BMW F850GS ADVENTURE (2019 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Annual servicing cost: £210
Power: 94 bhp
Seat height: Tall (34.4 in / 875 mm)
Weight: High (538 lbs / 244 kg)

Prices

New £10,600
Used £9,000 - £10,500

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The new F850GS Adventure is a welcome addition to the BMW range. With a bigger fuel tank, improved weather protection and revised ergonomics it's capable of taking you wherever you want to go in comfort whether that’s on or off-road.

While the base model starts at just £10,600, the options to upgrade bikes ergonomics, electronics, rider aids and gadgets are endless and turn it into a very accomplished adventure bike.

It's clear that BMW’s engineers had Honda’s Africa Twin Adventure Sports in their sights when designing the F850GS Adventure. On paper the specs are incredibly similar - as is the performance and riding experience.

It has the looks of the R1250GS Adventure more than ever before with a similar level of refinement and plushness that makes the bigger GS such a world shrinker.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

If big imposing adventure bikes are your thing then the 850 fits the bill and while it doesn’t have the power and abundance of grunt as the shift cam equipped BMW 1250GS it has enough performance for the vast majority of people will need for the vast majority of time. 

With electronically adjustable rear suspension that gives 215mm travel and 230mm of travel from the non-adjustable 43mm front forks the set-up is designed to deal with rider only road riding through to two-up off-road adventures.

On the road the set-up is plush with high levels of refinement, while off-road it manages to give good feel, feedback and grip.

Braking performance is impressive thanks to the floating Brembo calipers and Twin 305mm disks which mean you never need to use more than one finger when braking. There is an off-road specific ABS setting configured within the variable rider modes or the ABS can be turned off completely with the push of a button.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The 853cc parallel-twin motor has a 90-degree crank pin off-set, which adds to the character of the motor. With 95bhp at 8250rpm and 67.8ft-lb torque at 6250rpm, there is plenty of useable power on tap without it ever being too much.

On road it’s smooth and engaging with a strong bottom end and mid range, which is where potential owners are likely to be spending the majority of their time. The same smooth character transfers well when riding off-road - especially the initial tap of the throttle, which is predictable and helps the rider find grip on loose terrain.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

BMW have enjoyed huge sales success with their range of GSs and as a result have a reputation to up hold. The new R850GSA has the feel of its R1250GS big brother and that is no bad thing - solid, well built and durable.

Being a BMW’s it also enjoy a comprehensive and first class dealer network virtually anywhere in the world.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

At £10,600 for the base model at its launch, this is a well priced bike that is in line with Honda’s Africa Twin models. But in reality it’s unlikely that anyone will buy the bike in it’s completely standard form.

The list of optional extras for the F850GS Adventure are practically endless, from full luggage options, quick-shifter and auto blipper through, to keyless ignition, emergency call, a 6.5in TFT dash and sports exhaust, you really can tailor the bike to anything you want at a price.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

The equipment levels on this bike depend largely on your budget. The 6.5in TFT dash first seen on the R1200GS in 2017 is a work of art. Easy to use, classy display with a plethora of information all of which can be viewed even when it’s in bright sunlight and covered in dust.

Riding modes are easily changed either at standstill or on the move. It’s easy to jump between the pre-set Road, Rain, Dynamic and Enduro Pro pre-set options and you can also easily tailor these parameters to meet your exact needs.

MCN's Michael Guy rides the new R850GS Adventure off-road

The traction control and ABS can be switched off completely if required and these settings remain in place even if you switch off the bike - a refreshing change that avoids you having to scroll through set-up menus every time you re-start your journey.

It has an adjustable screen, which can be placed in either a low or high position easily and on the move. It comes standard with three-level heated grips and wrap around handguards for protection and their warmth properties.

Specs

Engine size 853cc
Engine type parallel twin
Frame type aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 23 litres
Seat height 875mm
Bike weight 244kg
Front suspension 43mm upside down forks
Rear suspension Hydraulically-adjustable shock, aluminium swingarm
Front brake Double floating disc, 2-piston floating calipers
Rear brake Single disc brake, 2-piston floating caliper
Front tyre size 90/90x21
Rear tyre size 150/70x17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £96
Annual service cost £210
New price £10,600
Used price £9,000 - £10,500
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Three years

Top speed & performance

Max power 94 bhp
Max torque 67.8 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 340 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

  • Part of the same family tree as the standard F850GS mentioned below, the bike descends from the BMW F800GS Adventure, which took the standard 800 and gave it a new exhaust, full ride-by-wire throttle, different riding modes, a revised dashboard and new paint finishes. It also got galvanised radiator trim and a revised ignition lock casing.

Other versions

  • BMW F850GS: Launched as a new model for 2018, the standard 850 is an impressive prospect in itself - with an impressive spec, performance and arguably more road-going prowess than its formerly 1200cc older brother. This was adapted from the now-discontinued F800GS.

MCN Long term test reports

Largest GS Trophy ever sees 22 teams from around the world compete

Largest GS Trophy ever sees 22 teams from around the world compete

The 2020 GS Trophy has come to a close after the largest one to date. Staged in New Zealand, teams from around the world competed in a series of challenges to see who would be crowned the winners, with multiple champions South Africa coming out on top once again. To get from place to place, and from

Read the latest report

Owners' reviews for the BMW F850GS ADVENTURE (2019 - on)

6 owners have reviewed their BMW F850GS ADVENTURE (2019 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your BMW F850GS ADVENTURE (2019 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Engine: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Equipment: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £210
4 out of 5 BMW f 850 adventure mainly good
15 November 2021 by Mr P

Year: 2019

This is down only to the noisey engine.The first time I came back from a ride sounded like there was no oil in the engine.Comfort is the best I’ve had .

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

All good

Engine 5 out of 5

Pull very strong

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Again engine don’t sound smooth not like a new bike should.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Servicing is normal price and the fuel economy is exceptional return over 65mpg and more if really steady

Equipment 4 out of 5

Only issue I have is if you get any kind of warning key battery,low fuel, service due, or tyre pressure warning the dash goes yellow and I find this very annoying to the point Where I thinking of trading it in😡

Buying experience: Dealer good deal on my part ex made the price good

3 out of 5 All show... very little go. (Buy an Africa Twin)
21 October 2021 by Matt Taylor

Version: Adventure

Year: 2020

Annual servicing cost: £250

Ok on asphalt. Hopeless off it. A comfortable if somewhat crude commuter.

Ride quality & brakes 1 out of 5

I give a low score here due to the absolutely hopeless front forks. They look good but are in fact very very poor indeed. The single unadjustable cartridge installed in the RHS fork leg is beyond crude. It feels pre-historic on the road, whilst it defeats the off road pretensions this model is marketed on completely. Woeful BMW. Absolutely useless. This needs to be fixed via a recall its so bad in my opinion.The rear is electronically adjustable and can be made to work (not brilliantly mind - no more than average at best).

Engine 3 out of 5

Rattly twin with limited performance capability. Unlikely to frighten even new riders. Again, it falls so far short of its Japanese rivals as to make comparison impossible.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

Front fork cartridge (right leg only) lets this bike down very badly indeed. Clanks and rattles whilst ultimately locking solid over demanding surfaces such as corrugations. Crude is an understatement. Very disappointing.General finish is good. Usual BMW quality in that regard at least.

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

Very economical but I could not describe this bike as offering good vfm as it falls so far short in a competitive adventure bike market.My friends Africa Twin really is so much better at everything you might buy an adventure bike for as to make comparison impossible. Its a shame really as I expected so much more.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Fairing gives good wind and weather protection. OE tyres are awful. Rack and pannier mounts are useful as as the lower fairing protection bars.

Buying experience: Bought privately with 4000 miles on the clock.

5 out of 5 Jack of all trades master of none.
19 October 2021 by Demian

Version: Rally sport

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £200

Pleasant versatile bike that can do almost everything you will through to it. With 94hp it seems not a lot nowadays, but mere 15 years ago it was sportbikes territory.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Front forks are on softer side and quite basic. I would say it is biggest flaw of the bike for me. Apart from it it rides well and holds corners not too bad considering 21" front wheel.

Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

In basic package it is quite basic. In order to get most of the tasty options you have to add to cost of the bike, but they are worth it.

5 out of 5 BMW F850 GS Review
04 September 2021 by wazzaup

Version: Rally Sport

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £180

This bike handles really well it has the dynamic esa suspension option fitted it delivers great fuel economy and is very comfortable on long journeys rides well in different road conditions only thing I don't like is the warning messages that appear on the tft screen from the engine management system they can be very distracting

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Very good quality and it's what you would expect from Brembo brakes the abs is excellent.

Engine 4 out of 5

The engine is very good but it could be better at 95bhp it could do with some extra hp but it does perform well I removed the cat from the bike and installed a link pipe and it greatly improved the performance and fuel economy and made the engine more responsive.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

The build quality is very good and there have been no major issues apart from the seat lock breaking and a faulty tyre pressure sensor the quality is excellent

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

The running costs of the bike are very reasonable insurance is not expensive the only thing I would say about the service costs is that BMW are quite expensive

Equipment 4 out of 5

The equipment on the bike is very good and I installed the dynamic suspension option and it really does make a big difference to the bike and makes the bike handle really well the only criticism I have is the tft screen I had to pick it as an optional extra at the time and it is now a standard feature on the bike.

Buying experience: I bought the bike from a dealership.

5 out of 5
12 June 2020 by Ian Clements

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £200

Excellent very adaptable to many conditions

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5

Tour of Europe kept up with bigger bikes

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: Good from Alan Jeffries

4 out of 5 Throttle response is lacking.
19 April 2019 by Ken Taylor

Version: Rallye

Year: 2019

Bike is truly great overall, the clutch on start off and throttle do not feel in sync to each other.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: Max BMW motorcycles is the best around.

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