I just finished riding BMW’s new F850GS on both dirt and pavement. This is an all-new F850GS and BMW has made a good bike better. I did not ride with the group today and instead rode solo. As a result, I had a chance to ride the bike on my terms on the terrain I wanted to ride. I have to give a big thanks to BMW for trusting me with their bike and allowing me to ride where I wanted.
The bike has a new character which is more in line with a bike made to ride rougher terrain. It looks, sounds and rides like a machine that can be taken just about anywhere. Hard packed dirt, sand, mud whatever you will likely throw at it, the new F850GS was up to the task.
I rode a mixed route of about 70% dirt and 3o% pavement. On the dirt, the bike felt solid and went exactly where you pointed it. Although I did not ride it on enduro style terrain the front end was always up to the job. Although it is not adjustable, it easily handled partially buried rocks and other debris.
A fairly intuitive menu allows you to adjust riding parameters. Things like ABS, traction control and ride modes can be easily adjusted from the handlebar.
The bike I was riding was shod with Metzler Karoo 3 tires. While they did the job on the dirt, on pavement the rear was a little loose. Leaned well over, the rear squirms telling you that the traction back there is not up to par with the front. A different set of tires may improve rear grip and feel.
Overall, the new F850GS impressed.
Look for a full review soon.