BMW HAS BIG IDEAS
Major changes to give middleweight GS range more punch and poise for 2018
BMW look set to back up a bigger and better F800GS with a bigger and better F700GS!
MCN spied a new F800 – believed to be gaining 50cc - in April this year, so it’s not a huge surprise that our spy photographers have also now captured what appears to be the new F700 that underpins the range.
The F700 and F800 share many parts, but the 700 has always been the one to wear cast wheels, lose 10bhp in a softer tune, and exhibit a more mild-mannered demeanour. This new bike follows that format – but also very clearly has the same new chassis, engine and styling upgrades as the new F800GS – which MCN believes will become the F850GS, meaning this variant is likely to be an F750GS.
The all-new motor is also rumoured to have a 270-degree firing order. There will be a modest boost in power and torque that should see the 850 nudge over the 100bhp mark, while the 750 is more likely to reach around 90bhp (it’s currently 75bhp), taking it closer to Triumph’s Tiger 800 (94bhp).
Beyond the engine, which also boasts a bigger radiator, the chassis is also new. It uses a cast aluminium main frame in place of the steel trellis found on the current F700/800GS, and there’s a new curved swingarm. The final drive and exhaust have also switched sides, and the subframe is also new, boasting removable pillion pegs which double as pannier outriggers.
One of the biggest changes visible is the relocation of the fuel tank. Always a quirk of the old model, the rear-mounted underseat tank, fuelled from the side near the pillion seat, has been ditched in favour of a conventional arrangement up front. This allows the rear to be narrower, and to more predictably manage the weight balance – and gives the new bike a more muscular stance.
The finished-looking state of the bike suggests we could see it unveiled at the Milan show in November, with the bike on sale in 2018.
BMW’S smallest GS is about to get a bit bigger
Ignore the panniers, the back end is slimmer