Adventure touring’s rapidly expanding universe can be traced back to a Big Bang moment: BMW’s introduction of the R80G/S in 1980. Gelände/Strasse—Off-road/Road in German, or GS for short—has become much more than just a model designation. Among the BMW faithful, it has become an expansive identity, representing not only versatile, do-it-all motorcycles but the entire Zeitgeist of two-wheeled adventure, encompassing everything from how GS owners talk, ride and spend their money to what they dream about.
BMW’s GS line has evolved and expanded over time. In addition to its R-model boxer twins, which have grown in displacement (from 800cc to 1,170cc) and sophistication, the F 650 GS single was introduced in 1993 (now called the G 650 GS) and the F 800 GS parallel twin was introduced in 2009 (and won Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year award). In 2001, two years after the R 1150 GS chugged onto the scene, BMW released the R 1150 GS Adventure, a brawny up-spec model with more suspension travel, a larger fuel tank, a beefy skid plate and engine guards, hard luggage, knobby tires, ABS and other goodies as standard equipment.
Like an honor passed down from master to apprentice, the Adventure moniker is now being applied to the F 800 GS, which was updated for 2013. The new BMW F 800 GS Adventure is powered by the same liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 798cc parallel twin as the base-model F 800 GS, which makes a claimed 85 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 61 lb-ft of torque at 5,750 rpm.
The base and Adventure models share the same tubular-steel space frame, but the Adventure’s rear subframe is reinforced to accommodate the larger, 6.3-gallon (up from 4.2) underseat fuel tank. Like the F 800 GS, the Adventure is equipped with standard ABS; Automatic Stability Control (ASC) and Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) are available options. New to the Adventure is an optional Enduro mode for ASC, which increases the slip threshold of the ABS and ASC for off-road riding.
New bodywork, a more comfortable seat, a larger windscreen and standard hand guards further distinguish the Adventure from the base model. Given its more off-road-going intent, the Adventure also features wide enduro footrests, an adjustable, reinforced foot brake lever, engine guards and a pannier rack that also protects the fuel tank.
The new F 800 GS Adventure will first hit the market in a 1,000-unit “Launch Edition,” with Sandrover matte paint and three equipment packages: Comfort – onboard computer, heated grips and a centre stand; Enduro – ASC plus Enduro mode; and Special accessories – lockable aluminum cases, a top case holder and BMW Motorrad Navigator Adventure including holder and cable. In typical BMW fashion, a wide range of accessories will be available, including knobby tires, LED auxiliary headlight, luggage, low seat and more.
The F 800 GS Adventure will be in dealers this summer. Pricing is TBD.
I just saw one of these Adventure versions at my local dealer – looks like an awesome machine. I own a 2012 f650gs twin (same engine, lower output) but unfortunately have found BMW giving zero warranty support for several issues my BMW has had. Fortunately, I bought the BMW manual on CD and have been able to rectify all the defects on my own (but with my own $$$). These bikes are of great and solid design, but I suspect BMW is having some very serious factory quality issues with their machines. Of course, I would still love to buy one of these! Just be sure you are buying from a dealer with certified BMW mechanics on staff.