F 750GS and F 850GS: BMW's middleweight adventure bikes get complete overhaul
BMW's middleweight adventure bikes have changed little since their inception a decade ago, and if you thought a major overhaul was on the cards, you were right. Unveiled at EICMA 2017, the F 750GS and F 850GS are all new from the ground up with a re-designed front end, new frame, updated engine and a fresh suite of electronics.
853cc parallel-twin engine
The old donk in the previous generation middleweight (the F 700GS and F 800GS) was a 798cc parallel twin. BMW has given the new engine a complete redesign to give it a lot more character. The parallel twin configuration remains the same, but displacement has been bumped up to 853cc and the firing order tweaked to give it that lovely V-Twin rumble. Power and torque figures are rated at 77 hp (57 kW) and 62 ft-lb (83 Nm) for the F 750GS, and 95 hp (70 kW) and 68 ft-lb (92 Nm) for the F 850GS.
Drive is provided by a six-speed transmission that now comes with a slipper clutch as standard. This will provide a lighter clutch pull, reduced engine braking as well as smoother downshifts. The transmission can also be optioned with BMW's latest Gear Shift Assistant Pro, which is designed to deliver buttery smooth clutch-less upshifts and downshifts. Further internal changes include the use of twin balancer shafts to reduce vibrations and the use of a dry sump with a dedicated oil pump to provide lubrication.
The overall look of the bikes have been sharpened, with the front end getting a complete facelift that includes optional LED headlamps and daytime running lights to gives it that R1200GS look.
The plastics have been updated and the previously rear-mounted 15-liter fuel tank has been moved to the front of the bike to improve weight distribution and add a little muscle to the overall look. The exhaust system has been moved to the right-hand side to reduce burns to the rider when pushing the bike and the chain drive has been moved to the left-hand side, similar to a Japanese motorcycle.
There are also significant differences between the two bikes.The F 750GS much like its predecessor, is a more road focused machine in comparison to the F 850GS. It comes with die-cast multi-spoke aluminum wheels as standard (19-in on the front and 17 on the rear) running tubeless tires and a conventional 41mm telescopic fork with 151mm of travel. The more off-road focused F 850GS comes with a premium 43mm inverted fork with 204mm of travel, wire spoked wheels (21-in front and 17 rear) and tubeless off-road tires – a first for the middleweight adventurer.
Another notable change is the deep-drawn steel bridge frame that replaces the tubular steel of previous models. This monocoque construction uses the engine as a stressed member to help increase rigidity. BMW has also decreased the steering angle rake and increased the wheelbase for both models. Rear suspension is a centrally mounted shock with rebound damping adjustment.
BMW has provided a vast suite of electronics as part of the 2018 re-design. The biggest change in the cockpit comes in the form of an optional 6.5-inch full color TFT display, which the rider can use it to make phone calls and a listen to music if paired to a Bluetooth equipped device. Using the BMW Connected smartphone app, the rider can also gain access to turn-by-turn navigation that can be integrated into the display itself. Putting all these services into the one display reduces the clutter on the dash and the need to purchase additional devices.
On the safety side, BMW has fitted the F 750GS and F 850GS with an optional "Intelligent Emergency Call" function that allows emergency services to be contacted faster in the event of an accident. This function can be activated automatically or manually using a covered button on the right-hand switch block. The rider can then communicate with the emergency operator through the provided microphone and speaker fitted to the bike. There are two scenarios where this function can be activated automatically – in a serious fall or collision the function is activated automatically and the rider is put through to the BMW call centre until help arrives, but in the event of a minor fall or collision the rider can choose whether or not to proceed with the call depending on the nature of the accident. BMW is also offering keyless go for the first time on the middleweight adventurer.
Riding modes include the standard Road and Rain modes as well as the optional Dynamic, Enduro and Enduro Pro (F 850GS only) modes, which are part of the optional Pro riding package. Each riding mode affects the bikes throttle characteristics and the harshness of the ABS, Stability Control (ASC) and the optional Traction Control (DTC). The Pro package introduces further safety features like lean sensitive ABS and the ability to further adjust the ABS and DTC of the bike to suit the riding environment. Enduro and Enduro Pro modes allow the DTC to be deactivated so the rider can perform controlled rear wheel slides. Much like its sports bike cousin, the BMW S1000RR, the Enduro Pro mode on the F 850GS can only be activated by plugging in a special dongle under the seat. Combined with the optional Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) the bike can be setup to suit each riders personal preference.
BMW hasn't announced a release date yet, but we're expecting it to be available early next year along with other new models. Pricing is expected to be in the same $10-14K ball park as the current model F 700GS and F 800GS.
In the meantime, check them out in the video below.