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2022 BMW F850 GS: First Ride Review

02 May 2022, 07:59 AM Neil Nair


BMW F850 GS Right Side View

Why to buy it?

- Attractive pricing

- Ease of riding

- Comfortable over long distances

Why to avoid it?

- Notchy gearbox

- Lacks front-end adjustability

When BMW Motorrad first launched the F850 GS in India, it toyed around with an ex-showroom pricing of Rs 14.40 lakh for the decked-up Pro variant. But having understood how price sensitive the Indian market is, and to go neck-to-neck with the new Triumph Tiger 900 and Ducati Multistrada V2, BMW has brought in the 2022 F850 GS with a tempting price tag.

Does it make for a better option in the middleweight adventure motorcycle category now? We rode the motorcycle for a day on well-paved tarmac and intense off-road trails, all with the scenic backdrop of Kerala’s tea estates to answer just that.

What’s new?

BMW F850 GS Right Side View

Undoubtedly, the biggest seduction of the 2022 BMW F850 GS would be its new pricing. At Rs 12.50 lakh, ex-showroom, the ADV is mouth-wateringly more affordable than its rivals. For reference, the Tiger 900 GT- which is the road-focused base variant costs Rs 13.90 lakh while the Rally Pro will drive a Rs 15.80 lakh hole in your wallet. 



  • Displacement853 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)93.87 bhp
  • Kerb Weight233 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 12,50,000

BMW F850 GS Handle Bar

But that’s not all. Alongside the slashed price, BMW has also equipped the F850 GS with the top-spec Pro package as standard, adding tremendous value for money. What you now get is Pro Riding modes that allow the user to fully customize the ABS, TC, engine braking and throttle response. 

BMW F850 GS rack

There is a cruise control system, a quickshifter and heated grips too. Additionally, BMW Motorrad has also thrown in some creature comforts like keyless ignition, USB-charging socket, a main stand as well as a luggage rack. 

BMW F850 GS TFT / Instrument Cluster

Then there is the 6.5-inch colour TFT display that can be connected to a smartphone. Apart from features like a navigation system, the information the display offers is extensive. It is also intuitive to use and can be toggled via the left switchgear. And lest we forget, the 850 GS is also fitted with a semi-active suspension setup that adjusts itself based on the riding mode and can also be customized, on-the-fly, to suit rider preference.

As for its styling, there aren’t any significant differences over the previous version except the new Style Rallye Racing Blue colour scheme- which is the only paint option available currently. 

The Ride

BMW F850 GS Left Side View

That said, not much has changed in terms of the F850 GS’s powertrain either. Yes, the 853cc, parallel-twin engine is now friendlier to the environment by complying with Euro5/BS6 norms, but its performance figures remain the same. The 2022 F850 GS continues to offer 95bhp and 92Nm with the slight rumble in its exhaust note intact. 

BMW F850 GS Engine From Right

The motor boasts of a strong low and mid-range, particularly in the 3000-5500rpm range. On the smooth winding roads of Thekkady, the 850 GS managed to deliver enough juice in third gear to keep us grinning each time the throttle was twisted. And since we were riding on ‘Road’ mode, the suspension had stiffened up a bit, making the ride sporty. However, even on the bad patches, which were a rarity, it never felt uncomfortable. 

BMW F850 GS Bike Seat

Speaking of which, the ‘comfort seat’ the motorcycle is fitted with as standard, lives up to its name. It is plush in the right amount and as we found out, is guaranteed to keep your bottom happy even after a long day of riding. The comfort seat increases the height by 15mm, but it wouldn’t feel unnerving when having to place your feet on terra firma. Nonetheless, BMW is also offering a low seat option that drops the seat height to a very-manageable 835mm. While it isn’t as comfy as the standard comfort seat, it would be a boon for anyone under 5’7”. 

BMW F850 GS Front View

On the off-road trails, it felt easy to stand up on the pegs and grip the tank. Now, the off-road section is where momentum and a smooth throttle are your best friends. Here too, the F850 GS proved to be a hoot to ride. It completed the entire trail in 2nd gear effortlessly, with the freedom and confidence the alterable Enduro Pro mode provides as a plus. It also feels quite manageable with a kerb weight of 233kg.

However, if I had to grumble, it would only be about the gearbox. The setup feels notchy, even with the quick-shifter installed and the lag while shifting through gears is something that could be improved. 

Should you buy it?

BMW F850 GS Right Side View

The 2022 BMW F850 GS makes for quite a compelling proposition with a price tag of Rs 12.50 lakh, ex-showroom. And given that it is also loaded to the brim with features and technology, the motorcycle now feels like a well-rounded package and a relatively affordable one too. 

Well, if you are willing to shell out some more, there also is the option of the F850 GSA at Rs 13.25 lakh, ex-showroom. Although based on the GS, it gets a bigger fuel tank, auxiliary lights, crash guards and the works. While it makes sense to consider the GSA if you’d want to travel longer distances, the GS seems like a better bet otherwise. 

BMW F850 GS Right Side View

That said, the F850 GS is also more manageable and engaging to ride whether it is on or off the road and apart from a moody gearbox, there isn’t much to nitpick about the motorcycle. How it fares against its rivals in the real world is yet to be seen, but up until now, the 2022 BMW F850 GS does appear to be a fair option for you to consider in the middleweight adventure motorcycle category in India. 

Photography by Abu Abraham and Ashik Thomas