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GS Trophy – A marshal’s story – The motorcycle – F850 GS

BMW Motorrad started the announcement of the GS Trophy with a new announcement that the official motorcycle for the GS Trophy Oceania would be the F850 GS. The F850 GS is a successor of the erstwhile F800GS which was a very nice motorcycle. The F850 GS was launched a year before the GS trophy. In India, I had taken this motorcycle to almost all the cities of the GS experience that I was running. At the GS experience are used to ride it for demonstrations as well as it was one of the test bikes for the participants. Because I used to ride the R1250 GS a lot I never used to get a hang of any other motorcycle. There are 1250 GS is a much forgiving bike because of its engine the way it is and its suspension set up.

The F850 GS was the same bike with which I had a small incident in September during the GS trophy India qualifier. I must say the incident had developed a preconceived notion about this motorcycle in my head. This is why I asked the BMW Motorrad India team to give me one motorcycle just before the GS trophy to get my hand on it. They were kind enough to give me one of the demo motorcycles with which I went on and did the practice before the trophy.

In New Zealand.

When I first reached our base camp for the GS trophy, I saw the motorcycles. This was the firsthand experience of these motorcycles that we as marshals were about to ride. In one of the explanations videos which Andy Dukes and Christian Pingitzer mentioned the set-up of the motorcycle.

Below are the things that were done on the motorcycle:

  1. Metzeler Karoo 3 front and rear
  2. Enduro footrest and adjustable levers – wider contact
  3. Mount for Navigator 6
  4. Rallye seat
  5. Heated grips
  6. Larger & adjustable windshield
  7. Headlight guard
  8. Bash plate
  9. Engine guard
  10. Higher handlebar
  11. LED auxiliary lights
  12. HP Sports silencer by Akrapovic

And of course, somehow I felt that the front suspension had a better preload and rebound than the motorcycle that I had in India.

How each addon performed.

At the GS Trophy, Metzeler prepared a nice setup of tyres for the F850 GS. I used to call it Karoo 3.5 as its slightly harder keeping in mind the coarse roads and unpaved gravel. And it worked so well. The heated grips were a must as in New Zealand you get all 4 seasons in one single day. Hence the morning’s very very cold and freezing especially near the Mount cook area.

With this setup, after riding this motorcycle for over 5400 km over all kinds of trains in New Zealand, I can safely say that this set up is the perfect midsegment adventure rally set up from BMW Motorrad. What I could also feel is that this particular motorcycle is so much more forgiving and have started to appreciate the F850 GS even more. Don’t take me wrong, I’m used to riding the 1250 GS which is why it’s a bad comparison. But, if you look at the F850 GS individually, it’s a remarkable motorcycle.

So, what do you think about this post? I would be talking about the equipment in the next post.