The two stars of BMW’s show are the new F750GS and F850GS, which bring styling cues from the old F700 and F800 but little else. BMW say they’ve worked on the bikes to make them more targeted at specific riders and that these bikes both offer different rides. What does this mean to us? It means we’re looking a pair of bikes that have been designed for a purpose, rather than just a cheaper alternative to an R1200-series.
At the heart of these new bikes is a shared 853cc parallel twin (detuned in the F750GS), that’s gone through more than just a capacity increase. The engine has been completely redesigned with a new crank and 270-degree firing order, so it’s got that v-twin noise and a decent shove to boot. The new engine has two balance shafts to take out the vibes inherent in this design, while there’s a new anti-hopping clutch that gives a light lever pull as well as feel.
Paired with this new engine is a new electronics package that includes a ride by wire throttle and the associated riding modes. As standard the bikes have a Road and Rain mode but optional packages also include Dynamic, Enduro and Enduro Pro (F850GS only). These modes not only alter the feel at the throttle but also the traction control parameters and the feel of the new electronic suspension.
Frame & suspension
With more power comes increased need for control, so both bikes have an all new frame and suspension set up. BMW say that the new steel bridge frame is integrates the new engine better than the old one, so it provides a new level of stiffness and control. The biggest change is the new optional Dynamic ESA. Unlike traditional electronic suspension systems where you select a mode and get on with it, the Dynamic ESA is constantly adapting to your riding and the road surface. It also adjusts based on the riding mode chosen, so selecting Enduro Pro would tune the suspension for off-roading.
The little twins also join the bigger bikes in offering the 6.5” TFT dash and associated connectivity, so you can pair your phone to take calls, play music or get directions. They’ve also increased the fancy electronic add-ons, so now you can have emergency call, keyless ride, cruise control, tyre pressure sensors and Gear Shift Pro (a quickshifter and autoblipper). All of these extras come as standalone items, plus as part of BMWs Comfort, Touring and Dynamic packages. The F750GS comes in two models (Standard and Exclusive) while the F850GS is a three model range that includes the Standard, Exclusive and Rallye model (our pick of the bunch).
- 853cc parallel twin
- 93.8bhp @ 8250rpm
- 860mm seat height
- 229kg (wet)
- 853cc parallel twin
- 76.4bhp @ 7500rpm
- 815mm seat height
- 204kg (wet)
F750GS vs. F850GS
Although they share the same frame and engine, the 750 and 850 are two very different bikes. The 750 has adventure styling but it’s an entry-level bike meant for the road, while the 850 with its longer travel suspension and 21” front wheel is a proper off-road bike.
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