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Old 10-30-2013, 11:03 AM   #16
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Would you start with the "adventure model" or go with the regular f800gs?




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Old 10-30-2013, 12:11 PM   #17
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Would you start with the "adventure model" or go with the regular f800gs?
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:24 PM   #18
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This thread again...whew, ok...back in the early 70s Malcolm Smith and others took heavy and underpowered bikes, with 6 inches of crappy suspension up front and 4 inches of crappy Girling suspension on the rear, went incredibly fast with two gallons of gas strapped to their back at breakneck speeds that few on this forum could do with any adventure bike with any amount of suspension. Magical suspension isn't always necessary to either go fast or enjoy what you're doing.

So we always get this F800 vs KTM 990 argument...almost like what gun would be better to blow your head off with, a 9mm Glock, a 9mm SIG, or a 9mm Baretta. Well folks, maybe we could get three guys to simultaneously blow their head off, get out a tape measure and see whose gray matter splattered the furthest. Maybe that would determine the best gun, but since all three guys are dead, I'd say that either of the the three guns gets the job done, much like the F800 or the 990 will get the job done.

And so it is with these adventure bikes...they are all heavy, they all have less than stellar suspension and they all have short comings but they'll get the job done, that is unless you intend to take your 500lb adventure bike and do triples in Utah somewhere, or you decided to ride it down a cliff like they do with bicycles in Red Bull events. They might fall a little short there.

If you really want some great suspension and want to ride offroad, then buy a KTM 350EXC-F or 500 EXC. Way more capable than the 990 or the f800, but you don't get all the amenities that either of the adventure bikes offer.

For most of the mere mortals that ride adventure bikes, the F800, the 990 or the Tiger Explorer are going to get you where ever you want to go and get within 5% to 10% of being perfect for what most people are going to do.

For those who want to go the extra mile, hell, spend another 5-6 thousand dollars and get as close to 100% as you want...but in the end, most will never be able to really use the upgraded "whatever" because you'll never get going that fast. What you will have is bragging rights because my bike has something your bike doesn't and thus I must be a better rider, yada, yada, yada.

Buy the bike that floats your boat, get out and actually ride the bike and you really think you need to upgrade...do so.

Some people I know can't seem to enjoy themselves unless they've have something no one else has on their bike and some people have the need to tear down one guys choice to make them feel more secure about theirs.

Like in school when you were taking a test...keep your eyes on your own paper and quite looking at the kids work next to you. :)
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:39 PM   #19
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Just an FYI, even KTM's have suspension issues when pushed too far. As stated, both are REALLY heavy bikes, and the both have their limits, and characteristics.

Nobody can tell you what you'll end up liking, you just have to make YOU happy.

KTM 990 ridden by a big guy, just a wee bit too aggressively for too long.

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Old 10-30-2013, 04:07 PM   #20
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the other weekend I went out and rode trails with a local GNCC enduro racer. We swapped bikes at one point, I got on his FE570 (whoa.), he got on the 800. His riding was just as mindblowing as it was on his own bike, and I still couldn't come close to keeping up with him. I proceeded to follow him through a bunch of crazy shit, mostly just incredibly steep climbs, and single track speeds that I never thought that the 800 was capable of.

It's not like little technical superiorities or deficiencies don't add up, and I'm kind of dodging the debate a little, but never have I been more astounded about how rider ability can eclipse technical specifications. Granted I've only been riding offroad for a little more than a year now so I'm a relative amateur, but this summer I was on the trails nearly every weekend, so I do feel like I push this bike to a respectable degree. Food for thought.
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Old 10-30-2013, 04:48 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Joseph42s View Post
What does it take to make f800gs as good offroad as a 990. I believe it is lighter, could it be made into a better offroad bike? Ohlins?

If you were to build an off road F800gs would you go with the Adventure version or start with the base one?
You are over-thinking this problem.
Simply install the KLX250 kit for off road operations.
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:28 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPHusky250 View Post
This thread again...whew, ok...back in the early 70s Malcolm Smith and others took heavy and underpowered bikes, with 6 inches of crappy suspension up front and 4 inches of crappy Girling suspension on the rear, went incredibly fast with two gallons of gas strapped to their back at breakneck speeds that few on this forum could do with any adventure bike with any amount of suspension. Magical suspension isn't always necessary to either go fast or enjoy what you're doing.

So we always get this F800 vs KTM 990 argument...almost like what gun would be better to blow your head off with, a 9mm Glock, a 9mm SIG, or a 9mm Baretta. Well folks, maybe we could get three guys to simultaneously blow their head off, get out a tape measure and see whose gray matter splattered the furthest. Maybe that would determine the best gun, but since all three guys are dead, I'd say that either of the the three guns gets the job done, much like the F800 or the 990 will get the job done.

And so it is with these adventure bikes...they are all heavy, they all have less than stellar suspension and they all have short comings but they'll get the job done, that is unless you intend to take your 500lb adventure bike and do triples in Utah somewhere, or you decided to ride it down a cliff like they do with bicycles in Red Bull events. They might fall a little short there.

If you really want some great suspension and want to ride offroad, then buy a KTM 350EXC-F or 500 EXC. Way more capable than the 990 or the f800, but you don't get all the amenities that either of the adventure bikes offer.

For most of the mere mortals that ride adventure bikes, the F800, the 990 or the Tiger Explorer are going to get you where ever you want to go and get within 5% to 10% of being perfect for what most people are going to do.

For those who want to go the extra mile, hell, spend another 5-6 thousand dollars and get as close to 100% as you want...but in the end, most will never be able to really use the upgraded "whatever" because you'll never get going that fast. What you will have is bragging rights because my bike has something your bike doesn't and thus I must be a better rider, yada, yada, yada.

Buy the bike that floats your boat, get out and actually ride the bike and you really think you need to upgrade...do so.

Some people I know can't seem to enjoy themselves unless they've have something no one else has on their bike and some people have the need to tear down one guys choice to make them feel more secure about theirs.

Like in school when you were taking a test...keep your eyes on your own paper and quite looking at the kids work next to you. :)
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:54 PM   #23
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As mentioned the suspension needs work, especially if you are a larger lad. Otherwise gas it and go. All the rest is wish list.
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:58 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by GPHusky250 View Post
For those who want to go the extra mile, hell, spend another 5-6 thousand dollars and get as close to 100% as you want...but in the end, most will never be able to really use the upgraded "whatever" because you'll never get going that fast. What you will have is bragging rights because my bike has something your bike doesn't and thus I must be a better rider, yada, yada, yada.

Buy the bike that floats your boat, get out and actually ride the bike and you really think you need to upgrade...do so.

Some people I know can't seem to enjoy themselves unless they've have something no one else has on their bike and some people have the need to tear down one guys choice to make them feel more secure about theirs.
Gee, it's like you know me, but I don't recall ever meeting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mohawk Unit View Post
the other weekend I went out and rode trails with a local GNCC enduro racer. We swapped bikes at one point, I got on his FE570 (whoa.), he got on the 800. His riding was just as mindblowing as it was on his own bike, and I still couldn't come close to keeping up with him. I proceeded to follow him through a bunch of crazy shit, mostly just incredibly steep climbs, and single track speeds that I never thought that the 800 was capable of.

It's not like little technical superiorities or deficiencies don't add up, and I'm kind of dodging the debate a little, but never have I been more astounded about how rider ability can eclipse technical specifications. Granted I've only been riding offroad for a little more than a year now so I'm a relative amateur, but this summer I was on the trails nearly every weekend, so I do feel like I push this bike to a respectable degree. Food for thought.
Yes skill is a huge part of the equation. A skilled rider can do things on a big bike or a really crappy one that the would leave the less talented staring with jaws agape. Still, improving the machine makes the bike easier to ride provided the rider has at least some level of skill. The less the bike is fighting what you are trying to do, the less work you may have to do to keep it in control.

I will freely admit to not being the bravest most talented rider this side of wherever you should like to designate, but I have worked on my skills and feel I'm likely at least in the top half of the bell curve (even if just slightly). I've ridden my F800GS enough to realize that the upgraded suspension has helped me do what I want to with greater ease and control. It's not always about speed.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:50 PM   #25
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I just rode Baja, I did not always follow the main highway because I wanted the Baja dirt experience. I found that the F800 will go anywhere but sometimes I got scared if I was going too fast in sand. I was using TKC-80's and the traction was incredible. I loved the F800's ability to chug up really steep hills at low speeds. Due to recent storms many road sections had been washed out and in the more remote areas had not been repaired. Doing water crossings were also an adventure but the F800 with TKC-80's had no problem finding the power and traction to go over soccer ball sized rocks which were under water. I don't think I would have won any race but I wasn't going to be stopped either.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:57 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Mohawk Unit View Post
the other weekend I went out and rode trails with a local GNCC enduro racer. We swapped bikes at one point, I got on his FE570 (whoa.), he got on the 800. His riding was just as mindblowing as it was on his own bike, and I still couldn't come close to keeping up with him. I proceeded to follow him through a bunch of crazy shit, mostly just incredibly steep climbs, and single track speeds that I never thought that the 800 was capable of.

It's not like little technical superiorities or deficiencies don't add up, and I'm kind of dodging the debate a little, but never have I been more astounded about how rider ability can eclipse technical specifications. Granted I've only been riding offroad for a little more than a year now so I'm a relative amateur, but this summer I was on the trails nearly every weekend, so I do feel like I push this bike to a respectable degree. Food for thought.
Amen......
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:04 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPHusky250 View Post
This thread again...whew, ok...back in the early 70s Malcolm Smith and others took heavy and underpowered bikes, with 6 inches of crappy suspension up front and 4 inches of crappy Girling suspension on the rear, went incredibly fast with two gallons of gas strapped to their back at breakneck speeds that few on this forum could do with any adventure bike with any amount of suspension. Magical suspension isn't always necessary to either go fast or enjoy what you're doing.

So we always get this F800 vs KTM 990 argument...almost like what gun would be better to blow your head off with, a 9mm Glock, a 9mm SIG, or a 9mm Baretta. Well folks, maybe we could get three guys to simultaneously blow their head off, get out a tape measure and see whose gray matter splattered the furthest. Maybe that would determine the best gun, but since all three guys are dead, I'd say that either of the the three guns gets the job done, much like the F800 or the 990 will get the job done.

And so it is with these adventure bikes...they are all heavy, they all have less than stellar suspension and they all have short comings but they'll get the job done, that is unless you intend to take your 500lb adventure bike and do triples in Utah somewhere, or you decided to ride it down a cliff like they do with bicycles in Red Bull events. They might fall a little short there.

If you really want some great suspension and want to ride offroad, then buy a KTM 350EXC-F or 500 EXC. Way more capable than the 990 or the f800, but you don't get all the amenities that either of the adventure bikes offer.

For most of the mere mortals that ride adventure bikes, the F800, the 990 or the Tiger Explorer are going to get you where ever you want to go and get within 5% to 10% of being perfect for what most people are going to do.

For those who want to go the extra mile, hell, spend another 5-6 thousand dollars and get as close to 100% as you want...but in the end, most will never be able to really use the upgraded "whatever" because you'll never get going that fast. What you will have is bragging rights because my bike has something your bike doesn't and thus I must be a better rider, yada, yada, yada.

Buy the bike that floats your boat, get out and actually ride the bike and you really think you need to upgrade...do so.

Some people I know can't seem to enjoy themselves unless they've have something no one else has on their bike and some people have the need to tear down one guys choice to make them feel more secure about theirs.

Like in school when you were taking a test...keep your eyes on your own paper and quite looking at the kids work next to you. :)
AMEN! :

I couldn't agree more.

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Old 10-30-2013, 08:33 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by MCMXCIVRS View Post
Gee, it's like you know me, but I don't recall ever meeting.



Yes skill is a huge part of the equation. A skilled rider can do things on a big bike or a really crappy one that the would leave the less talented staring with jaws agape. Still, improving the machine makes the bike easier to ride provided the rider has at least some level of skill. The less the bike is fighting what you are trying to do, the less work you may have to do to keep it in control.

I will freely admit to not being the bravest most talented rider this side of wherever you should like to designate, but I have worked on my skills and feel I'm likely at least in the top half of the bell curve (even if just slightly). I've ridden my F800GS enough to realize that the upgraded suspension has helped me do what I want to with greater ease and control. It's not always about speed.
Like you, I'm not the best rider, but I have a wall full of trophies that say at one time, I was able to get to the finish line before a bunch of others guys. As the years passed by, my old sport of Motocross has evolved and these days all us 1970s teenagers ride "Vintage Motocross" events to get our adrenaline rush.

I've been involved locally for many, many years at one point for about 5 years running or helping to run our local club. I got to know everyone, what classes they rode, what their skills were, and could pretty much predict their placement just by knowing who was racing with them. Spooky sometimes.

Anyway, occasionally a guy would drop out of vintage racing and go and get a modern bike. You'd never see the guy again until later when he'd come back with a limp here, or a jutting collar bone there and inevitably I'd ask..."where you been?" "Oh, I got me a CRF450 and man, I was crazy fast until I cased it on a double" or they'd say "I just couldn't believe how good the suspension was until it spit me off". :)

Unlike vintage bikes, modern bikes and modern suspensions give a guy a false sense of security and control, and in many cases in the vintage mx world, those guys that got the modern stuff were riding WAAAAAAAAYYYYYY over their head, compliments of Supercross suspensions. Problem was, they didn't have Supercross skills and when you're riding fast compliments of great suspension and then "get off" somewhere, the g-forces are logarithmic and you're going to get hurt and hurt bad. Seen it at least a dozen times or more.

With vintage suspension, even if they are modern variants of old designs, the shocks, forks and frame geometry actually don't allow you to get to the g-forces encountered when the same person is on a modern bike. The crappy forks and crappy shocks keep all but really talented riders "governed" a bit. It keeps them safe and they get to go home to mommy without any broken bones.

With 45 years of riding experience (not bragging, just a fact) I've come to realize that when you start bottoming out and using every ounce of suspension you have, the natural thing is to want to improve it. Once improved, you alleviate the past problem and you get to go faster...until you run up against the same problem...which you then upgrade, go faster and at some point, the technology doesn't match a rider's skills and he does a huge flying W somewhere, ruins his day, ruins his buddies day that have to cart him back and impacts everyone the guy comes in contact with.

So for me, if I want to go fast, I pull out a 70s 250, 360, 390, 420 or 500 Husky and go as fast as my stupidity will allow. Most tracks have EMT and an Life Flight is only a phone call away.

But the adventure stuff for me is an opportunity to NOT have to go fast, not have to compete...just do some trail, fire road, dirt road, forest road riding and come home safe. So I'm guessing the crappy suspension everyone seems to talk about the F800GS having is going to limit me from busting myself up 200 miles away from cell phone coverage.

That's probably a good thing :)
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Old 10-30-2013, 10:19 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPHusky250 View Post
Like you, I'm not the best rider, but I have a wall full of trophies that say at one time, I was able to get to the finish line before a bunch of others guys. As the years passed by, my old sport of Motocross has evolved and these days all us 1970s teenagers ride "Vintage Motocross" events to get our adrenaline rush.

I've been involved locally for many, many years at one point for about 5 years running or helping to run our local club. I got to know everyone, what classes they rode, what their skills were, and could pretty much predict their placement just by knowing who was racing with them. Spooky sometimes.

Anyway, occasionally a guy would drop out of vintage racing and go and get a modern bike. You'd never see the guy again until later when he'd come back with a limp here, or a jutting collar bone there and inevitably I'd ask..."where you been?" "Oh, I got me a CRF450 and man, I was crazy fast until I cased it on a double" or they'd say "I just couldn't believe how good the suspension was until it spit me off". :)

Unlike vintage bikes, modern bikes and modern suspensions give a guy a false sense of security and control, and in many cases in the vintage mx world, those guys that got the modern stuff were riding WAAAAAAAAYYYYYY over their head, compliments of Supercross suspensions. Problem was, they didn't have Supercross skills and when you're riding fast compliments of great suspension and then "get off" somewhere, the g-forces are logarithmic and you're going to get hurt and hurt bad. Seen it at least a dozen times or more.

With vintage suspension, even if they are modern variants of old designs, the shocks, forks and frame geometry actually don't allow you to get to the g-forces encountered when the same person is on a modern bike. The crappy forks and crappy shocks keep all but really talented riders "governed" a bit. It keeps them safe and they get to go home to mommy without any broken bones.

With 45 years of riding experience (not bragging, just a fact) I've come to realize that when you start bottoming out and using every ounce of suspension you have, the natural thing is to want to improve it. Once improved, you alleviate the past problem and you get to go faster...until you run up against the same problem...which you then upgrade, go faster and at some point, the technology doesn't match a rider's skills and he does a huge flying W somewhere, ruins his day, ruins his buddies day that have to cart him back and impacts everyone the guy comes in contact with.

So for me, if I want to go fast, I pull out a 70s 250, 360, 390, 420 or 500 Husky and go as fast as my stupidity will allow. Most tracks have EMT and an Life Flight is only a phone call away.

But the adventure stuff for me is an opportunity to NOT have to go fast, not have to compete...just do some trail, fire road, dirt road, forest road riding and come home safe. So I'm guessing the crappy suspension everyone seems to talk about the F800GS having is going to limit me from busting myself up 200 miles away from cell phone coverage.

That's probably a good thing :)
Much truthiness in this post...

Asked at a Jimmy Lewis riding clinic on big bikes.."Jimmy, I find myself bottoming my 1150GSA in the sand whoops, what should I do..upgrade suspension, learn to carry the front wheel..?" reply.. "It's not a Rally bike..slow the fuck down.."
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:19 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by VEGASGSA View Post
Much truthiness in this post...

Asked at a Jimmy Lewis riding clinic on big bikes.."Jimmy, I find myself bottoming my 1150GSA in the sand whoops, what should I do..upgrade suspension, learn to carry the front wheel..?" reply.. "It's not a Rally bike..slow the fuck down.."
Funny thing, just a few months back Jimmy Lewis was at an adventure riding event and made an un prompted comment that many would disagree with him, but he felt the F800GS was sprung about right from the testing he did on the bike. He didn't say the year bike he rode though.
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