This is an all-new bike from BMW, so I thought it would be the ‘BMs-knees’, right? Well, wrong actually, because my first thoughts after my initial ride were, err, not good, and that’s being kind. But wait, let me finish the article and things might make more sense.
For one, this is a new GS and it is without doubt the most street-focussed GS I’ve come across, which is a bit odd. Firstly let’s get into the new 853cc (why is it called a 750 then?), parallel twin out of the way. All new parts equate to 77hp and 83Nm when the ‘identical’ frame and engine and also new 850 GS variant has 93hp and 92Nm, I can’t understand why BMW would do that, personally I’d have left the same engine in both! Anyway that’s the first question I couldn’t answer. The second was, after a week with the bike, that it isn’t a quintessential GS, more street bike with the ability to venture up the odd dirt lane, or two, which points a finger at the off-road aimed GS logo! Yes, it’s capable but it has a 19-inch front wheel and road tyres to match. Saying (moaning) all that though, it is extremely comfortable, riddled with modern electronics and a very splendid motorcycle to ride on tarmac, but…I found the new engine to be a little rough until the rev-counter went past 4,000rpm and then it became much smoother and much more entertaining. I must point out that this South African model F 750 GS has the full-spec Premium Package that includes many, many entertaining things. The list is huge so go to BMW’s site for more technical information, but to compress, it has electronic rear suspension, with the strange choice of closed non-adjustable conventional forks at the front end, as well as cruise control, heated-grips, power modes (four), traction control and a ‘million’ things to fiddle with on the fantastic TFT dash lifted from their new 1250 GS. Oh, and the ‘both-ways’ quickshifter with auto-blip for downshifts. Not the best system I’ve come across because it needs a heavy foot to make it select, especially on the downshift but, yet again, it works far better at high-end rpm. This was assisted by the power mode selection, which I always left in dynamic, also dynamic suspension and everything turned off.Now from the slightly lazy and ‘rattley’ nature of the 853cc engine things became much more exciting. I found myself riding the 750 GS in an aggressive sporty manner and then it will rip around to over 200km/h. The handling is train-like stable at high speeds with a slow turn rate into bends adding to the relaxed nature of the F 750 GS, again more street bike than off-road tool, where the 850 GS takes over. Even at 224kg (wet), the 750 is a lot of fun and, after a few days in the big soft seat, you’ll find yourself riding faster than you should, which is always a good sign of a ‘well-sorted’ motorcycle. So all-in-all a typical, refined and friendly BMW that does everything the label says.Now for the worst part; the price. R190,500 gets you this full-spec F 750 GS but the big brother 850 GS, with more, is only 12k more, way too close in my mind. If I were BMW SA I would import the 750 without the plethora of unnecessary parts, like quickshifter and electronic suspension and, and, and… that’ll vastly reduce the price by, I estimate, around 30k plus, then the F 750 GS will be a far more attractive package.Go to www.bmw-motorrad.co.za for more technical information and dealer locations.