BMW F 850 GS vs F 800 GS: What’s Changed for the Better?

BMW F 850 GS vs F 800 GS: What’s Changed for the Better?

BMW Motorrad is out to conquer the entire ADV touring segment—now with the all-new F 850 GS and F 850 GS Adventure, which have been redesigned for the 2019 model year. 

Trust us, we understand; BMW offers a number of outstanding heavyweight machines with all the bells and whistles imaginable, the outgoing R 1200 GS and all-new R 1250 GS models are prime examples. These are the best and only ways to go ADV riding.

Well, not quite.

The middleweight adventure motorcycle category is highly potent and extremely entertaining. Case in point? The BMW F 850 GS and GS Adventure platforms, now built with an all-new engine, chassis, bodywork and electronics rider aid suite. A middleweight has never looked so strong…

Let's explore the details of the F 850 GS and F 850 GS Adventure, and point out key updates from the outgoing F 800 GS. Are the improvements worth the hype?

We sure think so.

BIG Engine Changes – BMW Increases Displacement on the 2019 F 850 GS and Revises Firing Order

Making the headlines in the unveiling of the F 850 GS and GS Adventure is an increased displacement in the BMW’s liquid-cooled parallel-twin engine.

The additional displacement comes as a result of the German engineers altering the engine’s basic architecture. While the bore measurement remains the same as the outgoing F 800 GS, stroke has been increased to 77mm from 75.6mm.

BMW F 850 GS vs F 800 GS: engine changes

As a result, overall displacement increases by 55cc to 853cc. 

Here are the engine updates:

  • 84 X 77mm bore and stroke measurement
  • Larger 853cc displacement
  • Updated and model-specific calibration

 Along with an increase in displacement, BMW Motorrad has also focused on improving the engine character by abandoning the 360-degree with a 0-degree crankshaft pin offset firing order for a 270-degree firing with a 90-degree pin offset.

This, paired with a dual counterbalancer, is aimed at making a butter-smooth ride at low-to-mid rpm.

 Likewise, Motorrad also fitted the F 850 GS and GS A with a model-specific ECU, aimed at improving fuel efficiency and throttle response, as well as dedicated intake and exhaust camshafts.

The More Power the Better, Right?

Increasing the displacement and a number of finely tuned revisions means the power output is boosted on the all-new F 850 GS.

BMW Motorrad claims that the new middleweight GS is worthy of 80 horsepower at 9,000 rpm and 63ft/lbs of torque at 6,250 rpm.

Sure, while an R 1250 GS cranks out more power, that’s a 5 horsepower and 2 pound-feet of torque increase over the outgoing F 800.

Here are the quick stats:

  • Claimed 80 horsepower at 9,000 rpm
  • Claimed 63 pound-feet of torque at 6,250 rpm
  • Improved fuel efficiency

Power figures don’t mean everything, however.

BMW's changes to the middleweight GS were focused on creating a more usable and friendly power delivery. And this is exactly what it did.

Initial power delivery is significantly smoother in comparison to the outgoing model, with an added pep from a shorter first and second gear is enough to pop over any obstacle blocking the trail. Oh, and not to mention a claimed improvement in fuel consumption. Win, win.

BMW Kits the F 850 GS With the Latest Electronics 

BMW Motorrad is known for creating the most advanced and best refined electronic rider aids suite for ADV machines, and the F 850 GS is no different. Each and every one of the GS’s features are aimed at creating a more enjoyable riding experience, while aimed at improving safety and comfort.

BMW F 850 GS vs F 800 GS: electronics and gauges

Built with all the right maximums and the perfect minimums, the F 850 GS is built to conquer the highways, tight backwoods trails and everything in between—and is built with electronic features accordingly. Standard features included two ride modes (Rain and Road) and Automatic Stability Control (ASC). But wait, there’s more…

Optional Select Package

  • Heated grips
  • Cruise control
  • Luggage rack with saddle bag mounts
  • Ride Modes Pro
  • Gear Shift Assist Pro

Decking out the F 850 GS not only adds on- and off-road prowess, but makes the middleweight GS almost infinitely adjustable. Upgrading with the optional Premium Package means receiving Ride Mode Pro, which sees the addition of “Enduro” and “Enduro Pro” modes aimed at extracting off-road performance.

An adjustable Dynamic Traction Control and ABS Pro modes also offer adjustability to rider preference.

Optional Premium Package 

Select Package features come standard, plus:

  • LED lighting
  • Keyless Ride
  • Tire Pressure Monitor
  • Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) or Low Suspension

Better yet? Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) automatically adjusts the damping characteristics based on road or trail conditions and riding style. And Gear Shift Assist Pro offers seamless up and downshifts in any gear. Neat stuff.

The BMW F 850 GS Edges Middleweights Towards Ultimate Performance

The 2019 BMW F 850 GS and GS Adventure are proof that the middleweight ADV category is continuously closing the performance deficits to the heavyweight machinery, like the R 1250 GS.

The added displacement increases outright power figures while providing a rider-friendly power delivery and throttle response, the latest electronic updates bring this GS up to speed with any ADV motorcycle on the market. 

BMW F 850 GS vs F 800 GS: controls and electronics

2019 BMW F 850 GS Specs:


  • Displacement: 853cc
  • Type: air/ liquid-cooled, DOHC parallel twin
  • Bore X Stroke: 84.0 X 77.0mm
  • Compression ratio: 12.7:1
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Final Drive: Chain
  • Fueling: Electronic fuel injection w/ ride-by-wire
  • Claimed power output: 80 horsepower @ 9,000 rpm
  • Claimed torque output: 63 pound-feet @ 6,250 rpm


  • Frame: Steel monocoque frame w/ engine as stressed member
  • Front suspension: 43mm fork; 8-in. travel (9.1-in./GS A)
  • Rear suspension: monoshock, preload adjustable; 8.6-in. travel (8.5-in./GS A)
  • Front wheel: 2.15 x 21; wire cross-spoke
  • Rear wheel: 4.25 x 17; wire cross-spoke
  • Front tire: 90/90 x 19
  • Rear tire: 150/70 x 17
  • Front brakes: Dual floating 305mm discs w/ 2-piston calipers
  • Rear brake: 265mm disc, with single-piston floating caliper
  • Rake/trail: 28°/4.9-in.
  • Wheelbase: 62.7-in.
  • Curb weight: 504 lb. (538 lb./GS A)
  • Fuel capacity: 4 gal. (6.1 gal. GS A)