First Impression - 2019 BMW F 750 GS and F 850 GS Photos: BMW Motorrad/Kevin Wing

First Impression - 2019 BMW F 750 GS and F 850 GS

Written by  Mark Dzikowski on Friday, 02 November 2018 16:51

Inside Motorcycles just got back from the media press launch for the two newest middle class adventure bikes from BMW Motorrad and thought we’d give our digital followers a sneak peek at our first impressions of the new entry level and mid level BMW adventure machines. You can read the full detailed review of the new machines in an upcoming issue of Inside Motorcycles.

As I mentioned in my Inside Line editorial in the last MX and Off-Road issue, the adventure bike segment has been growing substantially. BMW bikes have always been at the forefront of this segment since the mid 2000s when the British television series Long Way Around with Ewan McGregor was on the air. Following the series, the show made middle-aged men part with their hard earned money by flocking to the nearest BMW dealership to plop down deposits on a shiny new 1150 GS.

This launch was focused on the entry to mid level products from the BMW line, the F 750 GS and F 850 GS. Both machines are brand new and have some substantial changes from their F 700 and F 800 predecessors. There are also a lot of shared components between these two new models.

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The F 750 GS is slotted into the “mostly on road with occasional off road” category and BMW is targeting new motorcycle riders as well as the female segment with this model. The stock low seat height of 815 mm (optional lowering kit drops the seat height to 770 mm) is going to be welcome news to riders with a short inseam as it allows them to have a confident connection with terra firma when stopped at a stoplight or uneven off-road terrain. The narrow midsection also makes it easier to reach the ground. The motor, an 853 cc power plant that shares the same displacement with its bigger brother, with different intake and exhaust cams, puts out a respectable 57 kW (77 hp) at 7,500 rpm. The motor is free revving with a crisp throttle response, however you do have to get into the upper two thirds of the RPM range to stay in the meat of the power. This allows new or inexperienced riders to progressively explore the motor’s characteristics as they get more comfortable on the machine. On the road, the bike feels light and flickable and surprisingly very fun, even for experienced riders. Fitted with street rubber, the tight and twisty roads put a smile on all the journalists’ faces. When taken off-road, the F 750 GS can definitely hold its own, and we had no trouble navigating the gravel roads and rocky double tracks of Colorado and Utah, even with the street tires. When pushed on the off-road terrain, the cast aluminum 19-inch front and 17-inch rear rims, already mentioned street tires, rear shock and telescopic 41 mm fork and quickly reach their limit when ridden in more technical terrain or by a more aggressive rider in the 180 to 200 lb range.

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BMW Motorrad sees the F 850 GS fitting the ADV spectrum just below the flagship 1200 GS where the F 850 GS is equally comfortable on road as well as off-road. This statement quickly becomes apparent, as soon as you have a look at the components on F 750 GS’s bigger brother. The cast aluminum rims are replaced with cross spoke wheels and the 850 gets the more off-road oriented 21-inch front wheel but sticks with the 17-inch rear, USD 43 mm front fork and beefy rear shock, paired with the very capable 853 cc 70 kW (90 hp) motor. The stock seat height is 860 mm, 45 mm taller than the F 750 GS but in line with other manufacturers’ bikes in this category. Suspension travel is also increased and respectable at 204 mm/219 mm front/rear compared to the F 750 GS, which comes in at 151 mm/177 mm. The F 850 GS is truly a lot of fun on- and off-road, with good power to make it fun on the pavement and to spin the tires in the dirt when you turn off the traction control for maximum fun factor.

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The stock electronics package comes with two standard riding modes on both machines (Rain and Road) and optional Dynamic, Enduro and Enduro Pro mode for the F 850 GS. Our test machines were equipped with the Enduro Pro option and we were very impressed with its customization capability for turning off traction control and ABS to suit different riding terrain.

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When you combine a very capable pair of motorcycles with the BMW brand that prides itself on being a premium brand, you may expect the price to be out of range. However, you might be surprised. The F 750 GS starts at a Canadian MSRP of $11,200 and the F 850 GS at $14,800. If you want to load up either model with every option available, the price will go up by an additional $4,600.

2019 BMW F 750 GS
MSRP: Starting at $11,200
Colour: Light White, Austin Metallic Yellow, Stereo Metallic Matt
Engine: Liquid-cooled in-line twin
Displacement: 853 cc
Power: 77 hp @ 7,500 rpm
Torque: 61 ft-lb @ 6,000 rpm
Frame: Bridge-type frame, steel shell construction
Weight: 224 kg (493.8 lb), wet
Seat height: 815 mm (32.1 in)
Suspension (front): 41 mm telescopic fork
Suspension (rear): Single shock adjustable for spring pre-load and rebounds damping
Brakes (front): dual 305 mm discs with double-piston floating caliper
Brakes (rear): 265 mm disc with single-piston floating caliper
Fuel Capacity: 15 L

2019 BMW F 850 GS
MSRP: Starting at $14,800
Colour: Rallye style Tri-Colour, Racing Red, Pollux Metallic Matt
Engine: Liquid-cooled in-line twin
Displacement: 853 cc
Power: 90 hp @ 7,500 rpm
Torque: 68 ft-lb @ 6,000 rpm
Frame: Bridge-type frame, steel shell construction
Weight: 229 kg (504.9 lb), wet
Seat height: 860 mm (33.9 in)
Suspension (front): USD 43 mm telescopic fork
Suspension (rear): Single shock adjustable for spring pre-load and rebounds damping
Brakes (front): dual 305 mm discs with double-piston floating caliper
Brakes (rear): 265 mm disc with single-piston floating caliper
Fuel Capacity: 15 L

Last modified on Friday, 02 November 2018 17:38
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