BMW updates its upper-middleweight GS range with new 900 and 800 machinery
The massive Boxer-engined R1250 GS and GS Adventure models are BMW’s flagship bikes, and deservedly capture the most attention. But the firm’s middleweight parallel twin bikes – the current F850 and F750 GS models – also do great work, offering much of the same performance and capability in a slightly smaller package.
And they’ve now updated that sector of its lineup, with a new BMW F900 GS and F900 GS Adventure, plus the more road-biased entry-level F800 GS.
The 900 isn’t a huge surprise: indeed, the Bavarian firm had released the larger-capacity engine a few years ago now, in the 2020 F900 XR. It takes the cubic capacity up to 895cc from the former 853cc format, thanks to a 2mm larger bore, now 86mm from 84mm, with a 77mm stroke.
That means 10bhp more power: now 105bhp peak output on the F900 models, and 87bhp on the F800 GS (which confusingly uses the same 895cc capacity engine, just in a lower state of tune). The F800 can also be detuned further to meet A2 licence requirements.
Perhaps the biggest story is in the dry weight: BMW has cut a mighty 14kg off the mass compared with the old F850 GS, thanks to innovations like a plastic fuel tank instead of steel, a lighter swingarm and skinnier rear sub frame, as well as a posh Akrapovic end can that drops another chunk of weight.
The old F850 GS got a bit of criticism for its sheer weight – it tipped the scales at 244kg wet, which was more than even an old R1200 GS – so this hefty diet has to be a good thing.
The bikes all share a fabricated steel frame, which is tougher than aluminium for more hardcore dirt action. There’s a new suspension setup, with Showa USD forks on the 900 GS, and conventional forks on the 800 GS. The 900 GS Adventure and 800 GS also have the option of an electronic suspension setup on the rear shock, with the Dynamic Damping Control semi-active system.
The 900 GS has an optional Enduro Pro suspension package with fully-adjustable Showa forks and ZF shock, including titanium nitride-coated fork tubes. The BMW Dynamic Brake Control comes as standard across the board, with cornering ABS and dynamic two-stage brake light.
As before, the F800 GS has more road-friendly cast aluminium wheels with Maxxis tyres, while the 900 models come with wire-spoked rims, using a proper 21” dirtbike front wheel and
BMW’s also upped the standard kit across the board. The 900 GS now has the firm’s 6.5” TFT colour LCD dashboard with Bluetooth, and new LED lighting. The bodywork is sleeker and narrower and there are standard hand protectors on the GS.
The really strong part of the BMW offering is the optional extras though, and the new 900 and 800 GS models can be fitted out with all the usual goodies: from bumped-up electronic riding aids packages, navigation, electronic suspension, M Endurance chain, cruise control, high screen, high and lowered seats, tyre pressure monitoring, keyless ride, SOS emergency call functions, luggage, and much much more.
The new bikes will be in the shops early in 2024. Prices are decent enough: the F800 GS is priced from £9,995, the F900 GS from £11,995 and the F900 GS Adventure from £12,350.
More info: www.bmw-motorrad.co.uk