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Old 12-04-2012, 10:50 AM   #1
IckyBob OP
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Canada
Oddometer: 777
New guy here!!

I've been lurking here for quite some time and its about time I came out. I put my first post up in the Beemer "parallel univers".

Heres the Coles notes of my dilemma.

Rode sport bikes for years. Got out of that due to a few bad crash's, speeding tickets etc etc. Broke into Adventure Touring in 09 on a new KLR650. Its been great, taught me a lot but frankly its boring. Need I say more? Nothing wrong with it, great bike, but for me, I need something more.

I've read and read and read and narrowed it down to the 990 Adventure and the F800GS. I see pro's and cons for each. The con's for the KTM seem rather small however, limited to fuel mileage and maintenance. I do enjoy turning wrenches in my garage so its not that much of a deal.

The 800GS is a fair bit cheaper. However....

I have been reading about guys complaining about soft forks and shocks etc. Even for 2013 there is some whining. I do not want to pull the trigger on an expensive bike, then hit the internoggin to spend cash I don't have on springs etc.

Upgrades to me are, protection, crash bars skid plates etc, wind screens, panniers etc. Not major components.

Are the suspension concerns valid for the 2013 GS? who knows. It is the internet after all.

Does the 990 live up to its reputation as build tough? take a beating and keep on going? My KLR went through some pretty harsh terrain and never failed me.

I know there is the 'search' option for all those about to flame me for opening this up. I have read it all.

Any former KLR guys who have gone to the 990? I would love to hear from you.

Regards, Paul.
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:40 AM   #2
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Joined: Apr 2012
Location: Missoula, MT
Oddometer: 100
I bought a 2011 KLR and 5 months later bought a 2012 990 Adv. For the same reasons you mentioned. I too was looking at the 800 GS. I went KTM because it rode better, had way better balance and way more power. I even went into the test rides already having made up my mind I was getting the BMW. My suggestion is to ride both(a fair distance) and make sure you do it back to back so everything is fresh in your mind. Go with whichever is more comfortable for you. The maintenance will be there no matter which way you go. I haven't found it to be as extreme as others have mentioned but ymmv.

Just make sure you ride orange:)

Cuse screwed with this post 12-04-2012 at 11:59 AM
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:05 PM   #3
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Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Woodstock/Towne Lake, GA
Oddometer: 112
Had a similar discussion

I had a similar thought...keep in mind you are in the OC

I sold my 990 earlier this year for several reasons and just got a 950; I can't live without one.
Jeff Johnson
2005 KTM 950 ADV
2008 KTM 450 EXC-R
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:53 PM   #4
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Kansas Flatlands
Oddometer: 188

A while back I had a 426YZF set up for trails. Then I added a KLR. The 426 sat unused while I played on the KLR. I decided I liked this dual sport stuff so I sold both and got a KTM 640 Adv. Rode that for awhile, sold it and got my '07 990 Adv. Each bike was more fun than the last.

I'm looking to trade my 990 Adventure for an SMT but that's just because I'm getting too old to ride enough dirt to need the Adventure. Other than a SMT I don't see anything I would want instead. This is the first time since the early 1960s that I can't find another bike that I just "gotta" have.

Don't know first hand whether or not to recommend the F800GS.

I DO know first hand that if you had fun on the KLR, it'll take a chisel to get the grin off of your face riding a 990.

Good riding & have fun either way.

Horsepower determines how fast you hit the wall. Torque determines the size of the hole you make.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:21 AM   #5
Joined: Jul 2010
Oddometer: 54
My Tale

Started out on a 1100 GS in 1999 and rode that across Idaho on jeep trails. Loved that bike for on road long distance touring. I realized I needed something that was more off road oriented and picked up a 2004 KLR 650. Really fun bike, good off road on single track stuff, but not so great for eating up highway miles. Next bike was a Suzuki 650 Vstrom, better on road as a commuter. Then without needing to I picked up a used 800 GS. I had originally done a test ride on this bike when it first came out and didn't like it at all. I've had the 800 GS for two years now and my impression is fair on the road, fair off the road. On the road I missed the power of my 1100 GS. Off road shocks are weak. Overall I think it is a great design (fuel tank location, mileage, maintenance, etc) but it doesn't quite do it for me. I've lusted after the KTM 990 for 3-4 years but being a hard core BMW guy have held back. Finally did a road test and now have 2012 990 in my garage. BMW is for sale. We'll see how this relationship works out.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:22 AM   #6
The Gobbler
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Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Conifer, CO
Oddometer: 195
I have an 07 990 Adventure and my girlfriend has an 2012 F800GS. When I walk into the garage I can ride either bike and I always choose my KTM. The BMW just seems soul-less to me, it has no personality. The KTM seems like a purposeful built tool. It's kind of hard to describe and I am not doing a good job of it, but I can tell you, if you go with the KTM, you will never regret it.
You don't even want to know what the Gobbler is...

Current bike:
2007 KTM 990 Adventure

Past bikes:
2 97 VFR's,
2001 ZX9R,
2004 ZX10 and 3 (yes 3) 2006 ZX10's
2005 Vee
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:20 PM   #7
Joined: Mar 2011
Oddometer: 2

the true test of happiness is to walk into a bike dealership and not see another bike that I would trade my 09 SE for. Its a good feling,
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:47 PM   #8
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Castle Rock, Co
Oddometer: 486
Another SE fan here.

Loved my KLR for what it was. Low cost, effective dual sport. Marshmallow soft though.

Considered the GS and 990 but bought the Ducati ( coming from a sport bike). Not as fast or capable as I hoped. Bought the SE as a true daully. Awesome.. Stock springs are great at 180lb. Better in every situation than the KLR except fuel mileage. Maintenance has been nothing at 8 k miles.

For true long distance touring, I am sure the 990 would be better but the simplicity of the 950 is great and the value is excellent...
'07 Super Enduro 950R
'96 KLX250R (plated)
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