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Old 08-06-2012, 07:32 AM   #16
Ceri JC
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I looked into doing the opposite last year. I knew how much more of a compromise the GSA would be in the dirt. What surprised me was how relatively little better it was on the road. If I did more two up, or only rode on the slab, I'd of changed. As it was, it wasn't worth the cost to me.
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:28 PM   #17
fosters2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceri JC View Post
I looked into doing the opposite last year. I knew how much more of a compromise the GSA would be in the dirt. What surprised me was how relatively little better it was on the road. If I did more two up, or only rode on the slab, I'd of changed. As it was, it wasn't worth the cost to me.
I came to the same conclusion. I never gave the F800GS a look when I bought the GSA a few years ago. After riding the R1200GS and F800GS back to back, I couldn't personally justify the additional cost. The R1200GS was better.... but marginally, IMO.

The only big negative for me I've found with the F800GS is the small fuel tank.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:38 PM   #18
vtbob
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I've been riding for a long time, did real off road with a 215lb Bultaco (yep that old), have done a lot of touring on RxxRTs and had a KLR for several year too.

I bought a F650GS a couple of years ago because I wanted and under 500lb touring and dirt road wandering bike. I've spent a lot on farkles to get it suspended and good wind/weather coverage.

When I finially decided to do an Alaska trip, I began to have second thoughts that a R1200GS might be the better bike. So my dealer let be take on for a a70 mile ride. i have to admit I like the power, but the gearing was too tight after run RxxRT and it bugged me, The pavement handling while good was no better than my F650GS, the ESA was fun to play with but most setting did not suit me..ie had no value, and when I had it dial in..did not seem better than my farlled F650. As I have a 28inch in seam ...I did not like the tip toeing. With the height and the weigh I could not really back the bike up...god forbid having to pick the bike up.

So I kept the F650GS and took it to Alaska, one of my riding buddie took a brand new GSA. (he in his 30s and 6'3 too).
10,000 miles on the trip. I have no regrets at all. and no wish to buy a R1200GS... had no need for tall/long travel suspension on this trip.

The Heidenaus tires were great for that trip...good for wet dirt roads...and wear forever, but now tha I'm home will be putting tourance EXPs on as I love twistie paved roads.

have fun
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:37 AM   #19
cascade63
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An excellent thread for me at the moment. I had a minor (well I thought it was minor) off on my '09 GSA and now the insurance company have written the bike off. Apparently not viable to repair, easier to just pay me out.

In light of that I was considering a newish F800GS, however after reading the excellent input here I'm 95% sure that going back to a 1200 will be the right bike for me.
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Old 08-08-2012, 04:24 AM   #20
bloochdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gronked View Post
I've been thinking about this for a while now. I currently own a '10 30th Anniversary 1200GS Adventure, but have been thinking an 800GS might be a more suitable bike because:
- very little to no 2 up riding
- day to day riding to work etc will be easier due to the smaller size, hence it'll be easier to zip through traffic
- the lighter weight will be more forgiving and less scary for my total lack of dirt riding skills
- I'm assuming there is enough power to sit on the highway all day when I need to (In Australia you can't realistically ride more than 120-130km/h or 75ish mph)

However I'm hesitant to pull the trigger because the 1200 is just so nice,comfortable, powerful and planted feeling on the road. Highway riding is a breeze, it handles twisty roads very well (I'm no sports bike knee scraper though).

I would like to expand my off road experience, and the 1200 just doesn't seem like the best choice... not that I'm planning to ride like a moto cross nutter.

So my questions/concerns are:
- assuming I change the seat and screen, will the 800 be notceably worse on long road/highway rides?
- how essential are suspension upgrades for the average rider and novice off road rider?
- will things like front fork diving under brakes be a huge problem?
- will the 21" front make me understeer off the road into a tree, or is it still fun and flickable in the twisties?
- mainly, am I going to notice the quality difference? Out here the 1200GSA costs $31,500. The 800GS goes for around $19,000 - $21,000. So will the bike feel like a $10k cheaper machine?

A bit about me. I'm 6' tall, 87kg/185ish lb. Seat height isn't an issue on either bike. Have been riding only about 4 years.
Have done a few multi day and 2-3 week rides.
Very little off road experience but plan on changing that. I'm old enough to know fear and hence wont be doing anything rediculous (speed or terrain) off road. I've done an introductory off road riding 1 day course, but hope to do more.
I currently own the 1200GSA and a KLR650 (and a Triumph street triple R) but I think the time has come to think about owning less bikes and maybe purchasing a *shudder* car. I could keep the BMW and KLR but rego and insurance etc out here is a killer.

Thanks for any advice and my appologies if this has been covered somewhere else.
Do not make the change to an F800gs from the Adventure. I cannot stress this enough. Both my GF and I switched to the 2010 r800gs for many of the same arguments you stated and regretted it. I was back on an R1200GS adventure within three months.We both have 650s and found it is too close to the 800 in comfort (or lack of) for long distance riding. Weight difference did not seem a factor as the 1200 felt more balanced than the 800. Power and stability on the highway makes the R1200gs the chioce for us. We both are daily riders BTW she just moved back to the R1200GS too. We both put over 25K on our F800GSs before we sold them and I owend both the 1200 and 800 simultaneously for several months before a workmate purchased the 800.
With all this said the 800 is still a good bike if you want only one adventure touring bike but not worth trading the adventure with a KLR sitting in the garage .

Just my two cents worth.
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:34 PM   #21
casperghst42
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I'm a converter, I went from an 07 GSA to an 10 F8. Never regretted it one second (except when the fuel pump died on me, and that was only until I got the bike back).

I've done ~8200km the last 5 weeks, in more or less all terrain, from shitty roads in Serbia, to awesome tarmac in Italy and Austria. And a few hardcore off road tracks in Bulgaria. I do not see me ever going back to a GSA (well except if they give it a 21" front wheel, and let it loose around 50kg). And then again the boxer was really never my favorite.

I'm not a fast rider, cursing at ~120km on the highway is not a problem.

I'm 6'3", and it was a bit crammed until I got some handlebar risers (TT 20mm, plus 28mm rox), and a higher seat, but otherwise I do not feel any discomfort. Right now, before I do my last stint on the way home on the autobahn, my average consumption is 3.8l/100km (over 8.200km), ie. I get over 400km out of a tank, and read light only comes on at around 380km.

With the GSA fully loaded I was never able to get it below 6 - 6.5 average on long trips, the highways would simply kill it. From my point, the F8 is a great bike, and even if it's not a GSA it still more fun to ride.

Different bike, different attitude.

Casper
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:35 PM   #22
Kiwi Tinkerer
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Different perspective

I have done the same via G650 xChallenge.
The r1200gs was too intimidating for me in the dirt.
wanted to do more serious off-road so got the x-challenge. Fantastic off road and tours ok.
Learned a lot riding the xch. And 1-up it was the best adventure bike. 140kg. great suspension.
It was fast enough. If I kept it it just needed a recanzo seat and an extra tank.

But... I missed the easy grunt of the 1200 and wanted to be able to easily take a pillion.
So now have F800gs.

Have not taken it off road as yet. Just gravel. But it is much less intimidating than teh R1200 was.
it's only 15kg lighter than the GS. Much lighter than the GSA.

Plenty fast enough on the twisties. Teh 650 felt gangly and small after the 1200.
The 800 feels just great.

You'll love it.

besides... It is great to try different things.
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:13 PM   #23
bloochdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi Tinkerer View Post
I have done the same via G650 xChallenge.
The r1200gs was too intimidating for me in the dirt.
wanted to do more serious off-road so got the x-challenge. Fantastic off road and tours ok.
Learned a lot riding the xch. And 1-up it was the best adventure bike. 140kg. great suspension.
It was fast enough. If I kept it it just needed a recanzo seat and an extra tank.

But... I missed the easy grunt of the 1200 and wanted to be able to easily take a pillion.
So now have F800gs.

Have not taken it off road as yet. Just gravel. But it is much less intimidating than teh R1200 was.
it's only 15kg lighter than the GS. Much lighter than the GSA.

Plenty fast enough on the twisties. Teh 650 felt gangly and small after the 1200.
The 800 feels just great.

You'll love it.

besides... It is great to try different things.
It is amazing what the 1200 and 800 will do but we did not realize how fun it could be once we got a couple XChallenges . The R1200GS/GSA - G650x combo works well for us. In a one bike world the F800GS is a great Choice.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:31 AM   #24
seaswood
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F-800

I really liked the 800 in the gravel, dirt roads what ever was not a bike I would take into trails with out spending lots of $ on the suspension.
But on the open roads it just did not have the get from A to B ergonomics. High center of gravity.
Many choices
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:15 AM   #25
Tor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieselpwr View Post
Simple solution. Sell the KLR and Triumph and buy a cheap used dual sport dirt bike such as a yamaha wr250 or 450. As someone else said, the R1200GS is too nice to damage off roading
The 1200 GSA is a touring bike with spoked wheels (for about 80% of the 1200 GSA riders.)

I put about 6500 miles over 3 weeks on the 800GS last year going out west from SC, doing a lot.....of highway to get there. Wife did the same on her 650GS. You can cruise all day on the 800GS at 70 - 75 miles pr. hour. But it wasn't as comfortable as it would have been if I took the ST1300. I didn't, because we were squirting through a lot of offroad and dirt once we got there. If we didn't plan to go off pavement then I would have packed up the ST1300, and she would have packed up her ST1300.

If you plan on doing long trips, and if you plan on staying on the pavement during the trip, keep your GSA. Sell the KLR and the Triumph and buy either a 650GS or an 800GS. Or sell the triumph and keep the KLR for off pavement)

I love the 800, but it's not a touring bike. I love the ST1300, that has the smoothest V4 that has ever been created. But I wouldn't take it off the pavement :-). So you can't have it both ways. I was thinking about getting a 1200 GSA before I got the 800. But I came to my senses and thought....I don't need another touring bike.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:43 AM   #26
vtbob
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check out this site. It will give you a good idea of the egonomics of different bikes

Looking at this site, which confirms my sit on the bike experience at the dealer, you will see that the ergos of the F650GS, F800GS, R1200GSA and the R1200rt, are pretty much the same when your feet are on the pegs. The biggest difference is the ability to flat foot..or tip toe the bike.

http://cycle-ergo.com

This seating position is pretty good for long distance riding.

I believe, but do not have hard supporting data, that the center of gravity and the roll center of the F650GS and R1200RT are substantially lower that those of the F800GS and R1200GS. This make lower bikes more agile and flickable than the taller bikes..a real advantage if you enjoy the twisties.

hope this helps
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:25 PM   #27
Dirt Diver
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I too went from a 07 GSA to a 09 F8, at the time it made sense. I was riding with guys on lighter bikes and doing consistantly tougher tracks. Thing is, the whole time I kept thinking that I could get the GSA up here (only limited by my own skills). Now that's died off and I really want my GSA back.

My advice that I should also take: Do a BMW off-road skills course and ride the GSA.
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Old 08-21-2012, 04:53 AM   #28
Gronked OP
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Thanks everyone for all the feedback. I will admit the GSA is hard to get rid of... we have formed a bit of a bond :)

At present the Triumph is up for sale at the local dealers, so we'll see how that goes.

As for the GSA, if it really is just a touring bike with spoked wheels, would a sports tourer be better and then perhaps an 800gs as a second bike? It'll work out about the same money wise as what I have now, i.e. seel the GSA, KLR and Triumph and get say a Honda VFR800/1200 and an 800gs??

Oh I don't know... there are just too many options these days! I should have been doing this 20-30 years ago when people just made their bike do what they wanted!
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Old 08-21-2012, 05:32 AM   #29
Dirt Diver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gronked View Post
As for the GSA, if it really is just a touring bike with spoked wheels, would a sports tourer be better and then perhaps an 800gs as a second bike? It'll work out about the same money wise as what I have now, i.e. seel the GSA, KLR and Triumph and get say a Honda VFR800/1200 and an 800gs??
I don't know your full situation but I can't find anything apart from track work that my GSA couldn't do.

May not be the best at any one thing but it does everything well.

As they say, my 0.2c's!
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:03 AM   #30
mustardfj40
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I haven't ridden a 1200GS yet and wonder if the boxer engine of the 1200GS is smoother than the F800GS at 75-90mph?
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