Alongside its larger sibling, Heath tested out the 2019 F 750 GS, with a more compliant touring oriented aim that's inviting to a huge variety of riders, especially those on the short side! Test by Heath Griffin, Photography by Dean Walters

If you had told me five years ago that in 2019 I’d be looking to buy a new motorcycle, and that the type of machine I’d be looking at was an adventure bike, I’d have laughed in your face.

See, my whole riding life has been based around sportsbikes, and up until the last few years if it wasn’t the latest greatest fastest thing on two wheels, with full race fairing and clip-ons, then I was completely disinterested.

BMW's 2019 F 750 GS offers a more road orientated version, with less power and a lower seat height

BMW’s 2019 F 750 GS offers a more road orientated version, with less power and a lower seat height

Fast-forward a few years though, and a number of contributing factors have really changed my attitude towards road bikes. The most significant influence has been the polar opposite directions in which sportsbike development and Australia’s road rules, and more importantly their enforcement, have taken.

The immense progress in sportsbike performance, improvements in tyres, and rider assists such as traction control and ABS, have moved ‘the limit’ ever higher, while at the same time speed limits on a lot of our best riding roads are being reduced, and penalties for exceeding them are severe.

The adventure-touring segment is proving very strong, as demonstrated by the F 750 GS, offering great road performance with formidable off-road ability thrown in to varying extents

The adventure-touring segment is proving strong, as demonstrated by the F 750 GS, offering great road performance with formidable off-road ability thrown in to varying extents

I’m also getting a bit older and some of those past broken bones which didn’t seem to be such a big deal at the time, are catching up on me and making long distances on cramped race replicas pretty uncomfortable. This all adds up to the fun factor of riding sportsbikes on the road for me being very much reduced, and I’d rather stick to the track these days if I want to try and get my speed thrills, so I still race ASBK Superbike.

 

GT Air II

 

This change of on road focus has meant I’ve been doing a fair bit of adventure bike riding over the past few years, mostly by begging, borrowing, hiring and testing as many variations as I could get my hands on, before I decide which to make my own.

The F 750 GS isn't as hard edged an off-road choice as the larger 850, but is also aimed at a different rider

The F 750 GS isn’t as hard edged an off-road choice as the larger 850, but is also aimed at a different rider

Most of these have been large capacity machines however, so when I got the call up from Jeff asking if I’d like to cover the Australian launch of BMW’s all-new F 750 GS and F 850 GS I was interested to see how these latest middleweight performers stacked up.

On paper the F 750 GS and F 850 GS look very similar, however for two bikes that seem so closely related in design and specification, the result and intended usage are surprisingly different.

The 2019 F 750 GS features a 19in alloy front wheel, unlike the 850 with a 21in and spoked rims

The 2019 F 750 GS features a 19in alloy front wheel, unlike the 850 with a 21in and spoked rims

With forged alloy wheels, 19in up front and 17in in the rear, road touring tyres, and lighter more softly tuned suspension with shorter travel and a lower seat height, the F 750 GS is clearly a much more road focused adventure tourer that is also capable of tackling some low to medium difficulty off-road work where required.

Our test route for the F 750 GS mimicked exactly the type of riding this bike was designed for, with a range of winding country roads, highway touring, unsealed roads and fire trails, and even some heavy traffic in town, complete with school zones in operation.

Particularly with road rubber fitted the F 750 GS is at home on flowing country roads

Particularly with road rubber fitted the F 750 GS is at home on flowing country roads

The F 750 GS shares the same all-new 853cc parallel twin engine as it’s F 850 GS sibling, however it has been re-tuned for lower output, peaking at 57kW@7500rpm and 83Nm@6000rpm (the 850 produces 70kW at 8250rpm).

 

Ventura-EVO-60

 

Response from the RbW system is clean, smooth and easy to manage, even when transitioning from fully closed, or holding a constant throttle at low speeds (think those school zones). On the open road there is plenty of usable mid-range to provide a relaxed touring experience, however you do need to kick it down a couple of gears and get the motor singing if you want to overtake in a hurry.

The 2019 F 750 GS can also include the Gear Shift Assist Pro as part of the Dynamic package or as an optional accessoryThe 2019 F 750 GS can also include the Gear Shift Assist Pro as part of the Dynamic package or as an optional accessory

The 2019 F 750 GS can also include the Gear Shift Assist Pro as part of the Dynamic package or as an optional accessory

There’s enough punch to enjoy a scratch through your favourite set of third or fourth gear twisties, however when the road opens up it’s not going to keep up with larger capacity machines in the same way a well ridden F 850 GS would.

The F 750 GS has the same options for DTC, ASC, ABS, Electronic Gearshift Assist, and TFT dash as it’s F 850 GS sibling, and all these systems work extremely well to improve safety and ease of operation.

There's plenty of ability for local scratching with the F 750 GS only left behind on the open road by the more powerful 850 or larger capacity machines

There’s plenty of ability for local scratching with the F 750 GS only left behind on the open road by the more powerful 850 or larger capacity machines

The lower power levels and tractable nature of the parallel twin engine don’t really trouble the DTC on the asphalt, however with road based tyres on our dirt section the traction control provided a lot of confidence and safety, while also assisting drive in those super low grip situations.

ABS is a similar story, where I ran out of courage before I could get it to intervene on the road, however in the dirt it provides a very high level of braking confidence that is ably assisted by the excellent feel and feedback from the dual front rotors and Brembo caliper combo.

Braking performance on the tar is adequate, but delivers all you'd want on the dirt

Braking performance on the tar is adequate, but delivers all you’d want on the dirt, with ABS standard fitment

Braking power on the tar is adequate, without being outstanding, however on the dirt you would never use more braking force than is available from this set-up.

As with the F 850 GS I found the quickshift a little heavy and notchy feeling in certain conditions. It was fine when upshifting under acceleration, and also downshifting when braking with the throttle fully closed, however in trailing or constant throttle situations I felt it better to still use the clutch in order to achieve a smooth gear change.

Suspension is also more compliant than the 850 and features shorter travel at both ends

Suspension is also more compliant than the 850 and features shorter travel at both ends. Forks are also 41mm to the 850’s 43mm items.

The F 750 GS has a softer more compliant suspension set-up than the F 850 GS, which is suited to it’s more road focussed role. The front fork is a 41mm conventional set-up, while the rear sports a similar central mounted shock with WAD (travel dependent damping) and hydraulically adjustable preload.

 

GT Air II

 

In the dirt this package isn’t quite up to the same level of punishment as it’s sibling, as the softer settings will quickly run out of travel if you try and hit bigger obstacles at pace, however that’s not really what it’s designed for, but it will still get you most places the F 850 GS will, just at a more relaxed pace.

The 2019 F 750 GS is surprisingly capable through the tight twisties

The 2019 F 750 GS is surprisingly capable through the tight twisties, with great ground clearance and confidence

On the road the set-up is very comfortable for commuting or touring, and provides excellent grip and handling characteristics, while also riding any uneven surfaces with much more composure than a sportsbike. One area that really surprised my was how hard you can push this bike through a tight twisty tarmac section, as ground clearance was much better than I was expecting, and it’s a really light feeling package that carries it’s weight very well.

Overall it’s a very confidence-inspiring ride, which can be great fun and keep up with much more sports focussed machines through a tight section of road.

The F 750 GS doesn’t quite grab me the way its F 850 GS sibling does however. With a shorter stance, road biased tyres and less interesting colour options it looks a lot less aggressive and purposeful, however it does share all the same high quality switchgear, extra-large TFT dash, and three-way adjustable heated grips.

Fit and finish is of the same high standard as the rest of the BMW range, and the controls are light and smooth to operate. The lower seat height doesn’t really suit my taller stature, however it is all day comfortable, and a taller seat from BMW’s genuine range of accessories is an option for taller riders.

The TFT dash is found on the higher spec variants, while BMW's Navigation setup is also available as an option

The TFT dash is found on the higher spec variants, while BMW’s Navigation setup is also available as an option

In terms of adaptability there are four different height seats to choose from, two different height handlebars, as well as a Low Suspension option available from the factory, so it is no problem to find a combination of options to suit any size of rider.

The base model comes with a large easy to read analogue/digital dash, which also has basic information such as the usual trip meter, and a digital fuel level indicator, however if specified BMW’s optional 6.5-inch full colour TFT dash allows full integration, monitoring and operation of the bikes systems and also your Bluetooth compatible smartphone or device.

Operation is easy and intuitive via the BMW Motorrad Multi-controller mounted on the left handlebar adjacent to the handgrip, and allows on the move, glove on, control over all electronic systems. The display options and adjustments include the electronic adjustment of the bikes suspension settings if fitted as an option, so you can easily add preload at the touch of a button when carrying a pillion and/or luggage, tyre pressure monitoring, as well as all the usuals, plus pace oriented corner by corner arrow navigation via the free BMW Motorrad Connected App.

 

Aussie Streetfighters ASF

 

At $13,590 for the base model, the F 750 GS represents very good value for such a high quality motorcycle, especially when you consider that it incorporates all the same latest technology equipment as the rest of the BMW adventure bike family.

Overall the 2019 BMW F 750 GS offers an ideal step up from a LAMS machine, and is well suited to touring duties, especially for those of shorter stature, while still offering off-road capabilities

Overall the 2019 BMW F 750 GS offers an ideal step up from a LAMS machine, and is well suited to touring duties, especially for those of shorter stature, while still offering off-road capabilities

I think this bike is ideally positioned above the LAMS bike and below the full sized R 1200 GS big brother, as it allows you to go anywhere the bigger GS will take you, while providing a much more accessible, less intimidating riding experience.

It’s also a great option as an affordably priced commuter that will still allow you to load up a pillion and luggage and go adventuring on the weekend, and presents with a much higher level of quality componentry than many bikes in the middle-weight sector.

2019 BMW F 750 GS with full luggage loadout

2019 BMW F 750 GS with full luggage loadout

2019 BMW F 750 GS model variants

2019 BMW F 750 GS – $13,590* RRP
  • Available in Light White or Austin Yellow Metallic
  • Cast Aluminium Wheels
  • Two Riding Modes (Rain and Road)
  • Cruise Control
  • BMW Motorrad ABS
  • Heated Grips
  • Standard Seat Height 815mm
  • (LS Lowered Suspension version – 770mm seat height – $13,840* + ORC)
The Australian launch saw the F 850 GS and F 750 GS

The Australian launch saw the F 850 GS and F 750 GS

2019 BMW F 750 GS Tour – $17,305* + ORC
  • Available in Stereo Metallic Matte
  • Cast Aluminium Wheels, BMW Motorrad ABS
  • Cruise Control, Heated Grips
  • Comfort Package + Touring Package
    • Dynamic ESA, Keyless Ride, Navigation Preparation
    • Tyre Pressure Monitoring, Centre Stand
    • Luggage Grid with Pannier Fastenings
  • Dynamic Package + Lights Package
    • Dynamic Traction Control
    • LED Headlight, Daytime Riding Light
    • Gear Shift Assist Pro
    • Riding Modes Pro
    • White LED Indicators, ABS Pro
  • Style Tour
    • Hand Protection
    • Standard Seat Height 820mm
2019 BMW F 750 GS

2019 BMW F 750 GS – The 6.5in TFT is an optional extra

2019 BMW F 750 GS Tour LS – $17,005*
  • Available in Stereo Metallic Matte
  • Cast Aluminium Wheels, BMW Motorrad ABS
  • Low Suspension Package
    • Keyless Ride, Navigation Preparation
    • Suspension Lowering Kit
    • Tyre Pressure Monitoring
    • Luggage Grid with Pannier Fastenings
  • Dynamic Package + Lights
    • LED Headlight, Daytime Riding Light, Gear Shift Assist Pro
    • Riding Modes Pro, White LED Indicators, ABS Pro, Standard Seat Height 770mm
    • Dynamic Package + Lights Package
    • Dynamic Traction Control
    • LED Headlight, Daytime Riding Light
    • Gear Shift Assist Pro, Riding Modes Pro
    • White LED Indicators, ABS Pro
  • Style Tour
    • Hand Protection
    • Standard Seat Height 770mm
2019 BMW F 750 GS

2019 BMW F 750 GS

2019 BMW F 750 GS Specifications

Claimed Power: 77hp[57kW]@7500rpm
Claimed Torque: 83Nm@6000rpm
Wet Weight: 224kg
Fuel capacity: 15L

Engine: Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke engine with four rocker arm operated valves per cylinder, DOHC, dry sum lubrication , 853cc, DOHC, 84 x 77 mm bore x stroke, 12.7:1 compression ratio, Riding Modes, ASC
Gearbox: Constant-mesh 6-speed gearbox
Clutch: Multiplate wet clutch (anti-hopping), mechanically controlled

Chassis: Steel bridge frame in monocoque design, load-bearing engine, Aluminium double-sided swing arm

Suspension: 41mm USD fork, 151mm travel, directly mounted central spring strut, preload & rebound adjustable, 177mm travel (Optional: Dynamic ESA)

Brakes: BMW Motorrad ABS, twin front disc brake 305mm, two-piston floating caliper, single disc brake rear 265mm, single-piston floating caliper

Wheels & Tyres: Die-cast aluminium wheels, 2.50 x 19in, 4.25 x 17in, 110/80 – 19in, 150/70 – 17in

DIMENSIONS:
Wheelbase: 1559mm
Seat height: 815mm (low 790mm)
Overall width: 922mm
Overall Length: 2255mm

Instruments: Digital multi-function display, optional 6.5-inch full-colour TFT screen

2019 BMW F 750 GS Gallery

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