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BMW R1250GS - the first drive
New engine.

GSy are motorcycles that I know quite well. I had two (2006 and 2012), on the latter (R1200GS Adventure - 2012) I did over 50,000 km. I also drove the previous one  version of the R1200GS (2014) and the R1200GS Adventure (2016). So I think I have a good comparison and I can say something about the evolution that subsequent models are undergoing.  


R1250GS I traveled from Warsaw to Zawiercie and back (for Yamaha Tenere 700 tests), and I drove around the city a bit in the evening - a total of about 640 km. I did not drive off the asphalt. I rented a motorbike from a rental company.


The GS1250 differs from its predecessor basically only in the new engine, everything else (appearance, frame, suspensions) is the same. "Just the engine" is a lot of change, after all, it is the heart of the bike.  


The new engine has 84cc larger displacement compared to the previous model and a variable valve timing system that BMW dubbed Shift Cam Technology . A camshaft on the same shaft has two different pairs of valve lifters. One opens the valves completely, providing the maximum dose of the fuel-air mixture, and the other opens the valves only partially, which is effective  softer  handing over  power and less  fuel consumption. The computer decides which pushers to use depending on the engine speed and throttle opening. In practice, at lower revs and with gentle throttle operation, the engine in the new GS is very “smooth”, gives power smoothly and is soothed. It also does not generate practically any vibrations ... It favors precise dosing of power at low engine revolutions, which can be very useful during maneuvering and off-road driving. However, I liked it on average, it is not something that bothers me, but I still miss a bit of such pure mechanical power, uncontrolled by a computer, in a very low RPM range.  more aggressive work, where power is immediately available, I liked this character in the older model (in my opinion the last GS with air-cooled engine had the most of it). However , objectively approaching the subject, it has more advantages and it can be said that the new GS engine has acquired a more work culture.  


What happens above, or how do we unscrew the lever tighter? Then  the engine ceases to be gentle, the show of strength begins. The new engine generates 136  HP at 7,750 rpm and as much as 143 Nm at 6,250 rpm (the highest torque in this motorcycle segment). R1250GS  can go full fire through practically the entire RPM range. From 2000 rpm, we already have 100 Nm available and this value is only growing. At roughly 3,000 to 8,000 rpm, the accelerations are… addictive. In combination with the quick-shifter, which works the better, the more aggressive we ride the motorcycle, we want to go full throttle all the time, because it is so pleasant. Already the older model (125 KM / 125 Nm) was doing really well, the new one does it even better, much better (this difference can be clearly felt).







A larger engine, unfortunately, also increases the weight of the motorcycle, so it is that the race of arms, capacity, power and, by the way, newer and newer exhaust emission standards, make motorcycles also becoming heavier. The difference in this case, however, is only 5 kg ( 244 kg vs 249 kg - the weight of the motorcycle in running order) to the disadvantage of the new GS. Can you feel the difference? I think that this difference is minimal, but still noticeable if you switch from one bike to another at once. All this weight has increased in the engine heads which are about half the height of the engine on its outer sides. The valve covers themselves are visually larger on the new GS, which also means we have a little less legroom. Well, something for something. However, if we assume a new model  crash bars  and packed trunks, possibly even on the passenger's rear seat, hmm  I don't think anyone will be able to tell the difference in weight. But he will definitely notice the difference in power and torque :). Traditionally, the engine for GS does not sound beautiful :) Well, this model has it and that's it. The very start of the motorcycle is pleasantly low-key, the engine itself enters gently  higher revs at the moment of take-off, the characteristic boxer-like, slightly bass sound of the motorcycle being fired can be heard from the exhaust. The engine does not sound very good at low revs, especially when it is warm and we stand somewhere at the traffic lights. At idle, at minimum revs, you can hear the characteristic chirping of the valves and, in addition, "a little" of engine operation (the tested unit was equipped with a serial exhaust system, I think it is better on the Akrap), it is generally quiet and gentle. Fortunately, the situation changes when we add more gas, the more we add it and the higher we spin the engine, the better it sounds. Added to this is the great sound of the quick-shifter and it's really good!   Cosmic accelerations for a touring enduro motorcycle sound really good!  


Apart from the engine, the motorcycle is basically unchanged compared to the old version, but it should be noted that the supplier of the brake system has changed. Instead of Brembo, we now have Hayes. It is an American company that specializes mainly in the production of bicycle brake systems. The entire design and parameters of the brakes have not changed compared to those produced by Brembo, only the component supplier, the "factory" has changed. The brakes still work brilliantly. Their feel and braking performance are excellent. The braking stability is also very good. This is due to the Telelever and Paralever suspensions, BMW patents, thanks to which the motorcycle hardly dives when braking. Stability is also positively influenced by the combination of the front and rear braking systems - using the front brake, we also brake backwards. Nothing has changed here for years :)


The new GS continues to be one of the world's best handling bikes. The ease of driving (even for a person who gets on the GS for the first time) is amazing. Maneuvering, fast cornering, it all comes very easily here. This is why I like driving this bike so much. It was because of its management that I made the decision to buy it twice (for tourist purposes). The GSs also have the great advantage that they still perform very well even with a heavy load (luggage, passenger). With such a loaded motorcycle, it is still easy to corner quickly. There is also versatility, the GSem can be pulled off the asphalt and it does it really well. Unfortunately this time I couldn't test it.  


Motorcycle equipment is a long list, we can find here practically everything that the motorcycle market currently offers. We have electronically controlled suspension (ESA), gas control without using a cable, driving modes (basic ones are RAIN, ROAD, Dynamic, Enduro), a color tablet instead of counters (the so-called TFT display), on which we can follow everything that is happening with the motorcycle ( engine temperature, fuel quantity, tire pressure, average fuel consumption, range, etc.). Exit to the factory BMW navigation, which can be operated with a steering wheel knob, cruise control, heated grips, LED lights (all lights on the motorcycle are LED), dynamic traction control and certainly a few other things. You have to pay extra for virtually each of these functions. The basic price of the GS starts at PLN 68,500. The standard equipment includes a TFT display, full LED headlight (change in favor of the old model, which had to be paid extra for it), ASC (traction control), 2 driving modes (Rain / Road) and HSC (Hill Start Control, a system that facilitates starting) on a hill). You have to pay extra for the rest. The maximum price of an equipped copy can reach almost PLN 90,000 . It is much more expensive than it was some 6-7 years ago, where you could buy a fully equipped copy for less than 80,000. However, not only BMW is more expensive, motorcycles in general are more expensive. Two things compensate for the high purchase price. The first is that we are dealing with the highest quality, the most modern solutions, generally speaking the TOP motorcycle in the travel class  enduro. Second  this is very little loss in value and very easy to resell copies first hand. After 3 years of use, we can assume some 30% loss in value (it is usually 1 payment when buying a new motorcycle, if we use loan or leasing financing from the offer  BMW).  

To sum up, the GS is still one of the best bikes in the class, now it is even more powerful which is definitely good for him. The competition is primarily the Ducati Multistrada 1260 and the KTM 1290 Super Adventure. The Ducati is sportier, the "S" version is definitely more asphalt, the Enduro more universal - but it's probably better compared to the GS Adventure version. KTM is more radical, probably has slightly better off-road characteristics (R version), is more enduro than GS. The GS still seems to be the most versatile machine and it will certainly still sell best, which is no wonder. Would I buy a new GS? Probably not, but only because I have been riding a GS for the last 6 years. And it's not that there was something wrong with him, on the contrary, he never let me down, he was always hassle-free, comfortable, dynamically taking me where I wanted, it's more about the fact that I'm a little bored and I need a change. 


If you are considering choosing a motorcycle in the GS class and you cannot make a decision, it is worth taking a longer than usual test ride.

Thank you to the rental company  MOTO RIDE NOW in  rental and the ability to choose a specific motorcycle.  The tested unit was from 2019 and had 2,300 km of mileage (i.e. already run in, but still new, which I wanted) .  Rental  works in a maintenance-free system. Motorcycles are collected by oneself in designated places and returned there - it works 24 hours a day. Good option  for those whose wife has forbidden to buy a motorcycle  ;) 



Engine - BOXER, 2 cylinders, 4 valves per cylinder (variable valve timing - Shift Cam system), 1254cc liquid cooled


Power - 136 hp (100 kW) @  7,750 rpm 

Torque - 143 Nm @ 6250 rpm


Weight - 249 kg (in running order, with a full fuel tank)


Fuel tank capacity - 20 liters


Average fuel consumption - 4.75 liters / 100 km (manufacturer data), my car burned over 6 liters on average, but it was really a very dynamic drive.

Theoretical range - 400 km (about 320 km until the reserve catches fire)


Seat height  - 850/870 mm (in non-standard options, there are additional sofas with which the height can vary from 800 to 900 mm)


Front suspension - telelever - 37mm legs, 190mm travel (optional higher 210mm travel is available)


Rear suspension - paralever - 200mm travel (optional higher suspension with 220mm travel available)


Drive - kadran shaft


Price - from PLN 68,500 in the basic version 




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