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Thread: F850GS First 100 miles

  1. #1

    F850GS First 100 miles

    I picked up the new machine on Saturday and put about 120 miles on it today. What a motor !! It has been said in the reviews, but this engine is fantastic so far. Great torque, lots of roll-on power for passing, and all aound gem. As someone new to parallel twins (lots of R bikes), the only strange sensation is the lack of engine braking, so it feels like I use the brakes a lot more. The display is as good as you have read. Viewable in direct bright sunlight and easy to navigate around once you spend 5 minutes understanding the wheel and menu button. Much more to come, including a few niggles, but right now I am looking forward to racking up the miles !

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    Last edited by fawudd; 10-22-2018 at 01:47 AM.

  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Great!
    Keep the reports coming
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  3. #3
    Following the break-in service and here are some thoughts at 700+ miles.

    I did a 450 mile day in getting the break-in miles complete, and to see how it worked as a longer distance machine. It was all on-road except for about 30 miles of sandy trail. The seat was surprisingly comfortable. I say surprisingly, because on my former 12GSA, I could barely make it 60 miles home without searching the web for options. Comments on the pillion seat will come in the future. The ergos are very good seated, but standing not so much. The bars need a riser, and the brake lever definitely needs a height extension attachment. As usual, the stock pegs are uncomfortable standing for any length of time. Conversely, the windscreen is rubbish onroad, but very good for airflow offroad, but you could tell that just by looking at it. Grips and controls are all nicely placed, and the wonder wheel (new to me) is a very good piece of engineering, given the options for introducing a new hand/finger control. Like any new toy, I was messing about with it far less at mile 600 than at mile 60. Cruise control makes this a wrist-saving machine for long highway stints, and the excellent headlight can extend the day is so desired. Aux lighting is something I have added to every touring/adventure machine ever owned. This one may just need something for fog rather than more light.

    The display is as good as you have read. Brilliant in all types of light and stunning at night. I think it even draws the attention of passing cars! For the first time, I do not miss an analog speedo and tachometer. The interface does not start out being intuitive, but you adjust after a while. Resetting the trip meter (which I do religiously still having bikes with no gas guage) is surprisingly complex. It takes many wheel and button presses, and is too distracting if already underway. BMW clearly believes that we are now at the same stage of evolution as the cars and don't need this very much. A more significant challenge is the bluetooth phone/helmet scenario. Several functions (eg: music, nav) do not work unless you have both your phone, and your headset paired and connected to the display. My headset (Sena) already connects to my phone automatically, so if I want to get the F850 functional, I have to turn off bluetooth on the phone, connect the headset, then turn bluetooth back on to allow the phone to connect. This happends every time you turn off the bike! I am hoping that I just have not yet discovered some needed setting that will make this seamless. The good news is that once connected, things look and work well. The turn by turn Nav is way below the standard of Apple or Google car interfaces, but it is functional. Since this is all software, hopefully upgrades are forthcoming. Speaking of that, BMW could really take a page from KTM and allow you to put your favorite info on one screen. This entire section though is picking niggles with what is an amazing improvement in instrumentation and navigation. Durability and longevity are the only unanswered questions.

    If you skip the previous section, and just evaluate the motorcycle, I remain thoroughly impressed. The engine is the best I have ridden since the KTM 1190R, and that is high praise. It has plenty of torque, and plenty of HP for the application. The gearbox is typical BMW, which is to say solid and clunky in lower gears and great in the higher ones. The quickshifter is not an option I would have chosen, but it works. I tended to avoid it in the lower gears and use it for 5th and 6th gear where it was very smooth. It is not intuitive for me (in fact, it feels wrong!) to shift without the clutch, so I have to remember to use it. Perhaps over time. The brakes are very good. I have not taken them to the point of engaging ABS, and I am not planning to ;-) I have not played with the suspension yet other than selecting the modes to try them out. I will need full luggage and a pillion to really notice the differences, but hard braking does induce front end dive. Since the front is not adjustable, springs and/or valving may be in the future. Conversely, the front felt perfect for the short stint offroad.

    Also posted on my blog. More to come....

  4. #4
    Registered User drneo66's Avatar
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    1995 BMW K75s - 100k and climbing!
    2007 BMW R1200RT - 62k
    2009 BMW G650GS - 22k and ready for Alaska!

  5. #5
    Registered User powwow's Avatar
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    That's a gorgeous scoot...congrats!
    Larry Gregerson; Bend, OR
    MOA #93031

  6. #6
    Registered User
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    Still vibrations in upper revs?
    2015 RT
    MOA #46783

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Motodan View Post
    Still vibrations in upper revs?
    Not sure that I can answer your question well as it is all relative to me at this point. It is a quantum leap smoother than my former Sertao single, but not as smooth as my 07RT was at 36k miles. It is not very noticeable to me now, but I only have one longish day in the saddle, and I was somewhat intoxicated by the raw power. I am thinking that this will get smoother with miles, so stay tuned..

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