BMW F850 GS, F750 GS: The middleweight adventure bike grows up

BMW has announced its new F850 GS and F750 GS, which will form the foundation of its new middleweight adventure lineup.

The F850 GS and F750 GS follow the pattern set by the outgoing F800 and F700 models; both the F850 and F750 share an 853 cc displacement, but the F750 is detuned to lower output. The F850 puts out 95 hp at 8,250 rpm, and the F750 puts out 77 hp at 7,500 rpm. Max torque is 67.9 lb-ft for the 850, 61.2 lb-ft for the 750.

The bikes have a dry sump parallel twin engine, with  crankshaft journal offset of 90 degrees and 270/450-degree firing angle—supposedly, this gives an engine sound close to a V-twin. There are dual counterbalancers, which should eliminate the vibration that typified the outgoing parallel twin when it climbed into the upper rev range.

The engine has a double overhead cam design, with four valves per cylinder. Compression ratio is 12.7:1.

The bike has an anti-hop clutch, with six-speed gearbox. Final drive on previous 800 models was on the right-hand side, but now it’s on the left-hand side of the engine (it’s a chain drive, as with the previous edition). BMW also offers the Gear Shift Assistant Pro as an option, allowing up-and-down shifting without using the clutch.

Traction control is standard on both models, along with two riding modes (Rain and Road—Pro, Dynamic, and Enduro modes are available as options). Dynamic Traction Control and ABS Pro are also available as options.

The suspension and frame are both all-new; the engine is a stressed member, and the BMW says the frame is made from steel for off-road durability. The F750 GS has a 63-degree rake, the F850 GS has a 62-degree rake.

The exhaust is now mounted on the right-hand side of the motorcycle. BMW says this makes it easier to extract the motorcycle when it’s stuck, as the rider is typically positioned on the left-hand side of the bike in this scenario, and the new muffler arrangement means you’re less likely to burn yourself when pulling your bike out of a hole.

There are standard 41 mm telescopic forks for the F750, and 43 mm USD forks for the F850. Front spring travel on the F750 GS is 151 mm, spring travel on the F850 GS is 204 mm. Rear suspension travel is 177 mm on the 750, 219 mm on the 850. The rear shock is adjustable for preload and rebound damping. Electronic suspension adjustment is also available as an add-on option for the rear shock on both models.

Both the F750 GS and F800 GS come with a 6.5-inch TFT screen, which contains the instrument cluster and can also be integrated into a connectivity system—just in case, say, you want to check your text messages while bombing around Mongolia. Other available options include an intelligent emergency call system that alerts 911 or similar services if your bike crashes. There’s also an optional keyless ignition system.

Getting down to the differences between the bikes: The lower-powered F750 GS runs on cast wheels, with a street-friendly 19-inch front and 17-inch rear. That means wheelbase is a shorter 1,559 mm on the 750. Seat height is also lower, at 815 mm, and can be lowered to 790 mm. The factory lowing option can take that all the way down to 770 mm. The comfort seat is 830 mm. Curb weight is 224 kg, fuel tank capacity is 15 litres.

The F850 GS must run on premium unleaded fuel, due to its higher-tuned engine, although you can presumably tweak that with a USB dongle—at least, that was an option on previous F800 models.

Because it’s aimed at more serious offroad usage, the F850 GS comes with spoked wheels—a 21-inch rim in front and a 17-inch in back. The standard seat height is 860 mm, the low seat is 835 mm, and with the lowered suspension, 815 mm. The comfort seat option is 875 mm, the accessory Rallye seat is 875 mm. Curb weight is 229 kg. Fuel capacity is 15 litres for this machine as well.

Both bikes will be available in Canada for the 2018 season. The current F800 GS retails for $13,850 in Canada, the F750 GS is $10,750, but pricing for the new models hasn’t been announced yet.


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