It's been a big year for BMW Motorrad, and it appears, they're beginning to embrace the dual-sport culture even more. Starting with the launch of Dakar-esque Sertao earlier this year, they've began to re-affirm the common thought that BMW is the go-to company for a round-the-world capable motorcycle. As of today, riders have an even broader choice within the already impressive line-up, with the launch of the re-designed F 800 GS, and F 700 GS. Keeping with BMW Motorrad's "Safety 360" initiative, both models will come standard with 2-channel "BMW Motorrad ABS," and offer other safety features such as ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) as well as ASC (Automatic Stability Control)
The update to BMW's entry, and mid level motorcycles is a welcome change, styling is more aggressive and in line with the specific purpose of each model. The F 700 GS has been designed to display not only its off-road capability, but also to show how comfortable it also is in an urban environment. For the more aggressive off-pavement riders, the F 800 GS has been designed to have a more elevated appearance, and a re-designed "beak," improving functionality as a mud, or rain guard.
The 2013 F 700 GS is based off the 2012 F 650 GS model, but offers more than just cosmetic changes. Even though it continues to use the same motor as its predecessor, and the F 800 GS, power has been increased to 75 hp, versus the previous 71 hp. The addition of dual front floating disk brakes as standard, will undoubtedly improve the stopping power, and confidence of the slightly newer rider that the F 700 GS is marketed to. For those who don't quite have the experience necessary to pilot the taller, more powerful, F 800 GS on the trail—The F 700 GS represents an excellent, versatile option.
The F 800 GS has been a succesful model for BMW ever since its launch in 2007. It's been approved by round-the-world motorcyclists, and commuters alike. It's high ground clearance, good fuel economy, and the addition of a 21" front wheel has made the F 800 GS the go-to for adventure motorcyclists looking to take their bikes down trails that it's bigger brother, the R 1200 GS might not go. With it's seat height of 880 mm, and capable, long-travel suspension, it has proven itself capable off-road, but occasionally a bit too tall for some. The 2013 model year F 800 GS offers a lowered option, by reducing the seat-height of the motorcycle by 60 mm via a lower profile seat, and a lowered suspension setting, the motorcycle will be a bit more accessible for all.
To be expected with a new model launch, the motorcycles will be offered in a selection of new colors. For the F 700 GS, options include: Red Apple Metallic, Ostra Grey Metallic and Glacier Silver Metallic. The F 800 GS recieves the following new colors: Kalamata Metallic, Cordoba Blue and Alpine White 3.
The main differences between the F 700 GS and the F 800 GS, aside from the additional off-road capability include:
- 75 hp for the F 700 GS, while the F 800 GS receives 85 hp.
- The F 700 GS features a more standard conventional telescopic fork, while the F 800 GS receives a more performance oriented USD (UpSide Down) fork.
- The rear suspension struts have been upgraded on the larger model, to a progressive dampening spring strut, versus a gas pressure spring strut.
- The F 800 GS, being targeted towards the more demanding crowd, features spoked wheels with a 21 inch front rim, where the F 700 GS features cast aluminum wheels, with a 19 inch front rim.
- A lighter weight aluminum handlebar has been fitted to the F 800 GS, versus a heavier steel handlebar on the F 700 GS.
- A lower seat height on the F 700 GS at 820 mm and (790 mm low) means that the bike is easier to control and less intimidating for newer riders. The F 800 GS measures in at 880 mm and (850 mm low)
- Weighing in at 214 kg (~472 lbs) the F 800 GS is slightly heavier than it's little brother at 209 kg (~461 lbs.)
Here's a list of new technical features on the 2013 F 700 GS and F 800 GS:
- Increased output and torque in the F700GS as compared to predecessor model: 75 hp at 7,300 rpm (The previous model, the F 650 GS produced 71 hp at 7,000 rpm).
- BMW Motorrad two-channel ABS as standard.
- Double disc brake system at front - now also for F700GS.
- Automatic Stability Control ASC (optional).
- Electronic Suspension Adjustment ESA (optional).
- Rear spring mount can be adjusted via optimised hand-wheel.
- Newly designed body features in a more dynamic, masculine look.
- New paint finishes for the F 700 GS: Red Apple Metallic, Ostra Grey Metallic and Glacier Silver Metallic.
- New paint finishes for the F800GS: Kalamata Metallic, Cordoba Blue and Alpine White 3.
- New handlebar switch units and brake fluid containers, front.
- New handlebar clamp for F 700 GS.
- Cockpit with new dial faces for speedometer and engine speed display and an extended range of information.
- New windshield for F 700 GS.
- Smoke grey turn indicators and smoke grey LED rear light glass covering.
- Lowered suspension for F 800 GS (optional/special accessory).
- Power reduction to 35 kW (48 hp) (optional).
- Engine map adjustment for regular fuel (RON 91) (optional).
- Comfort seat now available as an ex works option too.
- Case carrier for Vario case now also available as an option.
- New centre stand as ex works option.
- Comfort package: on-board computer, heated grips, case holder, centre stand (optional).
- Safety package for F 800 GS: ASC and ESA (optional).
- Safety package for F 700 GS: ASC, ESA, RDC (optional).
- LED auxiliary headlight for F 800 GS (special accessory).
- Enduro footrests, wide (special accessory).
Images courtesy of BMW Motorrad.