Any GT owners looking at the F900XR? - BMW F800 Riders Forum & Registry



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  1. #1
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    As per thread title, anyone thinking of changing from a F800GT to a F900XR?

    It has some goodies I'd like, mainly cruise control, cornering ABS, digital screen, better headlights and a moderate bump in power.
    Doesn't seem to have as much fairing or wind protection though and the seat is a bit flat/weird if you actually sit on it.


    Side question - why did BMW swap the drive and exhaust sides of the bike between the F8xx and F900?

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    I looked, but yawned and moved on. Not quite that, but it didn't move me at all. The only thing I'd like out of it, is the increased suspension travel. On Puget Sound's roads that are supposedly paved, but more closely resemble paths that Noraly would include in her Itchy Boots episodes, I could use the suspension travel to navigate the pot holes.

    Cruise control isn't a big thing for me. In my local travels, there's too much traffic to even remotely consider it. When I'm riding a winding twisty road, it is useless there as well. It's only on the long straight stretches I sometimes travel across places like Nevada where it'd be nice...but even there, a $20 Go-Cruise throttle lock works just as well. The road is straight. It is flat. I've ridden with a Goldwing rider over that kind of territory and the throttle lock worked just as well as his cruise control. Set the speed and don't worry about it.

    But the marketing folks, keep trying to tell me I just gotta have it.

    Cornering ABS is nice...but it is one more thing where I'm transferring my responsibility to ride competently to the bike. If I push the bike too hard into the corners, I can count on the bike to bail me out...till even it doesn't. I'm good with dialing the throttle back some and not trying to race ...which is about the only place I can see me using it.

    Digital screen...okay. I get the info I need already without one. Which is better...to glance at an analog watch and note the time by the relative placement of the hands? Or to need to read the individual numbers on the watch face? Old fashioned is not always bad...unless you're in motorcycle sales. Headlights...sure they are better. But I put some LED headlight bulbs in that work just as well. I think the price was about $60 for two.

    And I like the fairing and wind protection on the GT.

    So I add it all up and look at the benefits...even if I were to be convinced I needed any of that...and look at the incremental cost to get those incremental gains...and smile.

    So here's something to consider. A selling point of the F800 has been that the gas tank is located under the seat which gives you a lower center of gravity. But the F900 has the gas tank up high again. Hmmm... And the belt drive, which is about as trouble-free as anyone could want...has been replaced by a chain. On my trips, I normally sit back and relax when I check into the motel. But now, if I have a F900, I get to clean my chain instead before I can relax. Yes, that's got to be an advantage.

    I hate to be the one who discourages you from spending your hard-earned cash...but I won't be parting with any of mine for an F900 as long as I can find a F800GT to replace mine when I hit 250,000.

    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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  5. #3
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    I am very pleased with the 2013 F800GT I bought new. After riding and owning motorcycles for 60 years, at my age, the GT is the perfect bike for me. I am hoping BWW comes out with a comparable replacement; size, weight, fairing, luggage and no chain. If they dont, this will be my last bike.

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    Suzuki looks to have come out with one. But you'd get maybe $5K for your GT and have to pay another $12K for what?

    I'd rather look for another GT. I'd be torn between the white like I have on my 2014 or the drop-dead-gorgeous-made-for-drooling-on black of the 2013.

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    The F900 just doesn't compare.

    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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    Chris. You've nailed it in one (post that is). I see the F900 as a backward step by BMW.

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    You're asking that question in the wrong group, it's like going into a Ford group to ask what they think of the new Chevy. Go ask at f900xr.com and talk to people that actually made the switch.
    I own an F900XR and have almost 15k miles on it now. I owned an F800GS prior to the XR and have logged miles on an 800ST too. The F800 engine is sleep inducing to me, the most common description i read about the 800 is 'industrial' and that's pretty accurate.
    Don't get me wrong, the GT is lighter and has nearly the same hp/weight ratio, it's just that engine is blah.
    As for the arguments against rider aides,, when i was a little kid my parents used to say "that's why they are called accidents and not on purposes". You are supposed to keep riding like a sane adult and in the event that things go t!ts up you have a safety net.
    Funny thing about the gas tank location, BMW specifically said they went back to a traditional tank style because it put the weight back over the front wheel because it helped keep the front end planted vs the previous design. YMMV, but they tried it and then went back, draw your own conclusions. The 900 is like the big boy GS boxer, it feels so much lighter and nimble that it looks like it should.
    As for 'real' cruise control, literally everyone I've ever met was skeptical, myself included, until they actually owned a bike with it. It's not just for highway cruising, that's all I'm saying. I can't see myself going back to a throttle lock on any future bike.

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    Lighning's Avatar
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    I am one of those weirdos who cares about where a motorcycle is made. I got mine!
    (2013 F800GT)
    2013 F800GT
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  13. #8
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    Not a valid argument unless you really don't understand how manufacturing and production works. The bikes as a whole are built by BMW in a German BMW factory, all except the G310 series. The engines are built in China. Beyond that do you know where every other little part came from? For that matter, do you know where the actual metal forgings and castings used in the engine came from, even the Rotax engines?
    You're kidding yourself if you think that the 'assembly' location has anything to do with where parts are sourced.

  14. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcb78 View Post
    You're asking that question in the wrong group, it's like going into a Ford group to ask what they think of the new Chevy. Go ask at f900xr.com and talk to people that actually made the switch.
    I own an F900XR and have almost 15k miles on it now. I owned an F800GS prior to the XR and have logged miles on an 800ST too. The F800 engine is sleep inducing to me, the most common description i read about the 800 is 'industrial' and that's pretty accurate.
    Don't get me wrong, the GT is lighter and has nearly the same hp/weight ratio, it's just that engine is blah.
    As for the arguments against rider aides,, when i was a little kid my parents used to say "that's why they are called accidents and not on purposes". You are supposed to keep riding like a sane adult and in the event that things go t!ts up you have a safety net.
    Funny thing about the gas tank location, BMW specifically said they went back to a traditional tank style because it put the weight back over the front wheel because it helped keep the front end planted vs the previous design. YMMV, but they tried it and then went back, draw your own conclusions. The 900 is like the big boy GS boxer, it feels so much lighter and nimble that it looks like it should.
    As for 'real' cruise control, literally everyone I've ever met was skeptical, myself included, until they actually owned a bike with it. It's not just for highway cruising, that's all I'm saying. I can't see myself going back to a throttle lock on any future bike.
    You won't get an honest answer from an F900XR forum either. No one who plunks down $16K is going to say they made a wrong decision...even if they feel that way inside.

    I'd suggest taking a test ride and seeing what you think. I did a test ride on the FJ-09 one afternoon...and immediately hated it. Who cares what the magazine reviewers said...I couldn't get off it soon enough. I took three test rides on the R1200RS and R1200RT that were about an hour and a half each. The bikes were fine...but there was nothing about them that grabbed me and said "I gotta have this!". In fact, I came away with a better appreciation for what I already had.

    I'd also suggest if you find you like the F900XR, to look at the forum and see what changes owners want and need help with. That's a more honest review of a bike than asking if you should buy one. I'd also recommend looking at alternatives. I'd also look at the Ducati, Triumph and Yamaha models.

    But in the meantime, I'll stick with my F800GT. I wouldn't quite call the engine "agricultural". I'd reserve that accolade to my Honda NT700V's engine.

    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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    Quote Originally Posted by Daboo View Post
    You won't get an honest answer from an F900XR forum either. No one who plunks down $16K is going to say they made a wrong decision...even if they feel that way inside.
    Chris
    You'd be surprised, there have been plenty of people listing their bike for sale saying it just didn't jive with them. You are right though that we'll be biased too, just like you are My suggestion is that if the OP checks in there too they might actually hear from people that own them, not people that read about them or took it for a test ride but haven't actually lived with it. I'll be the first to admit as an early adopter that the bike had bugs, most of them have been worked out by now though. Getting any of my issues fixed was easy and required no down time thanks to my dealer.

    I'll save you one question, the stock seat SUCKS!!!! but it did on my 800GS too so no harm no foul. A reshape and recover is a home project much like someone else posted here recently. I ended up with a fancy Corbin since they literally gave me one for loaning them my bike, but my modified stock seat was pretty damn nice too and way less expensive.
    If you test ride, be adamant that you get to ride one that's got a current software update, the quick shifter was pretty rough in the first few revisions. Mine is on the current software and it's much, much better now.

    What draws me to the XR most is the ADV ergos, combined with the longer travel suspension it's very plush yet still hugs the ground nicely.

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    I looked at an F900XR closely and test rode one when they first came out. There are only 2 things that bike has that I want, and that my GT does not have:

    1. Cornering ABS, a must for any new travel bike for me
    2. Motor is better, actually feels like a Ducati.

    That's it. There's a long list of things it lacks compared to my GT:

    1. No single sided swing arm, rear wheel removal becomes a PITA
    2. Chain instead of belt, ditto, a giant PITA compared to the belt
    3. Gas tank up high and requires tank bag removal for fill
    4. Weight went in the wrong direction
    5. Less wind protection
    6. Fit and finish not quite as good as the GT
    7. Bags color matched instead of black, will get scuffed in an instant
    8. It is fugly in comparison to the GT

    That said, if I HAD to buy a bike to replace the GT, I'd probably buy one. Glad I don't have to.
    Never try to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rcb78 View Post
    Not a valid argument unless you really don't understand how manufacturing and production works. The bikes as a whole are built by BMW in a German BMW factory, all except the G310 series. The engines are built in China. Beyond that do you know where every other little part came from? For that matter, do you know where the actual metal forgings and castings used in the engine came from, even the Rotax engines?
    You're kidding yourself if you think that the 'assembly' location has anything to do with where parts are sourced.
    So you have no problem buying anything from China. You are in the majority so pat yourself on the back. But there are solutions for people who don't like to just look away from unsavory facts. BMW motorcycles are no exception. But don't shoot the messenger as I live in a free country and I am allowed to call out any injustices I see. Book your stay at a Chinese "re-education" camp and then come back and tell me it's nothing I should concern myself with. Sleep well.
    2013 F800GT
    San Diego CA

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    Oh, and...

    9. Oil change is a PITA with 2 drain plugs, one internal, and an oil filter that drips on the cat v. 15 minutes and done, no muss, on the GT.
    Never try to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

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  21. #14
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    I do my own oil changes, haven't had that issue. Two drain plugs is weird, sure, but it quite literally adds 15s to the job. The filter, yeah a little pain, but no worse than other bikes that have the same issue. Here's a pro tip for you, a little sheet of aluminum foil draped over the pipe eliminates any mess. I take 20 min to do a change and that's counting getting a sample for Blackstone Labs.
    As for the other opinions, they're just that opinions, you're welcome to them but they don't make a bike good or bad. Wheel removal isn't hard, I've had it out enough times for tire swaps that i can say it confidently.
    Chain vs belt, yawn, bored with that debate. There's no right answer. I've had both and just don't care anymore, chain maintenance isn't hard or hard work unless you're just plain lazy.
    If you're touring, use a Scott Oiler and quit thinking about it.
    You're right about weight, it's a bummer. I think it's because the frame is steel vs alloy since it's built on the GS platform, but like i said.. it doesn't feel heavy when riding, just like the boxers don't feel as heavy as they are.
    Wind protection, i dunno. I'm 6ft tall and i think it does a pretty good job, and i have the shorty sport screen. Ridden in temps from freezing teens to triple digit teens, it was fine in both.
    It doesn't come with bags, buy whatever you want. If you want OE, then get them in black, the shells are interchangeable. I got the soft bags, they look better and hold enough for me.
    Looks?? Should have ended with 'your mom', it carries more weight than on argument on the Internet about how a motorcycle looks.
    Anything else or can we just agree that people have different taste yet?

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  23. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcb78 View Post
    ...Anything else or can we just agree that people have different taste yet?
    This kind of feedback from everyone who likes their GT, is almost assured on a GT forum. Don't take it personally. And if we ever cross paths, I'll be happy to buy you your favorite cool one.

    Chris
    Elnathan - 2014 BMW F800GT
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    Actually I'm just dreaming, I don't think I'm done with the F800GT yet. With Covid, I have not taken it on a European tour. Also I spent a lot of effort messing with it: bar risers, peg lowers, different seat, aux driving lights wired into the high beam circuit so they go up/down in brightness with high beam, different top case, USB socket..... Be a shame to trade it on something else without using all that on a long multi day tour.

    I only started thinking due to the lack of cruise control on the GT. There is a long stretch of freeway near me which has average speed cameras; it's quite annoying without cruise control.

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    To paraphrase The Dude, "It's ALL opinion, man."
    Never try to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biscuits View Post
    Actually I'm just dreaming, I don't think I'm done with the F800GT yet. With Covid, I have not taken it on a European tour. Also I spent a lot of effort messing with it: bar risers, peg lowers, different seat, aux driving lights wired into the high beam circuit so they go up/down in brightness with high beam, different top case, USB socket..... Be a shame to trade it on something else without using all that on a long multi day tour.

    I only started thinking due to the lack of cruise control on the GT. There is a long stretch of freeway near me which has average speed cameras; it's quite annoying without cruise control.
    If you still love the F800GT and only desire it had real cruise control, then here is the answer, https://www.mccruise.com/collections...iant=345756953 . I have their cruise controls installed on both my Africa Twin and V-Strom 650 and they work perfect and because the kit is already designed for each particular bike the install was pretty easy and straight forward. But I decided to go with their Slimline Switch, https://www.mccruise.com/collections...limline-switch , on both bikes. I think it looks a bit more OEM than their box switch used with most of their kits.
    Last edited by azccj; 1 Week Ago at 09:09 AM.
    Current Bikes: 2019 Goldwing Tour DCT, 2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring, 2017 Honda Africa Twin DCT, 2014 BMW F800GT

  27. #19
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    I had an F750GS for some weeks to ride. Roughly comparable with the 900XR. It has a wonderful engine: strong, crispy and less vibration. Much better than my GT' engine. Roadholding is superb and the comfort level and ergos are beyond any doubt. Cruise control is very nice, above my expectations.
    Drawbacks for me: weight, more top heavy and chain drive. Not merely a maintenance matter but I don't like seeing it.

    So, why did I not buy the GS and sell my GT? Roughly saying: the GT is superior in weight, handling and maintenance. And - strictly personal - a beautiful designed bike.

    RobClick image for larger version.

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    notacop is offline The original Schwartz Wald Troll
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    I'm with Rob, Got the F750GS and once you get used to the fly by wire throttle it's fun. The Cruise control is worth the price of admission. I can get mpg's into the low 60's too. Waiting for better weather and reasons to go far and do rallies and campouts. i still miss my 800ST. That was a superior bike but lacked the cruise control but the Cramp Buster and Go Cruise made up for that pretty well. Just the dang little gas tanks on new bikes.

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    Maybe it is just us old school BMW riders but I just rest my open hand on the throttle and it is cruise control....???

    But yes, the F800GT belongs in the BMW Museum of Beautiful Bikes. My favorites though are the K100RS 16V and the R100RS.
    2013 F800GT
    San Diego CA

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    This thread is turning into a cruise control discussion. Agreed, it would be a wonderful addition to my '14 GT, but there is no way I am trading up to a heavier and certainly uglier bike just to get cruise control. There are upgrades that can make handling the throttle easier. The previous owner of my GT, who bought it new, could have been the poster boy for the well-farkled bike. I added it up one time and there is about $3K worth of "stuff" on the bike that didn't come stock from the factory.

    There is a throttle lock that I have used on occasion, but it never feels totally safe. Definitely, one of the best things for the throttle is the P.O. installed "Grip Puppies". These are black foam tubes that slide over the original grips and make the grip diameter larger and softer. Since my glove size is XXL, I find the feeling of the larger diameter foam grips to be very comfortable. The grip heater still works through the foam.

    I tried a "Cramp Buster" for a few days but discarded it. For me, it caused unintended acceleration, like maybe when reaching for the front brake lever. A modification we used on the racing bikes, serving sort of the same purpose as the cramp buster, was taking a small dowel, a wood pencil works, and taping it parallel the length of the grip, making the grip cross-section more triangular than round.

    The trick that I most often use, which may be familiar to some in the group, is to move one's hand upward on the grip until the thumb and forefinger are wrapped around the stationary part of the throttle. this makes holding the throttle open and steady almost effortless.

    James Sadilek -- ccwatchmaker
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    I truly don't get the desire for cruise control. But recognize that's "just me." I don't even use it in the cars...I WANT to accelerate around other cars/trucks/etc, never what to hang around. AND, especially on the bike, I don't want to be on the highway unless there's no alternative. Traffic is too dynamic to use a cruise control on anything but deserted, open highway. And like I said, I don't want to ride that type of road for any extended period of time.

    I can't believe how many cars/bikes I see just "cruising" in "packs" along the highways, no one accelerating around, or otherwise making space around themselves.

    But, whatever. I could not care less about cruise control. I've got a throttle lock on one of my GTs, never use it.

    That said, if that's what you want...go for it.
    Never try to teach a pig to sing, it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstandsup View Post
    Traffic is too dynamic to use a cruise control on anything but deserted, open highway.
    Yep, you are describing much of Nevada. One can ride for miles on very good two-lane highways and never see another vehicle. You may see a cow, or a wild horse, much of Nevada is still open range, or perhaps a deer or a coyote or on rare occasions a bear, elk, or pronghorn. Nevada has also big horn sheep, but I've never seen one on the road. Did I mention racoons, skunks, rabbits, bobcats, and mountain lions? There are a couple of dozen other species of mammals in the wilds of Nevada as well.

    James Sadilek -- ccwatchmaker
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickstandsup View Post
    I truly don't get the desire for cruise control. But recognize that's "just me." I don't even use it in the cars...I WANT to accelerate around other cars/trucks/etc, never what to hang around. AND, especially on the bike, I don't want to be on the highway unless there's no alternative. Traffic is too dynamic to use a cruise control on anything but deserted, open highway. And like I said, I don't want to ride that type of road for any extended period of time.

    I can't believe how many cars/bikes I see just "cruising" in "packs" along the highways, no one accelerating around, or otherwise making space around themselves.

    But, whatever. I could not care less about cruise control. I've got a throttle lock on one of my GTs, never use it.

    That said, if that's what you want...go for it.

    I find cruise control very handy on my R1200RS. I can activate the cruise control, which allows me to take my hand off of the throttle so that I can reach the grip heater button.
    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.

  38. #26
    Points: 9,589, Level: 67

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    Dave Watson
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    kickstandup. I'm with ccwatchmaker. Like Nevada, Aus has many long, straight, absolutely deserted and trafficless roads (some 100's of kilometres long). And it's probably the only road that goes to where you're going. For most riders using these roads, some kind of throttle lock/cruise control becomes a necessity rather than a "that would be nice" add on. I found that the crampbuster/friction type cruise controls didn't work well with me, so made one of my own design (which I posted on the forum some years ago......search "cruise control" and you should find it). Back to the original topic.....at 75 and 55 years of riding, I think I've bought my last bike (GT). I feel it's the best I've had yet, and I've had a few. Ticks all the boxes for me.

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  40. #27
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    Chris, agree with all your comments except the cruise - my little GT would be perfect with it - a 2013, bought new, now with 70K miles. Steve

  41. #28
    TheMeteor's Avatar
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    Gerry
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    I pretty much agree with all Daboo says in post #2 as well, except the cruise control issue. It is not critical for me but would be nice to have. I never broke a bone in my body until 5 or 6 years ago. Since then, I have broken bones in my right hand twice. Having cruise control would provide a level of comfort on certain rides.

    I love my ST though and for all the other reasons (belt v chain, not enough to excite me for the $$), I personally would keep my ST rolling for a while.
    2009 F800ST (Night Blue Metallic) l 1999 SV650 (Naked & Red) l
    l 2012 G650 GS Sertao l 2012 Can-Am Spyder RT-S (Mrs. Meteor's...)

  42. #29
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    I think this thread has hit most of the points. Having done some long trips myself the chain is a non starter for me so an f800 over the f900 any day. If you are doing short trips of just a few hundred miles you can’t go wrong with either and I’m sure the engine of the f900 is spicier.

    Test ride them both. But before you buy anything do yourself a favor and test ride the 1000xr. But again, for me a chain is not worth even the 1000xr for the kind of traveling I do. And once you ride the 1000 your gonna want one. Whooo-weee.

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