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Thread: F800GS or R1200GS?

  1. #1

    F800GS or R1200GS?

    I am going to be in the market soon to buy a used GS bike. I don't plan to do much off road riding, but i do want to do some long range riding when nature calls. I am a taller dude, and have sat on the bikes enough to know my legs reach the ground. I plan to have the big boxes on, crash bars, skid plate ect....

    But, i have heard whispers that the F800GS is a better purchase. For a dude that is 6'1" and 230lbs, would a F8GS be better? or the 1200?

    If it helps, i probably will want a bike between 2005-09. Most of the time, it will be a daily around town bike. But when i want to go to the mountains to ride, i want something that will be comfortable.

    Or, are they about the same as far as what i am asking? not so much power, but comfort and distance.

    Thanks guys/gals!

  2. #2
    Registered User GALA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    I love my R1200GS! it is VERY comfortable, especial for long distances. 1000 miles a day- no problem! For tall guys 1200GS Adventure is a good option
    good luck!

  3. #3
    Retired from riding rad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Santa Cruz
    Quote Originally Posted by stantonbarbas View Post
    I don't plan to do much off road riding, but i do want to do some long range riding when nature calls.
    Those two statements say....big GS, not little GS.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Craftsbury, Vermont
    Both are good bikes. A nod to the 800 with that taller front wheel if you leave the pavement, but the 1200 can easily handle dirt roads and trails as long as they aren't hero trails. Both will handle cross country trips, with a firm nod to the 1200 for the comfort factor, ability to haul cargo, and electrical power for aux lighting, Gerbings, etc.

    I'm 5-10 with a 30" inseam and can handle the GSA with ease.
    '18 R1200GSA for solo rides
    '12 R1200GSA with Hannigan sidecar for rides with Glenlivet
    '15 Honda CRF250L for exploring places I'm afraid to take the big GSA!

  5. #5
    While I love the boxers my choice would be the F800 after having my F800ST. The engine is dang near a perfect motorcycle engine and the seating position on the GS model is awesome. I just wish they'd put cruise on it lol. The only thing that draws me to the big papa GS is shaft drive.
    Last edited by Downs; 02-03-2013 at 09:52 PM. Reason: fix spelling of Boxers

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Owned both at the same time. Sold the 800GS after two 400 mile rides. 12GS is much better for longer rides.
    Marty Hill
    7 GS white

    Ride till you can't

  7. #7
    Riding where it's hot! AZ-J's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Scottsdale, AZ
    I had an F800S, now have an R1200S. The R's have a much better suspension, and more grunt for power. The braking is level too, on the F, it's not!
    My bike shown here
    Jordan M, MOA #24434
    My Blog

  8. #8
    Registered User dadayama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Oklahoma City
    if you are not interested in off-road, dirt-road, gravel-road, forest-unmantained road... then by all means go for the 1200... though the 1200 can be go more places then the average rider would think... the 800 would do some of the crazy stuff better...

    if you are not thinking of the crazy stuff than this is a waisted conversation... take the big bike and have fun in comfort.

    The R1200GS is a great bike!!!!! just like most people don't use pickups to their fullest potential doesn't mean that they shouldn't drive a pickup if it fits their lifestyle...

    Ride on...
    Ich Fahre Nicht Zu Schnell, Ich Fliege Nur Niedrig
    Oklahoma Adventure Trail

  9. #9
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Raleigh NC
    I test rode the F800GS the other day and found the throttle to be very twitchy. I don't know if it is a light flywheel or the fuel injection. I couldn't imagine trying to control rear wheel spin on a loose surface. I wasn't overwhelmed by the handling, not nearly as neutral as the 1200GS, which I can't afford, so.......... I bought a 1989 R100GS. Get what makes you happy.
    Sent from a Galaxy, far, far away

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Northern Front Range, CO
    my 2009 F8 has a twitchy throttle (they all do that) until i figured out that it really wants a low wrist to start off, and then just pay attention to its nature. i rarely even notice it now.
    it's mostly the FI setup.
    Ride Safe, Ride Lots

  11. #11
    Intermediate Adventurer Newstar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Landenberg, PA
    For on-road, long distance riding, the 1200GS is perfect.

    May I add that you may not *think* you want to go off road now but I know many GS riders (including myself) who thought the same thing. But once you've gotten the taste of it, it can be addictive! Off road can mean many different things from easy fire roads to nasty single track.

    The F800 is too tall for me. I no longer have my 650GS but I have a 1200GS and a KLR650. If I am travelling, the 1200GS is my choice as it truly will go anywhere, on or off road. However, if we are out to play in the dirt, I choose the KLR because it is smaller and lighter.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Lethbridge Alberta
    No contest, with your size the 1200. Sit on them both and you'll find that the 1200 just fits. My inseam limits my choice of bike, even though its 30 1/2 " its just too short with a loaded bike, 2 up.
    1995 R100Rt with Kenna Sidecar, 1986 K100RT

  13. #13
    Registered User gregcrna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Grand Rapids, MI

    800 vs 1200

    I have a 1200GSA. I recently attended the RawHyde Adventure training facitilty in Castaic, CA. Highly recommended! I rented a 1200GSA as I live in Michigan and couldn't ride my bike to CA. I rode in the desert, 2 track, single track, gravel, sand and hills. Those in the group who rode the 700 and 800's were told by the coaches that their bikes "needed" more clutch/throttle 'feathering' for control vs the 1200. I'm told due to the 1200's lower torque (or is that higher torque!!). I am NOT a professional and am only offering my $0.02 worth, but my 1200GSA required no fussing with clutch and throttle to hill climb, cross streams, etc. The gearing is lower and my bike and I had NO problems with the hills, etc... The bike honestly made me look good! :-)

    I am sure anything the 800 could do, the 1200GSA can do easier (ok, maybe not righting a downed 1200)! I'm told that....Torque is YOUR friend.

    I'm 6' 5" with a 38" inseam. So the GSA was really made for me!!!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by rad View Post
    Those two statements say....big GS, not little GS.
    +1 on this

  15. #15

    Big GS

    Weight to power ratio...big GS is the way to go. The big Gs is not so BIG once you mold to it.

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