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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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  #16  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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You know it must be a bad'n when you don't have the usual:

"How dare you slag off my BMW, it's the best bike in the world"

Crikey !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  #17  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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I had so many faults on my initial F650GS twin that after 22,000 miles BMW part funded a replacement. I now use a Tenere as my main travel bike so the replacement F650GS has only done 4,000 miles in the past 18 months.

Following the bad press with F800S and ST problems, BMW did itself no favours with the rushed launch of the F650/800GS with a resulting abysmal QA and attempts by the company to duck warranty responsibility on a whole range of problems.

Although I almost choke writing the words, much of that is in the past, and if you were choosing a new bike right now the situation is now much better. Nevertheless if I were embarking on a RTW trip with a F650/800GS I would do quite a lot of preventative work (even on a new bike) starting with replacing the sub-standard chain and extracting and repacking wheel and steering head bearings. I would also attempt to resolve the side stand issue through custom engineering. And then there's the other 'design flaws' remaining such as the hard-as-a-plank seat, low screen, blah, blah...

Here's a link to threads on some of these topics on UKGSer.

It will be interesting to see how the Tiger XC gets on with hard-arse journeys. If it really does well it could stick a stake through the heart of the F800GS.

Tim
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  #18  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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Exactly, Ted. It's clearly a stonking piece of sh1t as a travel bike and even the owner's aren't disputing it!

Ha ha ha. I nearly bloody bought one as well but thought I'd wait until the beta testers had put it through it's paces - glad I did too.
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  #19  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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C'mon gents, a bit more unemotional and balanced commentary please.

As the proud owner of a BMW, and a Suzuki and a Honda (and formerly a Kawaski) I find the strong emotions associated with specific brand loyalty and brand hatred endlessly fascinating and somewhat perplexing.

For sure any new model is going to have teething problems until all the manufacturing issues and assembly issues are worked out. Having worked in the manufacturing industry that produces things that go into automobiles, heavy trucks, and a very small amount of motorcycles, I've seen it firsthand.

It's an incredibly complex process, and that's why you see huge companies with industry leading quality control histories (eg. Toyota) still have recalls. It is a process that is impossible to perfect. Multiple suppliers produce items at various times using different inputs and different personnel. Conditions vary, and therefore so does quality.

Over time, you are able to identify and adjust for recurring issues. Unfortunately, there are always sporadic issues that will crop up due to a batch of substandard inputs or workmanship. Some companies are better at dealing with both these things than others. But make no mistake, all companies are challenged by this as everyone has been forced to move some or all manufacturing to low cost centers.

Needless to say, industry insiders are rightfully skeptical of sweeping generalizations claiming that any one vehicle or motorbike is either perfect or a piece of junk. Obtaining authentic performance data that is verifiable and statistically relevant is extremely difficult.

One big barrier is owner bias. A person buys one vehicle and it is either good or bad based on their perception of their experience. 100% (1/1) of his sample therefore proves his conclusion. In his mind, the evidence is irrefutable, and understandably that is why you get black and white opinions.

That's not to say they are incorrect, it is just that the individual experiences need to be extrapolated over a much larger data set to glean any really meaningful conclusions. Once meaningful conclusions can be determined though, quality control issues are costly, and cost erodes profits so in general manufacturs are very incented to identify and correct true quality issues.

(And if you think that bike owners are passionate and opinionated folks, try sorting through a truckers feedback when his $250K investment that also provides all the income for his family isn't running perfectly.)

To repeat my previous comments on the specific bike the OP asked about, it like a lot of other bikes, is perfectly fine for the ride you are planning.

There are a some of items that need addressing before you head out. If you want you can read through the chatter draw meaningful conclusions as to what faults seem to be well known and replace as necessary.

As for me, I bought mine overseas before they were available here so rode it from TDF to Alaska prior to the avaialbility of spare parts for it in the Americas. I wasn't too worried about it. It has gone through a fairly broad diversity of warm to hot weather conditions well and the next year I rode it up to the Canadian Arctic (Tuktoyuktuk). It doesn't start great colder than -15C but ran well up to -28.5C (much better than the operator). It has had the usual warranty gasket and hose replacements, otherwise it has performed as well and been pretty much as reliable as my KLR and DL. To each his own though. Happy planning.
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  #20  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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MountainMan the voice of reason

Ditto for me.
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  #21  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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Oh, it was a bit of TFIC, chaps, don't worry. But the F800 series have had rather a lot of problems compared to, say, the V-strom 650, right? It will be interesting to see how many issues the new Tiger 800s have, but having previously owned a first release Triumph I would trust my cash to that rather than the Beemer. But then I'm British, so what do you expect?
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  #22  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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Hey Dano,

Thanks, hope to see you in Nakusp. By the sounds of the doom sayers, we'll have to arrange to trailer the bikes there or risk certain death by spontaneous combustion


Hey Doc,

Well you must know from your days on the sunshine coast that Canucks can only aspire to be as eminently thoughtful and unbiased as your average British Triumph owner A bit of home country bias is certainly acceptable though, we have to make due with secretly pining over the Can-Am Spyder...


Ride safe.
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  #23  
Old 11 Apr 2011
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For an example of the scope of the problem check out post #56 on this thread where even the chain manufacturer admitted there were known problems that BMW were denying. The text of the emails highlights that it took 15 months to decide to fit a stronger chain on the bike. This however hasn't totally fixed the problem.
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  #24  
Old 12 Apr 2011
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I accept all of the above however, after 34000 odd miles & 10 months of riding which finished today when the bike was shipped home, I believe my comments are valid.

Bikes I met on route that came off the production line two years (two years!!!) after mine suffered from the same woes (& much, much more).

Parts availability??? A three week wait for a dud water pump in Santiago, Chile - does that fall within the definition of parts availabilty?

Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, sadly after all those miles, day after day (for 10 months!) my opinion of the BMW F800GS is not a good one.

Perhaps I should have changed all the component parts in preparation for this trip but that's exactly the opposite reason to why I buy a bike - as a complete package. I niavely rely on the manufacturer to have done the ground work, after all the F800 isn't marketed as a cafe racer.

& I've had three BMW's. An 1150 Adv & a 1200 Adv just in case my opinion of the F800 & the BMW brand would carry any less weight had I not have mentioned that.

By all means buy one. I just wanted to detail my experience.
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  #25  
Old 12 Apr 2011
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Smile Bmw

Mountain man

Will see you in Nakusp if my 650 GS makes it past the Port Mann without multiorgan failure!! sp
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  #26  
Old 12 Apr 2011
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Tim, a bit OT, but how has the 660 Tenere held up? They look like great bikes, any problems with it (other than not being available where I live...)?
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  #27  
Old 12 Apr 2011
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F800GS rescue trailer

Now preparing the requested rescue trailer for my 800 and the many others that will require assistance in Nakusp this summer. I will be taking suggestions on which dealer to haul to for repair. Please have your warranty cards and ownership documents ready to better facilitate the repairs required. MountainMan will have first dibs for his brilliant idea that clearly will be very profitable for yours truly. Oh crap I forgot my bike will be requiring the trailer as well.

Nakusp here we come (if my bike makes it that is,wish me luck). Whoop whoop!!
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  #28  
Old 12 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
You know it must be a bad'n when you don't have the usual:

"How dare you slag off my BMW, it's the best bike in the world"

Crikey !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BcDano View Post
Now preparing the requested rescue trailer for my 800 and the many others that will require assistance in Nakusp this summer. I will be taking suggestions on which dealer to haul to for repair. Please have your warranty cards and ownership documents ready to better facilitate the repairs required. MountainMan will have first dibs for his brilliant idea that clearly will be very profitable for yours truly. Oh crap I forgot my bike will be requiring the trailer as well.

Nakusp here we come (if my bike makes it that is,wish me luck). Whoop whoop!!


I knew they'd show up in the end !!
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  #29  
Old 12 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motoreiter View Post
Tim, a bit OT, but how has the 660 Tenere held up? They look like great bikes, any problems with it (other than not being available where I live...)?
The Tenere had 3,000km when I bought it and is now on about 24,000 I think (not seen it for several months as it's in Spain).

The major problem that many have encountered is a poor connection between the wiring loom and the rectifier. My bike also had this problem, see attached pics, and it took six weeks for the dealer in Spain to get approval to do the work under warranty, get the parts in, and do the work. Fortunately that was at the end of a seven-week trip to Morocco.

I also had to get the steering head bearings replaced. They were badly corroded (!) and it took a couple of hours to get them out.

The other problem I'm not used to is tubed tyres with inner tubes which are a real pain in the ass. But generally a lovely bike that inspires confidence.
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F800GS for adventure traveling?-rectifier.jpg  

F800GS for adventure traveling?-rectifier-socket.jpg  

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  #30  
Old 15 Apr 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smudger View Post

& I've had three BMW's. An 1150 Adv & a 1200 Adv just in case my opinion of the F800 & the BMW brand would carry any less weight had I not have mentioned that.
Smudger - I'd like to ask you about your experiences comparing these three bikes - but don't want to hijack this thread. I only have well, 2 posts now, so I'm not allowed to PM you. Can you PM me, so I can respond with a couple questions or share a direct email address with me?

I currently own a 1200Adv, had a 1150Adv too.

OK...back the regularly scheduled program..
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