Driven: BMW F 750 GS by Mieke Oelofsen
Mieke: Years ago I had a boyfriend who was best described by his own mother as “Goed dood en dood goed”. He was consistent, proved reliable and went far on a little bit of attention. By no means exhilarating, the F 750 GS reminds me a lot of this simple existence.
As I strapped my luggage to the pillion seat on the morning of my departure to Bloemfontein I felt a trickle of sweat run down my spine. I realized my error in judgment just then, and promptly changed into cooler riding gear. It promised to be a scorcher of a day.
The upright riding position and uninhibited airflow on the F 750 GS was a welcome relief from the usual superbike thigh-toasting sessions.
Although the Free State stretch provided little in terms of winding roads, the return trip via Clarens really put the GS on the spot, and without even a trace of stage fright performed better than expected. Unfortunately, my dirt riding section for this trip would be limited to the multiple wrong turns on Clarens town roads, and let’s just say loose rocks are my nemesis.
The entire trip would span 1000+kms, and despite the harsh crosswinds and encountering all seasons in one day, the GS proved to be a slim, trim and grown-up version of somebody that I used to know.
Initially confused by the model derivative I learnt that it is the same 853cc engine of the F850GS and 2020 GS Trophy counterpart, but with less woema, ie detuned.
Meant for a more sedate, predominantly tar-going market, who only occasionally has to cross an untarred stretch of earth, it lacks access to the 850 grunt, which is precisely why the 750GS is what I think is a 70/30 spilt bike; 70% tar and 30 % gravel, but 100% adventure.
Vish: I was on chauffeur duty to return the bike to fleet, so unlike Mix, I only did 85 odd km on it. It’s quicker than I expected and bulging with easy to use technology which comes at a price I might add. Strange that Motorrad is not taking the car route and just adding all the additionals, works out cheaper anyway, well, for the consumer at least.
Mieke: The 750GS has a narrowness to it when you size it up that belies its wide bodied stance once you actually swing a leg over. With a non-boxer engine, I would have thought that it would be placed on a riding diet per say. In my mind, it is a bike presented as an introduction to road riding with the ability to do off road. The standard exhaust end canister could also be somehow manipulated towards Dr Aitkens, than the silver monstrosity that spoils many an IG photo.
It’s predatory without the claws which will really benefit new riders by giving them bragging rights without the risk. Ladies, listen up; it even has a lowered seat option and it is a great choice if you’re looking in the mid-weight market.
Vish: The 750GS offers bold statements while keeping you systematically sedate. It looks the part for off-road gallivanting without aligning you with those awkward moments of TOO much power, when the back takes a wobble.
Mieke: BMW has smoothed out the throttle on the F 750GS where even in Dynamic mode it’s controlled and presents no moments of fright. In their attempts to make the bike user friendly it has become as predictable as the price of fuel rising every two months. Its power-to-chassis mix would also allow a newish rider or commuter to easily synergize with what the 750GS offers. A utopian fuel consumption – 4.4L gets you 100kms at a decent cruising speed - means extremely cheap logistics bills and insurance. The nose does wiggle a bit at high speed, but most riders would not be cruising at 160km/h anyway. All electronic aids and interventions perform with precision and predictability (trying not to use predictable so often, but this bike is as calm as the Dalai Lama). The cruise control is an absolute blessing in long trip manipulation - no question about this non-negotiable option. Be sure to add a raised screen to your specifications, because the standard one smacks of an afterthought. With four riding modes on the select package and two modes on the standard bike, it all allows options to explore any combination of path. Keyless Ride is a nice add-on, but takes some time – and lots of walking back and forth – to get used to. The on-board tire pressure monitoring system is a nifty feature, but it disagreed with all the gauges at the various fuel stops.
Vish: It moves and slides a bit when being throttle heavy, but the shifter clicks into place and the dash is as bright as our morning sunrises, even visible in the 36 degree days we are suffering through.
Mieke: With all the options available on the F 750GS; from adjustable foot-pegs, seat height, luggage alignment, suspension kits and crash protectors, the bike can be fine-tuned exponentially for us fairer-sex riders. I would have to agree with Vish that with the slew of options, it can get a bit overwhelming if the sales staff person are not au fait with the brand. If Motorrad creates an economy model and a luxury model, it would make the decision-making process easier. The tire pressure system is inaccurate on occasion and I would warrant a garage check before departing. Like my ex-boyfriend, this is the bike I would start with and like the missionary first crush from school, it will keep you safe from harm and allow you leeway when exploring. A good model that would suit our female market exceptionally well, until it’s time to upgrade to a bad boy with more power, more testosterone and lots of ink.
Vish: No drug, sex and alcohol with this GS, it will keep you safe and out of trouble, good starter bike into the road/commuter/ adventure market.
Price R145 400.00 (base price)
Engine 853 cc in line twin cylinder
0-100 < 5s*
Top Speed < 200 km/h