One thing’s for certain, if you take a 230-kilo bike off-road, then you need to fit some decent knobbly-ish tyres. That goes double if there’s mud involved. And there was mud involved, and of course - despite the best-laid plans - we only had the road tyres the F800GS Adventure comes fitted with as standard. Here at RUST some things never change…
Sat in something of a very deep muddy rut, the rear tyre spinning fruitlessly, I was reminded of my very own words from last month, about big bikes making simple trails more interesting. This stretch of green lane was far from simple, so this was turning out to be very interesting indeed. And looking down I could see that the gear lever had wrapped itself back around the left footpeg. I remember writing in my original report on the F800GSA that it could do with a folding tip... How smug was I feeling right now?
But I wasn’t cursing the BMW… Far from it. It was magnificent. No I was cursing fate that had conspired to hold up our tyres in the post, and cursing my luck for finding a rut that was bigger than an F800GS.
Just a few hundred yards earlier down the same track we’d come to a natural obstacle that was a mass of polished boulders and moss, all stepped over a six foot rise. It had taken some application - and teamwork - to get the BMW over it. With a steadying push here, and a crucial heave there the BMW had made it, without leaving so much as a couple of tyre marks on the rocks. I was mightily impressed.
We eventually got through the ruts though, and after the pride of achievement, came the fall of over-confidence as slick mud and a random branch saw the BMW topple. No damage though - the standard crash bars do a good job, and of course mud is a soft landing.
You should be aware that I’m describing the worst green lane there is in Sussex. Known as a challenge to even the most adept off-roaders riding enduro bikes… that we even took the Beemer up there speaks volumes about its abilities. On other lanes that day, riding across a fair few streams, it was a care-free ride. The BMW is nothing if not perfectly capable off-road.
I really like the riding position when standing - very comfortable and spot-on for dealing with the little slides and corrections that come with riding on dirt. The suspension ably damps out the worst you’ll find and when we got onto the tarmac’d lanes I could enjoy the luxury of the smooth 798cc twin. It’s not the fastest of bikes, but it’s a classy ride.
Gear lever aside the Adventure is built rugged too; so this kind of riding is easily within its capabilities. But best done on proper trail tyres, eh?