On the road

RiDE (UK) - - New Bikes -

B-ROADS

With an up­right rid­ing po­si­tion and wide bars, the F750 of­fers a rid­ing po­si­tion that is re­laxed and com­fort­able, in­spir­ing a sense of bal­ance and sym­me­try. There is a neu­tral­ity to the ef­fort you put into steer­ing the bike and it re­mains lin­ear as the speed in­creases. Away from traf­fic and busy roads, the 750GS feels as­tound­ing, un­like what you ex­pect from a mid-range ad­ven­ture bike. On your favourite back lanes, the GS can be rid­den very fast with no decay in the han­dling. The un­ad­justable right-way-up forks and rear shock work bril­liantly to elim­i­nate bumps in a way that is al­most un­canny. Some of the roads I blasted the F750 down were pretty gnarly and I found my­self seek­ing even poorer roads, to see if I could find a weak spot in the han­dling. I couldn’t. The road hold­ing in­spires con­fi­dence and the way it re­mains com­posed and set­tled would shame some sports­bikes.

But it’s not just the F750’s com­po­sure that’s out­stand­ing — the mo­tor’s also pretty im­pres­sive too. The mod­est­sound­ing 76bhp de­liv­ered by the par­al­lel twin is meted out by a clean stream of torque that al­ways seems ac­ces­si­ble when you need it. This ever-ready power de­liv­ery cre­ates an ex­cit­ing and pow­er­ful sen­sa­tion of drive that is man­aged per­fectly by the chas­sis.

The sporty feel of the bike is sur­pris­ing con­sid­er­ing it’s fit­ted with a 19in front wheel, com­plete with 110-sec­tion tyre. There is no sign of lazy or lethar­gic steer­ing, while the rel­a­tively fat front foot­print in­spires a feel­ing of se­cu­rity when steer­ing and on the brakes.

Ar­riv­ing at high speed to a lower-gear cor­ner is no drama for the GS; the brakes are pow­er­ful with per­fect feel and it scrubs off speed ef­fort­lessly. Un­like a lot of cur­rent Euro4-com­pli­ant bikes, the ABS doesn’t kick in an­noy­ingly early but only when the sys­tem de­tects a gen­uine loss of trac­tion.

The F750 of­fers a sur­pris­ing level of ride­abil­ity on back roads and even when you take to sin­gle-track roads with lots of un­even and bro­ken sec­tions, it’s noth­ing short of out­stand­ing.

MO­TOR­WAYS

The 6.5in TFT dash fit­ted to this test bike (£595 ex­tra) looks like a small tablet and com­pletely dom­i­nates the view. It shows ev­ery­thing you need to know in vivid con­trast­ing colours; the main body of the dash dis­plays the revs from left to right, while the speed is shown in the mid­dle of the screen in huge num­bers. Other parts of the dis­play can be cus­tomised to suit your re­quire­ments, such as tank range and trip mileage.

Cruis­ing at an in­di­cated 70mph in top gear, the GS sips fuel at an in­di­cated 61mpg while the en­gine spins over at 4250rpm. Kick­ing back to an in­di­cated 50mph in top gear, the con­sump­tion in­creases to 65mpg and the en­gine is only just tick­ing over at 3000rpm. The er­gonomics work well for mo­tor­way cruis­ing, the tri­an­gle giv­ing an ideal rid­ing po­si­tion for any speed. The well-sculpted seat is a per­fect shape with good pad­ding, mak­ing run­ning the bike to its max­i­mum fuel range re­ally easy. Cruis­ing at 70mph, you can coax

“It’s not just the F750’s com­po­sure that is out­stand­ing...”

200 miles be­fore fill­ing up but do­ing this will dis­play an alarm­ingly large low-fuel warn­ing no­ti­fi­ca­tion at around 160 miles.

The weirdly low wind­shield took a lot of get­ting used to. Barely more than a fly­screen that cov­ers the clocks, it’s a mys­tery why BMW would fit a screen so small as stan­dard, as it de­flects only a small amount of air­flow. Adding a larger screen would be a pri­or­ity for me if I had to live with it for a longer pe­riod of time.

Both the 41mm front forks and rear shock pro­vide such a smooth and well-damped ride that it negates the need to fit BMW’S hi-tech Dy­namic ESA (Elec­tron­i­cally Ad­justable Sus­pen­sion) as an op­tional ex­tra.

There are two rid­ing modes, Road and Rain, both giv­ing full power but the lat­ter damp­en­ing re­sponse. Also in Rain mode, the level of ASC (Au­to­matic Sta­bil­ity Con­trol) and ABS are changed to suit con­di­tions with re­duced grip.

I only used Rain mode to gauge the dif­fer­ence from Road, and the feel and con­nec­tion that you get with the throt­tle and chas­sis as stan­dard is first class. So switch­ing to Rain is un­nec­es­sary in all but the worst con­di­tions.

This test bike was fit­ted with a few ex­tras, such as the three-stage heated grips (£250) op­er­ated by a but­ton on the right-hand switchgear. Gearshift As­sist Pro (£395) al­lows clutch­less changes up or down the gear­box – an ex­pen­sive lux­ury but it works well, keep­ing the chas­sis set­tled and al­low­ing the en­gine to de­liver its smooth wave of thrust to the back wheel.

TOWN

A rea­son­ably low 815mm seat height makes the F750GS easy to man­age around town. At 5ft 6in I was able to get both feet se­curely on the floor when sta­tion­ary. The F750GS will ac­cel­er­ate from 0-60mph in 3.95 sec­onds, an im­pres­sive per­for­mance for any bike, let alone one per­fect for new rid­ers. And while we’re talk­ing speeds, BMW claims it will max out at 118mph but our Gps-ver­i­fied test re­vealed that it’ll ac­tu­ally do 124.5mph be­fore hit­ting the lim­iter.

At ur­ban speeds, the brakes proved just the ticket, with plenty of power and feel. An­other worth­while ac­ces­sory fit­ted to this test bike was the cen­tre­stand, which is the most ef­fort­less we’ve used, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing that the F750GS is no light­weight at 224kg fully fu­elled. With ur­ban per­for­mance and prac­ti­cal­ity like this, it’d make the per­fect com­muter tool.

5 2 0 710 920 WHEEL­BASE 1559MM RAKE 270 TRAIL 104.5MM

Above: Op­tional TFT screen works well. It should, though, for £595Top right: LED DRL head­lightUp-and-down quick­shifter is £395Fa­mil­iar BMW thumb­wheel and op­tional SOS but­ton

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.