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ADV NewsBMW F900GS And Rally Car Extreme Showdown In Dark Canyon

BMW F900GS And Rally Car Extreme Showdown In Dark Canyon

An adrenaline-fueled off-road duel between adventure bike and rally car.

Published on 02.20.2024

Toprak Razgatlıoğlu, the 2021 FIM World Superbike Champion, recently traded the road racetrack for an off-road challenge aboard the next-gen BMW F900GS adventure bike. Keeping him on his toes was four-wheeled DTM racing series competitor Ayhancan Güven who also left his familiar asphalt racetrack, swapping his circuit machine to take on Toprak in a rally car.

BMW F900GS takes on rally in Turkey Dark Canyon

The backdrop for the duel was Turkey’s enigmatic Dark Canyon. Renowned as one of the planet’s deepest canyons, it stands out as one of the most captivating and formidable routes with 38 rock-carved tunnels, notorious within the motorsports community for its daunting cliffs. The canyon is approximately 16 miles (25 km) long, plunges roughly a mile deep, and has a base that tapers to 33-49 feet (10-15 meters), with steep slopes that create a fascinating and challenging landscape.

BMW F900GS vs rally off-road showdown
BMW F900GS vs rally off-road showdown

Racing off the beaten track for the first time, the duo are seen challenging each other to push their limits in an adrenaline-fueled pursuit. The head-to-head looks more like a dance than anything with both Toprak and Ayhancan showing incredible maneuvers side by side as they race through the canyon. 

BMW F900GS vs rally off-road showdown
BMW F900GS vs rally off-road showdown


Even though outside his comfort zone, Toprak shows amazing control of the 500-pound F900GS, treating us to a thrilling series of high-speed drifts, wheelies, stoppies, and jumps throughout the video. After navigating his bike through a winding road full of sharp turns, Toprak added: “Riding a bike in a canyon is very different from riding on the track. My bike was too heavy to pull a stoppie, and it was not easy terrain to ride; however, it was an exciting experience for me.” 

BMW F900GS vs rally off-road showdown
BMW F900GS vs rally off-road showdown

Meanwhile, Ayhancan Güven, who achieved the prestigious Platinum license coveted by top drivers worldwide this year, engaged in the showdown with a Skoda Fabia Rally2 car, marking his career debut with this vehicle. “There were a lot of challenges throughout the canyon, and the tunnels were quite difficult to pass through. It was the first time I drove this car, and the steering set was completely different from the one I normally drive. It was a challenging experience, but I had a lot of fun.”

Photos by Jaanus Ree, Nuri Yılmazer, Mahmut Cinci, Red Bull Content Pool

Author: ADV Pulse Staff

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February 26, 2024 7:05 am

Comparing FACTS, the F900GS is less impressive to me. I think it’s a marketing move on paper combined with lots of cost savings for BMW (they need them after the R18 debacle!) with only one significant improvement over the F850GS. I compared the dyno charts from “Rider” magazine. The 105 hp of the F900GS are “marketing horsepower” because the additional power of the 900 only occurs above 8,000 rpm for a short blip. Below 8,000 rpm the 850 and 900 engines are almost the same. The 900 may feel more powerful because it has shorter gear ratios. That’s disadvantageous because the 850 already revs relatively high on the highway. In daily use, performance will hardly differ if at all. The 900 was needed for Euro5+ to maintain performance and to counter the horsepower deficit vs KTM. The 900 engine was already in production now they just need to make one (cost savings!). IRL the F 900 GS will never match the performance of a KTM 890 Adv. but the BMW engine is more cultivated than the LC8c. The adjustable Showa fork on the 900 is the one significant improvement over the fork on the 850. The F900GS is not 14kg lighter than the F850 GS. It weighs “only” 9 kg less than the F850GS. The F900GSA is actually 2 kg heavier than the F850GSA. As with the R1300GS, the 900 GS tank is half a liter smaller and made from plastic (cost savings). Is that supposed to be a joke? The 850 tank is already too small. I think the 850GS looks nicer and more dignified. e.g. The rear frame triangle looks cheap because the Vario case holders / luggage rack standard on the 850 are completely missing (cost savings)! I don’t know if BMW will offer a vario case holder for the F900GS. Really? The F900 seat is significant smaller. It looks like some of the weight savings (read: cost savings) also came from fewer, cheaper body panels up front. It’s a step back from the decent body of the F850GS. The elimination of the taillight is certainly a weight cost saving too. Naw … the F900GS is no improvement to me.


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