Both of us got new 2013 BMW F800GS bikes this fall, 2012. This page will be full of pictures as we take them, as we go on trips and anything to do with our bikes. Scroll down for the beginning and up to date pics will be up top. Tons of pics. This page keeps growing.
This PAGE will stay as is despite our separation. It’s part of me and then there will be my present and future….thanks Leslie
January 2014 – Cheryl left our marriage so, it’s only my bike from now on….Leslie’s that is…long story but the adventures live on…
May 2014 – Leslie will head out on a month long solo sojourn across the country and back
January 14 – February 11th 2015 – Winter X Country Trip-One way to NY
Nov 14-16 2014 – I survived The Polar Vortex click here for post
May – June 2014 X Country Solo Trip
March 14 2014
January 2014 – Winter Weekend Getaway
47 thoughts on “’13 BMW F800GS album”
Do to have Facebook?
yep go to the home page and there is a FB like box 😉 Thanks for asking and Happy Holidays!
One day…. I will have my F800GS!!! You guys are awesome!
We hope you do! Thx!
How do you compare the new F800GS with your old F650GS twins? What are your initial impressions? Do you think its a huge leap in terms of power, riding comfort and off-road capability? I ride a F650GS twin myself and F800GS’s seat height was the only reason that deterred me from purchasing it (I have a 29″ inseam). But now with factory lowering options, ESA etc, its gotten me thinking again. Is it worth the switch? (I ride mostly 80% on pavement). Appreciate your thoughts. Thanks.
Hi Harry…first thing you need to know about the factory lowered 800 is that you loose the center stand and ESA option…just keep that in mind if you are thinking about buying this bike. There is a significant difference in power between the 650 and 800. You really notice it at top end speeds. The extra HP is awesome when passing big rigs and just getting out of the way….if you know what I mean. The 650 on the other hand handles the road better I think. The smaller front wheel allows you to turn into curves smoother and with more confidence. The 800 and the 21inch wheel makes the bike a bit more difficult to get tight and often feels like the bike wants to stand up. I am getting used to that and learning to trust the bike and my wheels to lean more. When the weather warms up and the roads are more reliable that is when I can lean enough to get rid of the chicken strips. 😉
Don’t know about off road yet…bike is still breaking in. I like the wider handle bars on the 800…I like the longer stance too. Height is an issue with me at 30.5 inch inseam. Got a custom seat made, not perfect but better for my footing. In the end though I have to trust myself to know when to hop off the bike, when to walk it out of tight spaces, try to judge where I am going to park the bike better and just be a little more diligent when riding. I am glad I got the regular height and I LOVE the ESA. Some say it is a waste because you set it once and some never change the setting. I see myself using the comfy on highway and sport off road. The comfy setting makes highway riding smoother, like the triumph Tigers we rode/borrowed.
BMW should introduce a two piece seat with an adjustable height like the Triumph Tiger 800XC. if they do then this will be a way more appealing bike not having to lower the suspension for shorter folks. In the end….we are both really loving this bike and hope to take some off road trips in the Spring/summer/fall sometime. Thanks for the questions.
I hope this has helped???
Thanks for the prompt reply…..very informative and helpful. The obvious difference in power that you notice is encouraging. Need to re-think the trade off between ESA vs factory lowering + centre stand. Guess that calls for another test ride then??
I ride a Suzuki DR650 as well and fully understand the intial discomfort with a 21″ front wheel. I got over it after a few weeks and I am sure you will too. But the ease of handling a bike on gravel with a 21″ wheel still amazes me… that’s one reason I am still keeping the DR 🙂 I use the twin for my daily commute (SRY/ BBY) and road trips while the DR is primarily for gravel. Thought the F800 would do it all!!
Thanks again. Happy riding!!
After riding the Triumph’s that is why we wanted the 800. The Tigers 21 inch wheel was great for us and although this bike, the Bimmer is a different feeling bike all together we know what that 21 inch wheel can do…good luck to you and let us know what you end up with . I think the F800GS can do it all for the most part…;-)
Hi Grrls , More Power to You. Enjoyed both comments and photos of the cross country to New York and back and Alaska trips and the many forum comments generated (videos too).Life long rider, recently picked up a 2011 F650GS and your adventures are a real help in sorting options and equipment. The biggest surprise with this bike is the very tall first gear on a dual sport. Don’t recall you mentioned any issues with that, but you speak of knowing when to hop off and walk it out. Were you able to do that in 1st gear ?Also find the throttle pretty jerky in low first gear. The other maybe ironic difference between the 650/800 and the 800 seems to be, they say the engines perform about identically up to what? 5000 rpm, yet the 650/800 is the “more road” bike but the “adventure” bike 800 is most different at higher speed. With all the miles you both have put in do you think those who suggest going to a 15 tooth sprocket to lower 1st gear on the 650/800 might be onto a good idea ? Was cruising speed on the 650/800 adequate on long distance days ? Here in Santa Fe, NM the altitude (7000ft) saps power but the 650/800 zipped through steep mountain highways, well above posted limits . Good. Used to a ZRX 1200, and thought the 650/800 might be anemic. It’s fine. I’m absorbing info, following up on questions and good answers about how these two F798GS bikes compare, will the loss of greater ease of overall handling that the 650/800 has, be compensated enough by the 21″ front wheel of the 800 , more torque and a bit more speed. Isn’t the 21′ wheel mostly a gravel and dirt benefit ? After your very positive Triumph 800 review what made the F800GS your choice ? Cheers & Thanks
We decided on the 800’s for a few reasons. I still do not like the fact Triumph has not added handle bar controls, ambient temperature gauge and still do not like how you have to turn the ABS off. We had luggage that could mount on the new BMW’s, saved us $4000. We liked the new improved look of the F8. Stock heated grips, 3 year warranty and we really are enjoying the ESA. In the end both bikes are great but we just felt since it’s money spent the BMW’s were “better” deals for us this time around.
Thanks , If I get the Jesse luggage ,even after hours of forum reading it will be largely because of your reviews. Same for tires. Did you have an opinion about those who recommend a 15 tooth front sprocket for the 650/800gs ? Ever come through Santa fe , be pleased to buy you beers . And finally congrats on your upcoming wedding, I see your timeline and smile two very cool grrls having a great time bringing a lot of intelligence and goodwill into play and into a world that has maybe been a bit macho about awakening to love in life being where we find it warm regards , Sandy Brown
came across this web site today – great to see you girls having fun on and off road!! 🙂
having read Sandy’s comment, I just wanted to add that I also have the F650GS twin and also think 1st and 2nd are far too high – makes riding off road on rocky terrain a bit difficult as I have to slip the clutch for a smooth exit. I’ve spoken to my dealer and he has suggested ensuring the software is up to date and if that doesn’t fix the jerky throttle at low speeds then fit the same gearing as the F800. Sadly, I’m too short to ride the F800 😦
never hear of an update fixing the snatchy throttle to be honest.
Hi, am following your posts of the forums too, and want to thank you for sharing all your experience. Ive been riding offroad my whole life but only now starting to ride on pavement and there is so much to consider for this. I just sold my commuter car to put a chunk of money down on my bike so am fully committed to this transition. Thanks in very large part to all your posts ive been able to sort out bike setup. Next on ky list is figuring out communication while riding. It looks like from some of the picks above you have some type of device. Mounted to left side of helmet and looks like something on top of at least one of the helmet. Can you describe your setup? Im going to be looking to take calls from my phone via bluetooth preferably and also talk to my wife on back while we ride. Any suggestions on where to start?
CrustyOldFart on the forums.
Hi Steve…we use the Cardo G4 set up. Been using Cardo for years now and the G4 since 2010. There a many intercoms out there that we have not tried so I can only comment on what we have…it works great. Has all the features one would need like BT, radio, you can control when to take calls, change songs and stations on the radio, volume adjusts with ambient noise levels, you can update firmware online when there is a release, can connect up to 4 riders with this set up and we have used this in the pouring rain. Only twice did our systems get too wet and we needed to dry them out. We just bought a “newer” mount and slimmer speakers. This is good since we did not have to buy the entire kit. Saved a lot of money to be able to buy just the mount and speakers.
You see helmet mount on my helmet for my Contour cameras. We have ram mounts and sticky helmet mounts for the 2 cameras we have. Hope this helps! Leslie
Thanks so much for your reply. What you’ve described sounds exactly like what I was envisioning for comms while riding. Now I’ve got a starting point for my search.
good luck let us know in the end what you do….Leslie
Sandy Brown…thank you! That was a very nice comment you posted. as for the sprocket question. Even after all the reading I have done as well on forums we both have no desire to mess with the sprockets. We don’t mind the stock set up and we are really not that technical riders to probably notice are care too much to be honest. We don’t mind how the gearing is set up as well for both on and off road riding. We like to play with the ergos but I think the only thing I would do mechanically would be to change the can to a more deeper sounding one. 😉 as for the Jesses…really we love them and I have stated before we like to keep the boxes within the handle bar width, not much wider.
If you use Jesse Luggage watch the weight you might put on the top of the side panniers. We use a dry bag and when we were up in Alaska on the Tigers we synched the dry bags to the seat by the top box while mounting our roto pax on top of the panniers. Between the tension of the rok straps and the weight of the gasoline the latches did not secure correctly. This made the seals not seal and inside would get wet. When we placed the roto paks on the seats and synched the dry bag tightly all was good and back to 100% H20 proof.
I’m in love with you girls and the great stories. Bike shopping myself F7, F8 & GS
Ill stay tuned to this channel for sure.
Glad you can join in the obsession! Happy bike hunting! See you around the BLOG! 😉
Hi Grrls and congrats on your marriage!
I have an F650GS (twin, 2009) and I am looking for something to protect the forks (besides the Kriega stuff). In your pictures there is a kind of fender that includes two “arms” going down, doing exactly what I want. It has the AltRider logo, but I can’t find it anywhere. Where did you get it? Is it the standard BMW fender for the F800GS’s?
Thanks and have safe rides,
Standard on the inverted forks on a BMW. You might go to a dirt bike store and see about improvising with some of their cheaper accessories. You might be able to work something out to fit.
Thanks for the congrats. August was a crazy month.
Inspiring stuff…and full of motorcycling passion….looking forward to more from your blog… 🙂
thanks…we are looking forward to more and more trips
Bought myself a white F800GS just like Cheryl’s!
Do you know of any throttle lock that fits the ’13 model with BMW hand guards? Can’t find it. Kaoko makes one but apparently you have to bend the hand guard and the flange where it secures to the handlebar to fit it, seems rather too improvisational to me 😉 Any tips?
Congrats on the wedding!
Not sure to be honest. We had a throttle lock on our 650’s but decided not to install one on the F8’s because we hardly used it.
Hmmm… well, thanks anyway!
One more question: how would you evaluate the Cee Bailey’s windscreen?
can’t go wrong with CB shields. Good coverage, lot’s of heights to choose from. I have the Mirage 2 on my bike, Cheryl with the CB. She likes it and it works well for her on the F8. We had them on our 650’s too.
Hi , re :Elle’s comments of Oct 8th , I did go to the 16 tooth front sprocket on the 650/800GS. This was a big improvement for the too tall first gear (same as the 800GS I’m told). I also put in a booster plug ,which smoothed both the jerky throttle response and improved overall smoothness considerably. Would recommend both these moves to anyone with the 650/800GS
We never played with the sprockets and seem to just be used to the snatchy throttle on both our 650’s and now 800’s. The 800 I find when using 1st gear to slow yourself down on loose stuff not low enough but again getting used to having the rear slip out and try to use my weight. All in practice I believe but if other options help then I say go for it.
Do you think the Mirage 2 offers the same aerodynamic protection compared to the Cee Baileys?
probably not…I think the CB has more coverage but the Mirage is a bit more versatile and I think looks better 😉 The Mirage lets some wind get around the fairing but for me I do not mind it in the summer or now in the cooler months. Either way I have the gear to protect me…heated liner for cold and in the summer it is refreshing to have some air flow. Not turbulent flow…it’s not like you are holding on for dear life. The shield is adjustable on the Mirage although I seem to be doing OK with the shield on low even on the highway. Would all depend on you, your height etc how you would set it. the CB you can’t go wrong. Again pick the height and it does a good job keep wind off your helmet and body.
Great album – Cooool, now wheres my bike keys and the 02 tank? 😉 it sort of makes you wanna get up n ride 🙂 Thanks Grrrls
in time when you are all healthy you will ride I know it.
came across your blog just today. Came here after reading Steve Williams’ Scooter In The Sticks blog. I follow him almost daily. I rode bike in college in the early 1970s and own two small scooters today. Have been LQQKING at some used F650s. I think the F800 is too much bike for much bike for me, being 5’3″ and a 30 inseam. I valued your take and info about the differences between the F650 and the F800. Reaffirmed my own thinking about the F800 even with the seat cut down. Well, sure enjoyed your blog and will follow your adventures more often. May the roads be good to you and yours always! Oh! And Congrats on your wedding too! Many happy years of riding and sharing together.
Sorry for the typos. Just did a new install and the cursor seems to be sticking somewhat. I guess I will need to proof everything until I get it fixed. ;(
The 700GS is the new “improved” 650. Finding a used 650 twin might be your best introduction to this type of bike and you should be able to fit that bike with a low seat no problems. Thanks for stopping by the blog and posting your comment. Love hearing from new comers and hearing all your stories. Thanks again and hope you find that perfect bike. Leslie
Hi, may I ask from where you get your seat modification done? Looking to get myself a new KTM 1190 Adv, and a seat modification seems mandatory for my shorter inseam. Appreciate your help. Thanks.
the person who did my seat is no longer doing seats…maybe contact Renazco http://www.renazco.com/building_seats.cfm
Hi Cheryl/Leslie , I love the blog and photos ..many thanks. Just a quick question about the Wunderlich tank bag and its applicability for the F800GS . Does it restrict access to the key ? Have you ever wished you purchased an alternative tank bag ?
I find with most touring tank bags the ignition is tight. I use the BMW bag now and have my wundelich for “sale” . So, yes getting the key is not simple but completely doable for the practicality of the bag. Same goes for my BMW tank bag. I just make do. Not a big deal for me with either bag at all.
I’m so glad I found your blog! Your bikes look awesome! I can’t wait to read more about your adventures!
Thanks for stopping by
just got back from a 29 day x country trip….
I like the color of your bike did they not steal it off Triumph lol just kidding I would own one it looks nice and does the job and liter to handle and spoke wheels, I to have a 30 in leg and my old tiger has me on my toes and is top heavy 25 liter tank but when mobile its agile slow stuff another story. I like the Beemers but i hear maintenance costs are high ? don’t no how true that is but I do my own maintenance. I would like a 650 though insurance costs are getting nuts when you have a few on the road I don’t know how it is in BC but Ontario their fleecing me, the Beemer may be my next bike that is well if I win the lottery the 800XC mite be nice to add to the stable..
I think the maintenance costs for the Beemers are not much different than any other bike. With the Tiger 800XC everything you need to do you have to take the tank off. That takes time etc. Your 30 in in-seam is quite challenging I would say for most of these bikes. Although I only have a 30.5. The nice thing about the F800 is the tank being below the seat and the ESA. Again as in any bike it depends on your needs not really the bike. Triumph is apparently coming out with a new Tiger 800 this Spring. I am excited to see what changes they have made.