The hearty evolution of the Indian motorcycle market has given us everything we wanted. We wanted performance machines to be well within the buyer's reach and today, they are. While the segment with smaller displacement engines was infused with better power and performance, the big bikes diversified in purpose-built machines. And by the looks of it, the Indian rider loves to go off-roading or is interested in a motorcycle that does well on any road surface. So, I lived with - a BMW F750 GS - a purpose-built middle-weight motorcycle for some days to figure out why would I want a giant and heavy motorcycle. And as it turns out, by the end of my time with it, it had me nodding in agreement.
Let's begin with the name. BMW Motorrad has had a reputation to name its motorcycles with some letters and numbers. There's never a single catchy word to remember a bike by and with this one too – you get three letters and three digits. While in the F850 GS, the 850 suggests that it is powered by an 850cc engine, in the F750 GS though! It's also powered by the same 850cc engine so it's hard to guess the naming strategy.
Anywho, we're more interested in what the bike can do than what's it called. BMW F750 GS is no doubt a good-looker. Well, in all honesty, adventure touring segment isn't exactly the pretty swan of the motorcycle world. But the F750 GS is every bit of the GS family, which is a family quite revered in BMW Motorrad's lineup globally.
The F750 GS is essentially a slightly less powerful version of the F850 GS for younger riders. But that said, it is no slouch. When I say it is meant for younger riders, I don't mean a kid who's new to motorcycles altogether. New to adventure riding though and the F750 GS fits the bill well.
So, the 853cc parallel twin engine on board the F750 GS is electronically restricted to 77 hp at 7500 rpm but no, it doesn't feel underpowered just because you know that the 853cc engine should actually be putting out 95 hp - which it does on the F850 GS. It'll do about 190 km/h with ease and with 83 Nm of torque, it is quick too.
It may be an inline twin, but the sound the engine makes, how it responds is very much like a V-twin which means there's also quite a lot of vibrations. The exhaust note, however, can be improved by replacing the stock canister with a slip-on Akrapovic exhaust, which I would pressingly recommend. It'll improve the exhaust note a bit, it is over 2 kilograms lighter and hence will improve torque as well.
Moderately sized riders will find it easy to handle the F750 GS with an 815 mm high seat which can be lowered to 770mm or raised to 830mm. The kerb weight is 224 kg. The 850 GS is considerably taller and slightly heavier as well.
The BMW F750 GS is a very comfortable place to be on – the seat is large and well-cushioned so you can spend hours on the saddle. The suspension setup is not too soft like on the little G310 GS. There's 151mm of suspension travel up front and 177mm at the rear so it can take off-road well and the rebound damping (adjustable) allows it a sporty disposition.
The tyres are wide with 110 at the front and 150 at the rear and rounded as well, so you can lean the F750 GS into the corners. And, I have to admit, leaning an ADV is quite an occasion in itself which adds to the fun involved. The F750 GS likes the tarmac and it is rather agile as well. I would say you can live with this motorcycle as an everyday bike – no problem. I've noticed how big ADV riders refrain from filtering through traffic too much and stick behind a car. The F750 GS doesn't have to do that.
As is with most motorcycles these days, the F750 GS gets an elaborate list of electronic gadgets on board. Features like automatic stability control, ABS, riding modes - rain and road come as standard. Then there are optional features like electronic suspension adjustment, dynamic traction control and pro riding modes – dynamic and enduro, a quick-shifter among others. With such electronic assistance, the F750 GS will make sure it remains on it two wheels and not the other way around. But if you must be a maniac and wish to ride rally style and slip & slide, ABS is switchable.
While I said something about the BMW F750 GS 'fitting the bill' well earlier, it isn't exactly a very affordable machine with a seven-digit price tag (Rs 11.95 lakh ex-showroom). For comparison, the Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT is about Rs 7.5 lakh (ex-showroom) with similar power figures. But the F750 GS does have a strong presence on the road.
Brand perception is very much a real thing and that which surrounds BMW in India scores very well with Indian buyers. The F750 GS is clearly a head-turner with several people at times slowing down to let me pass through so they could ogle on the bike.
If you are into hard-core off-road - the F850 GS, with its bigger power figure, spoke wheels and more off-road friendly equipment should be a better choice for you. But realistically speaking, a motorcycle will spend most of its time on the tarmac and in that field, the F750 GS fairs very well with room for mild off-road capabilities well. It's not as big and heavy as a fully-grown ADV, it's agile through traffic, keeps you comfortable on bad roads or even off them, promises swift power delivery and offers a lot of electronics to play with. It can easily be a motorcycle you live with every day – a motorcycle that does pretty much everything.