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Old 10-18-2012, 05:09 PM   #46
Emperor Norton
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PS: I wanted to attach a pic, but that option is gone, can somebody explain what I'm doing wrong?
Nothing - that option was removed. If you wish to display a photo you need an external third party hosting site (eg: SmugMug, Picasa (google/free), umm whatever else there is).
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Old 11-01-2012, 09:52 AM   #47
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650 Dakar

I rode a 650 Dakar for four years, more than 50k miles through Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Central America, amd South America. Everywhere I went, in the most hardcore places there were locals riding 50cc scooters through the same terrain, often with families on board that weighed more than my gear. I saw people doing prudhoe to Ushuaia on '74 XL 250s. I saw a guy on an old 250cc Honda cruiser bike ride though a 3' river crossing without batting an eye.

My bro rides an 800gs. Do I like riding the 800? Yeah, sure; it's a great bike. Do you need a big adventure bike to travel or ride? No. I sold my Dakar and bought a scrambler because I like it better. I think you should ride what you want. If you are concerned about it being a noob bike or a women's bike I'd say you're riding for the wrong reasons. I know short guys who ride 1200's and buy their wives 800's and say that the 800 is a girl's bike. Neither of them fit their bikes, and neither can pick the bike up if they drop it.

In the end motorcycling is about doing something you love, buy the bike you love. Or at least the one you can afford :-)
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Old 11-01-2012, 12:35 PM   #48
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I got a new F800GS about a month ago. I am coming back to riding after a long absence at 65yo. Honestly the bike is probably too big for me, but I do want the off road capability and decided to go for it. The seat is pretty tall on the 800GS and I'm still getting used to stopping and getting my feet on the ground so I'm stable. I am also getting some practice picking it up, not quite there yet but close. I think it is going to be a great bike for what I want to do, but it's not for everyone. Really the thing I didn't like about the 700 was the wheels, I never considered it a newbie or girl bike.
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:00 PM   #49
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I think you hit the nail on the head when you asked if it is like the Sportster with HD. There are a lot of guys who own the big GS, and their wife wants a matching bike. Down at the BMW dealer, they ask "What's the smallest bike I can get that looks like my husband's?" It isn't a small bike, but compared with it's bigger counterparts, it may seem so. If you ride with a bunch of guys riding 1200 GSA's, you will likely get the "girls bike" comment, but you can exact revenge by taking them on the technical trails. If all your buddies ride DRZ400 or DR650's, they'll think you're a Manly Man.

I hear a few more comments about the BMW's needing repairs than say the Triumph 800XC, but that is likely because there are more of them on the road. I personally like the looks of the 800XC over the BMW but I think either would be a fine choice for a mid-sized adventure bike. I'm gradually turning my Dorsoduro into one, but it will never be as capable off road as either of the bikes you're looking at.

You may want to look at the weight and horsepower of each bike, as part of your decision making process.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:34 PM   #50
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Small is beautiful

Only 2 years 2 late to comment on this post. Everybody has probably already traded up to a 1200GS. I so agree with Nishgriff's comment for sure: ride what you love (or can afford) but just ride. Small is beautiful. I'm coming to terms with not riding my F650GS solo on a trip to colder climes, and packing up a Yamaha XT 250. If I drop it, it's much easier to pick up and I think it can still outrun a grizzly.http://www.truegritgs.com/small-is-beautiful/

Quote:
Originally Posted by nishgriff View Post
I rode a 650 Dakar for four years, more than 50k miles through Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, Central America, amd South America. Everywhere I went, in the most hardcore places there were locals riding 50cc scooters through the same terrain, often with families on board that weighed more than my gear. I saw people doing prudhoe to Ushuaia on '74 XL 250s. I saw a guy on an old 250cc Honda cruiser bike ride though a 3' river crossing without batting an eye.

My bro rides an 800gs. Do I like riding the 800? Yeah, sure; it's a great bike. Do you need a big adventure bike to travel or ride? No. I sold my Dakar and bought a scrambler because I like it better. I think you should ride what you want. If you are concerned about it being a noob bike or a women's bike I'd say you're riding for the wrong reasons. I know short guys who ride 1200's and buy their wives 800's and say that the 800 is a girl's bike. Neither of them fit their bikes, and neither can pick the bike up if they drop it.

In the end motorcycling is about doing something you love, buy the bike you love. Or at least the one you can afford :-)
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Old 12-31-2014, 02:43 PM   #51
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I feel like I got pretty lucky finding a top notch 800cc BMW adventure bike with just 4,300 miles on it for $7,500.

I wasn't aware there was anything girlie about it.

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Old 12-31-2014, 04:52 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite4 View Post
Only 2 years 2 late to comment on this post. Everybody has probably already traded up to a 1200GS. I so agree with Nishgriff's comment for sure: ride what you love (or can afford) but just ride. Small is beautiful. I'm coming to terms with not riding my F650GS solo on a trip to colder climes, and packing up a Yamaha XT 250. If I drop it, it's much easier to pick up and I think it can still outrun a grizzly.
I had a old XT 225 (before Yamaha bumped it up to t 250) and loved the thing, still regret selling it. You could come up to a tree down across the trail and pick one end up of the bike at a time and just throw it over. Put over 15,000 trouble free miles on it, then went brain dead and sold it.
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Old 01-01-2015, 07:42 PM   #53
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Its all a matter of seat height. Beginners and women typically prefer a lower seat height. The 650/700 delivers. Just because there's a lot of women and beginners riding it for the low seat height doesn't mean that it's only good for women and beginners.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:01 AM   #54
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I don't think seat height is a beginners issue.

If you buy a bike where you can not put your feet firmly on the ground...sooner or later you will fall down...beginner or not.


Many of the 500 or 600lbs Adventure bikes are very tall. Many, evan some 6+ footers are on the balls or evan toes of their feet while stopped. For those people it is an adventure when you stop on a rocky trail or hill side or evan on a steep paved road! An adventure in keeping the tall heavy bike up!

If you riding style is truly off road, that means off dirt roads too, and travel over rocks, logs, big holes, a long travel suspension is very valuable. Long travel usually means a tall bike.

If you ride paved and dirt roads you do not need a long travel, or tall bike. For many style trumps function.
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:12 AM   #55
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[QUOTE=Excite-Bike;25822112]I feel like I got pretty lucky finding a top notch 800cc BMW adventure bike with just 4,300 miles on it for $7,500.

I wasn't aware there was anything girlie about it.

You got a great bike at a great price.

I have one like it...been to Alaska, New Foundland, Labrador, etc etc....done a lot of 500+ mile days. Love it!

Being girly is how you ride, not what your ride.
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Old 01-03-2015, 06:01 AM   #56
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Originally Posted by vtbob View Post
I don't think seat height is a beginners issue.

If you buy a bike where you can not put your feet firmly on the ground...sooner or later you will fall down...beginner or not.
An issue that beginners care about but more experienced riders don't. I fall nearly every time I go out. Ain't no thing. Having the ability to put both feet flat on the ground increases confidence of beginner riders tremendously. For a more advanced rider, well - take a look at Rahier at the start line. He could barely touch 1 foot so had to dismount every time he stopped. Most of his starts he'd stand next to the bike with his opposing foot on one peg so that he could swing himself on once the bike was moving. Take a look at 1:25 - 1:42.

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Old 01-03-2015, 07:43 AM   #57
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Yep If you are a dirt rider and are really into it, pushing your self and the bike on more and more challenging terrain you fall down often. If you are not falling down in these conditions you are not pushing yourself or the bike, not developing your riding expertise.

Your video goes to this

Riding in this manor on a 500 or 600lbs bike is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced. It is far better to learn your necessary skill on a 200 or 300lbs bike.

GS bikes are very popular (can I say fashionalble?) but most GS riders do not want fall down...if for no other reason not to damage their very expensive bikes. Also most GS riders, wisely do not really go off truly off road yet to my thinking insist on buying the tall long travel suspension when they really do not need it...or take advantage of it. They burden them selves with tip toeing around evan when parking the bike....risking falling down at stop lights in traffic...all for the unused long travel suspension look.

Suspension have improved greatly in the last few years...on all bikes. If you don't believe this take a ride on a 80's bike or evan a 90's bike. On modern bikes,if you have the right spring preload set, evan road bikes with about 5' of travel you will almost never bottom the suspension in pot holes on paved or dirt roads.

If you get a GS bike with 6 or 7" of suspension (BMW F650/700 twins for example). Bottoming on dirt roads is very rare...yet most people on these bikes can flat foot it or very nearly flat foot it all the time. ps This even helps if you are in the gnarly stuff because it is easier to "kick off" a rut or a rock if need be. Handling in the paved twisties is better because the center of gravity is lower too.

Getting a GS bike with 8" of travel will make it more difficult to flat foot, navigate difficult or slippery(sand on pavement) situation and offer essentially no additional benefit or paved or dirt road conditions.

Getting a GSA with taller and more fuel up high on the tank will make matters evan worse. Could I dare to compare this to a girl wobbling around on 7 inch heels?? but that does look good!!

Having a tall long travel suspension GS bike with no scratches/dings and wobbling around the parking lot looks pretty "girly" to me! and not so good either.

vtbob screwed with this post 01-03-2015 at 07:56 AM Reason: spelling
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Old 01-03-2015, 10:04 AM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtbob View Post
If you get a GS bike with 6 or 7" of suspension (BMW F650/700 twins for example). Bottoming on dirt roads is very rare...yet most people on these bikes can flat foot it or very nearly flat foot it all the time. ps This even helps if you are in the gnarly stuff because it is easier to "kick off" a rut or a rock if need be. Handling in the paved twisties is better because the center of gravity is lower too.

Getting a GS bike with 8" of travel will make it more difficult to flat foot, navigate difficult or slippery(sand on pavement) situation and offer essentially no additional benefit or paved or dirt road conditions.
I would say you are on target with this. In all the discussions of the benefits of suspension travel, forks, ground clearance, 21 inch front wheels, it seems like bike fit is less important. (I.e., you'll get used to however the bike fits, or you mod it to lower stand over height which likely doesn't change awkward handling characteristics). Owning a dialed-in bike that fits perfectly (body size, experience, actual objectives) has benefits that receive less attention (such as faster reaction times to unexpected events, when one is really attuned to the bike).
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Old 01-03-2015, 09:05 PM   #59
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There's no doubt that being able to flat foot is nice, I'm just saying I don't really worry about it if I can't. For my wife, who is much less comfortable on a bike, its her #2 concern, with only weight being more important.

Really I don't worry about suspension travel all that much either. I setup my springs and valving and really the only time I ever bottom is when I land hard after a jump. More than anything, to me the benefit of 21" tires and tall suspension is the ground clearance. Even though I'm tip-toe on my KTM I give my skid plate a hell of a workout. I've high centered on several occasions as well. But that's ugly rock gardens where I wouldn't intentionally take the 800. FWIW I'm almost flat footed on my 800.

The point of my post was to address the OP's question as to why the 650/700 are often considered girl or beginner bikes, when they are actually quite capable machines. My view is that the low seat height of those models attracts those types of riders more than styling, performance, etc.
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