If 2017 was the year of the superbike then 2018 looks like being the year of the middleweight adventure tourer.
With Triumph introducing new versions of its Tiger 800 at EICMA today, and Honda also giving the Africa Twin range a makeover, it was no surprise to see class creators BMW fighting back with two new models of its own, the F750GS and F850GS.
With the F850GS, the Germans go wheel to wheel with their British and Japanese rivals. Like the Honda and Triumph, the new 853cc parallel-twin pumps out 94bhp (meaning that it is eligible to be restricted for A2 licence holders) and comes with a whole range of options and versions. Despite the name, the lower spec F750GS features the same capacity engine but is tuned to deliver 77bhp.
Both bikes utilise a new monocoque steel frame with new forks (upside down on the 850 and conventional items on the 750) and an electronics package that includes ABS, stability control and two riding modes as standard. The optional ‘Pro’ package adds upgraded ABS, dynamic traction control and additional riding modes. Electronic suspension is also available as a factory fit option, as is BMW’s unique emergency call system – which alerts the authorities in case of an accident.
BMW has also comprehensively restyled the range and fitted the latest generation tech, including TFT instrumentation, LED lights and a bunch of options that include a keyless ignition system and BMW’s gear shift assistant package that allows clutchless shifts up and down the ‘box. There’s also a ‘Rallye’ specification version of the 850, with a unique livery in BMW’s traditional off-road colours.
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