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Old 13th June 2024, 22:17   #1
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BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun

After riding the interceptor for 15k kms I felt the need for a comfortable bike with reasonably good handling. Not that it's a bad bike but not a bike for long distance touring. I have done 700-800 kms in a day on it, and wanted to have something more comfy and more sure footed around the corners. Interceptor handling, let's say, is very thrilling but not the best.

This was sometime around the end of 2023, I was pretty sure about the Himalayan 450, it has everything I needed. Took a test ride, was happy with everything except the engine. After the Interceptor the engine felt a downgrade, rough and lacking low end power. Rode a friend's 390 Adventure as well, again the engine felt like a downgrade. Till this time I was thinking about a budget of 5L for the bike and accessories.

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-himalayanshowroom.png

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-himalayantestride.jpg

Then came the news of honda launching the Transalp, I thought to check it out and if I like it then stretch the budget, yolo right? The bike came to the chennai showroom very late, went and checked it out. Bike felt nice and big but very barebone for the price. I wanted to ride it before making a decision, not going to book a bike without a test ride, not gonna happen. Asked a few times in chennai showroom but they were not in hurry for test rides as folks were booking the bike without TD, hell some booked even without looking at the bike. Finally one Transalp owner from Bangalore very generously offered me to ride his bike. In short, it was a major disappointment, I didn't like the bike at all. I had high hopes and almost thought of buying a Transalp.

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-transalpshowroom.png

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-transalptestride.png

One of my friends suggested checking out the BMW 850GS Adventure. Although I was a bit skeptical because of the service cost and also who will buy 850, BMW means it has to be 1250. Anyways I booked a TD with BMW, it was a nice experience, they agreed to give me the bike for a long ride. I asked for the bike early in the morning and they agreed, took the bike around 6am from the showroom and rode more than 150 km, returning the bike around 10am. Absolutely loved it, the power delivery was sublime, on/off throttle action was super smooth, no jerkiness. Engine is pretty much vibe free throughout the rev range, I rode in road and dynamic mode and like the laid back throttle response of the road mode. The best bit was the suspension, it was like literally floating on the road, not a bike for corner carving but does that pretty well too. It just flatten the bad roads like nothing I had ridden before.

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsatestride1.png

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When I first saw the bike in the showroom it was quite intimidating, I was certain that I would not be able to manage such a huge bike. The 850GS looks big, 850GS Adventure is huge, combined with 875mm saddle height. I was barely tip-toeing on the bike, I am 172 cm. But as soon as the bike started moving I was right at home, handling was fantastic and you don't feel the 248kg kerb weight, the test ride bike was given to me with tankful petrol. I didn't felt it being top heavy while riding, it was getting into corners effortlessly. While returning I purposefully took it through a busy traffic route to check engine heat. I rode in peak weekday bumper to bumper traffic for 5km, engine heat is there but I could live with it. I absolutely loved it on the bad roads plus the dynamics were spot on. Now comes the price, is it worth spending that much on a bike which I will use occasionally. I thought of giving it sometime, and not to book in hurry.

Also if I were to increase my budget to this range then why not ride a few more bikes. Called the Triumph showroom for Tiger 900 TD and they had no interest in selling the bike, actually they had no bikes to sell, the new 900 was supposed to be launched a few months later. Luckily one of my friends had a year old tiger 900 rally. Took his bike for a spin, rode 100km one morning and although the bike was great, I felt more at home on the BMW. In terms of service cost BMW is around 30-40% higher, being said that Triumph service is not that great based on various threads on tbhp itself.

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-tiger900testride1.png

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-tiger900testride2.png

Called the BMW showroom again to check 1250 as well, they only had 1250GS TD bike not the adventure variant. Took that out, rode it till the tank went dry, and had to fill a few liters of petrol before returning it to the showroom. I didn't feel it was worth spending 10L more on 1250GSA over 850GSA. I didn't want a fast bike, 850 had all the speed I needed. There are few things which are definitely better on 1250, it felt more nimble than 850, front brakes were unreal because of the telelever, initially it takes some time to get used to no front dive on braking, after that you can squeeze the front brake without any fear. There was some buzz and vibe, maybe due to the TD bike being 33k on the odo, some reviews say it’s typical of the boxer motor and shaft drive combo. Also I felt the suspension was a bit harsher on the 1250, I tried both road and dynamic suspension modes.

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-1250gstestride1.png

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-1250gstestride2.png

PS: its been quite long since I took these TDs so many details might be missing.

Last edited by Axe77 : 15th June 2024 at 09:26. Reason: Fabulous review buddy - loving it. Minor tidy up edits. Please use caps where needed. Thx.
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Old 13th June 2024, 23:37   #2
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Re: F is for fun - BMW F850GS Adventure

Compared to Transalp or even the newly launched 800DE, 850 felt more VFM choice. BMW bikes in India are fully loaded and come with all options. With the Transalp, even the center stand is extra. Also I liked the calm and relaxed engine of 850 more, rather than the Transalp or Tiger 900 which are a bit more sporty in nature. Purely personal preference. Few features which BMW comes loaded with, in no particular order.

1. 23L tank - I have done 3000 kms as of now and seen DTE of 600+ kms on a full tank of petrol, very convenient.
2. Semi active electronic suspension, very comfortable ride. You can change the preload at a flick of a button. It can dynamically adjust the damping while riding as well.
3. Keyless ride - very convenient while riding, especially with gloves.
4. Bi directional quickshifter - not the best one in the market but works well.
5. 5 riding modes - Rain, Road, Dynamic, Enduro and Enduro pro. I am most comfortable in road mode, have changed to enduro mode once and felt the ride height was way too much for me to manage.
6. All the essentials like center stand, lower engine guard, top box and pannier racks.
7. Really great LCD speedo console with the easy to use wheel controller.
8. Very good wind protection, the bike is huge and provides good protection for the lower body, my bike comes with a smaller windshield as its the rally variant, so far I am finding it okay.
9. Comfort seats - which are again optional on other markets as far as I know.
10. Spoke rims + tubeless tyres with TPMS. Tubeless tyre was something I was not ready to compromise.
11. Decent enough LED aux lights.
12. Heated grips, although not much useful for me.

Finally booked at the end of Feb 2024. There were two colors available: Katamata Matte metallic and Triple black. I wanted the gold wheels, so the only option was kalamata matte metallic. Gave the booking amount of 2L. Sales advisor told me the wait time is 45-60 days, depending upon if the bike is available in India or if it needs to be imported.

On-road price is 17.15L including 21k for 5 year RSA and 22k for 4th and 5th year extended warranty unlimited kms, no discounts. I am yet to buy RSA and Extended warranty. Planning to get it next month. Insurance was 59k, got it from showroom itself as I didn't find much difference in pricing even if I opt to get it outside.

Bike comes with a physical user manual, thank god for that. I hate the recent trend of giving just a PDF copy. User manual is very detailed and well written like anything german. Also very very small tool kit which consists of a spanner, screwdriver and a plastic lock of some sort.


Triple black color
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-tripleblackcolor.png

I started following up for status after 10 days of booking, at least expecting the vin no while the bike is allocated. Then I learned that katamata matte metallic is discontinued by BMW and no longer available. This issue dragged on for a week. They were pushing a triple black bike to me with some discounts but didn't like the black color. I was ready to cancel the booking if I could not get the right color. Finally the showroom guy said they can not do anything and I can follow up directly with BMW for resolution.

Send a mail to BMW the same evening asking how the showroom took booking for this color if it was discontinued. Got a call from BMW immediately, they said they will get back in 2 days. Next day they called me to confirm that one bike is available in another city and they can move it to chennai, confirmed the same.

Showroom told me to do the full payment first, I asked them to share vin no and bikes photo at least, I was planning to make the payment only after looking at the bike but showroom folks said that the bike was already billed to another showroom and they will not move it without taking full payment. Finally got the photo and vin no. of the bike on 19th march. Paid the full amount on 21st march, bike was moved to chennai on 27th March. Went to the showroom on 28th March and did a PDI. All looked fine except the battery, which was very weak, they confirmed that the battery would be changed before delivery. Odo showed 5kms.


On the PDI day
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsapdi1.png

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsapdi2.png

Requested them to use a flatbed for RTO registration and they obliged. Bike was sent to the RTO on 2nd April.

SA shared these images from the RTO
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BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsarto2.png

Finally took delivery on 4th April with odo showing 5km. I had a trip coming up in a week, so I couldn't ride the bike much in the first month of ownership. Still vividly remember having a red Funduro 650 poster on my wall when it was launched sometime in 1996. Back then I could only dream of owning a bike like that someday.

Just before the reveal
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsadelivery1.png

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-showroom.png

Cake cutting with a few friends.
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Odo reading at the time of delivery.
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsaodoatdelivery.png

Went straight to the temple for divine blessing.
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsatemple.png

Finally at home parking, parked next to Interceptor, it looks huge.
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsahome.png


Likes
Comfort for rider as well as pillion
Smooth engine
Fully loaded bike in terms of features
Big tank
Looks are subjective, I wont say bike looks good but it looks purposeful, if that makes sense
21” front with 90/90 tyre, 17” rear with 150/70 tyre

Cons
Weight, a lot of it, bike is 248kg with 23liters of fuel, could be a handful
875mm seat height. I am very much used to it now. But for some it might be a deal breaker
Maintenance and parts are expensive

Safety:
Dual front 305mm discs and single rear 265mm disc
Bike comes with cornering ABS
Dynamic traction control with wheelie control
Slipper clutch with bi directional quick shifter
Stability control - I am not sure what it is lol, remember reading it somewhere on the spec sheet.
Adjustable windscreen and hand/foot levers

Switchgear and cluster design:
I really like the LCD panel and the layout, it's a clutter free and easy to read even in daylight. On the left of LCD there is a proprietary BMW connector, which can be adapted to various ports like USB charging, it can be also used for charging the bike battery. There is a regular USB port on the right side of the LCD. Rear view mirror provide decent coverage and I dont see any reason to change them.

Left switchgear
Scroll wheel for navigating menu, it has a left & right movement as well. By far the best navigation on bikes I have used.
Menu rocker for selection/back operation.
Turn indicator with auto cancel feature
Horn is slightly hard to reach due to the scroll wheel, especially with gloves.
Dedicated button for traction control and suspension preload/damping
Hazard button
Auto headlamp and DRL button
Cruise control switch and toggle
High beam on the front which is not visible in this pic
Aux light switch below the RVM mount.

Right switch gear
Starter button
Mode button to cycle through 4 pre selected riding modes
Heated grip button

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-screenshot-20240614-11.03.448239am.png

Styling
Frankly most of the adventure bikes are not so good looking IMO, this is no exception. But as i said, its looks purpose built and some might find that beautiful.

Usage
So far I have done little over 3000 kms and most of it done on highways. Interceptor is going to stay for the city duties.

Build
Overall fit and finish of the bike is good. I don't see any reasons to complain.

Riding the bike
I find the riding position to be good. Seats are also quite good, not too firm, neither too soft. Bike is very smooth, so much so that few might find it little disconnected, “no feel”. Even interceptor is very smooth but still you feel the engine working below. This bike feel very damped everywhere, i like it, but it could be a deal breaker for some.

Engine pulls easily even in low RPM, drive by wire throttle action is very smooth and sorted. It does 100 kmph around 3700 RPM, very relaxed at that speed. Exhaust note is decent being a 270* parallel twin, it has a nice burble when decelerating. The intakes pipes are below the LCD console and you can hear the intake growl while riding the bike. The 853cc engine produces 95bhp @ 8250rpm power and 93nm @ 6250rpm torque.

Handling is fine for such a huge bike, it gets into the corners effortlessly. Suspension is on the softer side, combined with the 21” front, it just glides over bad roads.

Clutch action is little on the harder side, but quickshifter takes care of that. The gear shifts are also a little stiffer compared to the Interceptor but I feel it will get better over time as the test ride bike was much softer.

Have ridden a few hundred kms in night and found the LED headlamps and aux lamps to be good and sufficient.

Connetivity and app is useful, the phone get paired to the LCD. You can also pair the rider and pillion helmet comm to the LCD. All the phone/music controls can be done through the LCD and scroll wheel. All the rides gets recorded on the BMW app with ton of data like speed, rpm, ABS/Traction control activation, tilt angle etc.

Last edited by Axe77 : 15th June 2024 at 09:32. Reason: i —> I and other minor tidy up edits.
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Old 13th June 2024, 23:50   #3
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Re: F is for fun - BMW F850GS Adventure

Accessories

Got a few accessories fitted. Got following from BMW before delivery. I am not a big spender on accessories but went all out this time.
1. Security system, its a alarm system based on the bikes movement, Integrates directly with the BMW LCD menu, got it for 33k.
2. Front headlight guard. Priced at 12k
3. Mobile holder which clamps on top of the stock navigation mount. It comes with wireless charging, Type C port and a separate bluetooth connectivity, if you connect the mobile to this cradle then the BMW connected app can be controlled with the handlebar wheel and switches. This is useful if you want to use separate mobiles for LCD dash bluetooth and other mobile for navigation. Priced at 23k.

Below accessories were ordered from bikenbiker. Got these fitted before the first service.
Wunderlich tank protector, bike comes with lower engine protector as standard - 37,000
Wunderlich engine bash plate, OE bash plate is decent quality but much smaller size - 35,199
Wunderlich front and rear axle sliders - 9000 and 7500 respectively
Wunderlich side stand extender - 6000
Wunderlich quick shifter protector - 6300
Pyramid front mudguard extender - 2900

Went to get these fitted on one Sunday, upon reaching they were told that their senior guy who does all the installation work was on leave. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I fitted everything myself with a helping hand from the shop. Everything was installed in about 2-3 hours, referring to the wunderlich manuals, which are very detailed. Also wunderlich youtube channel has detailed installation guides. Everything was included in the package, even threadlocker and grease where ever required. Most of the products were pretty much straightforward to install, only the bash plate and top tank protector was a bit tricky. unfortunately as I was busy with installation, didn't took much pics. All products are really well made and very light weight.

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsaaccessoriesfitting.png

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-wunderlichuppertankguard.png

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-screenshot-20240613-234148.png


Apart from these my cousin generously gifted me the barkbusters which I am yet to install. He also got me a used set of BMW panniers and top box, combined those can beat my Abarth in luggage capacity

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-screenshot-20240613-234359.png

BMW OEM panniers and top box, as far as I know these made by Touratech.
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsaluggage2.png

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsalugage1.png

Got the first service done on 29th April with odo at 1006 kms. Engine oil and filter was changed in this service. Total bill was rs10800/-. I was keeping the engine below 3000-3500 rpm before the first service. Have done little over 3000 kms as of now and still haven't taken the engine beyond 5000-5500 rpm, taking it slow with this bike.

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsafirstservice.png

Last edited by Axe77 : 15th June 2024 at 09:33.
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Old 14th June 2024, 00:12   #4
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Re: F is for fun - BMW F850GS Adventure

First ride on ECR, very special

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsafirstride1.png

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsafirstride2.png

Another evening on ECR.
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsaphotoshoot-2.png

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-screenshot-20240612-12.48.108239pm.png

Went on a trail ride near Bangalore. It was good fun initially but got little dicey in the end. My bike is on road biased tyres, was sliding all over the place but managed to complete it without a fall. Not a big fan of trail rides, if its part of the route then its fine, but not gonna go on trail ride just for sake of it.

Nice capture by cousin on a DSLR.
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-screenshot-20240614-000554.png

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsatrailride1.png

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Odo at 100, 200 and 500.
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsaodoat100.png

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsaodoat200.png

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsaodoat500.png

Bike returns decent FE, below is stats from 900kms ride.

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsafe.png

Check out range with full tank of petrol, DTE 646kms.
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-screenshot-20240614-001605.png

Cousin clicked this one evening on a DSLR.
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsaphotoshoot.png

Another DSLR click by a friend on a very hot day ride to Trichy
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-screenshot-20240614-000636.png

Last edited by Axe77 : 15th June 2024 at 09:34.
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Old 14th June 2024, 00:27   #5
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Re: F is for fun - BMW F850GS Adventure

How this thread can be complete without detailing session. Got it washed after 3000kms and first coat of wax too, matte paint is much easier to deal.

Foam wash
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsacleaning1.png

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsacleaning2.png

After a coat of wax.
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsacleaning3.png

These outer spoke wheels are very difficult to clean, but color is
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsacleaning4.png

Headlamp without the OE guard.
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsacleaning5.png

Chain condition after 3000kms, bike comes with M endurance chain, which is supposed to be maintenance free.
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsachainbefore.png

After cleaning, not yet lubed.
BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-850gsachainafter.png
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Old 14th June 2024, 21:17   #6
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Re: BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 15th June 2024, 10:23   #7
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Re: BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun

Welcome to the GS family Rahulcool.

Had picked up the 850 GSA for a friend in 2022 (11k pre-owned at 12L). Its running just like new and he's having a fabulous time with it. Here's a click with my 1250 GSA -

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-20220130_081547.jpg

Wishing you many happy years of safe riding with the 850.

Cheers...
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Old 15th June 2024, 11:45   #8
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Re: BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun

Congratulations Rahul!

Wonderful review! I didn't know you took so many test rides before buying the F850 GS. I am no biker (not anymore ) but it was fun driving with you during the Trichy ride.

Though the bike looks intimidating, it was surprisingly easy to maneuver with the engine off. And it has been the first motorcycle where I didn't look bigger than the motorcycle

BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun-img_20240602_170458_514.jpg


Wishing you many many thousands of km of safe happy riding! Knowing your OCD for detailing, I am sure this is going to be the most detailed 850GS in the country.

Last edited by PrasannaDhana : 15th June 2024 at 11:46.
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Old 15th June 2024, 12:55   #9
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Re: BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun

Congratulations, man, for one beautiful looking 850 GSA.

This one actually got me interested in looking at bikes again. Though took a step back, but the spark has been reignited with your review.

Cheers. Have loads of fun with it.
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Old 15th June 2024, 15:59   #10
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Re: BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun

Congratulations Rahul, wish you lots of adventures and fun on your new bike.
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Old 15th June 2024, 21:42   #11
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Re: BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun

Growing up the BMW F650 used to adorn my rooms wall next to a Porsche GT1 ( with the Warsteiner logo splashed across it) and a Porsche 959. I used to love the design language of the bike and at that time never really understood ADV Street or Naked. It was just the cool factor. You are a lucky man to ride its modern cousin.

P.S : Happy to see Bodyguard muneeswaran being shown here.
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Old 15th June 2024, 21:47   #12
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Re: BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun

Heartiest wishes Rahul. Quite comprehensive and straight outta heart. Keep the rubber side down and here's to you for more happy miles and ownership.

Cheers!
VJ
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Old 16th June 2024, 07:28   #13
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Re: F is for fun - BMW F850GS Adventure

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rahulkool View Post
BMW bikes in India are fully loaded and come with all options.
Fantastic choice of purchase! Wishing you many happy miles on this beautiful machine!
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Old 16th June 2024, 22:32   #14
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Re: F is for fun - BMW F850GS Adventure

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
Welcome to the GS family Rahulcool.
Thanks man, that's a nice looking color, unfortunately not available anymore. I had also explored pre owned option as well but very difficult to find TN bike. Lots of bikes in HP registration, but pre 2020 bikes were very barebone as everything was optional extra back then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrasannaDhana View Post
Congratulations Rahul!

Wonderful review! I didn't know you took so many test rides before buying the F850 GS. I am no biker (not anymore ) but it was fun driving with you during the Trichy ride.

Though the bike looks intimidating, it was surprisingly easy to maneuver with the engine off. And it has been the first motorcycle where I didn't look bigger than the motorcycle
Thanks bro, that's the first time i opened up the bike a bit, trying to keep up with the altroz. Yes this bike is perfect for your physique.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepfusion View Post
Congratulations, man, for one beautiful looking 850 GSA.

This one actually got me interested in looking at bikes again. Though took a step back, but the spark has been reignited with your review.

Cheers. Have loads of fun with it.
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjacob View Post
Congratulations Rahul, wish you lots of adventures and fun on your new bike.
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doomketu View Post
Growing up the BMW F650 used to adorn my rooms wall next to a Porsche GT1 ( with the Warsteiner logo splashed across it) and a Porsche 959. I used to love the design language of the bike and at that time never really understood ADV Street or Naked. It was just the cool factor. You are a lucky man to ride its modern cousin.

P.S : Happy to see Bodyguard muneeswaran being shown here.
ya i too has a BMW F650 poster on my room wall, I remember some company doing a competition as well where they gave away few bikes as prize.

Yes, all bikes and cars go to that temple for blessing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VijayAnand1 View Post
Heartiest wishes Rahul. Quite comprehensive and straight outta heart. Keep the rubber side down and here's to you for more happy miles and ownership.

Cheers!
VJ
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SithDefender View Post
Fantastic choice of purchase! Wishing you many happy miles on this beautiful machine!
Thanks.
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Old 17th June 2024, 10:34   #15
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Re: BMW F850GS Adventure Review | F is for fun

Exceptional, unbiased & detailed ownership reviews of bikes have started going to our homepage reviews box. It's the ultimate stamp of trust from Team-BHP (as a platform) because lakhs of visitors every month check out reviews from there & make purchase decisions.

Your review has also been included here. Thank you so much for sharing .

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