2013 BMW F 700 GS | Road Test Review

2013 BMW F 700 GS
The agile, versatile BMW 700 GS has the tallest standard seat height here, at 32.3 inches, but with the factory accessory low seat and low suspension kit, seat height is just 30.1 inches. (Photos by Kevin Wing)

Height-adjustable or optional low seats can drop seat height by an inch or so, but for many riders that isn’t enough, especially on dual-sport/enduro motorcycles with large-diameter front wheels and long suspension travel. Given the popularity of BMW’s GS line, the Germans have gone one step further. Except for the G 650 GS Sertão and R 1200 GS Adventure, both of which have more suspension travel than their standard-model counterparts, all other GS models—G 650 GS, F 700 GS, F 800 GS and R 1200 GS—are available with low suspension kits, as are the R 1200 R roadster and R 1200 RT sport tourer.

Consider the F 700 GS, which we tested last month. For 2013, BMW lowered the base price to $9,990 and made many useful improvements: more output from its 798cc engine, a shorter gear ratio for better acceleration, a second front disc brake for added stopping power, and updated instrumentation, switchgear and styling. In standard trim, the F 700 GS has a 32.3-inch seat height. It can be ordered with a no-cost optional low seat, dropping seat height to 31.1 inches. For an additional $250, it can also be ordered with a low suspension kit, dropping seat height another inch, to 30.1 inches.

2013 BMW F 700 GS
2013 BMW F 700 GS

The down side of lowered suspension is that it reduces suspension travel. The F 700 GS has 7.1/6.7 inches of travel front and rear; the lowering kit reduces rear wheel travel by 1.4 inches, to just 5.3. For street-only riders, that may be plenty, but bear in mind that cornering and ground clearance will also be reduced. For these reasons, order a low suspension kit only if absolutely necessary. Furthermore, since motorcycles with lowered suspension must be ordered as such from the factory, the kit is not a simple dealer add-on nor easily removed if you change your mind.

2013 BMW F 700 GS Specs
Base Price: $9,990
Price as Tested: $10,495 (Comfort Package: heated grips, onboard computer, centerstand, saddlebag mounts)
Website: bmwmotorcycles.com
Engine Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse parallel twin, DOHC, 4 valves per cyl.
Displacement: 798cc
Bore x Stroke: 82.0 x 75.6mm
Transmission: 6-speed, cable-actuated wet clutch
Final Drive: O-ring chain
Wheelbase: 61.5 in.
Rake/Trail: 26 degrees/3.7 in.
Seat Height: 32.3 in. (no-cost optional low seat, 31.1 in.)
Wet Weight: 480 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 4.2 gals., warning light on last 1.0 gal.
Average MPG: 45.8 (89 PON min.)

This review was part of a four-motorcycle feature called Quick, Lean & Low, which was published in the March 2013 issue of Rider magazine. The other bike reviews can be found by clicking on the motorcycle names below:


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