The new-for-2018 BMW F750GS and F850GS have come to the market as direct replacements for the critically acclaimed F700GS and F800GS models. With the shelf life of the predecessors spanning a decade, they’re much anticipated new models that have been improved in pretty much every area imaginable. The new mid-range GSs are a complete redesign of the tried and tested method that owners know and love. BMW is taking the direction of their middleweight tourers away from being road orientated with a small amount of off-road capability, to ultimately creating a junior GS. This is further emphasised with much of the technology from the R1200GS filtering its way onto the new middleweights.
The 750GS is what most people would (rightly) regard as the ‘smaller’ engined bike of the two new models. However, that isn’t the case as the 750 and 850 have identical 853cc parallel twin engines. Confused? Me too. BMW have restricted the power of the 853cc engine for the 750GS to 76bhp and 61.3lb.ft. The way they have done this is through a simple fuel map. It is also possible to have the bike restricted further, so it is A2 licence compatible, which is great for people wanting to get an adventure touring bike bigger than BMW’s G310GS.
We rode the F750GS in South Wales on one of the hottest days on record. Despite that, a heavy downpour in the morning gave us a chance to try out the rain mode. In many ways, this is where the 750GS came into its own. The rain mode gives you enough confidence to tip it into a corner, roll on the power and know that it won’t deliver too much of it to break traction. From the perspective of an inexperienced rider, it certainly did provide me with a first-hand account of how it works when I was overzealous with the wrist coming out of a tight right-hander, which resulted in the bike delivering a watered down amount of power to combat my excitable throttle hand. Further on into the day, we found ourselves at the foot of the Black mountain road in the Brecon Beacons, which allowed us to switch from ‘rain mode’ to ‘road mode’. The throttle was now recognisably more responsive, as was the power, which was delivered progressively in a smooth and linear motion. For such an unassuming bike, you can certainly have some fun on the twisties. You can effortlessly commute into the city on it and maybe even attach a top box and go on an adventure with a pillion.
The biggest evolution from the 700GS has to be the technology that is offered. Not only are you greeted by a motion graphics display on a 6.5 inch TFT screen every time you press the keyless ignition on, you have a plethora of rider aids that fill you with confidence every time you call upon them. BMW has positioned the 750 as the more street orientated version of its new middleweight duo. That doesn’t mean that it can’t be ridden off-road, far from it, in fact. BMW gave us the opportunity to ride the F750GS at Dakar hero Simon Pavey’s off-road school, where it proved extremely capable. Initially, l was very skeptical of whether the 750 would be able to tackle a graveled driveway, let alone a steep 50-metre incline or decline. However, I was very quickly reassured that it is more than capable of achieving such an endeavor, even if initially I was not.
The two major functions that impressed me immensely, were the ABS and traction control. Before this test, I had absolutely no off-road experience at all. None. But I soon caught on very quickly that the rider aids fully live up to their names. Towards the end of the day, I was faced with a rather steep decline through a narrow-wooded area. There were rocks and tree stumps stroon across the track and I was beginning to lose faith in my ability. With just 20 metres to go, I became a passenger as the inevitable situation arose. My ambition certainly outweighed my talent and I proceeded to go a little too fast, grab a fistful of front brake and subsequently braced for impact. My imminent trip over the top of the handlebars was thwarted by the ABS system. It calmly but reassuringly took me on a 20-metre passenger ride to the bottom of the slippery incline and brought me to an unanticipated gentle stop. I was amazed I wasn’t sampling all of the natural delights a Welsh hillside has to offer, from a resulting faceplant, and can only give credit to my sensational braking manoeuvre to that of the ABS system. To say the 750GS lacks off-road capability is certainly not a view of mine. It is more than capable of tackling steep gradients, loose surfaces, and inexperienced pilots.
The 750GS is a fantastic entry level middleweight tourer that shouldn’t be undermined by the larger bikes available. If you are looking for a versatile bike that will get you into the city on a weekday but has off-road capability for the weekends, then look no further.
We rode the £9200 F750GS Sport, which had a list of extras that aren’t available on the standard £7950 bike. Although it is £1250 more, many riders will find that it is worth the extra pennies. The main reason being is that it turns a very capable road going entry level middleweight tourer into a more than capable off-road technology enthused junior GS. The sport version has all of the optional extras listed below, apart from the Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment), which is an additional cost.
BMW F750 GS (2018) Specification
Power: 76bhp @ 7500rpm
Torque: 61.3lb.ft @ 6000rpm
Engine type: liquid-cooled 8v parallel twin
Engine size: 853cc
Bore/stroke: 84 x 77mm
Compression ratio: 12.7:1
Fuel system: Ride by wire, fuel injection
Clutch: Multi-plate with anti-hopping
Final drive: Chain
Frame: Steel bridge
Swingarm: Aluminium double sided
Front suspension: 41mm inverted forks, non-adjustable
Rear suspension: Monoshock, adjustable preload, and rebound (ESA option)
Front brake: 2 x 305mm discs, two-piston sliding calipers. ABS (dynamic optional)
Rear brake: 265mm disc, one-piston caliper. ABS (dynamic optional)
Front tyre: 110/80 – 21
Rear tyre: 150/70 – 17
Front wheel: 2.5-inch x 19-inch
Rear wheel: 4.25-inch x 17-inch
Seat height: 815mm (optional 770, 790, 830mm)
Wet weight: 224kg
Fuel tank capacity: 15-litres
Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment)
DTC (Dynamic Traction Control)
Riding modes Pro (Dynamic / Enduro)
LED headlight incl. LED daytime running light
Connectivity incl. 6.5″full-color TFT display
Gear shift assistant Pro
RDC (tyre pressure control)
Price: £7950 (Sport £9200)
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