It’s not been a good year for BMW when it comes to trying to keep the new F850GS-derived RS model a secret, ahead of an expected full reveal of the production bike later in 2019.
Firstly, the name was leaked in an inadvertent brochure publication slip that referred to the name of the bike being F850RS, and not F850XR as many previously assumed it would be. At the time BMW rather lamely blamed a ‘typo’ for the error!
Now, official patent and design filings have shown low resolution images (pictured) of the what can only be seen as the finished design of the bike. These were first revealed by Brazilian website Motor1.
The F850RS as we now almost certainly know it’s going to be named, will replace the ageing BMW F800GT which while capable, never really lit the imagination of many owners.
The new RS model will take the 853cc parallel-twin motor from the new F850GS and add some stylish and upright bodywork that clearly owes a lot to the 2018 9Cento Concept bike BMW showed last year. With BMW having a track record of productionising its concept bikes, the new RS seems nailed on to be in showrooms by 2020.
The F850GS has a peak power figure of 95bhp and there is a chance the road-going F850RS could be gifted a little bit more power to cope with the weight of a pillion and luggage, but there’s no official word on this for now.
Patent design filings are lodged by manufacturers often months ahead of the official reveal of the bike because they want to make sure the design is protected against copycat rip-offs.
Unfortunately for manufacturers, the fact these designs have to be made public, albeit they are often in hard-to-find areas of patent design office websites, does run the risk of them being found by the curious.
WHERE WILL THE F850RS SIT?
The new F850RS will be slotted into the BMW range below the slightly deranged 165bhp S1000XR and the larger R1250RS boxer twin so there will be three sporty but touring offerings.
In terms of rivals from other manufacturers, the new model will be going up against the likes of the super-successful Yamaha Tracer 900, Ducati’s Supersport 959 and even the Ducati Multistrada 950 which crosses over into the same sort of territory.
These bikes have replaced the more traditional sports touring models in terms of sales as riders want more upright and taller riding positions but still want decent handling.
When the 9Cento concept was revealed, Edgar Heinrich, Head of Design at BMW Motorrad, said: “It doesn’t always have to be about ‘bolder, bigger, brighter’ nowadays: this concept bike focuses on achieving a sense of balance.”
“We’ve created a bike that combines the appropriate power with reliable sports touring properties and above all lots of riding fun, so it’s an attractive overall package. It brings together the best of the sports, adventure and touring segments to produce an exciting concept – in a class which has not seen this kind of model from BMW before.
“The BMW Motorrad Concept 9cento is our interpretation of a modern all-rounder for the new midrange segment. Functional properties such as touring capability, storage space and wind/weather protection are relevant to most motorcyclists but they’re rarely included in the design of a concept vehicle.”
It’s almost certain the full production bike will be revealed in Autumn of 2019 to be on sale in dealers in early 2020.