It was two years ago, almost exactly to the date, that BMW Motorrad unveiled their new parallel-twin engine platform in the F 750 GS and F 850 GS at EICMA. The engine displaces 853cc in both applications but runs in a lower state of tune in the 750. This year at EICMA, BMW could debut its first motorcycle outside the Adventure family of bikes to use this engine – the F 850 R.
The F 850 R serves as a successor to the F 800 R, a motorcycle that is most famously known as the weapon of choice for stunt legend Chris Pfeiffer. A look at the leaked image reveals that the F 850 R is a completely different machine to the motorcycle it replaces. Like with its GS siblings, the fuel tank is no longer located in the subframe under the rear seat and it has now been moved to the conventional position. The big side-mounted exhaust has also been replaced with a much more compact underslung unit.
The rest of the design is synonymous with BMW’s R family of roadsters, including the R 1250 R and the G 310 R. A muscular fuel tank plays the focal point while large tank extensions add sporting intent. The headlamp looks like a compact, but aggressively styled LED unit, while the single-piece seat is a more sober design aspect that should be practical in function.
The chassis and swingarm look completely new as well, and the F 850 R gets a conventional USD fork/monoshock setup. The engine is very likely to remain the same as the 850 GS, in basic architecture, but it will probably have a more aggressive tune and could produce a little more than 100hp – the GS gets 95hp and 92Nm (90hp/86Nm in India to account for our fuel). The F 850 R might also debut ready for Euro-5 emissions regulations, which will make it the first bike on this engine platform to do so.
We expect the F 850 R to offer a decent set of electronic assist, but whether it will be as comprehensive as the 790 Duke’s remains to be seen. The F 850 R will be a direct rival to the aforementioned KTM, as well as machines like the Ducati Monster 821. If the bike is revealed at EICMA, you can expect an India launch sometime next year.