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Thread: F800GS or R1200GS?

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  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
    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!

  4. #4
    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

  5. #5
    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

  6. #6
    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

  7. #7
    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

  8. #8
    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.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by rad View Post
    Those two statements say....big GS, not little GS.
    +1 on this

  10. #10

    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.

  11. #11
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006


    You put the right tires on either of these bikes and go anywhere. The 800 is a really better dirt bike, less a grand tourer but will... add farkles, lots of 'em to get comfy. The 1200 is a giant dirt bike, with rider talent added, will go anywhere with right tires and tourer extrordinaire, cannot be beat. My GSA1200 does all that. Tires make a huge difference in what you do with bike. 50/50 tires are probably best as in HeidenausK60s. Randy

  12. #12

    F800GS or 1200GS

    Just my .$02, I traded in my F800 for a 2013 1200, I found the 800 a really uncomfortable bike to ride on the road. I lowered the bike with progressive springs front and back and that fixed the to tall problem. BTW I have a 30" inseam The seat was miserable for more than a few miles. Having said all that I liked the bike on gravel and dirt roads, did a little cowpath riding but that is not the bikes strong suit. The 21" front tire is a boon off road but kinda of problem on superslab. The snatchy throttle on the 800 was a learning curve to climb, but it could be fixed aftermarket. FWIW.

  13. #13
    Registered User ROBERTSI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Espanola, Ontario, Canada
    I find my 1200 GS well suited for long days on the saddle and handles itself quite well off road ...but there is a limit.....when the going gets tough...TKC80 would help you get farther off the beaten path.

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