New F850GS experience so far - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    Good Morning L&G,

    I am a proud owner of a baby spankin new 19' 850gs for about a week now, purchase was driven by a decent all-arounder with good 2-up capabilities, and some off-road puting. I owned an 08' 800gs and must say I've missed that bike more than any other bike I've sold as it was the perfect all in one bike for me. I'm glad I waited and the universe unfolded itself with a heavier bike . But it's all good as it's really difficult to notice the extra weight, even on dirt. She is outfitted with the Metzler Karroo 3's, which has presented me with a love/hate relationship so far, so here is my take:

    Tires: Karroo 3's, good on dirt with lower psi, good on the highway, but not great for 15-35mph road jaunts in my experience. Wobbly front under hard on-road braking. A little of everything and good for nothing.
    Off-road: Bike handles very well and I can almost comfortably reach the rear brake and shifter while standing; woo-hooo.
    Throttle response: Thanks BMW, $*&! finally.
    Windshield: Common complaint. Useless. The bike is better without it. I'm working on making it adjustable with some brackets that I'll have to fabricate. BTW, I ordered one of those spoiler/extender jigs, useless.
    Exhaust: Mine is bigger.
    BMW Panniers: Excellent'e.
    General appearance: Voluptuous.
    Standard seat: After 4 hours of riding I was hoping the road led to some chiropractor's office. It didin't, but memory foam and turkey knife are on order.
    GPS mount: Over the TFT display would've been a much more useful location like some owners have done, it would help the eyes refocus much faster on the road ahead and not feel like I need to look at my crotch for directions.
    TFT: Very nice, I always considered myself an old-school analog guy, but I'm sold on the usefulness of it.

    I ordered a portable compressor to help make the transition from off to on road a little easier. Those front turn signals have got to go. Does anyone know if "connectivity" can control the iphone with a set of IEM's? I tried, but it seems to only want to work with a bluetooth headset.
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  4. #2
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    Wonderful writeup! I found myself chuckling several times over your wording.

    I did a double-take on the memory foam and turkey knife comment.

    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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  6. #3
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    Hi Chris, it's actually one of those electric knives I've never used before. I always thought what a waste, but now I can't wait for Thanksgiving. I have a few different seats in the garage for my other bike, so hope I can hone my skills enough to do a decent job. The ability or lack there of (hope I'm completely wrong!) for not controlling the iphone if a wired headset is attached to it is driving me to call bmw and say what were you thinking? Not everyone is going to have a bluetooth set in their helmets or bluetooth earphones for that matter. I'll keep this thread updated.

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  8. #4
    Daboo's Avatar
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    Aron, have you given thought to an Airhawk seat cushion? I use one and it makes my F800GT seat all day comfortable. Without it, I'm only good for a short time.

    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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    Not just yet Chris; I'm 5'10" and even though the bike is lower than the previous gen, there were a couple of times on dirt that I wished it was just a tad lower. So part of my comfort mod is to shave off extra foam and replace what's left with something far more decent which I have on order and will provide an update on. If that doens't work, I'll be looking into the Airhawk as other's have echoed your sentiments.

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    FYI, Wunderlich now offer a screen adjuster bracket for the 850. It allows the screen to be raised, and/or the angle of the screen to be varied.
    The linking crossbar of the apparatus looks an ideal spot to mount the satnav. Behind the screen above the dashboard.


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    Ok, I didn't see that on the Wunderlich North America site; regardless, I'm certain that would be a pretty penny to purchase and it got me thinking about what happens to the wind that would be allowed under the windscreen.....so I just decided to go with this: https://touratech-usa.com/store/Adve...n-BMW%20F850GS

    Not the most affordable option, but I had to ask, what is it about the ride that bothers me and is worth improving? Well, the useless stock windscreen. I wasn't able to even keep my helmet visor open for some air as the force of the wind closed it faster than a my father in law's wallet.

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    It wasn't depicted on the Wunderlich UK site either, only on the German home page. However I asked a UK dealer who phoned and confirmed a price of £109, roughly $125.
    By the way, it's the addition of air on the underside of the screen that equalises the air pressure, preventing buffeting.

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    That's actually a very good price; the amount of wind/air allowed under the windshield (after raising it) still would concern me. Oh well, at least now with the touratech, I don't have to worry about that much lol.

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    So here are some impressions for the mods so far; installed the touratech windshield. If I had to assign a percentage, it would be 50% less wind hitting my face/shield. It still shuts my visor closed unless I tuck slightly under the windshield. Very annoying. On the ride this am, I figured out what the issue was. BMW extended the nose way the heck out there. The only reason I can come up with is to afford the rider better visibility of the dash. In that sense it works. In the comfort sense it fails. Due to having the display way out in front, the windscreen is also pushed way out there. When I moved 4-6 inches closer to the windshield, the darn thing worked very well. I'm going to see what I can do to move the windscreen over the dash, or as close to it as possible. Now I'm thinking heck, even the stock windshield would've probably sufficed had I known why there was so much air being deflected only to whirl right back for a face slap due to mounting distance.

    As for the seat, I ordered a sheet of 16"x37" SunMate FRG - .75" (1.5 lb) / Firm from these folks: https://www.sunmatecushions.com/
    I removed all of the stock foam down to the ridges as to have a flat surface to mate the new foam onto. What a difference good foam makes when it's designed for this purpose. I went for a 3 hour ride today, and my booty feels great!

    I ordered a set of wireless bluetooth IEMs so I could control my music and volume with the fancy wheel type control contraption on the left handlebar. I only got the IEMs to connect once, and that was not today. There may be a proper sequence to turning everything on, but it's annoying. The other issue I found in the "fineprint" is that the media volume control only works with BMW headsets. Seriously BMW, for a $17K bike with an engine made in the far east?? My official take on this shortcoming is that your kungfoo is weak mr. beemer.

    I got a chance to do some more off-roading and also pushed the Karoo 3's hard on pavement. I read somewhere that Metzeler does not recommend airing them down on dirt. There was a couple of occasions when I felt the front give out slightly, then I realized I'm on a 500lb "dirtbike" and problem solved, slow your roll.....During fast paved twisties, the tire does not turn in quick, surprised for a knobby right??!! But once you get the hang of how they handle, it becomes somewhat predictable and a little weird. I can't say that I can have consistent lines with these tires, but not bad for a tire that's only 50% good on the road and 50% good on the dirt;0}. My plan is to get a set of Scorpion Trail 2s for mainly road use and a set of real knobbies for 10/90 dirt use.

    I love the bike though, these are just some kinks that I need to iron out.

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    I have a BT transmitter to send sound from my radar detector to my Sena BT headset. They will try to pair with anything out there, even to the point of dropping the Sena connection to pair with the Garmin GPS. Maybe your IEM (In Ear Monitor) is trying to do the same.

    Glad you got the seat sorted. Have you thought of one of the Chinese clip on windscreen deflectors? I saw one on a Kawasaki and it looked to be very high quality.

    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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    Hi Chris, yes, I tried the "chinese clip" thing for the first go-around. No go although not because of quality. It would've worked had the windshield been closer toward me. I think you may be right about the IEMs, they have bluetooth 5 designation and my phone picks them up like a hooker at 2am. So I'll try to turn the bike on first, then IEMs, then phone and find out if it's repeatable.

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    Excellent tip Chris, and thank you!

    I turned on the bike first, then the IEMs and then the phone. I had to disable bluetooth in my iphone and then enable it to work. I'll do some searching to see if there's a way to avoid the IEMs trying to connect to the phone, even though they are not paired. But this will definitely work for now. Thanks again!

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    Update 3...
    Took her out for a 3 hour dirt excursion this morning that included loose gravel, hard packed dirt, sand, and lots of rocks. Enduro Pro was the chosen mode, and it took care of everything extremely well, very impressive actually. I was able to slide the rear (scary) a bit, did not push it too much just due to her size, but otherwise excellent mode unless you really know what you're doing on dirt. Not me. If I stood up (which was most of the time), she handled like a dream really; it was easy to hook my inside leg on the seat and lean her down. As long as you have a loose grip (all the time), downshift early for turns, and keep your vision up, it can be quite fun in the dirt.

    I had to get used to the torque, it can be a bit much, but I haven't played around with any other mode or engine settings, but I did feather the clutch from time to time to tame the power. Throttle response was excellent throughout the range. I did notice the rear locking up while I was only using the front brake, as for the front brake, I wasn't able to lock it up due to the enduro pro mode, which made the front brake a lot more useful on dirt. Suspension was excellent all around.

    It really was a blast, but I was worried about letting her down without any handguards, engine or tank/fairing protectors, which are all on order, back-order really. As for the tires, I came away very impressed with the Karoo 3's on dirt. They did extremely well, as long as I stayed withing their limits and for me, I would catagorize the Karoo 3's as a 25/85 tire, it did that well on dirt (not sand so much), but ymmv. One last thing, I did not air down the tires, I read somewhere that Metzeler recommends keeping them the same as for road use. Next time I will air them down some just to find out.

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  21. #15
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    For dirt riding, try putting the engine in rain mode. This quote comes from BMW:

    When riding on wet roads and in difficult grip conditions, the onus on riders is lightened in "Rain" mode due to the particularly soft control and response characteristics, yet the full torque and power potential is still available.

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    Good suggestion, my only concern is that rear ABS will still be active?? I'll go in there and see if I can modify enduro pro to rain mode engine settings;0).

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    I just finished a 2,500 mile round trip to Northern California and back with a set of new Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2 tires. They provided amazing grip in the dry twisties, at times with footpegs on tarmac. I ran 32/37 psi, and since the rear is showing a bit of flatspotting, I should've aired up to 40 for the long straights there and back. We also rode in some rain for about an hour and they felt planted the entire time. I rode some small dirt sections just for giggles, and it felt like they'll do fine over gravel to get you to your next paved road.

    I also had plenty of saddle time with the Karroo 3 stock tires. I have come away very impressed for what they can do on dirt. I have not ridden them through mud, but once I picked up my speed and moved my body further back while standing, they handled very well through sand. They will be going back on once the Trail 2s have ran their course.

    From my experience, the Trail 2s worked well as a 90%+ road tire that delivers in the dry twisties with amazing rain handling capabilities (if one hour in the rain is enough to judge that aspect;0). The Karroo 3's are an 85% dirt tire that do well on road to get you to your next dirt trail, that also have surprising lean angle grip if kept withing its limits. If one considers how much the 850 weighs and rides accordingly with thoughtful body position and loose on the handlebars, the combo is able to achieve quite a bit of fun even through some challenging off-road terrain.

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