Snow problems! 2018 BMW GS launch still on

Britain may be frozen to a standstill - but we've escaped to Spain for the F750/850 launch

Snow problems! 2018 BMW GS launch still on

AFTER a surprisingly minor delay courtesy of Snowmageddon (bravo Stansted), Visordown has arrived in slightly warmer climes for the launch of BMW’s new F850 and 750 GSes.

But before you get too jealous, check out this weather report…

Yep, while you have a picturesque dusting of the white stuff, we’ll be riding metal lightning conductors on Spain’s southern coast. 

But what exactly are these lightning attractors – apart from ‘fully redesigned’ versions of BMW’s popular middleweight adventure machines?

Well, despite the name differences, they are in fact the same capacity – both up to 853cc from the 798cc of their predecessors.

There are power and torque hikes too, up to 95hp from 85hp and 61.2lbft to 67.8lbft for the F850 GS and from 75hp to 77hp and 59.7lbft to 61.2lbft for the F750 GS.

Meanwhile, a new steel monocoque frame uses the revised parallel twin as a stressed member and a repositioned fuel tank promises a better centre of gravity.

Both bikes benefit from an aluminium double-sided swing-arm and shock, with the option to add BMW’s ESA (electronic suspension adjustment).  

BMW’s ASC (automatic stability control) traction control is standard as is ABS and riding modes of ‘Rain’ and ‘Road’. There are more modes available depending on spec levels and BMW’s TFT ‘Connectivity’ dash with ‘intelligent emergency call function’ can also be specified.

As for braking, two-piston floating calipers on 305mm twin discs feature up front on both models while the rears wear a single-piston floating caliper on a 265mm disc.  

Despite their similarities, the German manufacturer is intent on separating the two models, increasing their appeal to their respective audiences – the F850 GS for riders wanting great touring and off-road capabilities and the F750 GS for riders who like the feel of its bigger brother, combined with a low seat height and road-focused nature.

So while the 750 wears a conventional 41mm fork, the 850 gets a new upside-down 43mm unit, with more suspension travel at both ends.

Similarly, the F750 GS features cast aluminium wheels with a 19-inch front while the 850’s running gear is wire-spoked, with a 21-inch front – perfect for off-road adventures.

But whether we’ll get to test the 850’s true off-road capabilities tomorrow is yet to be seen. With southern Spain soggier than a posh bloke's handshake, it looks like our off-road test route may be somewhat shorter than anticipated.