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Old 02-18-2013, 07:28 PM   #1
ccooper OP
Joined: Feb 2013
Location: GA
Oddometer: 53
new 2013 F800GS ordered, but now having my doubts!

Hello, this is my 1st post on advrider...I really enjoy the site and appreciate all the info. I know bike quality, reliability and preference are hot topics here, but I am a little worried about the stuff I've been reading regarding my soon to be purchase. Here is my situation:

I've been riding motorcyles all my life. Numerous dirt bikes involving anything from trail riding to motocross and a few sport bikes mixed in somewhere along the way. I couple years back, I got the dual-sport bug and bought a new 2011 KTM 530EXC. I love the dual sport and adventure riding, but was never impressed with the quality and reliability of the KTM. So, I sold it and have been looking for something new. I looked at the KLR 650 (I know it's a great bike, and I may end up with one, but it just didn't excite me much), the XR650L, the DRZ400, and the DR650. I really desire the Jap bike's reliability, but cannot make myself like their looks enough to purchase one. I've always heard how long lived the BMW adventure bikes were, so I started looking at them and was really impressed by their looks. The R1200 GS just seemed a little to road oriented and big for me, but the F800GS looked great. I know it is not as capable in the dirt as my KTM, but I would like a little more road and distance comfort. I talked to a few dealers (who of course sung their praises) and did a little limited research online. A few problems that seemed focused on the early production years (08, 09 and 2010) popped up, but it seemed they were maybe worked out by now. I had a dealer offer me a great deal on one if I ordered from him, but I had to decide quickly due to his allocation limit, his upcoming order and me wanting a base bike with only the center stand (he had to order from BMW this way). I placed the order for a 2013 Kalamata F800GS with the Metzeler Karoo knobbies. I am really excited about the bike, but since ordering, I've done a lot more online research and am worried about my choice. I've now read about bad bearings, bad stators, cracked gas tanks, leaking valve covers, leaking water pumps, bad fuel pumps and bad suspensions. I know anything mechanical can fail, and I know the internet sometimes is not the best source of info, but this is crazy. I really value my money and time and don't want to waste either at a BMW dealership getting repairs (even if warrantied) when I could be out enjoying myself. I do enjoy doing general maintenance myself on all my bikes, but again don't want to spend my time doing more extensive maintenance and/or repairs especially on a 13K bike. I drive a Toyota Tacoma and my wife drives a Honda Accord...I want a bike that falls right in with low maintenance and reliable, but with good looks. Would the R1200GS a better choice? I'm 6'6" 210lbs, so I think I can handle it offroad. Sorry to be so long winded. This is a big purchase for me and I want to be as sure as possible that I'm making the right choice. The order has not been processed by the BMW factory yet, so I maybe have some options to change or cancel if I act quickly. Thanks
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:37 PM   #2
Kiwi Tinkerer
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You must have been a riot of laughs on your wedding day.

For my 10c worth you have made a good choice. I have owned R1200Gs, F650 and G650 x-challenge, and now f800gs.
You can't go wrong. The r1200 was certainly better on the road. More grunt. But the F80 is great.
You can always change later.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:46 PM   #3
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Don't worry about it - you've bought a great bike.

The internet over-hypes things and a lot of people with trouble on their bikes thrash the shit out of them. Don't underestimate the damage of dick head servicing, or lack of, either. I think most of the issues on the net have been fixed.

docsherlock screwed with this post 02-21-2013 at 04:57 AM
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:46 PM   #4
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Nothing we say will make you comfortable, as there are bias in either direction. Best thing for you to do is to cancel your order..... research until you are comfortable, and then either buy one....or not. I would not let go of my "troubled" '09 8gs, under any circumstances. Only you can make that call. Hope you stay though.

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Old 02-18-2013, 08:20 PM   #5
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Most people come to forums for help with issues...

It makes for a boring post to say: "Hey, rode my F800GS today. No problems".

If it makes you happier. I did 85k trouble free km on my fist 800gs...then traded it on another one.

Its great out of the box...or if you are like me.....farkles are good! I cant stop tinkering with mine.
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:33 PM   #6
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Location: Sacramento, CA
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I 2nd Hamish's post, it's easy to get weirded out by the posts of people having problems. I went through the same agonizing decision when I bought mine and will likely go through the same agonizing process should I have the poor sense to ever get married. I've only had mine for 5 months and have put 7K miles on it by taking meticulous care to crash it as often as possible. Great bike, I'm as comfortable with it offroad as my old XRL and the comfort factor is a huge perk. I don't regret buying mine for a second. I only regret not buying two.
AdventureRiderBaja now in post production. Website AdventureRiderUSA Ride Reports: Bajalamadingdong Colorado IRELAND

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Old 02-18-2013, 08:50 PM   #7
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Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
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2013 F800GS Kalamata New Owner

Cooper: Only you can answer your question, but I will share with you my opinion and limited experience as I just bought a Kalamata 2013 F800GS.

The short reply: I LOVE IT!

The long reply:
I am 49 years old, 6 feet, 185 lbs, rode a street bike in my 20's and started riding enduro bikes in the desert and mountains of New Mexico about 6 years ago. Most of my riding experience was off road on a WR450 that was also plated for the street. I learned a LOT on that bike riding with some very experienced riders. Eventually I was able to ride with them and although they have more ability than I do, I can keep my own with them.

We mostly rode day trips and I wanted to go on longer trips and camp. My WR was great as an enduro bike, but for me, there was too much vibration on as little as 5 miles of asphalt. I purchased an XR650R thinking it would be a solution and set it up for short overnights, but sold it as it was not right for me and my intended purpose. I loved the torque, but decided against turning it into a long range dirt / ADV traveler.

Months later, I ended up at a BMW dealer and test rode the 1200 adventurer. It seemed way too heavy for what I wanted which was basically an enduro type bike that I could do multi day or multi week dirt rides on. I then took an F800GS for a ride and thought - I can probably maneuver this in 80% of where I rode my WR450 and I can ride asphalt to connect dirt to dirt.

I have owned my F800GS for 6 winter weeks (with TKC 80's) and have put about 550 miles on it, 80% off road. As the snow has melted with a warm winter, I was able to ride an area I am quite familiar with on my WR450. Last weekend I went with a 25 year old friend of mine who races MX and also has an XR650L as his dual sport bike. We rode our usual traing grounds of gravel roads, unmaintained roads, ranch roads, single track and neglected forest service roads, I was very impressed with the F800GS and I had a lot of fun and did not slow my buddy down. It managed any terrain I threw at it...and it sure was smooth on the way home (I used to have to truck in my WR450). I don't jump what I used to, but that is OK with me. I also tried my friends XR650L and actually felt more capable on the F800...and I am just getting used to it.

I also have finally began to realize what the whole "Dual Sport" dilemma is about. There are things I loved about my WR450 and my XR650R and they are specific to those bikes and the F800GS is not like either of those bikes. I am now going 100% into the F800GS, so far I think it will fit what I want to do (ride solo, 200+ miles a day, 80% dirt, colorado, utah, new mexico, carry camp gear). Like any bike, it has certain limitations and I am learning what those are. I am also prepared to upgrade the suspension for what I ride. I would take any posts you read regarding problems with a grain of salt. No matter what bike you read about, you will find issues with it or modifications you will want to make for your riding purposes. If you are worried that there are a LOT of problems with the F800GS, I think that is not true and that a few posts about issues can make anyone afraid of any bike they are about to take delivery of.

If you really are concerned about the bike, cancel your order, you can always buy another time. If you are going to buy it, ride it, get to know it and have fun. If you do not like it, you will be able to sell dealer just got a used 2010 F800GS and it sold in days. Kalamata will sell in minutes.

If you are worried about reliability, then locate the posts of the F800GS's that have gone Alaska-Tierra Del Fuego and back....I don't recall any complaints from that rider.

Life is a journey, trust your self - whether that means buying the bike or canceling the order.

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Old 02-18-2013, 09:00 PM   #8
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I have 38k miles on mine and none of the stuff your worried about has happened. Lucky your not doing guard duty with a loaded rifle. No telling who you would shoot. Dave
Pavement! We don't need no stinkin pavement.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:22 PM   #9
Joined: Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by ccooper View Post
couple years back, I got the dual-sport bug and bought a new 2011 KTM 530EXC. I love the dual sport and adventure riding, but was never impressed with the quality and reliability of the KTM.

If you weren't happy with the quality of the KTM you probably are going to find
a way to be unhappy about pretty much any bike you buy. KTMs do require some
setup so they run right, when they are brand new, but the quality of a KTM is
as good as it gets in the dirt bike world today, bar none.

If you like Japanese cars & trucks, and obviously you do, it is worth noting that you
are more likely to get the same sort of hassle-free performance that you get from
those 4-wheeled vehicles from some Japanese bike. Bikes made in Europe tend
to require more involvement from their owners and the Euro bikes often have
quirks you wouldn't typically find in a Japanese bike. Some owners understand
this and accept it in return for better performance. It doesn't sound like you have
that mindset, especially not if you were able to find fault with the KTM.

I suggest you back out now while you can do so without taking a big financial hit.

And take a long look at the Suzuki 650 V Strom. Looks are not important unless
the bike is parked, and if reliability is as important to you as you say it is, you
need to get past the looks thing in order to get the best reliability. Or, get yourself
a KTM 950 Super Enduro and you will forgive it when it breaks because you will
never have had so much fun on two wheels in your entire life.


It'sNotTheBike screwed with this post 02-18-2013 at 10:18 PM
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:54 PM   #10
Joined: Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by ccooper View Post
Would the R1200GS a better choice? I'm 6'6" 210lbs, so I think I can handle it offroad.

The 1200 might be a better choice for a long trip on paved or gravel
roads, especially if you ride with a passenger and / or lots of luggage.

The 1200GS is a big heavy bike. They can be ridden off road by expert level riders
but a rider of average skill who attempts to ride one in serious off road conditions
is tempting fate, and more than one rider has been hurt trying to ride a large
heavy "adventure bike" off road. Regardless of the brand of bike, when the bike
is big and heavy there is a lot more momentum involved and that momentum can
easily overpower even a very strong rider.


It'sNotTheBike screwed with this post 02-18-2013 at 10:04 PM
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:18 AM   #11
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Lemme put it to you this way. I bought an 09 F800GS last July. I still own my V-Strom 1000. Are both capable bikes on Dual Sport routes? Most certainly. However, I certainly do not regret purchasing my F800 one little bit. The upright riding position is excellent, the ergos of the bike are incredible and it still has enough power to keep a shit eating grin on my face all day long.

Now, there are some drawbacks. I mean, will it beat through the woods like a KTM 500 whatever? Nope! But its not meant for that either. I've ridden mine on some gnarly single track stuff with some guys of KLX250s - they couldn't believe that I was still with them when they stopped.

Every bike has problems, but through the Internet, you only hear about the problems. One of the earlier posters was one comes to a forum and says "Wow. Rode my F800 today and nothing happened."

And if you really want to see some of the F800's capabilities, check out a couple of Motoriley's vid is the video thread above. That should indicate what an F800 is capable of.
Originally Posted by Mr_Gone View Post
C-Stain is wise.
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:09 AM   #12
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Location: NJ
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Search for any bike or car online, and you will find posts about problems. Typically people don't start a new post just to say how happy they are. Besides, you have 3 years of warranty ahead of you. If you are not happy with it, sell it or trade it in. BMW'S typically have good resale value.
2011 BMW R1200R Classic
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:39 AM   #13
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Stange, Norway
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I don`t know what you guys are doing with your bikes "over there". But my local BMW dealer haven`t even heard about half of the problems coming up on this forum.

I don`t think you should worry about getting a F800.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:07 AM   #14
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: Pacific NW
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I was in a similar predicament about 3 months ago. I have a 2005 BMW F650GS and it was time to upgrade. I was ready to buy the 800 and then the new 1200 was announced. I put my 800 purchase on hold and put money down on the new 1200. I will make my final decision after a good day in the saddle.

Regarding 800 reliability, I ride with several guys with them and no issues. You might consider new springs if you really ride hard in the dirt, but if you ride REALLY hard, the 800 might be your choice over the 1200. But it sounds like the new 1200 is extremely capable. You might also check out its own thread where most of videos and reviews have been posted. Good luck - fun problem to have.

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Old 02-19-2013, 07:36 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dieselpwr View Post
Search for any bike or car online, and you will find posts about problems. Typically people don't start a new post just to say how happy they are. Besides, you have 3 years of warranty ahead of you. If you are not happy with it, sell it or trade it in. BMW'S typically have good resale value.

Yeah, what he said. He loves his bike and soon it will be red if he hasn't changed his mind!

Research anything and you won't buy it.
Watch the local news and you won't go out at night.
Read the Government travel advisories and you'll never see the world.
Read the bike/car crash survival rates and you won't leave the garage.
Read the Health advisories and you won't eat or drink anything. Even the air is toxic.

Don't read the problems here but rather the cheap and ingenious fixes should your bike turn into a hypochondriac. It would seem techron is the placebo that cures most ailments.
Leaving it all behind 2014
Pura Vida my Ass.
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