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Thread: Taking The F800GS Out For A Little Test Run

  1. #1
    buzzez
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    Taking The F800GS Out For A Little Test Run

    The boss man let me take the demo F800GS home for an evening. Well riding it through rush hour traffic just wasn't enough for me to get a true understanding of what this bike is all about. So, I asked Honz if I could keep it for the weekend. I was grinning from ear to ear after I heard the words "Sure, have fun." coming from his mouth.

    I love my job! Where else can you hang out with like minded people all the work day long, gabbing about BMW motorcycles and then get to take the latest and the greatest out for a spin. I get to do that and I even get paid for it!







    Unlike most mornings, on this day, I didn't need to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock more than once. I quickly gathered my things, strapped my GPS with a pre-programed route onto the F800GS's handlebar. In no time flat, my new little friend and I were off bright and early on a beautiful Sunday morning to explore the Gasconade and Osage Counties of Missouri.



    OK, here's my take on the F800GS. Like all bikes, none do all things. What one should look for is what he or she needs in a bike and choose which ever comes closest to fulfill that persons needs. There is always a compromise somewhere...



    First thing's first. If you live in the city especially a rather large city, you have to get out of town to get to the good stuff. That means, interstate highway.

    I use to have a K75S. It would do fine on the highway, but it would get buzzy at around 75-80 MPH. The F800GS has a 6th gear. I found that 80 MPH was it's sweet spot. That's a little slower than my R1150GS which likes to be at 85-90 MPH. That doesn't mean that it won't go 90. When I rolled on the throttle to pass, it got there really quick. I didn't even need to downshift!

    Before I even got on the bike, I was really concerned that the F800GS would have the highway characteristics of a couple former bikes I had owned previously that had 21" front wheels. Both the KLR and an LC4 had an unsettling wobble at speed that I really did not like. This didn't happen on the F800GS. As a matter of fact. This bike has that best feel for the road than any telescopic forked bike I have ever ridden. I really am spoiled with the R1150GS's paralever suspension. The F800GS takes a little more effort at the bar to steer than the 1150GS but I got use to it in short order.

    The F800GS will get you there in as much comfort as one would hope for from an under 1000CC dual sport. That is very important for those of us that refuse to trailer.



    So, I'm tooling down the gravel roads of Gasconade County with this big stupid grin on my mug. Thinking, "Hot damn! This bike is awesome!" The F800GS is totally at home on gravel. I have never felt so 'in control' as on this day. I can only imagine what this puppy will do donning a pair of TKC's.

  2. #2
    buzzez
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    Buzzez appropriate colors...



    Here's a theme bike idea...



    Like any dual sport bike, farkles are a must. A taller screen, bash plate/engine guard and hand guards should be done immediately.

    After my 300 some odd mile day nothing on me was tingling, so that is a good sign. The seating position and seat height was just to my liking.



    I'm really torn with what color to choose. I'm partial to the mandarin color, but we just recently got a gray on black one in the shop that is really, really cool looking. Tough call, which is neater.




    No doubt about it. I would take this bike to Alaska, without hesitation. The only compromise I can only imagine but can't confirm yet. Would be the F800GS's 2 up capability. That is my only concern at this stage. As a 1 up ride though, as for as I'm concerned, it's an unbeatable dual sport bike




    Damn you Honz, for letting me take this awesome bike for the weekend. I was completely happy thrashing my R1150GS in the woods. Now, that's just going to be too much like work compared to the joy I got out of the F800GS.

    For a really dirty, gritty good time, call 1- BMW-F800GS!
    Last edited by Buzzez; 10-28-2008 at 07:41 PM.

  3. #3
    married to GrumpyOldLady GrumpyOldMan's Avatar
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    Buzzez,
    Thanks for the ride review and the great pics!
    I can't wait to get a chance to test ride one .
    Regards,
    GrumpyOldMan

  4. #4
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    oh my

  5. #5
    Rally Rat
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    Price difference?

    I'm a very tight budget and just owning a motorcycle is a gift. However, I've been looking at the KLR for a dual sport and can't get over the price. Yes, the F800 would be great or the R1150GS. So I'm just thinking...should I just get two older cycles or one dual purpose? The which one would it be? Keep my Kbike and get the KLR. I dunno, too many options. Can a person put as many miles on a KLR as a beemer, b/c YES -- I like to ride and put on the miles.

  6. #6
    looking for a coal mine knary's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swbell View Post
    I'm a very tight budget and just owning a motorcycle is a gift. However, I've been looking at the KLR for a dual sport and can't get over the price. Yes, the F800 would be great or the R1150GS. So I'm just thinking...should I just get two older cycles or one dual purpose? The which one would it be? Keep my Kbike and get the KLR. I dunno, too many options. Can a person put as many miles on a KLR as a beemer, b/c YES -- I like to ride and put on the miles.
    If you're on a tight budget, a lightly used KLR can't be beat - if you want a second bike. It won't tour nearly as well as your K-LT or even the F800GS, but it'll otherwise put a smile on your face and go long and far.

    What it really depends on is what you want to do with the bike. A used 1100GS can be had for $5k, but calling it a dual purpose bike is a bit like calling a spork a knife. Sure, it'll take dirt better than many of the other big bikes in the BMW line, but it's still a BIG heavy bike.

  7. #7
    buzzez
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    The KLR has a strong following. I owned one for a while. Unfortunately it just didn't do much for me, so it just sat in the garage most of the time. IMO it's no value if you don't want to use it.
    It's been said that the KLR "Does 20 things badly" I couldn't agree more.

    Most all BMW's cost somewhere around 25 to 30% more than a comparable Japanese bike. In return though you have a better riding / handling bike and a higher re-sale value. As I see it, you get what you pay for.

    As far as KLR compared to the F800GS? F800GS wins hands down...

    That's just my biased opinion though.

  8. #8
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    Nice ride report on the F800 Buzzez. It is pretty much what my idea of a "GS" should be.

    Swbell, the KLR is a pretty nice motorcycle at a bargain price. FWIW I've owned four GS's over the years but when it came time for another adventurer tourer I kept my BMW street bikes and went with a KLR. The reasons were cost (both purchase and maintenance costs), weight, and the fact there's a big aftermarket serving KLR's. A new KLR fitted like mine, with Jesse's, a Corbin, and a centerstand will run about $6,500. A nice used one with soft bags can be found for half that price.
    The new F800 and F650's are, no doubt, better at doing most things than a KLR. Especially a lot of 75+ mph, highway riding. But unlike Buzzez's mine doesn't sit in the garage. In fact I'm riding it more than any of my other bikes now.


  9. #9
    buzzez
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    Alright already! You didn't have to say it twice.

    That's just the thing. When it came down to it. I would walk out to my garage. I would look at my KLR and later my LC4 then I'd look at my GS...9 times out of 10 I'd choose to ride my GS.

    I doubt that would happen if I had an F800GS sitting in the garage next to my R1150GS. I think it would be an even split.

  10. #10
    Registered Loser SHAG's Avatar
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    Thank you guys again for letting me test ride that bike at Potosi

  11. #11
    sriverag
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzzez View Post
    The KLR has a strong following. I owned one for a while. Unfortunately it just didn't do much for me, so it just sat in the garage most of the time. IMO it's no value if you don't want to use it.
    It's been said that the KLR "Does 20 things badly" I couldn't agree more.

    Most all BMW's cost somewhere around 25 to 30% more than a comparable Japanese bike. In return though you have a better riding / handling bike and a higher re-sale value. As I see it, you get what you pay for.

    As far as KLR compared to the F800GS? F800GS wins hands down...

    That's just my biased opinion though.
    I agree that the F800GS is a much better bike in most aspects than the KLR. Costing more than twice the price of the KLR is the least you could expect !

    As knary says, it really depends very much of what you want to do with the bike. If you do a lot of highway riding, the 800GS is your best choice. If you may be doing more light to moderate off road a KLR may be easier to handle and much less expensive to drop than the 800GS, besides having a longer range than the 800GS (300 mile range for the KLR against 200 mile on the 800GS).
    Also not to mention that is more simple to troubleshoot in the road than the GS!


    Cheers!
    Last edited by sriverag; 11-19-2008 at 03:57 PM.

  12. #12
    Ozark Limey AirForce's Avatar
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    Kevin, you are a lucky dog!!!
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  13. #13
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Bumping a test run on the then new F800GS.
    I still like mine. Same color although I have all the cases
    Enjoy!
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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  14. #14
    MOA Director blakduc1's Avatar
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    Love the F800GS

    I really like the F800GS. With Continental TKC80 tires, it is really capable both on and off road. I ride mine around town and to work all time. Also have had it on the BDR in Colorado and many forest service roads, and a few woods trails. Pretty amazing what you can do on the street with it too. Smooth engine and sounds pretty good with after-market pipe. It is not a DRZ400 off road, and not a R1200S on the road. But it is a pretty good compromise when you want the versatility and comfort.

    dp

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