With the BMW GS Rallye taking place in Martinborough on November 7, we managed to persuade BMW NZ to lend us one of the sweetest models in the GS range to have some fun.
Now, some of you might be thinking that the 750 wouldn’t be your first choice for an adventure machine, and it’s true that BMW Motorrad has some much more serious (and bigger) models in the GS range. But that’s the crux, bigger isn’t always better, and when we first rode the 750 GS on its release, our first thought was this was a bike you could seriously ride around the world on.
The parallel-twin produces a civilised 77hp at 7,500rpm which, if we’re honest, isn’t going to set the world alight. Combined with the 83Nm of torque at 6,000rpm though, and what you get is a power delivery which provides decent drive without feeling like it wants to overwhelm the rear wheel each time you crack on the throttle. On the road it translates to a nippy and fun experience, especially for the NZ environment where we aren’t wanting something which will easily hit 200clicks and are more interested in midrange power and overtaking ease.
As you’d expect, it’s off-road where the motor comes into its own, offering plenty of traction and forward drive rather than spinning up and heading sideways, which is fun, but not the most effective way of heading forwards.
The other benefit of the 750 GS is the height of the saddle, or lack of it. Nope, you don’t need a ladder to get your leg over the bike with the seat a comfortable 815mm off the deck on the standard version and a lowly 770mm with the lowering kit. That means it’s easy to get your feet on the floor when the going gets tricky.
Despite being the smaller variety it doesn’t mean that the 750 has lost any of the techno gadgets we seem to love on adventure bikes. The TFT screen is a meaty 6.5 inch variety, with all the info able to be read by the aging eyes of today’s adventure riders.
With the ride being a navigational rallye, that means you either need a route book attached to the handlebars to give you step-by-step instructions which you roll through as you ride, or, you download a GPX file for your GPS. With the modern GS range, downloading the Motorrad Navigation app to your phone and then connecting it via Bluetooth to the bike allows you to run the directions from your phone onto the dash. You can also then connect your Bluetooth helmet intercom and manage the entire process via the TFT screen.
Heated grips and a quickshifter will make riding more comfortable, while the ability to switch between four rider modes will transform the way the rider aids behave depending on the conditions. The Enduro mode should be the setting of choice when we hit the gravel, allowing for more slip from the rear wheel to assist with steering.
With the ride consisting of 300km of gravel roads, despite the organisers advising that there are no ‘challenge sections’ they still recommended sourcing some knobbly tyres. So I opted for Bridgestone’s AX41s which look seriously aggressive but still offer reasonable performance on the road. New block patterns designed to reduce block deformation under acceleration and braking help keep the knobs sharp for increased traction off-road, while a 30% increase in rigidity and strength from the compound add longevity.
Fitted for us by the team at Boyds Motorcycles who put the bike together, the F750GS certainly looks like it could tackle anything.
The choice between route book and GPS (or maybe both) is a hard one as we love the old-school technique of the paper directions. To accommodate this on the bike we fitted a route book holder from Eurobike Wholesale which is the perfect tool for the job.
But we’re also going to mount the phone using an SP Connect mounting kit, just so we’ve got both bases covered.
The rallye is taking place in Martinborough on Saturday 7th November, with around 140 keen BMW GS riders all descending on the area more accustomed to wine tours and camper vans. With a meal on Friday night where many will get their route books sorted, the ride will depart early the next morning before returning back to the base of the rugby club for a BBQ and dinner.
As it’s a navigational rally you can run at your own pace and don’t need to sit in the dust of the guy in front just so you know where to go. So it’s the perfect opportunity to dip your toe into adventure riding or just get to learn some new roads.
We can’t wait. Follow our exploits on BRM’s Facebook page.
BMW F 750 GS
Price: $19,790 + ORC (standard) | $25,990 (as tested)
Water-cooled 4-stroke in-line two-cylinder engine, four valves per cylinder, two overhead camshafts, dry sump lubrication
Bore / stroke
84 mm x 77 mm
57 kW (77 hp) at 7,500 rpm
OE output reduction to 35 kW (48 hp) at 6,500 rpm
83 Nm at 6,000 rpm
OE output reduction: 63 Nm at 4,500 rpm
Fuel consumption per 100 km based on WMTC
Unleaded regular, minimum octane number 91 (RON)
Bridge-type frame, steel shell construction
Front wheel / suspension
Telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm
Rear wheel / suspension
Cast aluminium dual swing arm, central spring strut, spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable, rebound damping adjustable
Suspension travel, front / rear
151 mm / 177 mm (OE: suspension lowering kit 131 mm / 157 mm)
Dual disc brake, floating brake discs, Ø 305 mm, double-piston floating caliper
Single disc brake, Ø 265 mm, single-piston floating caliper
BMW Motorrad ABS (disengageable)
Dimensions / weights
815 mm (OE suspension lowering kit: 770 mm, OE low seat: 790 mm, OE comfort seat: 830 mm)
Inner leg curve
1,830 mm (OE suspension lowering kit: 1,750 mm, OE low seat: 1,790 mm, OE comfort seat: 1,870 mm)
Usable tank volume
approx. 3.5 l
Height (excl. mirrors)
Width (incl. mirrors)
Unladen weight, road ready, fully fuelled 1)
Options on test bike
Light White, Led headlight, Keyless ride, Daytime riding light, Touring package, Dynamic package, Suspension lowering kit, Heated grips, Tyre pressure control, Led turn indicators, Connectivity, Double seat bench low