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Thread: F900XR vs. F850GS - practical differences?

  1. #1

    F900XR vs. F850GS - practical differences?

    I'm toying with whether to buy a new bike this winter, for use starting this spring. It being winter, with snow and ice all around, I won't get to ride anytime soon.

    Two possibilities are the F900XR and the F850GS. I got to see an F900XR at the local dealer, but not an F850GS yet.

    What are the practical differences between the two? How they handle, how they ride, etc.?

    How happy would the occasional passenger be on the back?

    How about the other variants? I liked the riding position of the F900XR, but I'm open to other possibilities.
    Current bikes: '07 F650GS, '98 K1200RS, '74 R90/6
    Previous bikes: '06 F650GS (totaled, RIP), '94 R1100RS (sold)

  2. #2
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Do you want to use it as a Adventure bike or Street bike?
    The XR is a Street bike with Adventure styling.
    Lee
    2022 R1250RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2016 R1200RS, 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  3. #3
    YouTube Mechanic adamchandler's Avatar
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    The 900 will have more horsepower than the 850..torque is the same.

    900 has more fuel capacity, is lighter and a lower seat height.



    F850GS:
    62 degrees steering head angle
    8" suspension travel
    4.9" of castor

    F900:
    60.5 degrees
    5.8" of travel
    4.1" of castor


    Despite the motor being the same, the 900 is designed & built to be ridden quickly, more agile with a lower seat height and lighter weight with more HP at the top end. You can tour on the 900 just like people tour on the S1000XR.

    We have an F750GS in the garage. it's a great engine. A full exhaust wakes it up as far as sound. They got the engine twin degree and firing perfect. It sounds nice once you remove the resonator. I think both 900 and 850 will be great bikes. the 850 will be more versatile and better for touring.
    Social Media, Newsletter, YouTube | BMWMOA Lifetime Member | MOA Board Secretary | MOA Regional Coordinator | Vermont BMW Club Vice President

  4. #4
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Adam why do you think the 850 would be a better Touring bike?
    Lee
    2022 R1250RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2016 R1200RS, 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  5. #5
    YouTube Mechanic adamchandler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Adam why do you think the 850 would be a better Touring bike?
    Personal preference.

    It's heavier, taller, will have more 'touring' accessories and an 'adventure' model with a large fuel tank and more wind protection. Sport bikes with 'flicky / agile' steering aren't my bag. I want something more stable on the road that tracks well with minimal input on the handlebars when I'm on the Interstate all day...Finally, resale value. An F850GS will sell faster than an F900XR when I'm done with it.

    These are all my personal opinions on why I'd pick an 850 over the 900. I weigh 250 pounds and am 6'3" so I like big bikes. My R1200GSA feel small under me and I flick it around on ATV trails and have no problem picking it up fully loaded.
    Social Media, Newsletter, YouTube | BMWMOA Lifetime Member | MOA Board Secretary | MOA Regional Coordinator | Vermont BMW Club Vice President

  6. #6
    Thanks, everyone.

    I'm still deciding myself whether I want the bike to have some offroad/adventure capability, or be more street oriented. It depends in part on whether I choose to keep my F650GS and/or my K1200RS.

    I may keep both of them, or sell both of them and get something else, or keep one and maybe or maybe not get something new.

    Since weather is not currently amenable to test riding, I'm asking questions in preparation for more clement weather.

    One thing I do want is cruising range. I'll look into that.
    Current bikes: '07 F650GS, '98 K1200RS, '74 R90/6
    Previous bikes: '06 F650GS (totaled, RIP), '94 R1100RS (sold)

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