850cc New BMW sports tourer - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    Concrete remains undefeated.

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    What we know so far...

    • Higher power option: The standard F850GS produces 94bhp, but the GT could take on more powerful rivals with a higher output
    • Take a seat: Without big wheels and suspension, the GT’s seat height could be as low as 820mm, making it easier to manage
    • Tracer fire: The F850GT will be aimed at Yamaha’s Tracer 900GT, so we’d expect it to debut around the 10,000 mark
    • Weekend warrior: With luggage and other touring accessories, the F850GT could be a perfect weekend getaway vehicle

    This is much like I expected. If the F800GS put out slightly less hp than the F800GT, then the equivalent new model of the GT or XR will also do so. BMW will have to because the third bullet is the important one. The new bike is aimed directly at the Yamaha Tracer GT, in looks, features, power, etc. The Yamaha is a good bike, so they won't want to put out a so-so effort on this.

    The interesting thing to me, just standing back and looking at what BMW will do, is if the new BMW touring model is virtually identical to the Tracer GT. Will both have chain drives? No advantage then to BMW. The Tracer GT already has an engine the motorcycle press (and owners) are in love with. The updates for 2019 have made the Tracer GT a nice ride-by-wire bike with many of the features the current R1200RS has, and which the new BMW model will undoubtedly have. So what will be the advantage to owning the BMW model if both bikes come out virtually tied in features and handling, etc.


    Many years ago, home and business computers came out and the reigning desktop computer was the IBM XT and then later the AT. They cost a fortune back then. But as time went on, the computers became more and more similar to where now they are what is termed a "commodity" item. Buying a Dell or an HP is more a function of how the key board feels than a difference in features or cost. And the cost went way way down. Have we hit that point with motorcycles?

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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    I believe it's a done deal. BMW typically doesn't get this far down the design and evaluation process without bringing the bike to market.

    I imagine the huge RT-sized panniers and trunk will be desired by some. Personally, I'm not fond of the angular XR styling, but I will reserve judgment until I see one in the flesh.

    Folks here will be asking if those USD forks and radial-mounted calipers will fit their F800GT. And if you look closely, it appears the bike has the bracketry for an electronically-adjustable windscreen, which would be welcomed. Nice to see they fitted a hugger over the rear tire too!


    2012 BMW R1200R Classic | 2015 BMW R1200RT

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    Thank you for sharing the link.

    Looks like it has a chain drive based on the picture ?

    Click image for larger version.

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by usa View Post
    Thank you for sharing the link.

    Looks like it has a chain drive based on the picture ?

    Click image for larger version.

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    Depending on the swingarm configuration, yes, chain drive.

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    That new bike looks kind of heavy to me. I bet it will weigh around 550 pounds, before you add the luggage.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by usa View Post
    Thank you for sharing the link.

    Looks like it has a chain drive based on the picture ?

    Click image for larger version.

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    Agreed. That certainly appears to be a chain.
    Concrete remains undefeated.

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    So maybe 10 more HP, likely more weight, and chain drive. Hmmm, not anything that would tempt me away from my F800GT. No offense to BMW, but if I wanted chain drive I would already have a Tracer.

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    Is anybody other than Harley or Indian using belt drive?
    2013 F800GT Graphite Metallic-Gone to a new home
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildWilly View Post
    Is anybody other than Harley or Indian using belt drive?
    Zero is and has been using a Gates carbon-fiber reinforced belt drive since at least 2012. Works great as long as you stay away from loose gravel roads. (They sell a chain drive conversion for the serious off-road riders.)
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JTM65 View Post
    So maybe 10 more HP, likely more weight, and chain drive. Hmmm, not anything that would tempt me away from my F800GT. No offense to BMW, but if I wanted chain drive I would already have a Tracer.
    So with more weight and the electronics, and no chain...why not buy a R1200RS?

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

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  16. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    So with more weight and the electronics, and no chain...why not buy a R1200RS?

    Chris
    Now you are thinking like the BMW marketing department.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

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    I understand that the luggage is very similar to the f800 GT. And yes, the mystery is over... chain drive, throttle-by-wire, cruise control. But, I understand that the shield is adjustable but manually operated. It looks to have a 17" front wheel. Chris, I hear you about the Tracer and one wonders about why someone would buy the new BMW vs. the Yamaha? Well, why does one buy a Ford vs. Chevy? Indian vs. H-D? iPhone vs. Samsung? All of these options are excellent if that is what you are looking for. It is all about preference..... and I hate to say it... marketing to a population segment. We are all vulnerable and manufacturers pass that cost on to customers. I too will reserve judgement on the new bike. If it turns out to be a junior sized XR, I'd expect to be disappointed, but we shall see. I think that the S1000 XR is a fantastic bike, but so close to my GSA, that I wouldn't consider it as an option if I were looking for a replacement. It is the silly season here now, snow on the ground and my bikes are in the garage on their warm tenders. There is a gorgeous '15 RnineT in Portland that has caught my eye.

  18. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildWilly View Post
    Is anybody other than Harley or Indian using belt drive?
    Ducati, Yamaha, and Kawasaki

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    The addition of a chain takes it off my radar.
    I don't want a bike with a chain. This is a disappointing move from BMW.

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  21. #16
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    Completely agree. The addition of a chain will save me a trip to the local Motorrad dealer to place my order.

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    This is why I said an R1200RS might be an alternative. No chain. When I test rode the RS, I didn't find that much of a difference in the basic bike. Handling was great...but so was the F800GT. The difference was in having the electrical goodies. Dynamic ride modes and I believe dynamic ABS too. I didn't find the differences worth the increased cost of buying the RS. But...if I wanted those and found the F850GT something that interested me...but I didn't want a chain...the RS fits the bill.

    So with the new F850GT increasing in weight...it'll be right there at the RS's weight. The techie goodies won't be different between the bikes. But...the RS has a shaft drive.

    And...you can get some good deals on RS's that are previously loved, broken in, and maybe equipped with some nice accessories.

    I wonder if BMW realized it's biggest competition might be it's other models.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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    John 14:6

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    Quote Originally Posted by usa View Post
    Ducati, Yamaha, and Kawasaki
    Did a Google search for a Kawasaki with belt drive and came up dry. What current models?
    2013 F800GT Graphite Metallic-Gone to a new home
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  26. #19
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    My 1985 Kawasaki GPz305 had a belt drive - made by the Japanese company (appropriately named) Bando. I think it had noodle reinforcement.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

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  28. #20
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    Not a 2nd childhood, still in the 1st

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  30. #21
    usa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildWilly View Post
    Did a Google search for a Kawasaki with belt drive and came up dry. What current models?
    +Suzuki too BTW.

    Regarding Kawasaki, the Vaquero, the Voyager and the three Vulcan 900 models use belt :

    https://www.kawasaki.com/products/20...00-Vaquero-ABS

    https://www.kawasaki.com/products/20...00-Voyager-ABS

    https://www.kawasaki.com/motorcycle/...ser/vulcan-900

  31. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by usa View Post
    +Suzuki too BTW.

    Regarding Kawasaki, the Vaquero, the Voyager and the three Vulcan 900 models use belt :

    https://www.kawasaki.com/products/20...00-Vaquero-ABS

    https://www.kawasaki.com/products/20...00-Voyager-ABS

    https://www.kawasaki.com/motorcycle/...ser/vulcan-900
    Thank you. Anything that is remotely close to the F800GT in any brand? More sports tourer versus Harley clone? Your help is much appreciated.
    2013 F800GT Graphite Metallic-Gone to a new home
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    I don't understand why all motorcycle manufacturers are moving BACK to chain drive.
    It is maintenance heavy, and requires frequent replacement, normally by generic providers. Surely when you spend years and $$$ on R&D you don't want to leave the final variable down to the end user chosing whichever final drive fits his wallet?
    Back in the 1910s, cars and trucks were chain driven too. We moved on.

  33. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtyshirt View Post
    I don't understand why all motorcycle manufacturers are moving BACK to chain drive.
    It is maintenance heavy, and requires frequent replacement, normally by generic providers. Surely when you spend years and $$$ on R&D you don't want to leave the final variable down to the end user chosing whichever final drive fits his wallet?
    Back in the 1910s, cars and trucks were chain driven too. We moved on.
    In terms of my own preference, I'm with you and I love the belt drive on my ST. But I also understand the appeal of chains. They are a very efficient and uncomplicated way to get power to the rear wheel. For sport bikes, where horsepower and 0-60 times sell bikes, there is no other rational choice. They are dramatically cheaper to service and repair than shaft drives. They give lots of visible advance warning before failing, also unlike shafts and also in some cases, belts.

    But as you say, routine chain maintenance can be messy and a chore and if BMW goes chain on the ST/GT replacement, when it's time to replace my ST I will look seriously at an R1200 RS.

    -dan
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    usa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildWilly View Post
    Thank you. Anything that is remotely close to the F800GT in any brand? More sports tourer versus Harley clone? Your help is much appreciated.
    No. Not in sport touring category.

    I don't know about other brands (yet). But the BMW belt is a kind of a mixed bag.
    I like the belt a lot as I don't have to clean/oil it every 500 miles, which is every 9 days for me. But after paying $500 just for the belt + labor, I think I wouldn't mind cleaning the chain. On the F800GT with center-stand, cleaning the chain is not a pain as with cruisers.

  36. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtyshirt View Post
    I don't understand why all motorcycle manufacturers are moving BACK to chain drive.
    It is maintenance heavy, and requires frequent replacement, normally by generic providers. Surely when you spend years and $$$ on R&D you don't want to leave the final variable down to the end user chosing whichever final drive fits his wallet?
    Back in the 1910s, cars and trucks were chain driven too. We moved on.
    I like the belt, but not the BMW belt ... my brain tells me that that thing isn't worth $500

  37. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by usa View Post
    I like the belt, but not the BMW belt ... my brain tells me that that thing isn't worth $500
    I concur that the cost of the belt is outrageous. But on the other hand, I have a friend with a GT and his orignal belt has 60,000 miles and still looks good. What would the cost of chains and sprockets be for the same mileage? And thanks again for your help.
    2013 F800GT Graphite Metallic-Gone to a new home
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  38. #28
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    With any luck, once the F800GT goes out of production, the cost of the belt will drop like it did with the ST when it was replaced.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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    Zero has a model that puts out 116 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheel and they use a 17mm wide carbon-fiber reinforced belt, made by Gates I believe. They recommend replacing the belt every 24K miles. I recently bought a replacement belt to have around just in case and it only cost $120.

    I suspect that BMW has returned to chain drive (first used on the 1993 Funduro) in an effort to cut costs on their smaller bikes. Plus, it allows them to change gear ratios on different models cheaply as a big factory can purchase different chains and sprockets in bulk a lot less then manufacturing different cog wheels and buying belts for a limited model run. However, it is true that they loose those big bucks on belt replacement, but I guess they still come out ahead in both the long run and the short run. Good for BMW, maybe not so good for some of their customers.
    Richard - Current bikes: 2016 BMW R1200RS, 2018 16.6 kWh Zero S, 2011 Royal Enfield Bullet 500 Classic, 2009 BMW F650GS, 2020 KTM 390 Duke, 2002 Yamaha FZ1 (FZS1000N) and a 1978 Honda Kick 'N Go Senior.

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    Picture reminds me of my much loved TDM900 - Yamaha had the beginnings of being so right, but lost their way -then trumpeted the arrival of the very plastic Tracer range.

    Just finished an amazing 10 trip on my F800GT through Australian Alps ( hills really but with snow) to Philip Island Motogp - I just love this bike, its belt drive and its handling ( and mine has no vibrations and pulls strongly right through to red line due to dyno tuning and Commander chip). Will try to keep the miles low and ownership long!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WildWilly View Post
    I concur that the cost of the belt is outrageous. But on the other hand, I have a friend with a GT and his orignal belt has 60,000 miles and still looks good. What would the cost of chains and sprockets be for the same mileage? And thanks again for your help.
    From what "truths" I've read on the Internet 60K is abnormally long and not at all typical for an F800GT belt. Longevity of a chain and sprocket, just like a belt, would vary with the bike and especially the rider. I've heard of people getting 5K miles from a chain on a constantly-abused bike and 70K on a more gently-ridden bike - 25-35K is probably "average". On my last bike (Suzuki GSF 1250) the chain and sprockets were replaced at 31,300 miles. Replacement cost (aftermarket chain & sprockets, and including parts and labor) was HALF what the price of the gold-plated BMW belt costs just for the part. So compared to my Suzuki the BMW belt would have to last well over 60K miles just to break even with chain cost, all things being equal, and that's not likely except in rare cases like your friend's. One can likely say with certainty that the overpricing of BMW's belt insures there is no cost savings over a chain drive on other bikes - one has to justify the belt drive on "no need for maintenance" aspect because of BMW's ridiculous pricing.

    Of course, regarding chains and sprockets, anything BMW would likely cost a bundle too, so comparing apples to apples I imagine chain & sprocket costs with BMW parts would run the same as belt costs. It will be a matter of the availability of aftermarket chains and sprockets so see a money savings.
    LIFE IS A JOURNEY THAT IS GUIDED BY A GARMIN MOTORCYCLE GPS - IT WILL NEVER GO WHERE YOU EXPECT OR WANT IT TO GO.

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  44. #32
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    After "chainging over" to 4 Japanese shaft FD bikes (since 1978) and my current BMW belt drive model I will NEVER own another chain drive bike. Do not plan to own one with UpSideDown forks either. So far my `09 F800ST remains a keeper. BMW switching to chain FD makes no sense for us dedicated shaft/belt Beemer owners, but they are now targeting price conscious new 1st time BMW owners.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleRob View Post
    BMW switching to chain FD makes no sense for us dedicated shaft/belt Beemer owners, but they are now targeting price conscious new 1st time BMW owners.
    The F800ST/GT has always been their value leader. Lots of budget components, including outsourced frames, suspension, electronics, bodywork and engines on these bikes. Considering BMW only assembled and sold about 3000 F800GT's per year WORLDWIDE, adapting the F850 engine to belt drive for only one model, a slow-selling one at that, was probably cost prohibitive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WildWilly View Post
    Is anybody other than Harley or Indian using belt drive?
    Yamaha

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    Quote Originally Posted by emlevy View Post
    Considering BMW only assembled and sold about 3000 F800GT's per year WORLDWIDE, adapting the F850 engine to belt drive for only one model, a slow-selling one at that, was probably cost prohibitive.
    The numbers are interesting, I think the whole bike market is going to change soon with the Chineses and Indian manufacturers staring to market world wide; people in the west thing Royal Enfield is a minority marque, yet they sell over 8 million bike per year in India! Mind boggling, 3000 F-GT's in comparison is just so so niche

  50. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by emlevy View Post
    ...

    Folks here will be asking if those USD forks and radial-mounted calipers will fit their F800GT.
    One could look to the current F800R for replacement USD forks for an S/ST/GT.
    R1200R-LC ​Exclusive in Thunder Grey with Touring Pack. Formerly Graphitane F800ST 04/2007. I rarely visit the forum these days ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by emlevy View Post
    The F800ST/GT has always been their value leader. Lots of budget components, including outsourced frames, suspension, electronics, bodywork and engines on these bikes. Considering BMW only assembled and sold about 3000 F800GT's per year WORLDWIDE, adapting the F850 engine to belt drive for only one model, a slow-selling one at that, was probably cost prohibitive.
    That's more a problem with their marketing department. Its the Apple mentality. Create something the customer never asked for, convince them it is what they want, instead of listening to what they want. Provide no alternatives.
    Hope that they play ball, and your competition falls over itself to catch up with you. Honda have done the same with their latest efforts. Dump the NT, ST and VFR, replace them with the NC, A lighter GL and the Africa Twin, an offroad bike weighing in at just about the quarter tonne.

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  53. #38
    TelemarkTumalo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycleRob View Post
    After "chainging over" to 4 Japanese shaft FD bikes (since 1978) and my current BMW belt drive model I will NEVER own another chain drive bike. Do not plan to own one with UpSideDown forks either. So far my `09 F800ST remains a keeper. BMW switching to chain FD makes no sense for us dedicated shaft/belt Beemer owners, but they are now targeting price conscious new 1st time BMW owners.
    I love the belt drive on my ST. And, I love the shaft drive of my GSA. BMW has obviously heard cries of "underpowered", "unexciting", "boring", "dated", etc... about the engine, design and styling of the f800. They have watched the mid-size market adapt to the offerings from Ducati, Triumph and Yamaha, and even many on this forum. Do I want to service a chain? Of course not! Who does, really? However, chain drive is a tried and true mechanism for delivering power to the rear tire and does it with minimal loss of efficiency. And, the bottom line, is always the bottom line. Chain drive is obviously delivers the most bang for the buck. It is the least expensive way to get the job done. I'm guessing that BMW looked at the mid-size street bike as a shrinking market, but still liked the concept. I'm just glad the f800 has a future... albeit in the f850. I'll withhold judgement until I hear enough real world reviews, or even better, throw a leg over one for a test ride. For those who prefer a belt, the f800 parallel twin, the underseat tank, the conventional fork, and left side exhaust?.... well the older design lives in our currently owned bikes. And, in spite of poor sales, there remain lots of good used ones out there on the market.

  54. #39
    usa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TelemarkTumalo View Post
    ... And, the bottom line, is always the bottom line ...
    Yes. For the buyers too.

    At $500 for the belt + a few hundreds to mount it ... I'll be more than happy to clean and lube the chain, with the center stand, it's not too bad.

  55. #40
    N4HHE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usa View Post
    I like the belt, but not the BMW belt ... my brain tells me that that thing isn't worth $500
    Yes, and what if you have to replace the sprockets too?

    Chains require more adjustment, lubrication, and cleaning, but cost less for sprockets and chain than a BMW belt.

    Now if only BMW will swallow their German pride and design around commonly available parts then things would be interesting. Harley-Davidson belts are in the $150-$250 range.
    2016 Yamaha FJR1300A; 2016 Beta 430RS; 2007 BMW F800S; 2009 Husaberg FE450; 2016 Subaru Outback; 2018 F150; 2013 Tesla Model S 85; 1983 Porsche 928S; 9 cats

  56. #41
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    The bottom, bottom line, for me, is whatever floats my boat. I can afford a BMW and I can afford a BMW belt. I'm not going to make any motorcyle decision based on dollars and cents. For me it's always been, and will always be, an emotional decision. I'll ride whatever moves my body and spirit. And currently that is the overly priced belt drive F800GT. As Kramer stated on the Seinfeld show, it's my HOOTCHIE MAMA
    2013 F800GT Graphite Metallic-Gone to a new home
    Not a 2nd childhood, still in the 1st

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  58. #42
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    I wonder if this was a part of corporate thinking: When I test-drove an RS (and an RT) in 2016, my conclusion was that it didn't represent a big enough step up to warrant replacing my ST. Not enough performance gain to be worth the money, I decided.

    But now, with replacement of my soon to be 10-year-old ST a little more "urgent," the presence of chain drive on the most logical model -- the new F850 GT -- is pushing me back toward that RS. And this time there is a more substantial horsepower and torque gain.

    Perhaps BMW figures they can grab more first-timers (to the brand) by controlling costs on that new GT, while bumping us "veterans" up to a more expensive model? Our aversion to chains may be a plus, in their book.

    -dan
    Blue '09 F800 ST: ABS, toasty grips, trip computer, center stand, sport panniers, Ventura luggage, Valentine 1, Garmin zmo 660 RAM mounted, Sena 20S, P3 LED tail lights, Grip Pups, Centech AP-1 fuse panel, Go Cruise control, Shoei GT-Air, Gerbing's jacket liner, MRA X-creen Sport.

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  60. #43
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    Interesting point, Dan. I did like the RS. And I was very surprised to like the RS more than the RT. But neither was that much better than my GT, and certainly when I factored in how much it would cost for how little gain I got, it was a no-brainer decision to stay with my GT.

    My biggest complaint about the RS would be the windscreen. I'm just not sure anyone has found a good solution to the windscreen.

    As WildWilly puts it, my decision to buy a GT with an overly high priced belt was not based on the cost of the belt. To me, it is just an operating cost that is amortized over many many miles. I'm 10,000 miles past BMW's recommended change point now. I suspect it'll last a lot longer. And a nice part of having a newly designed GT is that the belt price will drop like it did with the ST to something far more reasonable. And that makes all those used GTs even more attractive.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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  61. #44
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    I'm with WildWilly and Daboo on this. While initial cost and continuing service costs are important criteria for for many, I bought my GT because it ticked all the boxes for me. I needed a physically smaller and lighter bike (I'm not getting any younger!), didn't want chain drive, and have been a BM owner for more than 40 years so know the pros and cons of BM ownership. The clincher for me, when trying to justify the cost of a new machine at my age, was my daughters advice...."Go and buy it and enjoy yourself. If you die tomorrow mum and I'll just sell it". I bought one.

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  63. #45
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    Redned is right about "ticking the boxes" - when I was looking for a replacement bike for touring duty the only bike that ticked enough of my boxes was the F800GT (specifically, low seat height, light weight, low center of gravity, integrated luggage/passenger accomodations). These were significant enough that I bought the F800GT despite it being a BMW (sorry, I never drank the BMW Kool-aid - cost to buy, cost of service, and reliability were all big negatives compared to the Japanese competition). I also bought it despite it having the single most uninteresting motor of any bike I've had (gutless, and a pitiful sound compared to my 2015 Triumph Bonneville with a similar parallel twin motor that sounds SO GOOD). A "bonus" was the maintenance-free belt drive but that was offset by the ridiculous price of a replacement so I never considered it a plus, just a small bonus. Still, no competitor on the market could touch the "Big 3 items" of low seat, low weight, low center of gravity, and passenger accomodations.

    But I always do the research to see what I would buy if a replacement car or motorcycle was ever needed quickly, so comparing those ticked boxes to the F850GT ... well, there is one bonus as the motor may finally have some guts down low and finally sound decent too. There's no change with the integrated luggage; unknown are passenger accomodations but they should probably be okay; but the big losers are it's heavier, the fuel is now carried higher on the bike likely affecting the center of gravity, and it carries LESS fuel than the too-small tank of the F800GT (if you are gonna call it a "touring bike" it needs a bigger tank and 250-mile range, IMHO). If it turns out that the larger, more powerful motor is also more thirsty then the smaller fuel tank will be a huge negative. So for me there is no "great leap forward" from the F800GT, and in fact it may not even be a break-even deal. I see no reason to trade my F800 for one.

    But again, I have to think about what I'd do if I HAD to replace the F800GT. Well, now there is serious competition from the Yamaha Tracer 900GT - even BMW seems to agree that is the standard bearer in light touring bikes. Looking at my boxes, it's as lightweight as the F800GT and lighter than the F850; it has integrated luggage, a larger fuel capacity (but real-world fuel mileage is unknown - it may go no farther than the F800), it has a GREAT motor, and Yamaha reliability. Center of gravity and passenger accomodations are unknown and would need a test ride. And it's a bit costly, though likely priced much lower than the F850GT will be once they are loaded up with packages by the dealers. It's looking like a winner here. Oh yeah, and seat height is ... WTF??? 33.5 inches or 34.1 inches??? And in one fell swoop the Tracer is completely eliminated from my consideration.

    So if I trash my F800GT tomorrow and need a replacement then yes, the F850GT would have to be considered. But based on the success with my 2015 Bonneville on a recent 5-day tour (despite not having waterproof hard luggage, heated grips, or wind protection) I'd more likely get a new Triumph Speed Twin with its excellent motor and low seat and set it up with some aftermarket hard luggage and heated grips as a touring bike (and get an aerostitch suit for weather protection) leaving my beloved 2015 Bonnie with its proper air-cooled motor for local excursions. So in the end BMW may have brought me into the "club" with the F800 because it was "as good as I could get" at the time, but it's followup model likely means I'll not own another BMW in the future (except maybe an old airhead). Of course, one has to wonder if an F850 motor would bolt into the F800 frame ... hmmmm ...
    LIFE IS A JOURNEY THAT IS GUIDED BY A GARMIN MOTORCYCLE GPS - IT WILL NEVER GO WHERE YOU EXPECT OR WANT IT TO GO.

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  65. #46
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    Jim,

    Interesting comments. If I had lotsa $$ I'd add a Speed Twin to my collection. I should look at the Yamaha, but during my long and happy relationship with Japanese bikes (put a LOT of miles on a 1969 Honda CB750 and a 1974 CB750) and my somewhat conflicted but fun time with my 1968 BSA 650 Lightning, I kept being attracted to BMW. It took a long time, and no Kool-Aid involved, but I like what I found in my ST.

    Thanks for adding your perspective. Like you I peer over the hill (and am rapidly aging to fit the expression) at replacement bikes even when I'm happy with what I presently own.

    -dan
    Blue '09 F800 ST: ABS, toasty grips, trip computer, center stand, sport panniers, Ventura luggage, Valentine 1, Garmin zmo 660 RAM mounted, Sena 20S, P3 LED tail lights, Grip Pups, Centech AP-1 fuse panel, Go Cruise control, Shoei GT-Air, Gerbing's jacket liner, MRA X-creen Sport.

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    Dan -

    Sometimes its smart to look ahead. I got in the habit of that when I first went car shopping with ex-wife #2 and discovered due to her short stature that MOST cars were not a good fit. Hitting the auto show and sitting in the cars eliminated most of those under consideration, which sure saves time when you actually go to buy something. So when I last needed a bike I'd already considered and rejected all the potential replacements except the F800 and it was a simple matter of taking the insurance check and going right to the BMW dealer.

    I keep thinking about the F800/850GT and wondering "what could have been?". The F800GT was, for me, SO CLOSE to being "the perfect bike" save for the motor, and if the 850 version remedies that then it's sad the other changes (increased weight, less fuel, raised center of gravity) will take away from what was so good about the 800. But it is what it is, and should I need a replacement I would at least test ride an 850GT and hope it is a "life-changing experience". I actually do like the BMW designs and engineering, just not enough to have ever become "a BMW guy".

    Still, the Speed Twin might end up being perfect. When I took my recent ride to New England I chose to take my '15 Bonnie instead of the F800GT, even though I got the F specifically for such touring, because I foresaw some significant issues on that particular ride that the F would have presented. In the end it proved to be the perfect choice and I was quite surprised at how well the Bonnie did, which has made me re-think the whole "touring bike" part. Suddenly it made sense - a touring bike is whatever bike you tour on! The Bonnie just plain "fits me" in every respect, so I'm thinking the Speed Twin could easily replace the F800 for touring with some hard luggage and heated grips (though if the seat comes from the same mold as my '15 Bonnie then a replacement seat would also be needed). I could do it with my current Bonnie, but as the last of the proper air-cooled Bonnevilles I'd rather leave it unmodified and beautiful and put the miles on something else so the Bonnie lasts as long as I hope to last.

    BSA 650 Lightning ... ah ... conflicted or no, you had what is to me one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever (especially if it was red with the chrome tank). Much like a beautiful woman, sometimes it's worth the conflict ... for a while, anyway.

    Jim
    LIFE IS A JOURNEY THAT IS GUIDED BY A GARMIN MOTORCYCLE GPS - IT WILL NEVER GO WHERE YOU EXPECT OR WANT IT TO GO.

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  68. #48
    Daboo's Avatar
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    I chuckle when people say they don't like the F800GT motor. It's all a matter of perspective. I started with a Suzuki 90cc bike in England back in 1984. My upgrade was a Honda CB125 twin. After a long break, I started riding again in 2006 with a Kymco 250cc scooter. I then upgraded a year later when my commute grew far longer to a Suzuki Burgman 400. Back in 2013, I picked up a left-over 2011 Honda NT700V, and that had the most horsepower I'd ever encountered at @60 hp. So when I rode the F800GT with 100 lbs less weight and 50% more horsepower...it was incredibly fast for me.

    And my car history is similar. Starting with my 66 VW Beetle with 50 hp, the next four cars after that all had less horsepower than my F800GT.

    I'm curious...you mentioned "I chose to take my '15 Bonnie instead of the F800GT, even though I got the F specifically for such touring, because I foresaw some significant issues on that particular ride that the F would have presented". What issues?

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6

  69. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutoXer-1 View Post
    ...BSA 650 Lightning ... ah ... conflicted or no, you had what is to me one of the most beautiful motorcycles ever (especially if it was red with the chrome tank). Much like a beautiful woman, sometimes it's worth the conflict ... for a while, anyway.

    Jim
    Agree on all fronts. If this %%$# forum would let me upload a pic, you would see the red/chrome tank and my favorite touch, the side covers with crossed British/American flags. That bike pushed every aesthetic button for me: sound, looks, attitude. It handled well for its day. The conflicts involved the infamous electrics and I don't think the tach and speedo got to know each other very well because one or the other was usually off the bike, on its way to or from the Smiths repair facility in NJ. Luckily I worked as a tech for a BSA, Honda, Bultaco, BMW dealer at the time, so I could toss my instruments in with the constant pile of same going back and forth [sigh].

    -dan
    Blue '09 F800 ST: ABS, toasty grips, trip computer, center stand, sport panniers, Ventura luggage, Valentine 1, Garmin zmo 660 RAM mounted, Sena 20S, P3 LED tail lights, Grip Pups, Centech AP-1 fuse panel, Go Cruise control, Shoei GT-Air, Gerbing's jacket liner, MRA X-creen Sport.

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  71. #50
    Daboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutoXer-1 View Post
    ...Well, now there is serious competition from the Yamaha Tracer 900GT - even BMW seems to agree that is the standard bearer in light touring bikes. Looking at my boxes, it's as lightweight as the F800GT and lighter than the F850; it has integrated luggage, a larger fuel capacity (but real-world fuel mileage is unknown - it may go no farther than the F800), it has a GREAT motor, and Yamaha reliability. ... hmmmm ...
    Reports from a few places I've seen indicate the Tracer GT had vibration in the handlebars and foot pegs. The same complaint I've read about the F800GT.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
    IBA# 49894 True Rounder = 0-20's - Rounder -- to -- 100's+ Red Hot Rounder

    John 14:6

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