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  #1  
Old 12 Feb 2012
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1200gsa vs 800gs?

guys,

planning for a trip starting from london to stans/pamir/kkh/SEA this summer, seeking some opinion between this two machine to ride thru this part of the world.
i am 5'9" and i just sold my old 1995 r1100gs. quite used to riding boxer engine make me thinking of 1200gsa, but going thru this part of the world the gsa might be to tough for me to handle. tried the 650gs afraid i will not enjoy much on europe leg as going thru nice tarmac with less powerfull engine of the 650.
anyone?

thanx
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  #2  
Old 12 Feb 2012
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I have a GSA and love it, but think that you would be nuts to take one on to the pamirs. I also think that the 800 is too big.

Frankly, I don't see why you would need anything more than a 650. As to the Europe leg, there are plenty of wonderful small roads where anything more than a 650 would be a waste, and if you are planning to ride though Europe via expressways I would rethink that part of your trip and take a smaller bike.

I have a GSA (ridden through China, Russia, Morocco, etc.) and a BMW G650X XChallenge (ridden through Siberia, Road of Bones, etc.) so have actually done both.

Obviously, everyone is different but that is my two cents.
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  #3  
Old 16 Feb 2012
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Hello,

I have the same concern... I actually have a 1200GSA 2008, and I'll plan a RTW for septembre 2013.
Most of the parts I will be alone, but my wife joined me for some parts. I'm not sure if I switch with an 800GS or not. Each time I test for a little ride the 800GS, it's seems to be to small for me. My concern is about the weight of the 1200GSA but I know that it's more confortable for 2....

So.... still in reflexion
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  #4  
Old 17 Feb 2012
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well, sometimes the GSA is the best bike to take RTW, like if you already have one, and if you will be doing two up. Knowing your bike is super-important, so if you know the GSA well I'd stick with it.

Also really depends on where you're going...since you're starting in September, I guess you'll be in the southern hemisphere/tropics for at least part of the trip?
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  #5  
Old 17 Feb 2012
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Wink May I be a little mean?

Does it imperatively have to be one of the 2/3 BMWs? Any chance to go for another bike maker... even a Japanese one???!!!

I'd say next subsequent/coherent question should be "I hesitate between Rally 2 and Santiago BMW jackets". (couldn't stop that thought!)

I don't mean they are bad, I just say the array of options is more limited.

Anyway, on any bike you choose, enjoy the trip!

Esteban

EDIT: Uppps, didn't notice it's in BMW Tech section, not in Which Bike, so my questions are already answered...

Last edited by estebangc; 17 Feb 2012 at 12:48. Reason: EDIT: Uppps, didn't notice it's in BMW Tech section, not in Which Bike, so my questions are already answered...
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  #6  
Old 17 Feb 2012
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I have an F800GS and love the bike, but I would agree that it's overkill in a lot of ways and I'm a big dude. Only time I really need the "800" power is on the super slab. For all the other riding a guy would do on an extended trip a 650 is more than enough power. Hell as we all know guys are doing it on 90cc's!!
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  #7  
Old 28 Feb 2012
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I am with Motoreiter on this one ...

The 800 is only about 10 kgs lighter than the 1200 GS ... they are both too heavy for the route you are riding. A 650cc bike like a KTM 690 or a BMW X-Challenge is 40 -50 - 60 kgs lighter than those bikes, or 80 kgs lighter than a 1200 Adventure. Both 650s allow you to cruise at 80 mph across Europe, and you wont be advised to go any faster than that once you are out of Europe.

What are you getting for the 50-80 kgs of extra weight??

The ability to overtake at 100mph for the first 3 days while you are in Europe.

The rest of the time the additional power is useless, and the rest of the time the additional weight is with you 100% of the time - on every gravelly corner, every mud patch, every water crossing - and every time you pick up the bike.

You have to look at advantages vs disadvantages ... the advantages of a bigger bike are tiny ... the disadvantages are huge. You are worried about not enjoying Europe on a 650 ... is that better than hating Tajikistan on a 1200? Is the highlight of the trip meant to be Europe, or Takjikistan / Pamir / KKH ?

I have been doing this for 20 years on bikes from 400s to 1200s, and personally I dont think there is a better all round type of bike for a solo traveller expecting to do mountainous or dirt road adventure touring than a fuel injected 600-650 single. Like Motoreiter, I have owned a 1200 GSA ... yes great bike for Europe. But Europe is not the focus of my travels - its just a place to drive through to get to the bits I really want to see.

Sure you can ride the Pamir on a 1200 Adventure, and so can I ... but the question is why bother carrying 80 extra kgs of metal around when it isnt delivering you any benefits? and only making life more difficult? Riding more difficult roads becomes a chore and a struggle instead of fun. You saw Ewan and Charley in Mongolia and on the Road of Bones? It was hell for them. Ewan was crying in Mongolia and Charlie pulled his back out after picking his bike up so many times in Siberia - because they had the wrong bikes for the job ... 80 - 100 kgs too heavy! They were the only significant dirt sections the guys had to ride on the whole project and they couldnt finish either of them because their bikes were too heavy. What use was the 30 extra hp they had over a 650 when they were in Mongolia? Consider the price for that useless extra 30 hp was 80 kgs of excess weight. That weight sure made a difference in Mongolia. The 30 extra hp didnt.

The exact same roads on a well set up 650 are a breeze. a 50-60 mph breeze. I know because I have ridden the exact same roads in Mongolia and The Road of Bones. I can compare. In fact I did the Road of Bones with a girl who had never ridden off road before ... but she was riding a KTM 690 and on that bike she (with zero off road experience) could do what Ewan and Charley could not do on exactly the same road on 1150s. (Actually its harder now as the road has deteriorated a lot since 2004 when they tried it)

I have ridden 1200 Adventures off road (Morocco) and have ridden much harder pistes in Morocco on a 650. Apart from having a huge smile on my face while riding a 650 off road all the time and a look of stress and concern when riding the 1200, the other main differences is you go 3 times faster on the 650 and have about 10 times more fun.

At the end of the day its your call ... but I am just throwing ideas, perspectives and experience at you that are worth considering.

PS ... on the downside most 650s like the X-Challenge or the KTM 690 are quite tall bikes. If you are 5'9" that would need to be addressed. But Sherri Jo, the girl I rode the old Road of Bones with mentioned above, is also 5'9" and had her 690 lowered easily enough.
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Last edited by colebatch; 28 Feb 2012 at 11:00.
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  #8  
Old 28 Feb 2012
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I always get scared of commenting on BMW threads but here goes...

I have to agree with Coldbach. You don't have to take a massive overweight BMW, as wonderful as they are...

You want a light and simple bike. A 600-650 single is perfect for nearly anywhere in the world.

The golden rule for all travel is to keep it simple, keep it light, keep it cheap...
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  #9  
Old 28 Feb 2012
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Nothing wrong with a F650GS in Europe. I have been riding around Europe on a F650GS (the old single, not he 800cc) and although a bigger bike would be nicer on the freeways, it did a good job.


My F650GS and my friends GoldWing 1800 near the bridge in Millau

Here are a few of my trip F650GS reports:
To the North Cape: http://jkrijt.home.xs4all.nl/trips/n2g/index.shtml
To Millau: http://jkrijt.home.xs4all.nl/trips/m...08/index.shtml
To Neuschwanstein: http://jkrijt.home.xs4all.nl/trips/ns2011/index.shtml

By the way, the new BMW single is called the G650GS.


The new BMW G650GS at the bikeshow in Utrecht last week
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  #10  
Old 28 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrijt View Post
Nothing wrong with a F650GS in Europe. I have been riding around Europe on a F650GS (the old single, not he 800cc) and although a bigger bike would be nicer on the freeways, it did a good job.


My F650GS and my friends GoldWing 1800 near the bridge in Millau

Here are a few of my trip F650GS reports:
To the North Cape: Jan Krijtenburg homepage (Travel pages)
To Millau: Jan Krijtenburg homepage (Travel pages)
To Neuschwanstein: Jan Krijtenburg homepage (Travel pages)

By the way, the new BMW single is called the G650GS.


The new BMW G650GS at the bikeshow in Utrecht last week
"Nothing wrong with a F650GS in Europe. I have been riding around Europe on a F650GS" - me too, and great truths never go away!

FWIW, the single cylinder BMW is not so good two up but it has been done - depends on lots of factors such as your own weight, luggage, your pillions' weight etc.
According to BMW blurb, the G650GS has been made to meet demand for a single cyl, and I can believe that if you look at the prices for new Japanese bikes.
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  #11  
Old 28 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkrijt View Post

By the way, the new BMW single is called the G650GS.


The new BMW G650GS at the bikeshow in Utrecht last week
That's actually a very good price.... I think it's cheaper than the Tenere. £5295 on the road.

Even the extras aren't THAT ridiculous.

http://www.bmw-motorrad.co.uk/motorc...fications.html

The fuel consumption figures are very impressive indeed, runs on 91 and has a 14L tank.

Fuel consumption per 100 km at constant 90 km/h 3.2 litres
Fuel consumption per 100 km at constant 120 km/h 4.3 litres
Fuel type Unleaded regular, minimum octane rating 91 (RON)

That's about a 300-350 KM range which is enough for almost anywhere in the world.

Jeeez, I could actually be tempted.
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  #12  
Old 28 Feb 2012
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Yes, that is pretty good. I was just thinking, after reading some of the prices of 'adventure bikes' recently (Triumph Tiger, BMW GSA, etc), that bikes were horrendous prices these days. They used to be working man's transport. My XT was £4000 in 2003 brand new (to its first owner). I'm not sure that 2012 price is a great deal more than BMW were charging when I was looking around in 2005!

I know the OP said they weren't sure about it for Euro roads, but it's the roads further east I'd be thinking about. Euro roads are fine on anything (even an XT! ), I'd get the bike best for the bad stuff.

I'd definately go for that over the GSA, apart from anything it would give you an extra £5000 to spend on the road!

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  #13  
Old 28 Feb 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Cartney View Post
I'm not sure that 2012 price is a great deal more than BMW were charging when I was looking around in 2005!
Correct.
My brand new F650GS, first registered in March 2005, cost around £5500 including heated hand grips - the last time I looked at BMW accessories those heated grips are still £230, factory fitted (the wiring runs through the handlebars, so best fitted in the factory!!).
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Old 29 Feb 2012
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Id have to see how it was put together first...

If it's the usual 400 brittle plastic screws with TORX heads just to change a light bulb then I might have to keep walking. Why ??? Just why ???

I hear it's the exact same engine from the old F650 too ? That means the inevitable water pump failures and dodgy electrics.

Can anyone enlighten the situation on that ??
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  #15  
Old 1 Mar 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Id have to see how it was put together first...

If it's the usual 400 brittle plastic screws with TORX heads just to change a light bulb then I might have to keep walking. Why ??? Just why ???

I hear it's the exact same engine from the old F650 too ? That means the inevitable water pump failures and dodgy electrics.

Can anyone enlighten the situation on that ??
BMW claim to have improved the electrics since the last bike.

I believe the waterpump is the same but Colebatch does not seem to have had much trouble with it...
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