Wild Dog Adventure Riding

General => General Bike Related Banter => To Buy or Not To Buy => Topic started by: Henardt on February 15, 2015, 12:14:44 pm

Title: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: Henardt on February 15, 2015, 12:14:44 pm
I am a completely new rider wanting to buy my first bike.  I am consider the BMW F700GS or the R1200GS.  I will be using the bike mostly on tar-roads for weekend riding, with some easy-going gravel roads now and then while I am still learning. I'll not be carrying a pillion for the foreseeable future, as I need to feel very comfortable with my own skills first before taking anyone else along.

To be honest, I would like to eventually end up with the R1200GS, but I am not sure that I should start there.  I'm (1.9m, 100kg) tall enough to flat-foot the 1200, and it feels really comfortable when I'm sitting on it.

Yet, my friends and anonymous internet strangers seem to consider that the F700GS might be a better start.  It's not as heavy as the 1200, turns easier, less powerful (not normally ideal, but perhaps ideal for a newbie?), and there's generally far less damage when it falls over (which I'm lead to believe is bound to happen during the first year).  I've heard some horror stories about expensive-to-repair damage to engine parts on dropped 1200's ... And, of course, considering the weight of both, it should be easier to pick up a fallen-over 700GS.

I would be buying a pre-owned 2012 + model of either, and as I still have to buy the riding gear as well, the F700 will be a cheaper option, which is also a major factor.

I have spoken to some salesmen, and they have generally pushed me towards the 1200, but that might just be because it's a more expensive bike on which they'd get more commission ...

I'd appreciate your input and advice!

Thanks.
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: Hugo on February 15, 2015, 12:30:10 pm
I'm no expert but my first bike that I bought in 2007 was also a 1200 GSA. Took me a few months to get really comfortable and I'm only 1.82m tall. One of the best tourers around, but tricky in sand ( some okes here might disagree though )
Take both for a test drive and see what you like best
Good luck  :biggrin:
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: Coxwain on February 15, 2015, 12:39:23 pm
To be perfectly honest don't start with either one of those bikes.
Rather find yourself an older 650 and get some experience before you spend a stack of money on a 1200.
You can always sell the 650 at a later date. but buying a 1200 now is crazy. These things are hellish expensive to fix if they fall over , and trust me you will fall over at some stage in your learning curve. You will also find that you will have a lot more fun on an older bike as you wont be scared of damaging it.

Just my 2 cents worth ...take it or leave it.  :biggrin: :biggrin:
Title: Re:
Post by: AJBotha on February 15, 2015, 12:50:20 pm
Why exclude the F800GS? I am looking at getting one and the advice I got was to also look at the Triumph Tiger 800 and the older 1150GSA's. I am totally biased towards BMW though!
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: Henardt on February 16, 2015, 09:56:36 am
AJ - I excluded the F800GS as it seems it is more off-road focussed than road focussed.  I will predominantly be using the bike on tarred roads - therefore I feel as if my choices should be between the F700GS and the F650GS.

I was leaning seriously towards the 700, but considering the price difference, I might now instead pick up a 650 and use the savings to buy better gear.
Title: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: Quicker on February 17, 2015, 08:43:52 pm
My 2cents,
When I was in high school I had a 150cc Kawasaki Serpico 2 stroker and never really became a riding god, but I rode that little monster well into my varsity days until I realised that a car just worked better, so the bike stood for a long long time…eventually sold it.
10 years later, I bought a f800gs, I commute daily with a variety of road users…super bikers, the odd adventure bike, hogs the works…without so much as a glitch…in my humble opinion it would be a waste to buy the 700, rather get the 800 because eventually you will want to go ride some dirt and then you are stuck with a bike (700) which is not quite suited for it and you will damage the rim when venturing off the black top.
And if you really want to get a cheap bike to "crash, burn n learn" get a G650X.
Lite on fuel and rock solid.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: Draadwerk on February 17, 2015, 08:48:38 pm
Don't waste money. You are tall enough and all to handle the 1200 with ease. Buy the 1200 from the start. Just have respect for it, and it will be the best machine you have ever owned. 👍
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: T Rex on February 20, 2015, 01:35:16 am
Don't waste money. You are tall enough and all to handle the 1200 with ease. Buy the 1200 from the start. Just have respect for it, and it will be the best machine you have ever owned. 👍

I have to agree ......  :thumleft:
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: Ou Krokkedil on February 20, 2015, 07:22:45 am
Listen very carefully, DO NOT BUY A BIG BIKE WHEN YOU DONT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!

I have been to many hospital visits because people buy big bikes and then do something stupid and fall on their asses.

If this is your first bike, and you do want to buy new buy the 700 it is a very underrated bike and I promise you will keep up with the 1200 up to 180km/h

If you want to buy second hand buy and old 650 twin(same as the 700) and learn with it, you will get your money back when you trade in.

OR. SPEND SOME MONEY AND DO THE 2 DAY TRAINING AT BMW ACADEMY FIRTS and then by the 1200.
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: ClimbingTurtle on February 20, 2015, 07:34:58 am
My 2c - buy the 1200 - but go on an instruction course - ADA and BMW both do them - you are big enough for the 1200, but realise that it's going to take a year of riding before you become really comfortable - but DO THE COURSE - it will give you a huge advantage!

Good luck & happy riding!!

PS - go compare bike weights for the F700/800 & a R1200 - might surprise you....
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: hedleyj on February 20, 2015, 07:45:28 am
Buy what you want don't be fooled by smaller and bigger. It's about getting comfortable with what you got..

The 1200 is not difficult to pickup if you have been shown how. In fact the 700 can be more difficult as it's not about the weight but the technique.

The 1200 is super comfy, forgiving in ride style and if you buy a 700 within 6 months you will want a 1200. Especially if you do the riding courses.

When you get comfy enough to take a pillion with a700 you will realise you should've bought the 1200

As has been said RESPECT IT,  it is heavy, it is powerful, it is NICE.

BUY IT AND LEARN TO RIDE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT. 😃
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: wihann on February 20, 2015, 02:36:34 pm
I bought the 700 Gs and rode it 6 months sold it for the 1200 gs after 7 months.
the reason i bought the 700 was exactly the same as yours and because the dealer said it would be better for me beacause i had no road bike experience prior to the 700 butt i was really not happy because it is slippery as hell and shacky on the gravel as n stay on a farm and for me get some where i have to navigate a small piece of gravel not technical at all.i would suggest u go with the 1200 from the start and not make the same mistake like i did.
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: Malmoer on February 20, 2015, 04:12:28 pm
Ai!! 650/700/800/1200 whatever. Get A bike and go ride. Life is short so make up your own mind after testing a few.
I swear to my 800 though. :pot:
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: schummie64 on February 20, 2015, 05:53:35 pm
F800 is awesome.
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: Omninorm on March 09, 2015, 03:51:03 pm
Forget the 700

Get the 800 or the 1200.
Oh, and start buying the riding gear now before you get the bike.

 :thumleft:



Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: Bernt on December 15, 2015, 07:29:31 pm
1200GS.....really easy bike to enjoy
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: Casting from Turd on December 15, 2015, 08:27:39 pm
Right here comes my spanner....

I started riding again, and I say again as I was off a bike for around 20 years, on a little Honda XR250 Tornado. Then went up to the XR650l and now the Waradrol.

Why not look at the Honda 750 range?
Light, reliable, easy to ride, powerful and handles the road like a dream.
In comparison cheap to fix :peepwall:
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: Casting from Turd on December 15, 2015, 08:33:21 pm
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=184877.0;topicseen (http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=184877.0;topicseen)


Here is a deal right here
Title: Re:
Post by: mike gs on December 15, 2015, 09:53:13 pm
Don't mess around. Get the 1200 from the start. I'm 90kg & 1.8 tall. Best decision I made. Bike handles like a dream. You will find it turns better than anything. Good comment earlier about looking around at other manufacturers, but if you're stuck on a B-em, then head for the 1200

Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: katana on December 16, 2015, 08:18:57 pm
To be perfectly honest don't start with either one of those bikes.
Rather find yourself an older 650 and get some experience before you spend a stack of money on a 1200.
You can always sell the 650 at a later date. but buying a 1200 now is crazy. These things are hellish expensive to fix if they fall over , and trust me you will fall over at some stage in your learning curve. You will also find that you will have a lot more fun on an older bike as you wont be scared of damaging it.

Just my 2 cents worth ...take it or leave it.  :biggrin: :biggrin:

This is good advice.  Falling with a 250/450/650 is cheap school fees.  Accept that you WILL fall. 
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: subie on December 16, 2015, 08:23:27 pm
The 700 gs  looks like a bland bike to me. Never been on one though.
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: Jondu on December 16, 2015, 08:29:53 pm
To be perfectly honest don't start with either one of those bikes.
Rather find yourself an older 650 and get some experience before you spend a stack of money on a 1200.
You can always sell the 650 at a later date. but buying a 1200 now is crazy. These things are hellish expensive to fix if they fall over , and trust me you will fall over at some stage in your learning curve. You will also find that you will have a lot more fun on an older bike as you wont be scared of damaging it.

Just my 2 cents worth ...take it or leave it.  :biggrin: :biggrin:

This is good advice.  Falling with a 250/450/650 is cheap school fees.  Accept that you WILL fall. 

Good advice....even a cheap KLR will do the intro.
Title: Re: Advice needed - F700GS or R1200GS for newbie
Post by: zebra - Flying Brick on December 16, 2015, 09:43:30 pm
Lots and lots of good advice here...

My take - you will almost CERTAINLY progress to the 1200, and given your size, will be very comfortable on it...

The BEST money you can spend is on rider-training, and decent (not expensive) but decent safety gear, that will last...

The advice to start on an older 650 is sound advice, FAR cheaper to repair when (not if!) you drop it, etc...
An easier introduction into biking than straight into 1200 territory, IMO...

The much-underrated 650 TWIN and 700 TWIN often sell 2nd hand at a discount greater than that existing between them and the  800GS (when new) since they are often (not always) seen as ladies bikes, and many want the 800 rather...

Interestingly enough, the now-discontinued 650 twin out-performs the 800GS through the lower gears, when the 800 then outperforms it ( I MUST find this reference!)
And the 19" front wheel is more forgiving/turns in easier on road than the 21" 800GS wheel.

Flat-footing a 1200 on level ground is useful, yet we have a good few customers who drop newish 1200's outside our Store; the parking slopes SLIGHTLY down, rider tries to put left foot down, it's lower than he expects, bike starts moving, and BANG, bike goes down! Not once or twice, but with surprising regularity!

Old 650 single - if it's had a couple of owners, you will hardly lose money on it if you buy 'well', and get confidence in riding something more manageable.

The only caveat to this advice, is that you are likely to progress to a 1200, so as a last resort, you could start there, but I would start smaller/lighter/ cheaper, and invest in a course or two.

Enjoy, and be safe!
Chris