Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > BMW Tech

BMW Tech BMW Tech Forum - For Questions specific and of interest to BMW riders only. Questions comparing which bike is best etc go in the "Which Bike" forum.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Calendar Contest Voting is now CLOSED. Results to be posted shortly.


7 Litre Camel Tank Lets You Explore More, Click to Find out More!

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 3 Jul 2008
bikerfromsark's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 201
F800GS has anyone made a big tank yet??

The 800GS looks just about perfect to me, all apart from the 14lt tank. Has anyone made a big tank yet?? Something about 2--30lts would make this bike IMO the best adv bike in the market, and my next bike!
George
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 3 Jul 2008
discoenduro's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 138
Don't just look at the 800GS, ride it on/off road and then judge whether it's the bike you need. I put a deposit on the 800, then rode it off road. It sure isn't the off road adventurer it's made to look.

The 800GS already has a good reputation on bitumen, which it should, as its engine started life on a 'sports' bike. But off road it's a different story. It needs a tooth less on the front sprocket and you need to rev the engine to find some usable torque. So controlling the bike off road is tricky. IMHO the 800GS doesn't do off road particularly well. If you want to ride on road and be seen to look the part of an on/off road adventurer, then fine, but if you genuinely want to mix it up and take a bike off road, then the 800 may disappoint.

Despite it's extra weight, the 1200GSA due to it's torque and, particularly with the option of lower gearing, is arguably a better balance for on/off road than the 800GS. The GSA's only achilles heel, due to it's weight, is on sand. Otherwise, the big GS will take you just about anywhere: it's the real deal.

Best place to try it out is at the BMW off road skills course, where you can do the basic skills course and try out the range of Beemers. I can assure you that by the end of the course the 800GS won't be your bike of choice for dual purpose riding.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 4 Jul 2008
bikerfromsark's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 201
Thanks for that reply really good to hear first hand info, even if it is a bad report. I will keep an eye out for on and see if I can sweet talk the owner to let me take her for a spin!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 5 Jul 2008
Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 235
Cool F800 big tank

Contrary to above, most of the ride reports I have read are praising the 800's better balance off road. Final gearing should be easy to lower due to the chain drive, if that is an issue for you. Still, I haven't ridden one yet, so I can't tell from personal experience.

As to the Tank, I'm sure that Touratech will eventually come out with the now standard 'cheek' tanks similar to those made for the F650 and now the R1200, if BMW doesn't beat them to it. You just know that we will be seeing a F800GS'A' in a few years time with a bigger tank stock.

The fuel economy is supposed to be good, so range should be at least reasonable with the smaller tank.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 5 Jul 2008
Gold Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by discoenduro View Post
Don't just look at the 800GS, ride it on/off road and then judge whether it's the bike you need. I put a deposit on the 800, then rode it off road. It sure isn't the off road adventurer it's made to look.

The 800GS already has a good reputation on bitumen, which it should, as its engine started life on a 'sports' bike. But off road it's a different story. It needs a tooth less on the front sprocket and you need to rev the engine to find some usable torque. So controlling the bike off road is tricky. IMHO the 800GS doesn't do off road particularly well. If you want to ride on road and be seen to look the part of an on/off road adventurer, then fine, but if you genuinely want to mix it up and take a bike off road, then the 800 may disappoint.

Despite it's extra weight, the 1200GSA due to it's torque and, particularly with the option of lower gearing, is arguably a better balance for on/off road than the 800GS. The GSA's only achilles heel, due to it's weight, is on sand. Otherwise, the big GS will take you just about anywhere: it's the real deal.

Best place to try it out is at the BMW off road skills course, where you can do the basic skills course and try out the range of Beemers. I can assure you that by the end of the course the 800GS won't be your bike of choice for dual purpose riding.
I too am a little surprised at your comments but appreciate them. All of the evaluations I have read previously praised the off road capability of the F800GS.

I currently ride an F650GS Dakar and was looking forward to the F800GS as perhaps a similar ride with a little more engine.

I have ridden the F650GS twin and found it too street oriented for my taste but expected the F800GS to be closer to the mark.

Have you ridden the F650GS Dakar and if so, could you offer a comparison to the F800GS?
__________________
Bill Atchison
Red Deer, Alberta Canada
www.backroadexplorers.ca
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10 Jul 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cape Town / South Africa
Posts: 223
The F800GS is not an off road model. The lack of adjustability of the front suspension should be an indication that BMW motorrad never intended for this bike to be a proper off road model.
But the same can be said about the GS Adventure as well. BMW is selling the rugged off road lifestyle and is making big business with it, but they also understand that more than 90% of their products sold will never see any real off road conditions and more than half will most likely never see a dirt road in its live.
All these bikes are fast and comfortable and they handle tarmac sometimes even better than most road bikes. In this is the problem though, true off road bikes will have fork travel of over 250mm and frame geometry that allow them to handle well in tight turns or deep sand. This make these bike very difficult to handle on fast road conditions and sometimes even dangerous.
If you are buying a bike today you will spend most of your mileage on tarmac and only some on mostly good dirt roads and the current BMW models will give you the best of both worlds but it will never be the best at off road.


The F800GS is a good option for a smaller budged I just found the throttle response very uncontrollable.
In normal riding this will not be a problem but when on slow technical off road sections where tapping on and off the whole time it is very unnerving especially when you are standing up.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10 Jul 2008
Tim Cullis's Avatar
Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Putney, SW London
Posts: 1,327
I agree with discoenduro's comments about the gearing, the F800GS gearing is far too high because of the use of the close ratio gearbox from the F800S/ST. How stupid is that?

I use the new F650GS off road which is even higher geared but with a more manageable throttle. The main problem isn't uphill as you can slip the clutch, but using the first gear to slow you on a downhill stretch is a definite no no. It has lower ground clearance but is a credible alternative to the F800GS.

I also use a 1200GSA offroad and have to say that the gearing of that bike isn't much better. Forget about dropping the ratio 10% or so, BMW needs to put in a proper walking pace first gear per the police version of the 1200RT which is a 50% drop. After all, all of these bikes have six-speed boxes so there's absolutely no need for such a high first gear.

Going back to the original question, the tank on the F650/800GS takes over 17 litres. The bikes are incredibly fuel-efficient and I've managed fuel range in excess of 260 miles. Any more than I will handle with a bungied plastic can!

As gsworkshop writes, none of BMW's GS bikes are intended for true offroad, they are for a mixed use of 98% tarmac and 2% dirt roads. If you want a BMW offroad bike you need to look at a XChallenge or even better, the new G450X.

Tim
__________________
"For sheer delight there is nothing like altitude; it gives one the thrill of adventure
and enlarges the world in which you live,"
Irving Mather (1892-1966)

Access the Morocco Knowledgebase

Last edited by Tim Cullis; 10 Jul 2008 at 10:43.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 13 Jul 2008
stuxtttr's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Lutterworth,Midlands, UK
Posts: 462
I cant really see that the 800 is worth the extra above the 650 they have the same engine and for light off roading then I cant see any advantage the 800 has over the 650 either. check out the picks of Tim's bike it certainly looks purposeful with the nobblies on. I met 2 irish chaps off on a tour to Eastern Europe I never got their names as 1 was on a new 650 and the other an 1150. It would have been good to have a report back. The new 650 is putting out nearly as much power as the old 1150.

The new 450 looks good but it also looks like a full on Enduro bike and I can only hope that doesnt mean it also comes with KTM style service intervals.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 27 Jul 2008
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Costa Rica
Posts: 20
This week I test drove both bikes under all the possible conditions and in my opinion the 800 did not give any big reasons for the over price. Power is basically the same and the 650 twin deffinitely handles better on road, while off road you can't tell the difference. I still preffer the 650 "off road", because of it's weight which handles better in tight turns and deep cut in the ground. The 800 only felt more tough and ofcourse had the ground clearence in favor.

I agree with discoenduro that the 800 only gives you the "off road" look, but really doesn´t give more than the 650 twin.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 28 Jul 2008
colebatch's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: London / Moscow
Posts: 1,658
I was thinking about the F800GS myself a while back ... till a friend who instructs at the the Off Road School in Wales said he didnt like it and preferred his GSA over the 800 for hooning round in the dirt (when he is not on a KTM)

His comments too were not enough low down torque and "too revvy". I took one for a ride off road and had to agree.

That got me thinking critically and resulted in the realisation that the bike is also still way too heavy and less than 10kgs lighter than a standard 1200GS when equipped with a centre stand, handguards and other stuff the 1200 comes standard with. (its 186kgs nude and 191kgs with stand and guards etc, vs the 199kgs the 1200 weighs). Add to that the "fat ass" (for some reason - probably asthetics only - the exhaust pipe is miles away from the wheel, results in it being a very wide bike at the back,

So in summary, you are gaining a mere 8 kg advantage over the 1200 once similarly equipped, and giving up low down torque, comfort, systems, and width!

It hardly seems worth it.

Would rather wait for a KTM 690 Adventure to come out ... at least it will be somewhere near 160kgs all ready to go, rather than 190.
__________________
__________________________________________________ ________________
"Do NOT go wherever the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail"



Sibirsky Extreme - Adventure Motorcycling Guide to Siberia and Mongolia - on Facebook

Click here for Sibirsky Extreme Trail DVD Trailer
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 29 Jul 2008
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Back in Asia
Posts: 342
[QUOTE=gsworkshop;197903]The F800GS is not an off road model. The lack of adjustability of the front suspension should be an indication that BMW motorrad never intended for this bike to be a proper off road model.
But the same can be said about the GS Adventure as well. BMW is selling the rugged off road lifestyle and is making big business with it, but they also understand that more than 90% of their products sold will never see any real off road conditions and more than half will most likely never see a dirt road in its live.


I tend to agree with this to the tee! I have several BMW's from a R50, R100GSPD, to the R1200GS and have rode them all on dirt roads. While the 1200 is comfortable and can carry some gear and quick, I say that both the PD and '54 R50 are better on dirt roads!

I rode my 1200 down through east africa and accross Australia several times and they are really a road bike that will go off road. Just ask BMW! I collapsed my suspennsion (both ends) and buckled the front rim in Kenya and tried to get warranty? I was told that they would cover the suspension but would not even talk about the rim and this did happen after I had no front suspension!! I even have an email from BMW Motorrad Germany which states the R1200gs is NOT an off road bike and I was riding in extreme conditions. If you want a good offroad bike to travel the world cheap and get you to where your going get a DR650 in my book. But if you want to look the part in the coffee shops on Sat morning with all the other GS riders, get a 800gs or 1200gs!

Choice is simple really.

Cheers
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 15 Dec 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Tumbaco, Tambillo
Posts: 64
ktm vs bmw

I've been driving a 2005 lc4 640 adv & sincerelly i love the bike and also love the chance it gives off road, also a nice on road performance.
As an upgrade, i was thinking about a two-cil bike, not so heavy and that would offer more or less the same posibilities: I'm based in the Andes where in a single day you can get from the Snow to the beach, pass the tropics and feel the desert sand on your skin. Also i'm still planning a big journey in Latin America.
My 640 feels the weight of 2up, and after 28000 km over it, i begun to buy mags again and check a little on webs about new dual-purpose bikes.
Nevertheless, the F800GS with new local taxes will costs $30K (YES 30) I'm enthusiastic about buying (abroad eventually 'cause i can't afford that quantity) with the money i can sell my KTM here, so we can travel 2up in diferent destinations.
I just saw one here (you can just find 1 or 2) and i found it like the right one.
It depends on choices and i'd love to take a ride in one and decide!
Any suggestions? Jap ones or any news about a 690 adventure?
RG
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 15 Dec 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Dreaming of travelling and riding bikes in general..
Posts: 449
Quote:
Originally Posted by motozen View Post
Jap ones or any news about a 690 adventure?
RG
In the current financial climate? Don't hold your breath (no really, it's bad for you). Bear in mind that manufacturers are building 'adventure' bikes because they're in fashion - fingers crossed for that future fashions appreciate the versatility of these bikes. Look at Honda's VFR1200: very average range and not that comfortable to sit on, and that's supposed to be a tourer!

I agreed with all the above re: F800GS so I won't labour the point. It is a superb hybrid-'road'-bike that will handle rougher stuff but don't let that add undue persuation. Again, I prefered the GSA offroad and on, as Colebatch says - better power at low revs (torque) (I ride a WR250R everywhere I can and appreciate ultra-lightweight over power-excesses).

That having been said you can drive from London to CapeTown down the West Coast on >95% road where the F800GS's comfort, road handling, and fuel tank range will be a perfectly valid choice.
__________________
Find out details of my 2011 trip to Siberia on a lightweight dirtbike:
www.brighton2expeditions.co.uk
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 16 Dec 2009
electric_monk's Avatar
Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Posts: 256
Off Topic

Way Off Topic Motozen, you should have started a new thread with this post.



Quote:
Originally Posted by motozen View Post
I've been driving a 2005 lc4 640 adv & sincerelly i love the bike and also love the chance it gives off road, also a nice on road performance.
As an upgrade, i was thinking about a two-cil bike, not so heavy and that would offer more or less the same posibilities: I'm based in the Andes where in a single day you can get from the Snow to the beach, pass the tropics and feel the desert sand on your skin. Also i'm still planning a big journey in Latin America.
My 640 feels the weight of 2up, and after 28000 km over it, i begun to buy mags again and check a little on webs about new dual-purpose bikes.
Nevertheless, the F800GS with new local taxes will costs $30K (YES 30) I'm enthusiastic about buying (abroad eventually 'cause i can't afford that quantity) with the money i can sell my KTM here, so we can travel 2up in diferent destinations.
I just saw one here (you can just find 1 or 2) and i found it like the right one.
It depends on choices and i'd love to take a ride in one and decide!
Any suggestions? Jap ones or any news about a 690 adventure?
RG
__________________
The electric monk always has faith.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 16 Dec 2009
baswacky's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 129
Just to get this thread back on track!

Touratech currently do a 36l conversion for the GS800. Very scary price -£1300 (£999 unpainted) - ouch!

baswacky

Touratech UK Webshop
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
A fuel tank made of... ? Eriks Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? 5 18 Feb 2008 13:32
the new F800GS mr moto BMW Tech 86 4 Dec 2007 16:13
F800GS mr moto BMW Tech 20 17 Sep 2007 18:29
F800gs? pinkolive BMW Tech 9 15 Mar 2007 19:11
Anybody made original steel tank bigger? samwise Equipping the Bike - what's the best gear? 5 4 Mar 2006 21:53

 
 



HU DVD Spring Special!

Buy the Achievable Dream Collectors Set and get Road Heroes Part 1 FREE!

Achievable Dream - The Whole Enchilada!

Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.


What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders


contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!




New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.



Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!






All times are GMT +1. The time now is 13:42.