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BMW launches its new mid-size GS in South Africa

2018-11-22 09:42

Dries van der Walt

BMW Motorrad

Image: Willem Ebersohn

BMW’s smaller GS bikes have always been overshadowed by the mighty R 1200 GS, although some riders have preferred the lighter and nimbler F-series for serious adventure riding. However, very few people would laud the F-series as adventure tourers, a category in which their boxer-engined sibling excels.

But this might change, following BMW Motorrad South Africa’s recent launch of their new F 750 GS and F 850 GS adventure bikes in the Western Cape. Not only have the F 750 and F850 been given an injection of extra power, but they have also received up-to-date electronics worthy of their big brother.

Different applications

BMW says that even more than their predecessors, the F 750 GS and F 850 GS are targeting very specific market segments.

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What this means, in effect, is that the 750 GS is aimed at riders who will more likely use the bike for commuting or other tar-road-dominated duties, while the 850, which offers more power and torque, is aimed at riders who will more likely do long-distance adventure riding or require greater off-road capability.

BMW Motorrad

                                                                           Image: Willem Ebersohn

The Boys from Bavaria say that their main engine development focus was to increase power and torque while reducing fuel consumption. As before, both versions share the same mill, which was given a displacement of 853cm³, and delivers a power output of 57kW at 7 500 rpm for the F 750 GS and 70kW at 8 250rpm for the F 850 GS.

On the electronics side, the bikes offer 'Road' and 'Rain' modes, as well as ABS and ASC as standard, with 'Pro' riding modes, are available as optional equipment.

BMW Motorrad

                                                                      Image: Willem Ebersohn

The latter includes the additional 'Dynamic' and 'Enduro' modes for the F 750 GS and an ‘Enduro Pro’ for the F 850 GS. Also part of the optional package is dynamic traction control and banking-capable ABS.

More than meets the eye

It is evident at first glance that the new bikes are not just the result of a facelift: the fuel tank has been returned to the conventional position, there is a new LED headlight, and the bikes’ profile has been redesigned to give them a more rugged appearance. BMW has also introduced a 'Rallye' variant, exclusive to the F 850 GS, which emphasises its off-road capabilities.

BMW Motorrad

                                                                      Image: Willem Ebersohn

There are changes under the skin as well: the bridge frame of the new models is made of deep drawn, welded components, and it integrates the two-cylinder in-line engine as a co-supporting element for greater torsional rigidity and robustness.

BMW Motorrad

                                                                           Image: Willem Ebersohn

As usual from BMW Motorrad, there is an extensive range of equipment options, including different seat heights and windshields, the LED daytime riding headlight and optional Connectivity equipment with a TFT display.

The new BMW F 750 GS and F 850 GS at a glance:

• Two-cylinder in-line engine with a displacement of 853cc.
- F 750 GS: 57kW at 7500rpm and 83Nm at 6000rpm.
- F 850 GS: 70kW at 8250rpm and 92Nm at 6250rpm.
- Powerful and emotional sound, produced by a crankshaft journal offset of 90 degrees and firing interval of 270/450 degrees.
• New, robust steel bridge frame in monocoque construction for increased riding precision.
• New telescopic fork/upside-down telescopic fork plus double-sided aluminium swinging arm with central spring strut for more sensitive response characteristics.
• ABS, ASC plus 'Rain' and 'Road' riding modes included as standard.
• Pro riding modes with ABS Pro and dynamic brake light, DTC and the new riding modes 'Dynamic', 'Enduro' and 'Enduro Pro' (the latter only with the F 850 GS) available as optional equipment ex works.
• ESA electronic suspension adjustment available as optional equipment.
• A self-amplifying, anti-hopping clutch for a discernible reduction in hand clutch operating force.
• LED headlight (low and high beam) as standard. LED daytime riding light as optional equipment.
• Connectivity with multi-functional instrument cluster and 6.5" full colour TFT display; numerous features as optional equipment.
• Intelligent emergency call function now offered for the first time as optional equipment for the mid-size class.
• Optimised off-road and travel ability plus improved wind and weather protection.
• Sharper GS profile resulting from new design.
• New colour concepts and style variations Rallye and Exclusive.

BMW Motorrad

                                                                           Image: Willem Ebersohn

A range of optional equipment and original BMW Motorrad accessories that is unique in the middle class, such as Keyless Ride, Gear shift assistant Pro, Dynamic ESA, Connectivity etc.


F 750 GS

Style Exclusive: R187 250 00
Austin Yellow: R184 750 00
Light White: R184 750 00

F 850 GS

Racing Red: R196 950 00
Style Exclusive: R199 250 00
Style Rallye: R 199 950 00

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