BMW Motorrad is planning to expand its middleweight tourer segment with a new product that would appeal to the buyers who aren’t too fond of the off-road-focused F 850 GS. The upcoming motorcycle is yet to be showcased to the public although a test mule was a middleweight product was seen on European tarmac in November 2018 during one of its pre-launch runs. The news of the F 850 RS was confirmed after BMW Motorrad’s 2019 line-up brochure revealed the name of the road-focused bike. There is no official launch date available yet, but we could see the model arrive very soon.
The F 850 RS mid-range tourer is both popular and versatile and a fantastic choice for those wishing to enter the BMW touring range of motorcycles.
Followers of the industry would know that BMW also offers a tourer, the R 1250 RS, alongside its iconic adventure motorcycle, the R 1250 GS. The same strategy could be seen in the middleweight segment where BMW Motorrad would try to appeal to the tarmac-touring enthusiasts with the R 850 RS.
Being a road-focused motorcycle, the R 850 RS would receive 17-inch alloy wheels on both ends. The 17-inch wheel setup would give it better on-road character than the F 850 GS that gets a 21-inch front wheel. A semi-fairing design and a windscreen would continue to offer better comfort on the highways by providing protection against windblasts. Styling cue would most likely be inspired from the R 1250 RS so expect to see a sleek fascia.
Expect the feature list on the F 850 RS to include full LED lighting (including blinker) - a feature that is already seen on the F 850 GS. The instrument console would consist of a full-colour display with Bluetooth for smartphone integration to control music and phone call during the ride. The R 1250 GS style controller, which is also seen on the F 850 GS, would enable easy access to various features on the instrument console without having to take off the hand from the handlebar.
The ground clearance would not be as extreme as the F 850 GS, which would offer a more accessible seat height than its adventure spec sibling. The saddle design would most likely be retained, and thus buyers would get a single-piece, step-up seat with the RS model. The exhaust, unlike the GS branded middleweight, would be placed at the conventional spot.
Engine specifications would retain the 853 cc, liquid-cooled, parallel two-cylinder, four valves per cylinder motor with two overhead camshafts. The unit on the F 850 GS is rated to deliver 95 hp at 8,250 rpm and 92 Nm of peak torque at 6,250 rpm. The mapping and the gear ratio on the F 850 RS would most likely be re-tuned to match its on-road character. The engine would be mated to a six-speed transmission and would feature a slipper clutch.
Suspension setup would feature upside-down telescopic forks at the front and an adjustable monoshock at the rear. Dual disc brakes at the front and a single disc at the back would perform anchoring tasks. The F 850 GS comes with 305 mm discs at the front, but the F 850 RS could receive 320 mm units. ABS would come as standard although we're not sure if the RS-badged model would get a switchable unit.
The touring capabilities would be further enhanced with a plethora of optional accessories that would include panniers, top-box, heated grips, GPS mounts and a lot more.
Being named in the 2019 range brochure, it would not be long before we hear an official announcement about the F 850 RS. Expect the motorcycle to reach Indian shores to take the battle against the range of sports tourers in the country such as the upcoming Honda CBR650R, Kawasaki Versys and the Ducati Multistrada 950 among others. The price could be in the same vicinity, if not marginally lower, than the F 850 GS. The off-road spec middleweight motorcycle retails for INR 137 lakh (ex-showroom Pan India).
Feature image of BMW F 850 GS for representation only