Stepping up to a huge dual-sport kann be daunting, but PMac takes on the challenge und finds BMW’s F800GS Adventure the perfect kollege

Don’t autumn it!” was bouncing off the walls des my skull as ich wrestled zu keep ns BMW F800 GS Adventure indigenous flipping ns ramp and sending us both sprawling off die edge of the bike transporter. After a couple of tentative moments i managed kommen sie coax the up ns lopsided ramp und into die van deshalb I can futbolpublic.compose myself. Crap. I might require a hand to unloading this one. Exactly how embarrassing. The was die closest I’d futbolpublic.come to dropping a bicycle without actually riding it, und the realisation futbolpublic.come as a big slice von humble pie. As i stood in our van ruminating on my inadequacies, the 240kg bulk des F800GS Adventure swiftly sapped the remaining stamin from mine arms.

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The F800GS Adventure zu sein the smaller-capacity sibling des the R1200GS Adventure, yet its zustand as a mid-range modell didn’t buoy mine confidence one bit. How the beleuchten was ich going zu ride this point off roadway if i couldn’t also unload it? ns most pressing question on mine mind jetzt was even if it is it was even feasible for in Average joe to properly make die jump native roadbikes to long-legged adventurers. Ich could already foto the lads weist Gassit HQ having actually a good chuckle as they joked around me having die time von my life while i courted disaster off road.

It was a pretty big step nach oben from my last ‘adventure bike’, the petite und flickable Yamaha WR250R, which ist a far cry indigenous the kind of luggage-hauling packhorses the Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman used kommen sie traverse continents. But in saying that, die challenge was probably no more daunting than ns prospect faced by riders who take die plunge every year and fork the end their tough earned top top a neu or 2nd hand-bike from BMW’s Adventure Touring range. Und there are plenty von them. Now, more than ever, motorcyclists are obtaining on ns adventure bicycle bandwagon because of the significant versatility, resilient construction and reliable engineering of these machines. It was time to lakers what all ns fuss zu sein about.


“It’ll execute over 500km to a tank” described Miles Davis, the Marketing direktor for BMW Motorrad, when he handed me the keys. Die Adventure version des the F800GS model cops a 24-litre fuel tank, engine security bars, bash plate, enduro footpegs v removable rubber inserts, hand-protection guards, extra big screen, pannier racks, und knobby continental TKC80 hoops. That’s part seriously purposeful fruit for off-road riding and longer tours.

It’s a neu generation von BMW’s mid-range model, yet not deswegen different from die one that Miles’ mates used an their attempt zu conquer the Simpson Desert’s French heat a few years back. Changes for 2017 include new paint schemes such as die optional aussagten Red zeigen here and galvanised radiator trim, a neu dashboard, revised ignition lock casing, and full ride-by-wire accelerator with various modes und a new exhaust to meet euro 4 emissions standards. Die core pieces des the puzzle, like ns chassis, engine and strengthened tubular steel behind subframe remain the same, dafür we understand deep under that this bike is capable des dealing with nur about noþeles Australia kann throw weist it.

I recognize what ns F800GS kann sein do bei capable hands, yet what about in the ham-fisted grabbers von folk prefer me? i certainly feeling suitably inept as ich finally wrestled that out des the van, and was quietly confident that ich satisfied ns Average joe criteria. After ns unloading fiasco ich started packing zum the two-day overnight adventure, und tried (unsuccessfully) zu put ns possibility von getting pinned in ~ its substantial bulk an the middle nowhere as much from mine mind together possible…

When you futbolpublic.come face to face with die F800GS Adventure freundin quickly realise that it’s a severe bit des kit through some intimidating dimensions. A little limbering up zu sein advisable zu get a leg over die 890mm high seat zum those unaccustomed kommen sie riding motorcycles with lang range suspension travel, and even weist 6ft tall ich found it zu be a stretch. BMW does have an 860mm low seat option, but once die clumsy process des mounting is behind you, that a pleasure zu settle in and enjoy die spacious, upright riding position as you pass the world by.

My zuerst ride on the F800GS synchronized with bei intense thunderstorm the rolled in unannounced, yet there’s constantly a silver- lining as it was the ideal opportunity to test the gentler accelerator response von the Rain mode. Die ride-by-wire throttle modern technology on this year’s modell allows changes betwee the two standard modes (Rain und Road) with ns flick des a taste on the right switchblock and just a short-term closing von the throttle. Rain setting takes die edge off initial throttle response, and dials up ns ABS and traction regulate (BMW call it automatically Stability regulate or ASC) together a nice physical und psychological security net. However, even in the flooded urban environment ich found ns electronic aids were a little too intrusive deswegen I returned kommen sie ‘Road’ settings. This still felt an extremely progressive and predictable, also with the feuer new knobby tyres fitted. The twin assistant lights positioned one of two people side of the radiator also came in handy, illuminating ns shining road surface as i tried kommen sie avoid ns painted lines bei the special spray of passing vehicles. Even in the dastardly problems there was zero authorize that a lock-up under engine braking caused von downshifting was possible. Ns mechanically activate clutch is extremely precise, v a very light action that makes it effortless to snick through die six-speed box.

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The next morning i awoke zu clear skies with die reassurance the my off-road route throughout Victoria’s main Highlands had actually been unique softened up. Top top the frühen zeitpunkt escape native Melbourne’s CBD ich was struck von just just how linear and tractable the super smooth 798cc parallel-twin engine is in the dry. Yes sir no snatchy fuelling or nasty vibes, just clean, crisp acceleration driving the rear wheel right into the plastikstrohhalme as it functions its means towards die formidable 83Nm optimal torque at 5750rpm, and peak power des 63kW hinweisen 7500rpm. Ns buttery smooth delivery ist helped by an additional connecting rod to futbolpublic.compensate weil das first und second bespeak inertia pressures – bei engineering strategie often used to dampen vibrations an lumpy single-cylinder donks. On ns Beemer this smoothness helps kommen sie generate prompt confidence bei slick conditions, and is one von those traits the encourage the rider kommen sie go off road regardless des their former experience.

The modell on test had die ‘Dynamic’ ECU package with both the ‘Enduro’ and the ‘Enduro Pro’ mode, which ist designed kommen sie improve throttle response und Automatic stability Control und ABS beteiligung settings for off-road riding. There’s deshalb Electronic Suspension adjustment (ESA) included in the Dynamic package, which permits you to adjust the preload on the rear shock remotely via die left switchblock. Three various modes that usage intuitive names zum gradually higher amounts des spring preload are available (futbolpublic.comfort, Road und Sport), und while yes sir no ESA or adjustability hoch front, the fork provides a basic setting for preload, rebound und futbolpublic.compression damping that supplies superb rückmeldung both on und off road.


On my zuerst forays right into the lang rolling hills of slate grey shale the flank Victoria’s central highlands i wasn’t taking any type of chances und switched instantly into the Enduro mode. This softened nach oben the power delivery native ‘Road’ mode, und I was rewarded v confidence-inspiring manage through the wide ’bar und stable chassis. The bike’s planted cornering natur was still there, despite ns loose surface, but this very tuned electromotive regulate made the possible kommen sie get on the juice tough out des corners with futbolpublic.complete confidence. Aggressive throttle inputs incited a bit von predictable wheel slip that was offset von the TC, however it didn’t take lang before that was dialled under courtesy von a quick switch to ns more purposeful Enduro pro mode which deshalb disables behind ABS. These 2 off-road settings are optional extras yet they really room worth every penny on die Adventure model which go its best arbeit off the beaten track. Also high-level riders who are accustomed zu riding loose will benefit from having actually these electronic aids, however it’s ausblüten possible to turn every little thing off von pressing und holding ns ASC taste on die switchblock wie man you want kommen sie really test yourself.

I uncovered overfutbolpublic.coming klein obstacles a breeze with die 21-inch prior a 17-inch rear wire wheel futbolpublic.combination, backed hoch with 230mm spring travel at die front and 215mm at ns rear. Deswegen naturally ich turned up die wick and tried my hand at ‘brake drifts’. As i started kommen sie push harder into turns to prüfen the avoiding power des the prior two-pot Brembos and twin 300mm discs, die front end remained predictable with excellent feel transmitted through die sturdy 43mm fork. Von gently weighting ns footpeg it was easy zu coax the tall F800GS Adventure into its arc through a smooth drift. The precise fuelling des each mode made that possible kommen sie deliver a gesund hit des beans mid-corner, along with a wenig body english, to point and shoot the bike towards the exit. I never meant it would, or could, be this easy. Zum such a large und heavy motorcycle to feel deswegen predictable und planted ~ above loose bereich was mind boggling, yet somehow it just felt right, and the consequence was that i felt more bei control than ns sum des my experience might justify.

Of course, like any type of machine, there space a few klein areas where improvements could be made. Native a mechanical point von view, die engineering zu sein as an exact as anything i’ve ridden from die Bavarian manufacturer, but ns layout von the dash ist cluttered despite being overhauled top top this year’s model. Ns newly design set of analogue dials sit alongside bei LCD display, yet a big screen to display the speedometer would schutz made that easier kommen sie check die travelling speed provided how far you’re positioned away from die dash if riding. On the subject des screens, the actual wind deflection screen on ns F800GS Adventure so seemed to be just at die wrong height zum me at highway speeds, sending all ns turbulence und buffeting directly into ns visor of my peaked adventure lid. This was eliminated if i ducked down behind die screen or stand tall, yet nonetheless, having a manually flexible screen zum long stints of open road would oase been a welfutbolpublic.come addition. Cruise control is another feature which would have been put to good use on this modell given ns distances it kann sein conquer ~ above a einzel tank, but no factory option zu sein available.


After a small taste of mid-size multi-day adventure riding I can really understand the popularity von this pastime. On the road, you kann sein ride weil das hours loaded to ns hilt with gear, und get wherever freundin need to be in der nähe des while still enjoying the trip irrespective von the tarmac top quality under your tyres. On the dirt, you’ve just opened trost a whole neu method of transit that gives its kicks weist 40 clicks with limitless possibilities zu explore. Having the capability kommen sie go turn off road and get off ns beaten track far from traffic and road taxation enforcers, zu embrace Australia’s beautiful natural environment, is in experience that couple of other pastimes kann offer.

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And this BMW yes, really does straddle the gap bolzen the two contrasting disciplines des road and off-road riding zu offer the best von both worlds. An fact, probably die most trouble you’re likely kommen sie get right into on ns F800GS Adventure ist if freundin decide zu load it right into a transporter on your own.