a F800gs out of it. I would not put a longer shock on the rear without dealing with the front at the same time. According to BMW specs the F700 has 3.7" of trail. That is about an inch shorter then either the F658 or the F800. That's what give the bike stability and raising the rear alone will have a negative effect on handling.

As to the front, you can put on Dakar forks, but not with your double discs brakes. If you want the F800 forks, you need not only them but the triple clamps. Your handlebars won't fit the F800 clamps. If you use the F800 handlebars your clutch and brake levers may not fit. I don't know if your front wheel will fit Dakar forks and I pretty sure they won't fit the F800 without some spacer changes that also effects your brake to caliper distance. You will probably find all kinds of issues.

You can measure your own ground clearance. The F800gs has about 9.75-10" of it. About 2" more travel than your bike.

Before we had "special bikes" we used to do a lot of dirt roads. I had 92 Yamaha TDM that I rode over some of the Colorado passes like Engineer and Cinnamon. Rode it in the desert of southern Ca. I wish I had your ground clearance and travel.

Armor it up, improve the suspension you got and pick good lines.
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Old 01-15-2014, 11:53 PM   #10
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... If you use the F800 handlebars your clutch and brake levers may not fit...
Why wouldn't clutch and brake levers swap from F7 to F8?
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Old 01-16-2014, 04:42 AM   #11
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Handlebars are wider.
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Old 01-16-2014, 05:55 AM   #12
Squale OP
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I will measure my clearance this evening, i took a rough measurement last night. With the black dog skid plate which actually lowers the bike about 1.25" I guess I'm sitting at about 5.5" which is not much. I'll post reveal numbers this evening.
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:18 AM   #13
itsatdm
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Yes that is not very much. I had more on my TDM. I don't know of anyone who has done it, but it would not surprise me if you could not marry Dakar or Sertao upper fork tubes and damper rod suspension to your lower Forks and keep your double disk brakes.

Then all you have to do is lengthen all your cables, hoses and respring it. Just pointing out potential problems that get over looked in a bike build and result in more costs than you planned.
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itsatdm screwed with this post 01-16-2014 at 08:29 AM
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Old 01-16-2014, 08:35 AM   #14
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[IMG][/IMG]

Thanks. It looks really good and I like the easy on/off 2 bolt system of the BDCW.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:42 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by GH41 View Post
You would have been better off going with an 800 from the beginning. By the time you change the front, rear and side stand you will have spent more $$$ If you search hard enough you will find a guy that put longer tubes on an F650. Cheaper but you will end up with a bastard bike that nobody wants but you. Trade it! GH
Yep And you get wheels that are better off-road. $2100 difference! Good luck getting the same ground clearance for $2100 worth of time, money and labor. Admit you made a costly mistake and bite the bullet and trade for what you relay want.
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