The new BMW F900GS
Significantly lighter and with more pressure: BMW Motorrad is relaunching its mid-range touring enduro. The current line-up includes the thoroughly revised F900GS, its sister model suitable for long-distance travel, the F900GS Adventure, as well as the A2-compliant F800GS for beginners. (Bilder © BMW Motorrad)
BMW Motorrad faced a lot of criticism when the manufacturer replaced the popular F800GS with its successor, the F850GS, in 2018. The community of adventure riders agreed that it was much too heavy. With the latest model upgrade, the Munich-based company seems to want to do everything right this time. The brand-new F900 GS is lighter than the 850, the discreetly enlarged engine has more oomph, and the look and ergonomics underline the will for off-road use.
The developers of the F900GS were under considerable pressure. After all, things are no longer as cosy in the mid-range touring enduro class as they were in 2008, when BMW was able to push the F800GS into a huge gap left by the production stop of the 750 Africa Twin. Today, this hotly contested market segment is home to such potent competitors as the Aprilia Tuareg 660, the KTM 890 Adventure, the new Transalp, Suzuki's V-Strom 800DE, the Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro and, above all, the Yamaha 700 Ténéré. For this reason, the Munich company could not afford a fail with the new F900GS. But in view of the facts known so far, it doesn't look like that at all. But let's take it one step at a time.
BMW F900GS now with 105 hp
The displacement of the F900GS twin has increased from 853 to 895 cubic centimetres with the same stroke due to a larger bore. In conjunction with revised cylinder heads, the two-cylinder increases its peak power by a whopping 10 horsepower and is thus on a par with the KTM 890 Adventure. "For touring and off-road use, however, the fuller torque curve also promised by BMW is likely to be more significant," the editors of TOURENFAHRER speculate in their online model presentation. Their colleagues from MOTORRAD rightly point out that with this performance, the BMW F900GS is no longer suitable as the basis for an A2 version. BMW only offers the new F800GS as an entry-level model in the mid-range touring enduro class (see below).
Electronic assistance systems for on- and off-road use
Of course, BMW does not leave the rider alone with the 105 horses of the beefed-up two-cylinder. A comprehensive package of electronic assistance systems offers helpful support both off-road and on-road. The two driving modes "Rain" and "Road" are part of the standard equipment as well as the dynamic traction control DTC, the curve-optimised ABS Pro and the dynamic brake light. As an optional extra ex works, BMW offers the "Riding Modes Pro" package, which includes additional riding modes, a riding mode preselection, the engine drag torque control MSR and the Dynamic Brake Control DBC.
The BMW F900GS has slimmed down 14 kilos
To the great delight of the off-road faction, the BMW F900GS has become significantly lighter. The weight loss, to which numerous assemblies had to contribute, adds up to a total of 14 kilograms. "That would be around 228 kilograms. If that were true, the new BMW F900GS would be on a par with Ducati's DesertX (228 kilograms) and close to Husqvarna's Norden 901 (217 kilograms) and KTM's 890 Adventure R (214 kilograms)," the MOTORRAD experts calculate.
The largest single item in the slimming down is the fuel tank. And that in a double sense. The tank, which is now made of plastic instead of steel, is 4.5 kilograms lighter than the previous model and is narrower. Half a litre less fuel capacity of 14.5 litres seems acceptable in view of the advantages, which are certainly noticeable in off-road use.
Detailed solutions for even more off-road capability of the F900GS
Speaking of off-road: Not only the lower weight and the slimmer bodywork will please touring enduro riders; BMW has also upgraded the suspension elements of the F900GS. An adjustable upside-down fork from Showa with a 43-millimetre standpipe diameter now operates in the front. At extra cost, a fully adjustable central shock absorber is available.
Low-positioned enduro footpegs, an adjustable gear lever, an optimised foot brake lever and, last but not least, a higher-mounted handlebar provide even more off-road capability.
Crisp looks with an off-road touch
The new design of the BMW F900GS also signals its renewed off-road capability. The beak is crisply short, the tail slim and upright. Tight-fitting tank side panels, together with a new radiator grille, evoke the look of sporty enduros. The standard Akrapovič rear silencer and the slim LED headlight are a perfect match to this.
On tour with the BMW F900GS
The lower weight and upright riding position are likely to have a positive effect not only on unpaved roads. Touring riders will also benefit from the new agility and relaxed ergonomics of the BMW F900GS. Whether you travel with an aluminium pannier system or soft luggage - the sporty styled two-cylinder enduro is likely to make touring areas near and far unsafe from next spring onwards.
For long-distance travel: F900GS Adventure
BMW is also offering an Adventure version of the new F900GS. The most important distinguishing feature is the 23-litre tank, which gives the F900GS Adventure a mighty increase in range. In addition, an underride guard is already fitted as standard. The Adventure can be exclusively upgraded with the Ride Pro special equipment package.
A2-capable: the new BMW F800GS
The basic design of the F800GS engine is identical to that of the F900GS. Only the power output is lower at 87 horsepower. For holders of the A2 driving licence, a version with 48 hp is also available on request. Unlike its bigger sisters, the F800GS rolls along on 19-/17-inch cast wheels instead of wire wheels.
Preview: Accessories for the BMW F900GS
Of course, Touratech will take care of the new BMW F900GS and its sister models. They are already working flat out on aluminium pannier systems, high-end suspension elements and a comprehensive range of protectors. Soon after the sales launch in spring 2024, adventure riders will be able to equip their F900GS with Touratech accessories.