F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

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F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby psjorge » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:55 pm

Hi guys!

I'm new to riding and to BMW bikes and am seeking some advise:

My dream machine would be a 1200GS Adventure... brand new, obviously! ... but I have to be a bit sensible so a second-hand bike has to suffice for the time being.

I need to bike to commute from Epsom to London so the question is: which shall I go for? An F700GS, and F800GS or the big daddy 1200GS?

For the budget I have (5000-6000 pounds) a 1200GS would probably be a 2006-08 model with a fair amount of mile on the clock, a F800GS would probably be a 2008-2010 with less miles and an F700GS could be a 2010-2012 with not many miles.

So, what would the pros & cons of getting a 1200 which is bigger and ?better but older and more used up compared to a 700 ?lesser bike but newer and less used?

Any advised welcomed!

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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby gogs01 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:40 am

My advice for any new rider is to buy something easy to manage (size, weight, power output etc) and, ideally, something which won't break your heart when it falls over (your first bike is likely to fall over !).
If you're reasonably tall, fairly fit and confident on a bike an "adventure" style bike should be manageable, but you would really have to be tall, strong and confident to take on a 1200GS.
Have you ridden or at least sat on a 700/800GS ? That's where I would advise you start. If they're a bit tall, and even if not, find a F800ST to try for size. They make excellent commuters, often coming with luggage, and they have a low maintenance belt drive.
The BMW dealer is your friend at this stage - try as many bikes for size as you possibly can. If you're serious, ask for a test ride (this may not be possible if you've only just got a licence).
Good luck with the search, and keep us posted (even if you go for something that doesn't come with a BMW badge).
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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby george baker » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:14 am

Hi
welcome.

There is a member here, 6'+ tall, who shall remain nameless who went to try an F800 but was tempted into trying a 1200 gs and bought it. He sold it after his first long trip.

Try an F before and after the 1200 to see how you feel, it is not when you are riding that the real problems arise but the moving the bike when you are beside it.

Most BMW dealers will give you a test ride as long as you pledge the cost (or a minimum amount, 500 quid to my local dealer when I asked) if you bend their bike.

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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby Ruralman » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:20 am

Hi psjorge,
As Gordon and George have said spend time trying out different bikes maybe hire a bike for a few days to be sure.
Most BMW dealers will hire out bikes, the bike that you ride is a very personal choice, I ride an R1200gsa and love it but I also have a K1200rs which has a totally different feel, it's much smoother to ride, though I still prefer my GSA.
I've never rode an F700 or F800 so can't comment on how they ride, to ride the 1200 you need long legs or a lowered bike.
Enjoy the testing and make a choice that is right for you.
Regards
Keith


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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby psjorge » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:38 pm

Thanks for your reply guys.

To be honest, I really don't know what to do! probably the 1200gs would be a bit too crazy...

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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby gogs01 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:22 pm

..... probably the 1200gs would be a bit too crazy...
Yes, probably. :grin:

When starting out it's normally best to start at the bottom and work up than to start at the top and come crashing down. :shock:

That's not an old Chinese proverb, just the distillation of 50+ years of motorcycling experience.
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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby psjorge » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:00 am

You see, I really like the whole idea of a 1200... riding into the unknown all day... crossing the world...

In reality, all the riding I'll end up doing will be in my own , commenting amongst London traffic...

How about the issue of newer versus older and more miles versus less miles? As 800's are cheaper, I'll get a newer bike with less miles whereas as the 1200 is more expensive, the same amount gets me an older machine with more miles.

I acknowledge that the miles issue might not be that relevant as these bikes can take a lot of miles in from what I've gathered. But what about age. Is a 2010-12 800 technologically more advanced enough than a 2006-2008 1200 to make it a better buy based on that?

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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby Tango » Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:38 am

"You see, I really like the whole idea of a 1200... riding into the unknown all day... crossing the world..."

Most, including me dream of that, not many including me get to do it. :sad:


"In reality, all the riding I'll end up doing will be in my own , commenting amongst London traffic..."



Spend your hard earned cash on a new or nearly new bike designed for commuting. Cheaper to buy, cheaper to run and maintain.

Ageing BMW's of any capacity, can get horribly expensive to maintain.

New BMW's of any capacity can get horribly expensive to maintain.

Probably not what you want to hear, but the vast majority of "exotic" for want of a better word, motorcycles are used for leisure purposes. Of course there will be the odd exception.

Good luck with your search, and as said many times above

Try before you buy.
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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby gogs01 » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:15 pm

I agree with what "Tango" says above.

Unless you really are buying your very first bike - if that's the case, I would still recommend something used and not too "precious". Maybe you won't drop your first bike, but most other people do. Something which already has dings and scrapes (and is therefore cheap to buy) will not be devalued too much by an additional ding or scrape. If it is sub-600cc it will also be cheap to insure, and, with more experience (and ideally further training), you will feel confident about splashing out some serious money on something which can be your pride and joy (and might even be a BMW ..... ).

I hope you have fun choosing, make some good choices, and turn up at one of our meet-ups to show us your pride and joy ! 👍
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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby Ruralman » Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:50 pm

For commuting in London you may be better with a narrower bike to allow filtering.
Buy the newest bike that you can afford and spend time looking for the lowest mileage bikes they are around, may take a while to find but worth it in the end.
Regards
Keith


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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby Lolo » Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:40 pm

I say the bigger the better!

R1200 is much more comfy on long distance and there is nothing you can't do on it that you can on the 800.

You are going to drop it, which ever one you get, at some time anyway, never met a serious rider who has done any distance or years that hasn't!

In the heat of the moment you are more than likely to pick it up, law of embarrassment equals super strength!!! If I can at 5ft 2" and 9 stone.

You have a more commanding presence on the road and have enough torque to move out the way of anything.

Having been hit from behind on the 1200 on a motorway I know that the weight was what saved me being thrown into the other traffic.

So again I'd go for the bigger the better! :grin:
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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby Aladin1 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:51 am

I say the bigger the better!

R1200 is much more comfy on long distance and there is nothing you can't do on it that you can on the 800.

You are going to drop it, which ever one you get, at some time anyway, never met a serious rider who has done any distance or years that hasn't!

In the heat of the moment you are more than likely to pick it up, law of embarrassment equals super strength!!! If I can at 5ft 2" and 9 stone.

You have a more commanding presence on the road and have enough torque to move out the way of anything.

Having been hit from behind on the 1200 on a motorway I know that the weight was what saved me being thrown into the other traffic.

So again I'd go for the bigger the better! :grin:
But you are an experienced rider Lolo, psjorge is new to biking and as he says commuting will be his main use. I'm 6'2" and 16i+ stone and I find my 1200gs a handful in slow moving traffic, and I recently fell off mine whilst stationary (embarrassing). I would not recommend a 1200gs for a 'novice' (no disrespect intended psjorge) and agree that a smaller 700/800 would be a better choice.
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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby george baker » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:18 am

Hi Al
not often I hear you confess the faults of GS's mass & balance
:???: ](*,)
I find my 1200gs a handful in slow moving traffic,
in fact, not heard you say anything bad since last time I met up with you in Wales, when you said it was too heavy overall & especially, too top heavy. Was that really back in May?

Was that when you
recently fell off mine whilst stationary (embarrassing)
or have you done it again :?:

Like Al
I would not recommend a 1200gs for a 'novice' (no disrespect intended psjorge)
In fact dont think I am man enough for one myself, :sad:

George
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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby Aladin1 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:34 am

Ha ha trust you to bring that up George......If I remember correctly (and I could be wrong) I said my K100RT was too heavy especially top heavy, but yes I admit the GS is a big lump at low speed but I love it on an open road.
No I haven't fallen off since my Wales incident thankfully, and I'm much more cautious about where I choose to stop and put my foot down.
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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby george baker » Sat Jul 22, 2017 9:47 am

Hi
I love my K on the move but even the naked 75 is too top heavy for me 0-5mph, and I am sensible where I park remembering I am 6 inches shorter than you. The RT fairing move the weight up quite a few inches.

I can not even stand a gsa up from it's side stand when I am astride it on a standard seat.

I have seen an F800GS with an extra step on the side stand, for a rider who could not get on his loaded bike without it.

EDIT
I just remembered when we were in Wales (2014) an ex-1200GS owner said they were too heavy, he had to take care where he parked it, could not stand it up when loaded, needed to take care whe he put his foot down, etc, BoxerMan agreed cos he had tried a few but said his Airhead GS was fine and something like "Who needs more than 60hp anyway"




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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby psjorge » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:04 pm

Thanks guys for all the sensible advise... that I sort of knew but was trying to pretend not to!

To be fair, I do have my mind set on a BMW (have bought BMW riding gear to match the bike so it would be silly to go off and by a Honda... which would probably be the wisest of choices...). All in all, I have three options: F800GS, F800 ST/GT or F800R.

By the way, what do you guys think about the pros and cons of a F700GS versus an F800GS? Is the 800 worth the extra money?

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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby psjorge » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:04 pm

... and yes, I would be bloody annoyed to drop the bike, whatever it is!

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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby Aladin1 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:44 pm

I have no personal experience with either the 700 or 800 GS but this is from a recent review:-

'The F700GS is BMW's entry-level adventure bike so it's going to be bought by many people who, like me, are relative strangers to mud, rocks and river-crossings. In most cases, owners probably won't do any serious off-roading, as this is the road-biased version to the two bikes. It's soft power and easy-to-ride character is aimed specifically at less experienced riders who want to break into the adventure bike look, if not the complete round-the-world lifestyle.

It has to be said that experienced riders will be disappointed with the lack of power the F700GS makes once you reach an open road. It's hard to understand why the more off-road-oriented F800GS boasts 10hp more than its road-focused stablemate, despite both bikes sharing the very same 798cc fuel-injected engine. BMW says it's because the F700 is intended to be more docile for less experienced riders while the F800 is aimed at more experienced riders. The counterpoint is that the 700 is 5kg lighter than the 800 when fully fuelled.
.
But as an easy-to-ride, unthreatening road bike, the F700GS totally hits the spot and will really help inexperienced riders gain confidence as they get miles under their belts. It was only when we went off-road that the bike's supposed all-round capabilities came into question.'
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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby Teetwothousand » Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:25 pm

I have the F650GS which, despite the name, is the same 800 twin engine as all the other recent F range but tuned for torque and a more 'friendly' throttle.. The F650 name morphed into the F700 . IMHO it is a brilliant all round bike. It can keep up with almost anything on the road and also performs good enough for me off road. I have done forest trails, unmade tracks of loose stones and shale but never 'true' off roading i.e. Green lanes and no lanes but I am pretty sure it could handle it occasionally. TheF800 is tuned differently and has higher HP but in practice that is useless to you - the real difference if it mattered would be wheels size and ride height for off road.

I would suggest you think about your height, weight, strength, true needs (don't fool yourself that you will be riding over the road of bones of a weekend) and your budget. Try out various things and get what suits you for your needs and forget whatever anything is 'supposed' to be good for.

In the end the rider makes 90% difference and the bike 10% - everything else is marketing.
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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby Aladin1 » Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:12 pm

+1 for what teetwothousand says, cos I spend all my time trying to keep up with him on my 1200GS
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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby george baker » Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:12 pm

hi
i know you said f or r 7,8 or 12, 00 but would you consider a g650gs

half the price, less weight and most of the power, if it was not for the cost of the insurance and being a chain i would be tempted by the added lightness

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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby King Herald » Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:57 am

I've had bikes of all sizes, for touring and commuting on, from Honda 175 to a Kawa 1300 and everything in between. The bigger the bike the better for motorway and fast A road travel, but the real essential differences come when you are in slow heavy traffic, or need to manoeuvre the bike at the end of the trip.

Nothing worse than getting into a tight corner in a car park or on some small road and you have to climb off to push the bike backwards. Not sure what the weight is of a fully loaded 'bagger' GS1200, but I bet it I shall not too far off what my 1300 weighed.

I had my 1300 nose into a kerb once when I parked in a bit of a hurry, and even as a pretty hefty 16 stone weight lifter (many, many years ago) it was a real struggled to roll it backwards against the camber of the road.

I think my favourite ever commuter type multipurpose bike was a lowly old Honda CX500. :oops:
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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby george baker » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:38 am

Hi
the CX was good but the weight was too high up, just under the gusset, for me, although the CX500C, which I only rode once had a lower point of balance.

Best ALL Around I think was the R80R, but it only beat the R100R in one place (commuting due I think, to torque curve & bevel box ratio)

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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby george baker » Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:38 am

Hi
the CX was good but the weight was too high up, just under the gusset, for me, although the CX500C, which I only rode once had a lower point of balance.

Best ALL Around I think was the R80R, but it only beat the R100R in one place (commuting due I think, to torque curve & bevel box ratio)

George
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Re: F700 vs f800 vs 1200gs

Postby psjorge » Sun Jul 23, 2017 3:17 pm

Regarding the F650, I take the point of lightness and similar engine but, having swiftly at the prices, they're pretty much the same as the F700 or even the cheapest F800's... unless one looks at the pre-2008/7 which seem really older and charmless by comparison.

As for off roading, I really like the idea of doing a few trails on the odd weekend and the bike would be the opportunity to take some leisure time . You know, join a club, meet new people, etc. However, in reality that will probably happen once or twice...

Maybe a F800ST or even an F800R would be good alternative...


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