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ridearedhog

F800

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ridearedhog

Hi Riders,

I'm riding a 2008 R1200RT, and considering trading for a F800ST or GT. If you've had some riding experience on both the R1200RT and the F800ST/GT, please share your impressions and opinions.

John

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TNT

More and more RT riders are looking at the new GT and older ST. Some have made the switch and like the smaller bike. I hope to get the GT after the new year. The GT fits me and my test ride sold me on the smaller bike. Lots of X-RT rides and talk over on the F800 forum, GT discussion page here. http://f800riders.org/forum/forumdisplay.php/268-F800GT-Discussion May be ask over on it, if you have not all ready. Here is the bike I rode on the test ride with out the bags. It was fast and smoother then my old 04 RT. It's light weigh and a fun little bike that blew me away. Can't wait to get it. I can make it into my own RT light. IMG-20130829-01114_zpsbb447b3b.jpg

Edited by TNT

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TNT

Well after looking and looking, I ended up getting the F700GS. This will be a better fit for my needs all in all. Now it needs to get here. lol

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Sweendog

I'm interested to try a ride on the new GT. I took a short spin on an ST, and found my knees to be too bent to be comfortable. The GTs are a sharp looking ride though.

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UberXY

Hi John

 

I went from an R1150RT to an F800ST a few years ago. I liked my RT a lot, but as my trips were pretty much just weekend rides, I thought maybe the RT was overkill, and I went with the much lighter 800ST.

 

The ST was great. Motor was fine, brakes were good, bike was very comfortable, and easy to move around in the garage and out of tight parking spaces. I toured on it, and did a track day on it, and explored some dirt/mud roads with it. The only thing I didn't like about it was the front suspension, especially after enjoying the front set up on the RT. Under hard braking you use up most of the fork travel, and the bike does not absorb interstate expansion joints all that well. There are some fixes for it discussed on the 800 boards, but to do it right was about a grand plus sending out the forks for revalving. After about 3 years I sold it and bought a K1200ST, which not only has great suspension, but 160 HP and excellent brakes.

 

Good luck with your purchase!

Edited by UberXY

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racer7

The F800GT is no RT light- especially by its ergonomics. The bars are terrible and cannot be truly fixed with any commercial barback. The peg position changes are minimal from the ST.

 

yes its light and has great brakes and light handling. But the twin motor is a buzz bomb so with no way to weight off your hands it becomes increasing obnoxious at longer miles.

And the GT has poor heat management making it unpleasant in hot weather. Mine is parked for the summer.

 

I regard the GT or ST as limited use bikes suitable for play on twisty roads or light duty touring in cool weather. Not even close to an all purpose substitute for an RT (mines an 08).

 

Do like the belt drive on them.

 

The 700 may be better choice for many but

when everything is said and done, the twins are long overdue for a serious update and a better motor. All BMW does with these things is cosmetic line extensions of the same basic stuff.

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TNT

The F700GS is doing just fine for me.

 

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racer7

The 700 won't bake your butt in hot weather like the 800GT will.

 

And the twin is probably an OK motor for a dual sport.

 

But for anything with the pretensions of the ST or GT the motor is a long in tooth dirtbox that badly needs an update. The GT would be enormously improved by dropping in a similar output Triumph triple. The entire factory DVD disc for all of the F twins ever made is about 10% of the file size of that for R1200s because there are so few changes, other than cosmetic, between all the different models. They're sort of the Harleys of the BMW line- lots of models with few real differences.

 

Mine has been parked for the summer and replaced by my 89 Honda Transalp. Am debating trading it for Kawasaki 1000cc mini tourer but that bike has its own share of problems, including a ridiculously short geared sprocket set, the usual screen issues, etc..

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rclbaker

My interpretation of few changes for the F models compared with the boxers is somewhat different.

 

Regards,

Rob

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Trullion
My interpretation of few changes for the F models compared with the boxers is somewhat different.

 

Regards,

Rob

 

Yes, so is mine. For example, if I'd bought the R1200GS W/C when it came out I'd be a bit annoyed to find out that it now has the heavier flywheel of the Adventure and RT versions that by all accounts tranforms the bike. Then again I've thought for a long time that with BMWs the last of the line is usually the best and the first is a kind of beta version that the early adopters improve for BMW.

 

That said, I agree with Racer7 on some points re the F800GT. The riding position seems impossible to sort because the handlebars have no real adjustability and, for me, the grips are at the wrong angle. I have fitted bar risers which have helped a bit, but really I need different bars.

I have done some lengthy trips on mine I find it a pretty good tourer despite the bars. The engine is a bit buzzy at certain rev ranges, though in my experience it is smooth at a constant throttle, buzzing more under acceleration. Re the heat, I guess that is a problem in warm countries but is no big deal in the UK. I believe BMW missed a trick. They could have sorted the riding position by making it more upright and, crucially, could have had a low-level exhaust allowing two full-size panniers. As it is, it is a mild improvement on the "nothing" bike that the ST was, whereas it could have been a real mini RT. (By way of explanation I feel that the ST simply wasn't fast enough for the "sport" in sport/tourer, yet the riding position was too sporty for the "tourer" element). Glad I didn't buy an early one too, given the well-documented issues.

All-in-all the GT is a bit of a disappointment, though I'll have to keep it for a while or Her Indoors will murder me. I should perhaps add that I still have my R1100RS, which produces the same bhp, though more torque, and is a much more satisfying ride; it is a definite keeper. I much prefer this solid, well-made bike to the F800 even if the handling is nowhere near as quick. I doubt very much that the F800 will be around in 18 years time, certainly not in my garage.

 

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NoelCP
The 700 won't bake your butt in hot weather like the 800GT will.

 

I ride the GT in hot weather if 93-94F is considered hot, and have yet to experience 'baking my butt'. That being said I wear riding pants w/ shorts underneath. I would imagine this issue might be problematic if you wear shorts while riding, or lightweight pants.

 

The GT does what it is supposed to do exceedingly well, and that is be a simple, effective, low maintenance Sport-tourer. It's a middle-weight sports bike w/ touring cases so it is correct to call is a Sport-tourer. IMO, the RT is more of a sport-Tourer, and I think some GT buyers were hoping to have something more like a sport-Tourer. So if you want a sport bike that you can do some touring on, get very good fuel economy, a very spirited ride, low maintenance, some very nice technology on board, all at a reasonable price, then the GT fits the bill really really well IMO. Most of buyer's perceived shortcomings I feel come primarily from hoping it was to be a sport-Tourer, and so spend lots of time and a some dollars trying to turn it into one by trying to find a better windscreen solution, raising handle bars, lowering foot pegs. Or complaining that it isn't what they hoped it would be for them. The GT is fabulous at what it does you just have to see it for what it is.

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racer7

There is a pair of F800GTs in our garage and both the SO and I find the heat management pathetic compared to the other BMWs in the fleet and to all others we've owned with the possible exception of an old K brick she had years ago.

They're fine until temps get to 80ish and then not fun at all- but we have 5 other bikes handy.

When I get time I plan to either jerk or frill the t tat on mine- it needs its water temp dropped 20 degrees or so to get control of the temp situation- not an elegant fix but the GS-911 can monitor whether it works or not. No low temp stat available that I know of, hence the workaround, an old racers trick.

 

If the heat and the bars were fixed it would be an OK bike- but we also both dislike the dinky bags with the stupid shelf. Too little capacity for serious use. We carry the large yellow Ortliebs on the seat while touring as the bike is really too light for a large heavy topcase on the rear shelf.

 

The GT got too much styling attention and too little engineering and it really does need a decent modern motor- not the retread it does have- which cannot be distinguished from that in the ST in actual riding despite output difference claims. Both Yamaha and Triumph put far better motors in cheaper bikes.

 

Looks pretty though.

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lkchris
Do like the belt drive on them.

 

Back in the day when the R100GS was current, guys used to complain loudly that the $450 driveshaft was only good for maybe 60K miles.

 

BMW's specified replacement interval for the $400 F800 drive belt is 24K miles.

 

Of course $400 isn't what it used to be.

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Dietrich

Didn't go to the 800 GT but after riding a RT for years I went to a 1200Gs for a while and two years ago after trying an ST ended up with a slightly used F650GS (800) . Like the bike a lot and it is also my preferred rental when I travel on tours. It farkels up nicely and I have it outfitted now the way I like it. Managed to get a used Russell which works great. The bike is lowered since my inseam at 29 and can be challenging on the regular GS worse yet on the 800GS. I still miss the boxer and just got a '92 100R to satify that need on occasion.

I have no trouble doing 1000km plus in a day with the 650 and will stick with it for the foreseeable future.

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mw074

Low mileage ST's are available for close to 8 grand less than the new GT.

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TNT

Still loving this f700gs. For me it is a very good do it all bike. This bike has opened up a new world for me on this little GS. IMG_1275JPG_zps195c044d.jpg

Edited by TNT

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roadscholar

They are great bikes and I think very under-rated. Will do anything a 1200GS does (except maybe 2-up and loaded down) and weighs a 100 lbs. less. I rode my 650 on the first Trans-Fla. ride and will again this year.

 

484-L.jpg

 

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