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Business Autos 04 Apr 2019 BMW F 850 GS review

BMW F 850 GS review

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | NEERAJ JHA
Published Apr 4, 2019, 12:33 am IST
Updated Apr 4, 2019, 12:33 am IST
Many might say the new F 850GS feels underpowered, but that is not the case at all.
BMW F 850 GS
 BMW F 850 GS

When BMW launched its F 800 GS, there were many motorcyclists that shied away from it, as it did not have the manners and sophistication of its legendary elder sibling, the R 1200 GS. With the introduction of its new F 850 GS, the company has successfully filled the gap between the two models.

The increased level of refinement has made it more attractive to potential buyers who are looking for a premium, adventure-touring motorcycle.

 

The F 850 GS promises good highway ability along with BMW Motorrad’s expertise in making off-road oriented motorcycles.

Compared to its predecessor, the new F 850 GS, is a complete ground-up redesign, with a large and new engine as well as updated ergonomics. It competes against the likes of the Ducati Multistrada 950 and Triumph Tiger 800.

Design and features

The all-new BMW F 850 GS features a completely new design that looks more dynamic and beefy. At the front, it gets a LED headlight with DRLs that can be switched on and off automatically or manually. It also gets its famous GS “beak” (upper wheel cover) and a considerably slimmer rear, the multifunctional instrument cluster with a 6.5 inch full-colour TFT display gives you access to music, navigation, speedometer and numerous other features. The 15-litre fuel tank has been placed in classic position between the seat bench and steering head for optimised balance between front and rear. It also comes equipped with a slipper clutch for smoother downshifts. The BMW F 850 GS also gets “Road” and “Rain” riding modes with ABS and ASC to better manage tough terrains. Pro riding modes like “Dynamic”, “Enduro“ and “Enduro Pro” are available as extra options, along with dynamic traction control and ABS Pro modes.

Engine

Many might say that on paper the new F 850GS feels underpowered, but that is not the case at all. Its 853cc liquid-cooled, 8-valve engine, which generates 90 hp at 8,000rpm can do about 190 km/h with ease and with 86 Nm of torque at 6,250 rpm, it is really quick.

It may be an inline twin, but the sound it makes and the way it responds will make you feel like you are riding a V-twin, which means there are also some vibrations. The exhaust, however, can be improved by replacing the stock canister with a slip-on Akrapovic, which is strongly recommended.

Performance

The new BMW F 850 GS is easy to manhandle in the rough terrain, its wide and tall handlebars make it comfortable when you are standing while riding as well. The motorcycle feels well balanced, and part of that can be attributed to the relocated fuel tank that is now just a traditional 15 litres, which now creates a near-perfect front-to-rear weight distribution.

It accelerates from zero to 60km/h in about 2.50 seconds, while the run to 100km/h is done in 4.50 seconds. At the front, it has a 305 mm hydraulic twin disc brake, complimented by 265 mm hydraulic single disc rear brake that provides impeccable braking abilities. It scores fairly high on fuel efficiency too, dishing out 23-24 km/l in the city and about 26 kmpl on the highway

Verdict

The F 850 GS is better in every way over its predecessor. It is faster and better handling on the street, while simultaneously improving its off-road pedigree. It’s the only bike in its class to offer an electronically adjustable rear shock, and the available electronics package is second to none. The BMW F 850 GS has more advanced features than most of its competitors. Its quality and finishing is at a higher level and is more beautiful to look at, but all this comes at a price. For instance, its TFT display does not come as standard, as the buyer has to shed about Rs 60,000 for it.

For those who want an optional rally paint scheme then you will have to pay another Rs 40,000. Since BMW comes to India as CBU (complete build unit), it is punished by our tax structure in some states, as you might end up paying Rs 3-4 lakh more than its competition. So if you a road biased rider, who wants a premium experience and doesn’t mind paying for it. This is one the best motorcycle you can get in this class.

Price:

The ex-showroom prices are as follows –

BMW F 850 GS Standard Rs 12, 95,000.

BMW F 850 GS Pro Low Suspension Rs 14, 20,000.

BMW F 850 GS Pro Rs 14, 40,000bm.

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