We’re really excited about the new BMW F800GS. Weighing just 174kg dry and making 85bhp through a punchy 800cc parallel-twin, it’s both light enough to actually go off-road (BMW designed it to be as effective as the HP2 Enduro) and fast enough to be good on it. It also packs some seriously clever design solutions, foremost of which is the tubular steel trellis frame.
First, the frame is pinched just aft of the headstock, allowing space
for the forks to rotate through an impressive 42° of steering lock
while maintaining the necessary strength and stiffness for good
handling. Conventional designs travel straight ahead, restricting the
degree to which the forks can rotate, and thusly your low-speed,
The GS’s frame also contains all critical components within its
protective embrace. In a low- to medium-speed crash, such as you’re
inevitably going to have if you take it to the dirt, you’ll only damage
cosmetic parts, allowing you to keep going. The radiator is also
attached to the frame on flexible mountings, meaning the shock of
crashing shouldn’t damage the water-cooling. Especially handy if your
BMW dealer is an ocean or two away.