There’s more to adventure-touring than just manhandling a 700-pound juggernaut down Jeep trails and rocky roads. There are lots of paved highways in between the dirt, and that’s exactly where the new 2019 BMW F750GS is designed to do its best work. The counterpart F850GS is aimed at the off-road market and we will have a review on that bike next.
Even though the F750GS is an ADV bike at heart, the cast aluminum wheels, shiny bodywork, lower seat height, and street-biased tires mean it leans toward the street. In fact, the 750 is designed for new ADV riders who plan to ride mostly on the street and work their way into the dirt…maybe. It has lower suspension, a detuned 77-hp engine, and lower bars compared to the 850, making it better for riders who intend to do most of their riding on paved roads. This motorcycle is just as much of a stepping stone for new motorcycle buyers looking to tiptoe into the ADV scene as it is an entry-level streetbike for folks who are looking to ease into the BMW experience.
We had a chance to ride the middleweight GS through the gorgeous valleys of Gateway, Colorado, and discovered this Beemer can do just about anything you’d expect from an adventure bike.
As the group rolled out aboard the F750 in the brisk morning, there was a chill to the wind and a nip to the air. Our afternoon would consist of riding along curvy highways that snake through fields of flowing grass, dotted by gray rocks with groves of trees whose leaves were turning a golden yellow. We had quite a bit of dirt road to look forward to as well, so it was destined to be a great day riding among the ambiance of autumn.
As the miles piled up on the tripmeter on the new TFT dash, it became obvious the 750 is a capable motorcycle to go exploring on. The seat is soft and only 32.1 inches off the ground, the electronically adjustable suspension works well, and the riding position is comfortable. At 5-foot-8, I found it easy to touch the ground, and since the bike weighs just under 500 pounds, that’s a good thing.
Another good thing is there are plenty of options available to tailor the bike to meet your needs. Adjustable footpegs, different-height seat options, a suspension lowering kit, a number of luggage configurations, crash bars, hand guards, GPS, and the various performance packages all allow you to build the bike that suits you.
My test unit was equipped with the $3,000 Dynamic package that offers ESA, Bridgestone tires, TFT dash, TC, ABS, and hand guards. It has switchable Rain, Road, and Dynamic mode settings which bring an additional level of safety to rain riding, long-range comfort, or sporty fun. Without a wet surface to play on it was tough to feel anything but a reduction in power from Rain mode but you could tell the bike feels more peppy in Dynamic than Sport.
When we arrived at the dirt road portion of our ride I was pleased to find the route was a challenge. On hardpack the 750 is great. It offers predictable handling, and the large 19-inch front tire rolls over most of the obstacles without issue. The 17-inch rear wheel and Battlax Adventure tires provide decent traction, but the rear brake pedal is hard to find sometimes when you are zoning out on the scenery.
The bars of the 750 are low and swept back, which makes it necessary to crouch down a bit when standing up through bumpy rocks and therefore takes some getting used to. Yet when riding in the seated position it is quite comfortable. Make no mistake: This is a GS at its core, so it doesn’t shy away from the fact that it’s a multi-purpose motorcycle. So it handles well on dirt roads too. The 750 will take you anywhere you want to go and that was the plan from its inception.
The experience begins with the ultra-smooth 853cc parallel-twin engine that produces enough power to zip through traffic or canyons. It is no S1000RR, but it is quick. Power delivery is linear, so it won’t catch you out in tricky conditions. You’ll notice the displacement doesn’t jive with the nomenclature though… That’s because this engine has different cams and is an electronically detuned version that is otherwise identical to the F850GS; the 750 label is there just to remind you of its place in the pecking order.
Anyway, the F750GS is a nice-looking motorcycle. Its GS heritage shines through thanks to the pointed beak, angular lines of the bodywork, and relocated fuel tank. In an effort to increase range, the tank was relocated from beneath the seat (as it was on the previous-generation F800GS series) and is now a 4-gallon unit resting between your legs.
We saw an indicated 45 mpg during this spirited ride, which would equate to a roughly 180-mile range. When you do get to reserve, the TFT starts a miles-to-empty countdown that is real handy when you are a ways from the nearest gas station. BMW claims it can reach 57 mpg, which would mean an even better 228-mile range if you aren’t ham-fisted on the gas. Either way you look at it, a 200-mile stint in the saddle is right about the limit for most riders anyway.
Sure, this is a streetbike first and foremost, but the 2019 F750GS ($10,395) is a rather capable adventure bike. It is perfect for street duty off the showroom floor but our ride proved it is more limited by the tire selection than anything else when you go off road. If you are intrigued with the ADV life or if you’re looking for a new BMW motorcycle for your next purchase, then be advised that the 2019 F750GS is at home anywhere from short commutes to extended tours. Plus, it has off-road potential, and if you are lucky enough to swing a leg over one, expect to arrive at your destination in style with a smile on your face because this bike is fun to ride.