Rethinking preconceived notions...BMW F 750 GS

Dirt_Dad

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To be completely honest, I've always held a negative opinion of BMW. Too overpriced, unreliable bikes that are best suited as Starbucks getting machines. I've seen too many people end up here after getting fed up with their unreliable BMW.

I'll skip the details of how one ended up in my garage, but it's there now, and I'm actually kind of excited for my wife to put some miles on it.





I've spent the last two weeks setting up this bike in preparation for a cross-country ride. Which means I've been wrenching around this bike a lot. During that time, I've been impressed with the fit, finish, and precision of what I've seen. There is actually a noticeable difference in the level of craftsmanship.

My wife and I have each put nearly 500 miles on this bike. I got to ride it in a nasty series of heavy rain and lightening. Bike didn't care and on the Battleax A42 tires there was absolutely no drama riding at 70 MPH in multiple frog strangling downpours. At 85 MPH the bike runs about 500 rpm higher than the Tenere and is just as rock solid on the road. It's an incredibly smooth rider.

My wife keeps saying things like, 'that turn used to bother me on the Tenere', and 'that was so much easier', and 'I would have dropped my Tenere if I had tried that.', and my favorite...'feels as light as my dirt bike (XT250). For years I've been wanting to get her off the giant Tenere and on to something more appropriately sized for her.

The chain drive is a big thing for me to get over, but I did put a ScottOiler on it and we'll see how that goes.

I have to admit, I'm far more impressed than I ever expected to be with this bike. Shockingly impressed. I'm hoping the bike turns out to be reliable. If it does, I wouldn't be shocked to find a F 850 GS on my side of the garage.
 

2talltoo

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Good for you I've owned 2 wet heads and 2 S10s and find both machines to be excellent although the bang for buck goes totally to S10 of course. Hope your wife continues to enjoy. Steve68 has called you out LOL.
 

Dirt_Dad

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Bang for the buck does seem pretty obvious. BMW wants a valve check every 12K and a brake fluid change every 6K. To do the brake fluid change correctly, I'll need to consider something called a GS911 ($400) which resets codes and opens the ABS system for the change...or spend over $300 to have the dealership do the oil change and fluid flush. Since this bike will be well over 6K in the first 5 weeks, that comes up pretty quickly.

I understand Steve68's thoughts. I may have said the same thing 3 weeks ago. I'll just steer clear of him until things calm down. :)
 

Squibb

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As a 2012 F650GS SE owner, a bike from the previous 800 cc twin generation (as well as the S10 & a few others) I can certainly vouch for the fact that BMW can produce a perfectly decent bike. However, in the rush & excitement of launching new models, we so often find the Bavarians have left some of the beta testing to the early adopters. This time, with the 850s it was the cams; seemingly made of cheese metal & all since sorted apparntly. Rumour has it that they were competing with the KTM790 to see who could get their bike to the market first, but some of the lapses in basic quality control are difficult to comprehend.

I guess the opposite could be said of Yamaha. Witness the delays with launching the T7, after teasing us for months. Then, outside the automotive sector, we have the Boeing catastrophe, rushing to beat Airbus to market, so a similar rationale but with far more devastating results.

Anyway, good luck with Dirt Moms new 850. They are certainly light & flickable, ideal for solo work & a revelation for many riders brought up on the big Adventure bikes. Personally, I prefer to keep a foot in both camps for the time being.
 

RCinNC

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I don't hate BMW's...in fact, I quite like them as far as their appearance goes (I've never ridden one, so I have no idea how they ride). Those maintenance intervals would be a pain in the ass, though. My recollection is that valve checks on something like a GSA aren't a big deal, but what are they like on the 750? I read on line that it's a parallel twin, so it sounds like it could be as big of a production as it is on the S10. At 12000 mile intervals, I'd have to do it every year.

Flushing brake fluid every 6 thousand sounds like a pain, too. Is that because of the type of brake fluid it uses?
 

RonH

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I hope it works out. I only owned one BMW, and that was a long time ago. I liked it, but only owned it for 1500 miles because the BMW "experience" where they more or less expect and force you to lierally live at the dealer. This did not work at all for me. Guys that are used to dealer service probably will get along just fine. Made for the higher class riders that don't service anything themself. If you are used to doing, and prefer doing your own work, BMW makes it difficult if not impossible.
 

EricV

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@DirtDad - Just remember what I told you in the other thread. As you have it longer you will gain better understanding of the bike. You should have already noted the flawed German tendency to mix and match fasteners in areas that should be using the same size and type of fastener.

Enjoy the honeymoon. It will be over soon enough. Then you'll start to really learn what the BMW experience is like. At around 20k you will begin to notice a change in how the dealer treats you. They will start trying to point you to the showroom and the new bikes more than being interested in working on your existing bike. Soon they will start off conversations with how wonderful the new models are, rather than asking what brings you to the dealership. After 35k they begin to ignore you if you're not asking them about new bikes. You have become an undesirable person at that point, only coming in for service or repair, not to buy a new bike. You're not the droid they are looking for...
 

VRODE

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To be completely honest, I've always held a negative opinion of BMW. Too overpriced, unreliable bikes that are best suited as Starbucks getting machines. I've seen too many people end up here after getting fed up with their unreliable BMW.

I'll skip the details of how one ended up in my garage, but it's there now, and I'm actually kind of excited for my wife to put some miles on it.





I've spent the last two weeks setting up this bike in preparation for a cross-country ride. Which means I've been wrenching around this bike a lot. During that time, I've been impressed with the fit, finish, and precision of what I've seen. There is actually a noticeable difference in the level of craftsmanship.

My wife and I have each put nearly 500 miles on this bike. I got to ride it in a nasty series of heavy rain and lightening. Bike didn't care and on the Battleax A42 tires there was absolutely no drama riding at 70 MPH in multiple frog strangling downpours. At 85 MPH the bike runs about 500 rpm higher than the Tenere and is just as rock solid on the road. It's an incredibly smooth rider.

My wife keeps saying things like, 'that turn used to bother me on the Tenere', and 'that was so much easier', and 'I would have dropped my Tenere if I had tried that.', and my favorite...'feels as light as my dirt bike (XT250). For years I've been wanting to get her off the giant Tenere and on to something more appropriately sized for her.

The chain drive is a big thing for me to get over, but I did put a ScottOiler on it and we'll see how that goes.

I have to admit, I'm far more impressed than I ever expected to be with this bike. Shockingly impressed. I'm hoping the bike turns out to be reliable. If it does, I wouldn't be shocked to find a F 850 GS on my side of the garage.
blaspheme.jpg
 

2talltoo

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I think ALL dealerships are like Eric's comment. If I were working on commission I'd let the tire kickers kick and find the true buyer in the show room.
 

Dirt_Dad

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.... Then you'll start to really learn what the BMW experience is like.
In general, I have a very low expectation of dealership treatment. I recognize Romney is unique in the world of motorcycle dealers and I don't expect that anywhere else. In our shopping process the Ducati treatment of a prospective buyer was laughably awful.

As far as the brake fluid change...I misread that in the service schedule. Their chart is setup a bit differently and I just screwed it up. It's a 12 month change. My bad.
 

VRODE

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Seems like a great choice for DM. I like the seat height also. The fact that it’s smooth at highway speeds seems to take care of the concern I had with the old motor (vibes). I’d seriously look at one for my next bike if I thought maintenance. was reasonable. Best of luck with the new ride!
 

Dirt_Dad

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After 5 weeks of ownership and more than 6,800 miles in most weather conditions and road surfaces, I feel like I have a pretty good handle on this bike.

Pros:
Too many to list. The overall package of this bike is very well done.

Cons:
Chain drive. It's messy and requires attention.
Small fuel tank - normally not an issue until out west riding at over 80 MPH. Very short legs.
Speedo inaccuracies - just like so many Japanese bikes, the speedo reads a few MPH higher than true speed.
Onboard navigation is not intuitive, poorly executed, and overall would score a D+ at best.

Some of my wife's concerns going from the Tenere to the little "750" pertained to riding out west and would the bike be able to provide a relaxed ride at the higher speeds. She did not want to ride something that felt like it was being pushed, or buzzy. After spending time in 3 states with 80 MPH speed limits, she tells me that is no longer a concern. In those states, due to her speedo error, she was reading 85 MPH (true 82) and the bike felt just fine. Those speeds did kill the MPG, just like on the Tenere, but the 4 gallon tank had us looking for gas as soon at 120 miles. Being out west, gas could be up to 30 or 40 miles away. Fortunately the remaining Range on the BMW seemed to be pretty accurate so we could determine if we needed to slow down to make it to the next fuel stop. More than once we pulled into the gas station with less than 5 miles remaining on the Range.

Having a bike that fit my wife gave her a much easier ride in the more challenging segments. Riding up Mt Evans in Colorado was very tight switchbacks in very heavy traffic. She was very grateful not to be on the Tenere, and even said she may have declined to go to the top on the Tenere. That was speculation, but the smaller bike did give her much more confidence. Time and time again, she said, and proved in actions that she is more comfortable on this bike. I did not need to re-position it once for her. That's never happened before. She also did not drop it once on this 6,000 mile trip.

BMW selected wisely with the Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A41 tire. We did some pretty hard rain on this last trip. Rain that caused most car drivers to be on high-speed wiper settings. Her bike remained stable, even when my Tenere with E-07 tires did not. It's a good tire that can handle basic dirt roads, which is all I plan to put her on.

The TFT screen on this bike is spectacular. Always easy to read regardless on sun position. Really shames the pathetic Garmin GPS screen I've used for years.

Overall, the bike performed excellently on our 6,000 mile ride. The chain thing is a hassle, but tolerable so far.

If this bike can prove to be reliable, it will truly be one of the most impressive bikes we've ever owned.
 

Cycledude

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Yes chain drive sucks but with a little experience it is easy enough for most mechanically inclined folks to maintain.

Does it have cruise control ? Hopefully I will never buy another motorcycle without cruise control.

Honestly I am rather surprised no manufacturer is currently building a bike about 700-800 cc with shaft drive, cruise control and self canceling turn signals that could do about 100 mph, I think it would very likely be a pretty big seller.
 

Dirt_Dad

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Does it have cruise control ? Hopefully I will never buy another motorcycle without cruise control.

Honestly I am rather surprised no manufacturer is currently building a bike about 700-800 cc with shaft drive, cruise control and self canceling turn signals that could do about 100 mph, I think it would very likely be a pretty big seller.
Yes, the BMW has cruise and just about every other electronic do-dad you can dream up.

The only Adventure bike with shaft in that size I know of is the new Moto-Guzzi v85. I almost rode one before getting the BMW. In the end, it did not have all the wiz-bang electronics my wife wanted, so it was not a serous contender.
 

steve68steve

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...
Honestly I am rather surprised no manufacturer is currently building a bike about 700-800 cc with shaft drive, cruise control and self canceling turn signals that could do about 100 mph, I think it would very likely be a pretty big seller.
The Honda Deuville (Dullville) was a bike of interest to me. I think it was only a 650, altho my memory could be off.

Shaft drive, integrated bags, Honda reliability. If it'd had a bit more room and oomph, or cost less, I'd probably have bought one.
 

Squibb

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The Honda Deuville (Dullville) was a bike of interest to me. I think it was only a 650, altho my memory could be off.

Shaft drive, integrated bags, Honda reliability. If it'd had a bit more room and oomph, or cost less, I'd probably have bought one.

Honda are said to be re-thinking the Deauville, in the form of an NTV1000, using the Africa Twin engine.

IIRC, a French bike mag have come across some drawings - may of course be photo-shopped. However i would make perfect sense to use the parts bin to improve the range whilst keeping prices sensible.
 
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