The BMW F 850 GS is a bike built for adventure and challenges. It’s easy to ride, handles beautifully and conquers the off-road more comfortably than some bikes handle bumpy streets.
True to its name, the BMW F 850 GS bears an 853cc, twin-cylinder engine that produces 90 horsepower and 63 lb-ft of torque. That’s an additional 55 cubic centimeters over the old F 800 GS, made possible thanks to increased bore and stroke, and 10 more horsepower to show for it. Tested over more than 620,000 miles, this new engine is full of potential and as sweet as they come. The new ride-by-wire throttle is free of jerkiness, and the new, lighter-action “anti-hop” clutch makes the F 850 GS easy to ride at low speeds. Two counterbalance shafts filter out the vibes, contributing to a truly stable and velvet-like smoothness even as you rev the engine past 8,000 rpm.
The BMW F 850 GS rides on a new, stiffer monocoque bridge-design frame with a steering geometry that BMW redesigned to make the bike less twitchy. Previously located under the seat, the fuel tank is now between the thighs, improving the center of gravity. The exhaust was moved from the left to the right to facilitate swinging a leg over the bike.
The comfortable saddle, slender fuel tank, generous legroom, wind-resisting bodywork and natural bar position all contribute to an exceptionally comfortable riding experience. The upright riding position is also great off the asphalt. You can soften up the suspension using the optional, electronically-adjustable shocks to enhance the F 850 GS’s character when you expect a particularly bumpy path ahead.
Quality and features
As ever with BMW Motorrad offerings, the F 850 GS is superbly well-built. The switch gear is satisfying to use, the hard plastics are of high quality, and the paint finish is pristine. You can also expect lots of standard equipment, including tactile Brembo® brakes, anti-lock braking and traction control, and two separate riding modes for dry and rainy weather. Options include the aforementioned semi-active rear suspension, a multi-function 6.5-inch color display with Bluetooth® connectivity, cruise control and keyless ignition. That’s not to mention the staggeringly long list of items offered via BMW Motorcycle Accessories and Parts.
Though the BMW F 850 GS is designed with adventure in mind, its easygoing character and comfortable ride nonetheless make it an ideal fit for anyone seeking a fun time, even if you never intend to veer off the smooth asphalt.
This article is presented by New Century BMW Motorcycles in Alhambra, California.