In keeping with their tradition of naming their dual purpose bikes after rugged locales, BMW's new adventure-ready spinoff of the G 650 GS is dubbed "Sertao," (or, more accurately, "Sertão"), which refers to the forbidding badlands region of northern Brazil. The moniker extends the theme of the "Dakar," the bike's spiritual predecessor, which of course was inspired by the original pan-African trajectory of the Dakar Rally which has since migrated to South America due to security concerns. It's a sexier sounding name than BMW's first single-cylinder offroad bike, the F 650 Funduro, which launched in the U.S. in 1997 and spun off to the F 650 GS/F 650 GS Dakar, which has sold over 105,000 units globally.
I tested the BMW G 650 GS Sertao on trails and highways two hours north of Los Angeles at and around Rawyde Adventures headquarters-- considerably less exotic geography than the South American locales that inspired its name, but illuminating environments, nonetheless. Climb aboard as we explore this dual purpose ride on trail and highway.