BMW F 750 GS First Ride Review

12 April 2019, 07:34 PM Janak Sorap

Introduction

Pros: Good ergonomics, road presence, built quality 

Cons: Pricey, high-speed ride

BMW’s GS bikes are probably the most desired machines when it comes to Adventure Touring motorcycles. That’s because these bikes bearing the GS badge have inherited the roots sown by BMW with the very first adventure touring motorcycle, the legendary R80 G/S. Today, the company has a wide spectrum of motorcycles carrying the GS badge, beginning with the entry-level G 310 GS to the mighty R 1250 GS.

Slotted in the middle are the F 750 GS and the F 850 GS. While both motorcycles are essentially identical to each other, there are a couple of differences that set them apart. That being said, we've had the F 750 GS with us for sometime now. It might have the attributes of a road-focused GS but it sure can take on a fair bit of off-roading too.

Quality

Given that this is a manufacturer who is known for maintaining high-quality levels, there is no doubt that BMW has maintained the same with the F 750 GS. The quality of materials used, fit and finish of body panels, level of detailing provide surety for the components, which are built to last. The switchgear has been borrowed from the flagship R 1250 GS which is precise and crisp to operate. The jog dial on the left lets you browse through settings and other activities with ease. Even the quality of the paint is excellent and everything else including the wires and cables are nicely tucked away.

Comfort

It is one of the most important aspects to consider while choosing an adventure touring motorcycle. In the case of the F 750 GS, getting on and off the seat is not much of a task even while wearing riding gear. The seat has been nicely contoured, providing decent under-thigh support which also allows both feet to be comfortably placed on the ground. The riding triangle is rather neutral with an upright stance, wide handlebars and centre set footpegs. When standing on the pegs, the motorcycle’s weight feels equally distributed between the wheels. Moving the weight around to change directions or while cornering feels completely effortless.

Ex-showroom, Mumbai

 11,95,000

Now, the F 750 GS might have less suspension travel as compared to the F 850 GS, but that doesn’t mean you need to be extra cautious on bad roads. BMW has managed to get the setup spot-on, delivering a ride quality that manages to absorb bumps, potholes and undulation of the road surface well. This allows the rider to focus on the road ahead rather than worrying much about what is happening underneath.

Performance

Although it’s a road-focused motorcycle, it is still a GS. Hence we’ll split this section into two halves – road and off-road.

On the road, the F 750 GS is a complete delight. As soon as you get moving, the bike feels well-balanced and nimble in just a few minutes of riding. It lets you filter through traffic or take corners without breaking a sweat. The F 750 GS has a slightly acute turning radius compared to its off-road cousin with the added advantage of smaller wheels. The motorcycle features 19-inch front and 17-inch rear alloy wheels shod with Bridgestone Battlax tyres that offer good grip to take on corners at higher speeds.

The F 750 GS is powered by an 853cc, parallel-twin mill which it shares with the F 850 GS. However, the power output varies between the two motorcycles. While there are no dimensional differences in the motor, BMW has used a different mapping for the F 750 GS. The motor is tuned to deliver a maximum power output of 75bhp and peak torque figure of 83Nm. That’s a straight 18bhp and 9Nm less than the F 850 GS. In the confines of the city, it is not much of a big deal as it does not require full power. And out on the highway, cruising at speeds of 120-130kph is easily manageable as the motor has enough grunt to pick up the pace when needed. The amount of power available for this middle-weight adventure motorcycle actually feels adequate, especially if you are a budding rider. The power delivery is smooth which builds as you cross the 5,000rpm mark. On gassing it hard, the tail does tend to step out a bit, with the Dynamic Traction Control kicking in things are still enjoyable as the bike continues to hold the line, making it rather enjoyable than scary. The brakes are good at shedding speeds on the road with a strong bite and good progression.

Off the road, the F 750 GS is quite a capable off-roader. It might not have spoke wheels, high ground clearance or long suspension travel, but it still manages to pull off some commendable moves. It sports telescopic forks up front that are non-adjustable and an adjustable monoshock at the rear with electronic damping and height adjustment (available only in Pro variant). With the Enduro mode selected, the rear tyre has lesser intervention from the traction control system while the throttle response is softer allowing better control on uneven surfaces.

The narrow waistline of the motorcycle lets you comfortably hold the tank with the knees when standing. Even the handlebar is high enough, preventing unnecessary forward bending. One can easily stand upright on the motorcycle in comfort and tackle off-road terrains without much stress. Since the bike is more road-focused, the brakes can be a bit sharp for off-road conditions which can take some time to get accustomed with.

Technology

The F 750 GS is well-kitted with features and tech to offer. We had the top-spec Pro variant, which featured a TFT display for the instrument console with Bluetooth connectivity for controlling navigation, music and calls. The standard equipment offered on the motorcycle includes ABS, automatic stability control, cruise control, two riding modes, LED headlight with LED daytime running lights and adjustable brake and clutch levers. BMW offers optional equipment comprising of electronic suspension adjustment for the rear shock, dynamic traction control system, two additional riding modes (Dynamic/Enduro) and a two-way quick-shifter. BMW has equipped the F 750 GS with a short windscreen which doesn’t help much with deflecting the wind when riding at triple digit speeds. However, BMW does offer a taller windscreen which can be installed for better protection from wind blast.

Fuel Efficiency

The F 750 GS managed to return a mileage of 21.6kmpl on our test route. The figure isn’t great but not too bad also for a parallel-twin motor. With a fuel tank capacity of 15 litres, the F 750 GS will deliver a range of 324km before the tank runs dry.

Fitness of purpose

The BMW F 750 GS is an ideal adventure touring motorcycle if you are planning to spend most of the time on the tarmac. It packs a healthy dose of features and equipment that’ll make journeys more enjoyable. For its power, ergonomics and weight distribution, it is a very approachable motorcycle for adventure touring customers, and especially budding ones.

Our take

For its built quality, capabilities and brand image, the F 750 GS is a fantastic machine, even if it is expensive. You can spend the entire day in its saddle and yet not be exhausted at the end of it. The motorcycle is also capable of taking on some mild off-roading which makes it an overall good package to consider.

BMW is offering the F 750 GS in three variants. The base standard model starting at 11.95 lakhs, is cheaper than the Triumph Tiger 800 XR which retails at Rs 11.99 lakhs. The top-spec model retails at 13.2 lakhs ex-showroom which puts it above the Ducati Multistrada 950 at Rs 12.84 lakhs. (All ex-showroom, Mumbai)

Photography by Kapil Angane

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