Ahhhh, the “Ultimate Driving Machine”, with two less wheels. The BMW F 700 GS is the big brother of the incredible G 650 GS. Not to be confused with the F 800 GS, which if you’ve seen The Dark Knight Rises enough times, you’ll spot in the freeway chase. (Christian Bale destroys about 10 of them in 2 minutes).
Bane ruined that movie for me, but that’s a different story for a different time. There’s a lot to love with the entire dual-sport line from BMW, and the 700 GS seems to combine the best parts from each.
Oh, and we should mention that this bike has been officially retired by BMW, replaced with the all new 2019 BMW F 750 GS.
The BMW GS series serves dual purposes for on, and off-road riding.. hence why they’re called “dual-sport”. The F 700 GS has a 4-stroke liquid-cooled parallel twin engine making 798cc. Powerful enough for you to cruise through the city on weekdays, or commute to work, and yet wild enough to tame the wonderful outdoors on weekends. Sounds pretty good right? Personally, as someone who rides a street motorcycle, I don’t think I’d get much use from the off-road side of this bike, which is just fine. That’s not to say that you wouldn’t; this machine can hold its own just about anywhere. And as someone who’s test ridden a G 650, I’m sure the 700 is just as amazing (if not more) as the slightly smaller version. Of course, it doesn’t hold a candle to the S 1000 XR, but it’s not supposed to.
The BMW F 700 GS weighs 461 lbs. (209kg) with a full tank of gas. In terms of motorcycles, it’s not super heavy, and the relatively light weight makes moving around and parking pretty easy. Electronic fuel injection by a 12 V maintenance free battery sitting on top of your fuel tank ensures the center of gravity is kept low — this makes cornering easier and steadier. It has a 0-100km/h-acceleration time of 4.3 seconds and with the disc brakes on the F 700 GS, braking is a dream. The improved brakes system allows it to scrub off speed more easily with a light pull on the adjustable lever. You’ll cruise smoothly at 3,500 rpm @ 60 mph.
Optional Safety and Comfort
The patented BMW Motorrad ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) is now a standard safety feature for most of their bikes, but this can be turned on and of at your will. Additionally, Automatic Stability Control (ASC) and Electronic Suspension Adjustment (ESA) are available features for the F 700 GS. ASC has been constantly improved by BMW, aiming to make motorcycles even safer without comprising the thrill of riding one. By reducing uncontrolled spin of the rear wheel, it effectively advances ride steadiness in unfavorable conditions such as wet or bumpy surfaces. ASC is in fact, a supplement to the BMW Motorrad ABS as a traction slip regulator and the same as ABS; it can be switched off by pressing a button. On the other hand, Electronic Suspension Adjustment is here to provide motorcycle riding with more comfort, simply by pressing a button. A feature that allows riders to adopt their riding style to match road conditions and the surrounding environment. The adjustment is first made when rider selects the pre-load for the spring mount, and you can then select one of three options available; comfort, normal, or sport. A total of 9 different adjustments can be selected based on load and riding style for rider’s pleasure.
Look and Feel
You could have your BMW F 700 GS in Black Storm Metallic/Racing Red, Alpine White, or Racing Blue Metallic Matte, but if it were us, we’d go with the black if at all possible. The body itself is pretty narrow with 89.8” in length, 34.6” in width (include mirror), and 47.8” in height. Fortunately, 4 different versions of seating are available that would surely fit everybody, options are high, low, rally, and comfort. The high seat is the standard for F 700 GS. Low and rally seating are designed for riders to put their feet on the ground at ease and the latter one is specially made for seat for off-roading. Seriously though, that’s the first thing I noticed about this bike when sitting on it. The seat is SO high! It’s like going from a car to an SUV in terms of height and view.
The shield has been re-designed to ensure your dashboard stays clean for longer by sealing the space around the fork to prevent dirty water splashing up. Moreover, you will find the cockpit with a new dial face and a button on the dashboard or steering wheel, you can immediately check the status of the motorcycle with information ranging from water temperature meters, fuel gauge, to tire pressure. Just like a captain navigating in his/her spaceship. BMW has also replaced turn indicator glasses and the glass covering on the LED rear light with smoke grey glasses.
The fuel tank capacity of BMW F 700 GS is 4.2 gallons and it’ll hit you with a warning light if you get down to the last gallon. Don’t even ask about fuel consumption, this isn’t a car. It gets amazing gas mileage; that’s part of the beauty of it.
As far as feedback goes, the BMW F 700 GS makes not a good commuter, some even referred it as “funduro”. With the extensive range of accessories BMW has made available, you can turn your F 700 GS to somewhat best suit your riding style. Accessories include Vario luggage system, tank bag, LED flashing turn indicators, Akrapovič sports silencer, windscreen versions, broader adventure footrests, hand protectors, crash bars, and headlight guard. Basically, the BMW F 700 GS can be as on road or off road as you would like it to be. But do keep in mind that finding the right seating for the relatively narrow saddle can be tricky, especially if you’re a short dude or lady.
What’s the verdict? The BMW F 700 GS is sweet. Part dirt bike, part street bike, and a 798 cc engine make this motorcycle perfect for both beginners and experienced riders, suitable to roam from your door in the city all the way to the mountainside. Allegedly.