Thursday, May 30, 2024

2024 BMW F850 GSA Review, Road Test

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2024 BMW F850 GSA is still on sale in India and it has become a motorcycle for purists. The old design continues and the new price makes it tempting. A big price drop that happened in late 2022 makes it an impressive motorcycle to own for people who prefer something, raw, has legacy and can do it all with relative convenience. The 2024 BMW F850 GSA is the Enduro version of the F850 GS which is already something that people appreciate for what is as an adventure bike. The enduro version which is more off-road focused is whole new bike as it has tubless spokewheels at the front and rear with the ‘right dimensions’. How is it like to ride? We find out!

When it comes to design, the motorcycle does look very BMW GS indeed. The distinct BMW GS design with twin LED DRL and LED lights that makes it stand apart from the crowd. The illumination and spread of the headlight are yet to be checked. The tank is big enough and dominates the entire motorcycle’s design. The rear tail lamp is huge and is LED with indicators being LED as well. The wheels are multi-spoke wheel units and are black in color making it look befitting to the over design. The rear subframe is low and lengthy holding a large seat, luggage mounting capability. The exhaust also looks befitting, large and chunky for befitting the iconic old BMW GS design quite well and helping go through water easily. Overall, a motorcycle that looks good, is large, and grabs attention due to its legacy designed carried forward and not something entirely as expected.

The instrument cluster is a digital layout that mimics the iDrive of BMW cars. Fuel gauge, trip meter, eco-driving manner, service indicators, and speedo meter housing all the telltale lights. The ‘dial’ to use everything is on the speedometer is on the LHS switchgear. The right side button controls the ignition, riding modes, heated grips and kills switch together. The RHS switch gear does everything right from cruise control to hazard lights. Mirrors offer a good view of what is behind thanks to a taller mounting height and wide glass area too.

The ergonomics are comfortable with the seat positioning being upright and the tank can be grabbed perfectly well for the sizes of riders. 875mm seat height suits anyone above 5’9. Adjustable screen, whic his super easy is always a welcome thing on ADV’s. The handlebar is wide to give it that typical BMW GS motorcycles. It is also stretched ahead a bit which makes it a bit of a reach yet being comfortable. Footpegs are rear set which helps grab the tank rather well. Seat comfort for rider and pillion is above excellent.

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Powering the motorcycle is a 853cc engine making 90 PS and 90 Nm of torque from a 4-valve, DOHC, liquid-cooled four-cylinder engine. The motor is mated to a 6-speed almost smooth-shifting gearbox that operates with a fairly light clutch action and shifts can be clunky at times. The refinement is spot as NVH levels are well in check. You can rev it all the way up and there are negligible vibrations on the handlebar seats, and footpegs.

Low and mid-range torque is where it is really good. Fifth gear, 30-40 km/hr and reaches 140 km/hr in the same with a hiccup or two! The top end is good too as it takes you to 180 km/hr in no time. The cruising speed is around 140-150 km/hr, if you can find the road. The BMW GS 850 GSA does that in a calm, smooth and effortless manner before making it easy to live with and control-able to newbies who are entering this segment for the first time from their 400/650cc motorcycles.

0-100 km/hr takes under 5.0 seconds. The soundtrack, be it intake or exhaust note is good. The twin-cylinder motor with a firing order of a V-twin makes it a great bike to enjoy aurally. Throttle response is precise and power delivery is linear. Fueling is sorted throughout the rev range and makes it easy to ride in the city at low speeds. We expect it to deliver around 20-25 km/l. Overall, we are impressed with the engine and all its parameters making it an all-rounder. We tried premium fuel and normal fuel and found a substance in the way the throttle and intake note behaved and economy jumped by 1.5 km/l over the aforementioned numbers as well. 23-litre fuel tank only delivers 500 of range if you keep the throttle in check.

Dynamically, the front rake and trail are sharp enough making it easy to chuck into a corner for a motorcycle of this size. Composure while cornering is great thanks to a solid chassis setup and a large wheelbase on offer means high-speed stability is good too at any given speed. The suspension is exceptionally compliant. It is apt on our Indian roads. Despite that, it has excellent cornering and highway stability. Feedback from the front is good enough. The rear suspension comes with electronic adjustability.

21-inch wheels at the front and 17 inch wheels are on offer. We think this is an ideal setup. A 19-inch at the rear would have been ideal that is what a purists could say, but it just helps making this motorcycle a bit easy to manage in slow off-roading traffic and roads that we have. Michelin Anakee tyres for this motorcycle which perform well in the wet, dusty, sandy and dry conditions. There was a good bite at the lever and solid performance from 305mm disc at the front and 265mm at the back. Manoeuvring at low speeds requires a bit of muscle effort and even including at parking speeds. A motorcycle that offers agility and nimble-ness despite the kerb weight of 248 kg is just something truly vows you! Traction control and ABS along with adjustable suspension keeps you comfortable and safe given various conditions.

2024 BMW F850 GSA Review, Verdict

The 850 GS and 850 GS Adventure are now almost Rs 3 lakh cheaper than what they were last priced in late 2019. The current price is RS 16.06 lakhs on-road. A great deal, that makes the ADV segment rise up and take notice. The other bikes in this segment are still highly priced for reasons unknown! The reason this is possible is because the company has finally been able to bring these bikes in from its plant in Thailand where India has FTA with. All this with endless equipment, solid capability and fun to ride nature on the road and off-road makes it a great buy even today. The upcoming BMW GS 1300 will also makes sure BMW has an upper hand in the Adventure segment. A place where other manufacturers ruled the roost, BMW is slowly catching up. With the BMW F850 GSA, it is an ideal lineup of 850 series that truly impresses at first ride.

Mohit Soni
Mohit Sonihttps://www.thrustzone.com/
NOT A Commander, Director, Editor-In-This/ That, CEO, MD, President, Entrepreneur, etc etc. Just a first employee at Thrust Zone with a team of enthusiasts who love car and motorcycles more than anything else in the world, just like I do. Hashtag blessed

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