It’s A Truly Capable Adventure Bike For Honest Adventure-Bike Riding

The Bayerische Motoren Werke beefed up its adventure-bike line ahead of MY2018, and those improvements carry over directly into 2019 for the F 850 GS Adventure. As a member of the “Gelände Sport” family, it comes set up as a dual-surface adventure bike with definite off-road capabilities along with blacktop chops that make it an all-around globetrotter. The “F” indicates a parallel-twin powerplant that delivers just under 100 ponies with a 57 mpg efficiency rating to give it enough range for the most serious trips. Ride-quality and safety electronics serve as icing on the cake.

  • 2018 - 2019 BMW F 850 GS Adventure
  • Year:
    2018- 2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Parallel-Twin
  • Displacement:
    853 cc
  • Top Speed:
    135 (est) mph
  • Price:
    14295
  • Price:

BMW F 850 GS Adventure Design

BMW Motorrad hits all the pertinent design high points to make its F 850 GS Adventure suitable for even the most ambitious globetrotters.

BMW Motorrad hits all the pertinent design high points to make its F 850 GS Adventure blend in with the crowd. It starts off as so many do with a wide bird’s beak front fairing over a pared-down, fork-mount front fender that actually handles the forward fling control.

Since the stems are of the usd variety, the fender doubles as a splash guard to protect the exposed inner fork tube at the bottom. An asymmetrical LED headlight splits the night with something of a steampunk look, and if you’re into daytime running lights, the factory offers a DRL option ex werke. Narrow cheek fairings shroud the radiator and help to draw cooling air through same with stock engine-guard bars and pan to protect both the panels and the engine cases.

The factory offers this model in a pair of street-centric color packages that prioritize touring comfort with vented-and-adjustable, mid-size windshields and taller p-pads. For the race fans there’s the Rally Style package that runs a short windshield and bench seat with minimal pillion padding and a very shallow shoulder to segregate pilot and pillion – no doubt to enable fore-and-aft body English for technical off-road work. No matter which style you choose, you can count on adjustable controls all-around. I’m talking about both hand controls and both foot controls that are adjustable to accommodate a range of body types and tastes.

A 6.1-gallon fuel tank gives the “GS” that typical adv-bike flyline, and also delivers almost 350 miles (347.7-miles, claimed) between fuel stops, enough for even the most ambitious globetrotters, and far more than I care to contemplate at a spell. A luggage rack rounds out the stock touring equipment with an LED taillight, turn signals and plateholder to finish out the gear in the rear.

BMW F 850 GS Adventure Chassis

2018 - 2019 BMW F 850 GS Adventure
- image 837663
Handling is nimble but it has more stability at speed than you'd get from a sportbike.

The frame is comprised of welded, tubular-steel members as the main structure of the F 850 GS Adventure. In a bid to limit weight, the factory uses the engine as a stressed unit to displace the downtube/cradle section. In the rear, a cast-aluminum, yoke-style, asymmetrical swingarm articulates the rear wheel with a Travel-Dependent Damping shock on support and damping duties. It brings adjustable rebound damping to the table along with a handwheel that lets you hydraulically dial in the spring preload as well, and up front, a pair of 43 mm, usd forks take care of business with fixed variables. The factory also offers an optional Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment that’ll automatically dial in the rear end according to conditions.

Steering geometry measures in with a rake angle of 28 degrees and 4.9 inches of trail to keep it nimble but offer more stability at speed than you’d get from a sportbike. Oh, and if you have any doubts as to the off-road chops this bike has, the 9.1 inches of travel up front and 8.5 inches of travel out back should tell you everything you need to know.

A pair of cast-aluminum rims are stock-equipped with enduro road tires on 90/90-21 and 150/70-17 hoops, front and rear, respectively. If you plan on spending a lot of time off the beaten paths or on rather uncivilized roads, you can opt for the laced wheels that run with aluminum rims and a set of lugged stealth-knobbies.

Dual twin-pot calipers bite the 305 mm front discs to provide the bulk of the safe stopping power with a single-pot anchor and 265 mm disc to help keep your rear-end behind you through the magic of Beemer’s switchable ABS, and optional ABS Pro features.

Frame: Tubular steel space frame , load bearing engine
Front suspension/Travel: Upside-down telescopic fork, Ø 43 mm/9.1" (230 mm)
Rear suspension/Travel: Cast aluminum 2-sided swing arm, WAD strut (travel related damping), spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable (continuously variable) at handwheel, rebound damping adjustable/ 8.5" (215 mm)
Rake: 28°
Trail : 4.9" (125 mm)
Steering head angle: 62°
Wheels: Wire spoke wheels
Rim, front: 2.15 x 21"
Rim, rear: 4.25 x 17"
Tire, front: 90/90 - 21 54V
Tire, rear: 150/70 - 17 69V
Brake, front: Dual floating disc brakes, dual-piston floating calipers, diameter 305 mm
Brake, rear: Single disc brake, diameter 265 mm, single-piston floating caliper
ABS: BMW Motorrad ABS (can be switched off)

BMW F 850 GS Adventure Drivetrain

2018 - 2019 BMW F 850 GS Adventure
- image 837668
The crankshaft journal offset and 270/450 ignition spacing give the parallel-twin engine a more pleasing V-Twin sound.

The electronic wizardry continues into the drivetrain, starting with a ride-by-wire throttle control that sends your power corrections to the engine control, but that’s not the end of it. An Automatic Stability Control — Beemer’s proprietary traction control system – modifies the engine’s response with consideration for the available traction as indicated by the amount of rear-wheel slip. A pair of stock Ride Modes (Rain/Road) combine the Dynamic ESA system, ABS and traction control under its consolidated control.

Power comes from a reworked water-cooled parallel twin to the tune of 63 pound-feet of torque at 6,250 rpm and 90 horsepower at 8 grand, more than the F800 GS Adventureat 61/85. Each combustion chamber has a quartet of poppets with DOHC actuation. The 84 mm bore and 77 mm stroke adds up to 853 cc with a 12.7-to-1 compression ratio that’ll have you at the premium pump. You can expect around 57 miles per gallon on the street with a top speed of 135 mph. Power flows through an anti-hop clutch and six-speed transmixxer before heading to the rear wheel via chain drive.

Engine: Liquid cooled, 4-stroke parallel twin engine, four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts, dry sump lubrication
Bore x Stroke: 84 mm x 77 mm
Displacement: 853 cc
Rated output: 90 hp (66 kW) at 8,000 rpm
Max. torque: 63 lb-ft (86 Nm) at 6,250 rpm
Compression ratio: 12.7 : 1
Mixture control / engine management: Electronic fuel injection
Emission control: Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-4
Clutch: Multi-plate wet clutch, mechanically operated
Gearbox: Constant-mesh 6-speed gearbox with straight cut gears
Drive: Chain drive

BMW F 850 GS Adventure Pricing

2018 - 2019 BMW F 850 GS Adventure
- image 837658
MSRP starts at $14.3k but the available option packages can push that up to $17.9k quickly enough.

Base MSRP comes in at $14,295. It can be had in Ice Grey, Granite Grey Metallic, or Lupin Blue Metallic, plus the factory offers a full line of accessories and accessory packages.

PackageIncludesAdd’l Price
Rally Style Lupine Blue Metallic, Sport Windshield, choice of: Rally Seat, Double Seat, or Low Seat +$350
Premium DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), LED Style Element, Keyless Ride, Gear Shift Assist Pro, Ride Modes Pro, Heated Grips, TPM (Tire Pressure Monitor), Cruise Control, ABS Pro, Saddle Bag Mount for ALU Cases, Connectivity, GPS Preparation, choice of: Dynamic ESA or Low Seat, choice of: Center Stand or Low Suspension +$3,600
Select: DTC (Dynamic Traction Control), Keyless Ride, Gear Shift Assist Pro, Ride Modes Pro, Heated Grips, TPM (Tire Pressure Monitor), Cruise Control, ABS Pro, Saddle Bag Mount for ALU Cases, Connectivity, GPS Preparation, choice of Center Stand or Low Suspension +$2,450

BMW F 850 GS Adventure Competitors

2019 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
- image 830076
2018 - 2019 BMW F 850 GS Adventure
- image 837685
Price is close with no real winner; it'll take a test ride to decide which is better suited for your purpose.

When it comes to top-end, sub-liter touring adventure bikes, it’s hard to beat the Ducati Multistrada 950, so I grabbed it for my head-to-head comparison to the BMW F 850 GS Adventure. Naturally, the Ducati’s aesthetics are hard to beat, though if I’m honest, the Beemer is a bit more masculine at the end of the day. The offset between the peak of the tank and deeply sunk seat is rather dramatic, and it pulls the rider down into the bike instead of perched on top.

Unlike the Beemer, Ducati sends the “950” out the door in one color and one color only, its signature Ducati Red, with black trim over liberal blackout treatment. The base 950’s suspension is fairly vanilla, and an automatic system is available, but only on the upgraded “S” model and that’ll set you back about another $2,500 on top of the $14,395 base price.

As for tech, the Duc delivers riding modes, cornering ABS and traction control along with a hill-start feature that holds the rear brake so you can put both feet on the ground for take-offs up or down grade. Duc packs in a few extra cubes with a total of 937 cc to gain a slight edge over the GSA, and that converts to superior power numbers with 113 horsepower and 71 pounds o’ grunt on tap against 90/63 from the Beemer.

He Said

“If you’re into swanky looks and absolute performance figures, perhaps the Duc is the right bike for you, but it’s hard to deny the all-business panache of the Bavarian ride. I’m glad to see the parallel-twin in this machine instead of the boxer; it always makes me nervous how vulnerable the heads are sticking out both sides. As usual, BMW brings its own blend of pragmatic style and performance to the table.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle rider, Allyn Hinton, says, “ This was, I believe, a mid-year release in 2018. You might think the F 850 is just a few cubes more than the F 800 so it’s not a big deal, but this really is its own bike. This engine has been re-engineered for more power and torque than the F 800 model. The larger fuel tank – over two gallons more than the F 850 GS – gives the F 850 GS Adventure more range, and with the low-chassis and low-seat options, even I can touch the ground with both feet at a stop even if it’s the ball of the foot on one side. The changes in the chassis metrics gives it more positive handling and stability than the F 800 and more touring capabilities. It really seems like BMW paid attention and made a truly capable adventure bike for honest adventure-bike riding.”

BMW F 850 GS Adventure Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Liquid cooled, 4-stroke parallel twin engine, four valves per cylinder, double overhead camshafts, dry sump lubrication
Bore x Stroke: 84 mm x 77 mm
Displacement: 853 cc
Rated output: 90 hp (66 kW) at 8,000 rpm
Max. torque: 63 lb-ft (86 Nm) at 6,250 rpm
Compression ratio: 12.7 : 1
Mixture control / engine management: Electronic fuel injection
Emission control: Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-4
Clutch: Multi-plate wet clutch, mechanically operated
Gearbox: Constant-mesh 6-speed gearbox with straight cut gears
Drive: Chain drive
Chassis:
Frame: Tubular steel space frame , load bearing engine
Front suspension/Travel: Upside-down telescopic fork, Ø 43 mm/9.1" (230 mm)
Rear suspension/Travel: Cast aluminum 2-sided swing arm, WAD strut (travel related damping), spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable (continuously variable) at handwheel, rebound damping adjustable/ 8.5" (215 mm)
Rake: 28°
Trail : 4.9" (125 mm)
Steering head angle: 62°
Wheels: Wire spoke wheels
Rim, front: 2.15 x 21"
Rim, rear: 4.25 x 17"
Tire, front: 90/90 - 21 54V
Tire, rear: 150/70 - 17 69V
Brake, front: Dual floating disc brakes, dual-piston floating calipers, diameter 305 mm
Brake, rear: Single disc brake, diameter 265 mm, single-piston floating caliper
ABS: BMW Motorrad ABS (can be switched off)
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length : 90.6" (2,300 mm)
Width (incl. mirrors): 37" (939 mm)
Height (excl. mirrors): 56.6" (1,437 mm)
Wheelbase: 62.7" (1,593 mm)
Seat height, unladen: Standard Seat: 34.4"
Inner leg curve, unladen: Standard Seat: 76.8"
Curb Weight: 538 lbs (244 kg)
Permitted total weight: 1,003 lbs (455 kg)
Payload (with standard equipment): 465 lbs (211 kg)
Fuel Capacity: 6.1 gal with 0.9 gal reserve (23 l with 3.5 l reserve)
Fuel consumption (WMTC): 57 mpg
Top speed: 135 mph (est)
Electrical system:
Alternator: Three-phase 416 W generator
Battery : 12 V / 10 Ah, maintenance-free
Details:
Standard Features: 2 Ride Modes (Rain/Road), ABS, Adjustable Clutch Lever, Adjustable Foot Brake Pedal, Adjustable Gear Shifter, Adjustable Hand Brake Lever, Adjustable High Windshield, Adjustable Rear Shock Absorber Rebound, Adjustable Rear Suspension Spring Preload, ASC (Automatic Stability Control), Comfort Seat, Cross-Spoke Wheels, Engine Protection Bars, Engine Skid Plate, Hand Protection, LED Headlight, LED Tail Light, Luggage Rack, Multifunction Display, On-Board Computer, Power Socket, Rear Suspension Strut with Travel-Dependent Damping, Ride-By-Wire Throttle, Tank Protection Bar, Toolkit, Upside-Down Forks, Wide Foot Rests
Colors: Ice Grey, Granite Grey Metallic, Lupin Blue Metallic
Price: $14,295

Further Reading

Ducati Multistrada 950

2019 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
- image 830080

See our review of the Ducati Multistrada 950.

BMW F 750 GS / F 850 GS

2018 - 2019 BMW F 750 GS / F 850 GS
- image 749296

See our review of the BMW F 750 GS / F 850 GS.

BMW F 800 GS / GS Adventure

2015 - 2018 BMW F 800 GS / F 800 GS Adventure
- image 790224

See our review of the BMW F 800 GS / GS Adventure.

BMW Motorrad

ALLYN IMAGES - DO NOT DELETE
- image 789359

Read more BMW Motorrad news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: bmwmotorcycles.com, ducati.com

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