2019 BMW F850GS Rallye – First Ride, First Impressions Review

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By Bruce Cole

The Breakdown

The 2019 F750GS and F850GS are BMW Motorrad’s new, anxiously awaited, but behind schedule new release models replacing the original F650 and F700/F800 series motorcycles.

The somewhat larger (853cc vice 798cc) engine with revised crankshaft offset, timing and balancing changes now produces 95Hp vice 85 and torque is 92Nm vice 83; the changes provide a far stronger and responsive motor.

While weight is up, chassis, suspension, and component changes make for a far more stable machine compared to the F800 motorcycles – progress is good.

Overall First Impressions


  • Motor – “strong like bull”, arm pulling power across the band
  • Buzzing/vibration virtually non-existent
  • Chassis/suspension/component changes form a very stable well-handling machine
  • 21in front wheel stable at all speeds/surfaces
  • LED headlights and tail/brake lights
  • Aluminum cross-spoke rims, tubeless
  • Electronic packages enhance the experience
  • Familiar size, layout, and function regarding current F-series motorcycles
  • Slimming lines, narrow rider area and back subframe facilitating accessory mounting


  • Heavier, gain mitigated through chassis, suspension and component changes
  • Factory packages and equipment options add significantly to the base price
  • Centre mount fuel cell only 15L (incl reserve)
  • Non-adjustable windscreen
  • Rallye variant should have more endure bit-n-pieces as standard equipment
  • Some low-rpm remapping needed

A Dilemma in the Making

What we have here is an evolving but acknowledged dilemma… created knowingly in owning many Beemers of all sizes over many years, including an original F 800 GS and recently a treasured F 800 GSA that was originally slated as a trade for a new F 850 GS or GSA; the former now seriously overdue and the latter becoming a serious contender given timelines.

In the interim, a 2018 Triumph Tiger 800Xca fills the mid-displacement (small GS) gap quite nicely; in fact, it’s causing the dilemma. The Tiger is one darn fine motorcycle and thoughts of retaining it while still investing in an F 850 are gaining traction…

Acknowledging & Leveraging a Relationship

An early opportunity is just that and one not …read more

Source:: 2019 BMW F850GS Rallye – First Ride, First Impressions Review


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