Bigger boets join BMW GS family

2012-07-12 08:15

BMW Motorrad in 2007 extended the GS family with an entry-level and medium category in the form of the F 650 GS and the F 800 GS, their message: fun riding based on light, safe controllability over all surfaces.

The bikes, BMW said, also promised plenty of drive power and long-distance endurance - even when there were only gravel tracks. It was a concept in two versions, the bike-maker said, which to which many motorcycling fans responded enthusiastically.

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Now there are two more GS parallel-twin models, the F 700 GS and F 800 GS. BMW believes it "took something already good and made it better by refining the concept". The bikes should be in South Africa with a couple of months and indicative prices are BMW F 700 GS R95 400 and F 800 GS R112 800.


"The F 800 GS," it sayys, combines suitability for road use and touring with superior off-road qualities to bring the two worlds together to an extent not previously seen in this class of motorcycle."

The F 700 GS, however, is intended more for riders without a high level of off-road or gravel-riding expertise. "It's strengths," BMW says, "are a lower seat, all-round capability for everyday use, more than sufficient power and outstanding fuel economy."

Anti-lock brakes, as we've reported elsewhere on Wheels24, are now standard across the BMW motorcycle range. Optional are other safety-related innovations within their respective classes such as automatic stability control and electronic suspension adjustment.

The well-proven parallel twin – now with increased output and torque for the new F 700 GS.


Both models use the proven BMW 798cc, parallel-twin, quad-valve, liquid-cooled engine concept with electronic fuel-injection, closed-loop catalytic converter and six-speed gearbox.

The F 800 GS still delivers 63kW at 7500rpm and 83Nm at 5750rpm. The new F 700 GS benefits from a minor power and torque boost with 55kW at 7300rpm (F 650 GS 52kW at 7000rpm) and 77Nm at 5500rpm (F 650 GS 75Nm at 4500rpm).

F 700 GS now has twin front disc brakes and both bikes use established suspension technology with the engine as a load-bearing element. The rear frame in square steel tubing, the aluminium double-sided swing arm and the wheels and tyres are unchanged.

The Electronic Suspension Adjustment ESA is a new feature in this motorcycle segment. Available as an option ex works, it allows the rider to conveniently set the rebound stage damping of the rear spring strut at the press of a button on the handlebars, with the settings "Comfort", "Normal" or "Sport" available, thereby adapting the set-up to the needs of both route and riding style. The handwheel for setting the desired spring mount has been optimised for improved controllability.


Automatic stability control is and ex-works option and, BMW says, is unique in the market segment. A traction-control system prevents rear wheelspin under harsh acceleration and the consequent breakaway of the rear tyre, especially on gravel roads.

The analogue speedometer and rev counter are now easier to read and arranged vertically; the unit includes ,  fuel level and coolant temperature displays. Smoke grey turn indicator covers and diode rear light covers are used and the bikes have new paint finishes.

Bodywork changes, BMW says, have created a clearer design more in keeping with model character, the amendments mainly on the new side trim sections and corporate logos.

Many potential customers, BMW says, wanted a lower seat height on the F 800 GS so a lowered-suspension/reduced seat-height option is available. There's also a catalogue of options and special accessories intended to address the widely differing uses for the bike by the host of GS customers.

Among them are:

• New windshield for F 700 GS.
• Power reduction to 35kW.
• Engine map adjustment for regular fuel (RON 91).
• Comfort seat.
• Case carrier for Vario case.
• New centre stand.
• Comfort package: trip data computer, heatable grips, case holder, centre stand.
• LED auxiliary headlight for F 800 GS.
• Enduro footrests.