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Old 10-31-2013, 01:27 AM   #31
moto74
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Originally Posted by GPHusky250 View Post
Like you...
Well said, sir.
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Old 10-31-2013, 06:50 AM   #32
MCMXCIVRS
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Originally Posted by djborden View Post
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.
Probably also didn't have it loaded up with a hundred pounds of camping gear, riding gear, repair kits, accessories and whatever else I carry for a week in the back country. That's where I've really noticed the suspension , particularly the rear, was not doing the best job.

I still ride slow(ish), speed off road scares the crap out of me, because yes, it's still a big heavy bike. This summer I was on a pretty nice back road and thought I was making a pretty good clip until a couple guys on smaller KTMs went by me like I was just another tree in the forest. My GS with all the gear I had on was probably the same weight as both their bikes combined.
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Old 10-31-2013, 09:46 AM   #33
itsatdm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djborden View Post
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.
That's interesting if he is referring to the "Sahara Safari" he did for BMW in 2009/2010. He referred to it as a Street bike. He also did a write up in Dirt Bike magazine about the experience. There were out takes of the crumpled front rims.

Go back and find a very early thread entitled "The front suspension is Crap" that he posted in, shortly after his testing. He made a statement that suspension adjustment is over rated.

I disagreed then and I still do. I don't have the credentials, but my 50 years of riding can tell crap suspension when I ride it.

After a year of trying to make stock work with springs and oil, I gave up. It is the valving. Maybe a .46 kg spring can work if the bike had better valving, but that is pretty light weight spring for a 500lb bike.
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:55 AM   #34
VEGASGSA
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Originally Posted by djborden View Post
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.
He weighs a buck seventyish..he's probably right..i weigh 215 naked..not so much..
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:40 AM   #35
moto74
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Originally Posted by MCMXCIVRS View Post
Probably also didn't have it loaded up with a hundred pounds of camping gear, riding gear, repair kits, accessories and whatever else I carry for a week in the back country. That's where I've really noticed the suspension , particularly the rear, was not doing the best job.
Yes, the unloaded 800 and a fully loaded 800 are two completely different bikes when it comes to suspension needs. Add in terrain, riding style and rider weight to the equation.
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Old 10-31-2013, 01:29 PM   #36
DonHo
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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. :)

Great and accurate answer
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Old 10-31-2013, 02:21 PM   #37
PatrickM
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More than 90% of it is going to be the rider, and not the bike. The bike will help get you into 90% of the situations where you want to be, and maybe out of 10% of them (e.g. tires)

But a good rider will be able to get 100% out of the bike.

A rider makes mistakes, falls down and gets back up.

Things can and will break. When the wallet or fear of dropping the bike becomes another challenge that must be overcome, then that can limit the growth of the rider. If you start worrying about dropping your $18K, 465# bike, you're less likely to push things and limit your own growth or where you go.

We know the BMW has plastic bits, nearly everywhere. We also know that it's heavy. Both of those can weigh in how hard you push it, particularly if you had already dropped it twice already and are tired - you will hesitate and limit yourself.

So what do we do? We put on even more weight to protect the bike. To what end? Making it even harder to pick up and making us less inclined to drop it, limiting what we do with it.

The bike is no longer "flickable" and we lose our potential the first time we have to pick it up solo because we are simply tired from the affair, particularly if we had to unload luggage.

For me, the more off-road capable bike is one that I do not fear dropping because it's not heavy, because I'm not worried about breaking crap on it.

For that, the KTM will win. But when I am looking for comfortable and safe to take me from the Pacific to the Tahoe and then off to Idaho, I'm loading up the BMW.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:21 PM   #38
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I guess I am confused about everyone saying the KTM is lighter, according to manufacturer data the KTM dry weight is 461.9lbs, the f800gs dry weight is 421lbs. Someone please clarify this to me, my 2013 f800gs feels no heavier than my 2007 KTM 990 ADv.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:39 PM   #39
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I don't know who is saying the KTM is lighter. It is not when you fuel it up. That is why I chose the F800gs.

Its 90% rider, blah, blah, blah. Its true a good rider can do wonders with a not so good bike. It is also true, it is easier for a mediocre rider like myself to ride a good bike than a poorly suspended one.

I am old and infirmed enough to know my limits and that includes single track on a 500lb motorcycle.

Light is right and that is why mine does not have any added weight other than that required for basic protection.

My bike is much easier to ride on the fire roads that I do than when it was stock. The downside is I ride faster and if it had even better suspension I would be testing those limits.
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Old 10-31-2013, 04:56 PM   #40
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The whole reason I chose a big bike with not so great power to weight ratio was self preservation. I had the best "Adventure" rig around, an XR650R completely kitted out, did BIG trips with it. But I took it EVERYWHERE I probably shouldn't ride, I have fake joints that tend to pop out when things go bad (Think Granite boulder fields etc).

With these big bikes, those areas aren't even an option anymore. ;)
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Old 10-31-2013, 10:01 PM   #41
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to be fair

Quote:
Originally Posted by jengel451 View Post
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.

I took this picture and to be fair this failure came from a huge guy doing big jumps at a 24 hour race. We fixed it and got him back out for 4 more laps. As for making the F800gs as off road worthy as a KTM 990, do the Konfict Motorsports fork conversion, and upgrading your rear shock will get you 90% of the way there. That can run $2K-$3k depending on the shock you pick. I'm saving up :)
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Old 11-01-2013, 12:58 PM   #42
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I took this picture and to be fair this failure came from a huge guy doing big jumps at a 24 hour race. We fixed it and got him back out for 4 more laps. As for making the F800gs as off road worthy as a KTM 990, do the Konfict Motorsports fork conversion, and upgrading your rear shock will get you 90% of the way there. That can run $2K-$3k depending on the shock you pick. I'm saving up :)

I posted to make a point. All bikes, every one of them have limits, exceed them and pay the price.

I think all points above sort of state that, if you want to do more than what these things are meant for, you should look at something more focused.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:50 PM   #43
CC Ryder
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After a year of reading and comparing.. I bought a 2012 F800 GS "Trophy". The bike does matter.. I can keep up with my fast friends on 990's on less technical trails.. smoother trails. But, when you are trying to ride fast and you have to make decisions on what lines you can take based on how hard the bike is going to hit.. the guy on the 990 just got further ahead. KTM builds bikes suited for off road.. BMW builds ADV bikes that can do off road. I've maxed my "stock" suspended 800.. Blew the seals this weekend. Its an expensive list of upgrades if you want to set up your bike to go fast off road... $2-3K in suspension and the same for wheels.. My wheels look hammered.. literally. And I have never had less than 34lbs in the tires. Many are saying.. if you want to ride that fast, ride a dirt bike.. I do. But it is a completely new thrill riding a big bike fast off road!! Its cheaper and easier to setup the suspension on a 990.. and the wheels seem to hold up much better. KTM's lack of reliability that I have personally seen over the years is the only reason I couldn't pull the trigger on one.. They are the most innovative motorcycle company and that is why they have their issues. Seriously considering selling the 800 and throwing down for the new 1190 R.. Or throw another $5k at my 800.. Either way.. Its a damn expensive sport.. but worth every penny.
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Old 11-05-2013, 03:17 PM   #44
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Bluhduh

ditto what the guy above me just said.....dead on!
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Old 11-05-2013, 04:23 PM   #45
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I love my 800 though, it is a hog, I have a boat load of cash in it but I love it none the less. Haven't done a side by side with stock 800 vs 990... Has anyone? I want lap times, chick magnet studies, bear scaring demographics, opossum plowing percentages.... If you're here you already have an 800 or are looking. Get what toots your horn
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