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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 8 Oct 2008
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Bmw F800 GS

I am seriously thinking of getting the F800GS instead of the bigger 1200GS for a very long distance trip. Has anyone tried the 800GS yet? Any first hand experience with the new 800 is very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!!

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Last edited by Norman Rahman; 8 Oct 2008 at 20:37.
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  #2  
Old 8 Oct 2008
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A mate of mine bought one of the first batch and i have to say i was quite impressed with it. I did also hear from another mate who's in the trf, that some have gone back in for paint on the engine flaking. Not much of an issue in itself, but apparently as a matter of course, while they rectify the paint issue, they were replacing certain engine internals due to a knocking appearing in the top end. This came from a BMW mechanic. May be rubbish, but it seemed to come from the horses mouth, so might be worth looking into.
I did ride one, and although not my cup of tea ( nor am i a BMW fan ) i thought it was a nice bike to ride.
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Old 8 Oct 2008
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not first hand, but i met a guy near Whistler in CAN who just returned from a RTW with a f800gs. didn't had any serious problems (some oil sweating from camshaftcover). Was 35000kms.

and, buying a cheap(er) bike leaves more money for traveling!

a concern for me would be parts/knowledge availability in remote areas.

cheers,
sander
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  #4  
Old 9 Oct 2008
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Check out the F800 riders forum: F800GS & F650GS Twin Discussion - BMW F800 Riders Association
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Old 9 Oct 2008
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Thumbs up Ushuaia to Prudhoe Bay

It was probably Tom that you met in Whistler. He rode a Suzuki V-Strom down Africa, bought an F800GS in South Africa and rode that up through the Americas. We had met Tom in Egypt and ridden down Africa together to about Ethiopia. When we saw him next in Kelowna, B.C. he had 35,000 km on the F800 and was pretty happy with it. I took it for a boot around the block and while it certainly showed that it had been through some tough riding it was still in good shape and rode beautifully. It felt incredibly narrow, much more so than my wife's F650GS and very light compared to my R100GS or R1200GS. I would have preferred it for some of the tougher sections of Africa for sure. For North America or other places where it is mostly pavement with occassional off road work I would stay with the R1200GS.

Tom is on the HUBB so he might reply to this post with some actual facts...
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  #6  
Old 9 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman Rahman View Post
I am seriously thinking of getting the F800GS instead of the bigger 1200GS for a very long distance trip. Has anyone tried the 800GS yet? Any first hand experience with the new 800 is very much appreciated. Thanks in advance!!

Just an alternative suggestion, given you are leaning towards smallish bike and other comments about ease of maintenance in nowheresville: Have you thought of the new Yamaha Tenere? I test-drove the 800GS too and was impressed with the ride, but never liked the look and other factors. I came from BMWs, all three of them in my riding life including the R1200GS which I traded for the Tenere. After my two-week motorbiking trip in northern Vietnam on a small 125cc Honda, I am convinced that a smaller bike is much better when traveling in remote places, in fact, most parts of the world. Big bikes are really for in my view US, Canada and German autobahns. I too was concerned about whether it's too small for places like Germany where I currently live. It performs fine on even autobahn going at 140km/h as my own comfortable speed. Not a crotch rocket. I took the Tenere recently to Nordkapp too. I asked myself would a 1200GS be better? Not sure, as the arctic highway is not the typical highway one would think. It's curvy and the conditions are mixed. Ahh, the 23 litre tank on the single-cylinder Tenere gives me easily over 420km. I think the 800GS has only 16 litre feeding two cylinders?
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Old 11 Oct 2008
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Thumbs up Link

Thank you all for your comments and feedback. One link leads to another and there is one helpful site I'd like to share with other potential buyers of the F800GS. It was started by RTW Motorcycling who is back in Vancouver (he's probably on the HUBB, too ) after a very long ride....

Bmw F800gs Q&A - ADVrider

Cheers,
Norman
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Old 11 Oct 2008
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Thanks for the link Norman, a great read.
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Old 13 Oct 2008
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I'd go for the F800GS over the new Tenere. The BMW has 85hp & weighs just over 200kg whilst the Tenere has about 50hp & weighs approximately the same. Whilst the Tenere has the benefit of the larger fuel capacity (22 v 16 litres?), I know that the F800GS is capable of a real world 60mpg @ 70mph.

I rode down through France on my 950SE last May with friends, one of whom was riding a lowered F800GS with full Metal Mule luggage. It performed well offroad with Metzeler Karoo-T's fitted & was returning 60+mpg.
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Old 14 Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by Steve Pickford View Post
I'd go for the F800GS over the new Tenere. The BMW has 85hp & weighs just over 200kg whilst the Tenere has about 50hp & weighs approximately the same. Whilst the Tenere has the benefit of the larger fuel capacity (22 v 16 litres?), I know that the F800GS is capable of a real world 60mpg @ 70mph.

I rode down through France on my 950SE last May with friends, one of whom was riding a lowered F800GS with full Metal Mule luggage. It performed well offroad with Metzeler Karoo-T's fitted & was returning 60+mpg.
Someone in another blog has actually weighed the F800GS, which turned out 20kg more than what the specs said. On a german motorbike magazine, it listed out the theoretical fuel range of a number of different dual purpose bikes: F800GS along with others in the 300km area, Tenere over 500km.
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Old 14 Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by josephau View Post
Someone in another blog has actually weighed the F800GS, which turned out 20kg more than what the specs said. On a german motorbike magazine, it listed out the theoretical fuel range of a number of different dual purpose bikes: F800GS along with others in the 300km area, Tenere over 500km.
Real weight of the BMW with full tank is 223 kg according to a test-group I have talked to.
They have not tested the Tenere but Yamaha claims that 183kg is the dry-weight. If you add fuel you will have more then 200 kgs, so my guess is that the BMW will be 20 kg (maybe 25 kg) heavier. 75% increase in power and 44% increase in torque will still be more then able to handle a 10% weight-increase (with a rider it will be around 7% weight increase).

But of course the 20-25 kg weight-penalty might be noticeable when driving extreme off-road.

The fuel-range might be an issue on the F800GS but it would be strange if this is not solved within 6 months.

I will hopefully have a long testdrive at the end of this week, but I’m not planning to buy one.
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  #12  
Old 16 Oct 2008
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Hi Norman

I've got the F800GS; super bike. Just done 2000 miles in nine days on it: The Strategy Meeting - via the Pyrenees and Alps - ADVrider. My only comments for a "very long distance trip" would be the seat is not bad but can get uncomfortable so you may want to factor in an aftermarket seat (when they become available) or at least an Airhawk and consider trying to get a touring windshield from BMW or Givi. The stock shield isn't bad but it could be improved. Also, if you're very tall, you may find the riding position just a little cramped.

The bike is perfect for me and my needs.



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Old 16 Oct 2008
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Originally Posted by Wildman View Post
Hi Norman

I've got the F800GS; super bike. Just done 2000 miles in nine days on it: The Strategy Meeting - via the Pyrenees and Alps - ADVrider. My only comments for a "very long distance trip" would be the seat is not bad but can get uncomfortable so you may want to factor in an aftermarket seat (when they become available) or at least an Airhawk and consider trying to get a touring windshield from BMW or Givi. The stock shield isn't bad but it could be improved. Also, if you're very tall, you may find the riding position just a little cramped.

The bike is perfect for me and my needs.



Hey, Thank you Wildman!
Yeah, I'm not "very tall" at 5' 7" thus the choice of a lower bike. Did a Borneo trip though (lots of pictures on BMW sponsored bikes i.e the 650X-Country and a lowered seat 1200GS. Backside wasn't very happy. Is that an airhawk on your 800 seat? Looks comfortable even from the picture.
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  #14  
Old 16 Oct 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanderd View Post
not first hand, but i met a guy near Whistler in CAN who just returned from a RTW with a f800gs. didn't had any serious problems (some oil sweating from camshaftcover). Was 35000kms.

and, buying a cheap(er) bike leaves more money for traveling!

a concern for me would be parts/knowledge availability in remote areas.

cheers,
sander
Wow!!!

The bike has only been out for the last 9 months hasn't it? And he has been RTW already on it? Or which part of the world did he go round??

Interesting.
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  #15  
Old 16 Oct 2008
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Just Americas...

Tom rode the F800GS from Buenos Aries down to Ushuaia and then up to Prudhoe Bay before going down to Whistler. Not exactly RTW but a significant distance nonetheless...
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