Driven: BMW 850 GS
The BMW 850 GS began its life as the F 800 GS back in 2007. Today we have an 853 cc inline 2 cylinder motor pushing out 70kW and 92Nm, it’s the same unit utilised cc by the F 750 GS, only that here the 850 gets its own ECU to ramp up power output and draw a clear distinction between the two models. The 853cc motor is pleasant on the road and has adequate poke to manage all situations while remaining within the parameters, keeping you out of trouble. It is a dual-sport motorcycle after all. The quick shifter on the small GS is a welcomed piece of equipment for commuting.
The F 850 GS in its latest form is not dwarfed in appearance by the larger 1250. The new design gives the 850 a respectable presence, it looks well built and not as small as you might imagine. Its predecessor, however, was more on the leaner side of the scale when viewed with the naked eye. When configuring your machine before delivery, there are three suspension options at your disposal, catering for the tall and the not so vertically gifted. As expected, superior ride quality is readily available from the BMW, meaning it will handle inconsistencies of rough terrain as well as it does tarred road as a commuter. As we all know, the latter environment is notorious for surprising you deadly potholes.
BMW offers its customers two standard riding modes in the F 850 GS; Road and Rain. If you’re willing to pay extra, Dynamic and Enduro Pro can be programmed into the software. Dynamic traction control (DTC) is also on offer, but again you'll need to part with more of your hard-earned cash for this feature.
The BMW 850 GS earned our respect as an all-round package and lived up to the GS nameplate. It will do the daily commute with great confidence and comfort but also take on the role of a gladiator when thrown into the world of off-road adventure riding.
Price: R188 900
By: Gugu Masuku