Project: Ultimate 2014 BMW F800GS Redux
ADVMoto set out to push the boundaries of the industry and explore the limits of imagination to conceive an ADV bike of functional excellence and efficient versatility. Enter BMW Motorcycles of Escondido and a project we call “The Ultimate Riding Machine (URM).”
We found a solid team of experts at BMWMC of Escondido to handle the build and do some creative fabrication for the road book reader and NiteRider Pro lights. Ops Manager, Rick Johns, led the team through the christening of the final product. Like the 2012 F800GS, our previous project bike, the 2014 F800GS ADV scored very high barebones off the showroom floor, both with critics and from a marketing perspective.
But in the real world, functionality collides with designers’ need to trim weight for the spec sheets. The only concession we made was to the top speed—we dropped one tooth in the front sprocket for good reason: the stock F8GSA stalls in deep sand so a slightly lower gear ratio was much appreciated. To state the obvious: Yes, this is basically a $15,000 bike with $11,000 in mods.
And yes, you can get a 1200 ADV of any make and throw a bunch of money at it. The question might be better stated as, “Which one performs better off-road?” Or better yet, “Which would you want to ride farther?” We’ve ridden all the current model ADV bikes sold in the U.S. and each has strong points. There is simply nothing you can do to any 1200 to make it outperform this bike in any area other than top-end highway.
Re-engineered Front Suspension is about 80% more important when the road ends, and the Konflict “works” is a total fix—custom-made to rider spec and balanced across the spectrum of riding. Even though it disables the F8GSA’s Electronic Suspension Control, it’s well worth every penny for an off-road specific bike to have a custom-tuned suspension.
While it may seem a tad pricey, it’s the ultimate. Apart from the re-valve and spring upgrade the profile of the forks changes their character entirely, with a window of softness before getting progressively stiffer. The Konflict solution makes the rider safer off road. The first few inches on the compression is quite supple but it takes a lot (still haven’t found it) to bottom out. The URM confidently jams though little dips and crossings with a quick zap of that lower gear ratio, without pogo sticking.
TouraTech In-Line Extreme Shock
To answer the question, “How ‘ultimate’ should this bike be?” we looked to ADV aftermarket leader TouraTech USA. They immediately jumped on board the URM project. Without a doubt the single most technically advanced aftermarket shock available for any motorcycle today, the revolutionary new Extreme Shock for the F8GSA is like no other on the planet.
ADVMoto’s URM is the first F8GSA in North America to test this shock. With its remotely located pre-load adjuster, the shock now has both high- and low-speed dampening adjusters built right into the body of the shock, and easily accessible for quick tuning.
We’re told this is a first for any motorcycle shock. Justifying this mod is easy. After selling off the stock shock the cost comes down to around $1,100, which is about the cost to have a good tuner re-valve a stock unit.
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