It seems like Indian buyers are finally affirming to adventure motorcycles, as there has been a lot of adventure motorcycles in the market of late, and, to everyone’s surprise, these are selling very well in our market as well.
That does come as a surprise for a market where the Hero Splendor series is the most-selling motorcycle in the market and one companion for all terrains for the typical average Joe. However, with the launch of the Hero Xpulse last year – which won the coveted IMOTY 2020 award and is also the most affordable adventure motorcycle in the country – and, before that, the entry of the hardcore Royal Enfield Himalayan.
It seems like there’s an adventure motorcycle now in almost every budget. And that’s a great thing. However, with more competitors in each space, it’s hard to find a clear all-rounder. So, we stepped into the middle-weight adventure bikes segment this time, and we picked the BMW F 850 GS Adventure along with the Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro for an unbiased review to help you make that informed decision.
The BMW here has always been the most lauded motorcycle in the segment, even way before the BS-VI era. It certainly has a lot of cult following and, on top of that, the BMW bikes name itself carries a lot of weight.
The Triumph we have here, on the other hand, seems to be the new all-rounder in this segment as we found out during our review in Morocco. It simply crushes everything that comes along its way be it on the tarmac or on the gravel.
So, starting with the looks of either of these motorcycles, both of them stand tall and feature typical adventure bike cues. The Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro looks very identical to the Tiger 800 it replaces, but it gets plain graphics and decals that really don’t make the bike stand out much. On top of that, being the Rally Pro version, it gets different suspension setup, spoked wheels, metal bash plate, and a few other things to make it a more capable off-road machine.
The BMW, on the other hand, stands proud, especially in the blue and white shade. It is noticeably sharper and looks substantially better than the plain jane Triumph bikes. Moreover, the golden painted rims, along with a girthy body highlights that the BMW here really means business. And so, it does.
With that out of the way, let’s talk about electronics. The feature list on the Tiger 900 includes traction control, different riding modes, bi-directional quick-shifter, and cornering ABS. It also comes equipped with a new 7.0-inch TFT display, which houses all the necessary instrumentation. As far as the electricals are concerned, being a modern-day motorcycle, the headlamp and taillamp are both powered with LEDs.
The BMW is no slouch either when it comes to the feature list. The optional connectivity features work in reference to a 6.5-inch TFT display that can also be accounted for as a fully digital instrument cluster. The headlamp and the tail lamp are equipped with LED bulbs as standard, while LED indicators, for some reason, are an optional accessory.
Now, coming to the powertrain, the Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro, as the name rightly gives away, comes powered by an 888cc in-line three-cylinder motor, which is good for 94bhp and 87Nm of torque. Powering the BMW F 850 GS Adventure, on the other hand, is an 853cc parallel-twin mill, which is capable of churning out 90bhp and 86Nm of torque. It, too, comes paired to a 6-speed manual gearbox.
On paper, the BMW seems to have a slight advantage over the Triumph given its better output numbers. However, to see which one of these bikes perform really well off the tarmac, have a look at our full review on autoX. Specification-wise, it’s hard to conclude a winner as both bikes are priced the same and are extremely good off-roading machines.