BMW R1250GS ADVENTURE (2019 - on) Review

MCN AWARDS
Best Adventure 2021
WINNER

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £320
Power: 134 bhp
Seat height: Tall (35.0 in / 890 mm)
Weight: High (591 lbs / 268 kg)

Prices

New £14,415
Used N/A

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The 2019 BMW R1250GS Adventure is an outstanding bike, it truly can do it all. Tour, off-road, commute, or simply be weekend toy, it’s faultless.

The old R1200GS was a fraction underpowered, noticeably so when fully-loaded with pillion luggage and 30litres of fuel – but that can’t be said of the new bike. With more power and torque BMW have given GS Adventure more spice, it’s more fun than ever before, yet still easy-to-ride with perfect fuelling. It’s almost impossible to find fault with it.

It’s still a physically large bike, but that aside, it’s pretty much the perfect do-everything, go-anywhere motorcycle. But be warned: if you currently own GS Adventure and you take the new model for a test ride, you’ll immediately feel the difference, and your old 1200 will never feel quite the same. And if you’ve always fancied a big GS Adventure, it will be hard to walk away after a test ride without signing on the dotted line.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The chassis, suspension and excellent rider aids are unchanged. Our Rallye TE test bike came with electronically controlled Dynamic ESA suspension front and back with 210/220mm of travel, the same as previous model. The standard model has the same conventional suspension as the old bike.

The tall 890/910mm seat remains, as does the huge 30l fuel tank, combined with a more fuel-efficient engine should give an even greater range, BMW are quoting a theoretical 389-mile tank range. With unprecedented comfort as like the old bike that’s more than achievable in one stint.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
5 out of 5 (5/5)

The big GS Adventure receives the new 1254cc Boxer engine housed in the 2019 BMW R1250GS. The ingenious system allows the charismatic boxer engine to electronically switch between high and low-lift cams. The cam shifting doesn’t just respond to revs or wheel speed like some systems, instead it monitors throttle position and how quickly it’s being opened, and reacts accordingly to deliver maximum drive when you ask for it.

The German factory have also increased the new engine’s capacity from the 1200’s 1170cc to 1254cc, which, in partnership with the Shift Cam technology boosts peak torque by 14% and power by 9%, now a credible 134bhp. As much as I tried, I couldn’t feel the ShiftCam working, you honestly wouldn’t know it was there, there’s no jolting or change in engine note. It simply feels like a smoother Boxer engine with an instantly noticeable increase in torque and power.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Like any machine the big GS has had its fair share of recalls and issues, but credit to BMW and its dealer network, problems are addressed with typical Germanic efficiency.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The base price for the new R1250GS Adventure is £14,415, which is a significant hike over the now old standard R1200GS Adventure, at £13,400. Our test bike is the range-topping R1250GS Adventure Rallye TE, which costs £18,100 – compared to £17,120 of the previous Rallye TE. Our test bike was also fitted with Anti-Theft Alarm and Teleservices pushing the price to £18,320.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

The level of standard equipment has improved, with the eye-catching full-colour 6.5in TFT connected dash now coming as standard – it was previously £595 extra. The base bike also benefits from LED lights, ASC (Automatic Stability Control) two riding modes (Rain and Road), plus HSC (Hill Start Control).

The new connected dash is class-leading, and gives the Beemer a quality feel and will keep you amused for hours with a plethora of relevant and useful information, all linked via a bespoke app that tracks service information, and allows route planning for the turn-by-turn navigation through the dash. If you want the added bonus of cornering ABS, it is only available on the TE version.

The new BMW dash

Specs

Engine size 1254cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, boxer twin, ShiftCam
Frame type Steel trellis
Fuel capacity 30 litres
Seat height 890mm
Bike weight 268kg
Front suspension None (optional Dynamic ESA)
Rear suspension Rebound and preload (optional Dynamic ESA)
Front brake 2x 305mm discs, 4-piston BMW/Hynes radial calipers, ABS
Rear brake 276mm disc, Brembo 2-piston caliper, ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 R19
Rear tyre size 170/60 R17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption -
Annual road tax £96
Annual service cost £320
New price £14,415
Used price -
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 134 bhp
Max torque 106 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 389 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

The first BMW GS Adventure arrived in 2001, based on the R1150GS, and was updated to the R1200GS platform in 2006. The last big update arrived in 2014, when the GSA followed a year behind the GS with its upgrade to the water-cooled engine.

Other versions

BMW R1250GS

MCN Long term test reports

MCN Fleet: The BMW R1250GSA is a robot with personality

MCN Fleet: The BMW R1250GSA is a robot with personality

I really wanted to find a catastrophic flaw in the BMW R1250GSA’s skill set this year. It’s nothing personal, but having covered around 35,000 miles on GSs over the last five years, the cachet of being the one who finally manages to whinge (with supporting evidence) about the GS is an attractive lur

Read the latest report

Owners' reviews for the BMW R1250GS ADVENTURE (2019 - on)

8 owners have reviewed their BMW R1250GS ADVENTURE (2019 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your BMW R1250GS ADVENTURE (2019 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 (4.1/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Engine: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Value vs rivals: 3.6 out of 5 (3.6/5)
Equipment: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £320
1 out of 5 Be aware if you are under 5’10”.
29 July 2021 by Disappointed!

Version: TE

Year: 2021

Annual servicing cost: £250

I used to have a 2015 GS the only issue I had with that was range. So, a few weeks ago I bought a 2021 GSA TE low seat and was really looking forward to getting the bike.However, whilst I know the bike is exceptional (I also have a 1250 RT) I found that whatever I and my supporting dealer did I could not get a screen that didn’t create tremendous noise in my crash helmet. It was deafening to the point of distraction. I have a Schubert’s 3C pro and ear plugs. I also tried Arai.I spent a lot of money and time trying different screens, high/low, different manufacturers with varying promises of improvement. The only thing that worked was riding without a screen or standing on the pegs. Hardly how it should be. At 5’ 8” I must be unique. After five weeks I got to the point I didn’t want to ride this bike, my 10th BMW.I found a solution. I got rid of it. I haven’t missed it since. Unfortunately, it cost me although my supporting dealer was able to get me into another bike.Yes, there’s lots of comments about this being rare. It isn’t. I have found many comments from people through the ‘net under 5’ 9” or over 6’ 1”. I clearly wasn’t in the design height range.I’ve been riding bikes for 40 years across many manufacturers. I’ve not had a problem with any of my other BMs with or without screens. Examples being S1000R Sport, R nine T, RT etc.

Ride quality & brakes 1 out of 5

It had got to the point that I didn’t want to ride this bike. If it was anything like my 2015 GS or any of my RTs I be expect to cover up to 600 miles a day.

Engine 5 out of 5

I bought the GSA as the ‘cheeky’ alternative to the RT. It should be a sportier ride. It’s a great engine once you are used to it. Compared to the 1200 it initially feels like it will stall when pulling away.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

I’ve marked this down for quality I.e. the ride itself. Otherwise I’d give it 5.

Value vs rivals 1 out of 5

Value is poor as I didn’t want to ride it, see above.

Equipment 5 out of 5

It didn’t lack for anything and I sprang a further £2k on an Akrapovic and boxes. Tyres were fine - anarkees.

Buying experience: Dealer bought. One I know well having bought many bikes from them. A good experience.

4 out of 5 My 2nd motorcycle
11 July 2021 by Haydn W

Version: TE

Year: 2019

A great all around bike that ticks the “do-it-all” boxUpside - no chain maintenance Downside - cost of insurance

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Rides well especially in dynamic mode. Auto adjusting preload is brilliant.I’m not that “bike-fit” yet but can do an hour and a half currently without a break so I can imagine it being 2hrs + once I’m fully used to it

Engine 5 out of 5

Noise, torque and general feeling are excellent

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

Not due service yet but I expect it to be costly at main dealer

Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: Purchased from main dealer with 2yrs warranty so I’m confident that I’m going to be Ok if anything goes wrong

5 out of 5
19 March 2021 by Martin Atkinson

Version: Rallye TE

Year: 2021

Annual servicing cost: £250

Apart from the obvious tank range, the bike is all-day comfy. I'm 6ft 3in and find the space on the bike very comfy. I love the colour scheme of the Rallye and the tyres are very impressive in both the wet and dry. The quick shifter is tons better than my earlier 2015 GS but it's not what you would call buttery smooth by a long way. If you get too high in the rev range it can be very jerky. The power of the 1250 engine is noticeably better than the 1200 and it very quickly gets to naughty speeds, you really have to watch it. The weight of the bike can be a bit of an issue at times, not riding as it completely disappears but when you park up you need to be careful and not get it on a big slope or getting it off the side stand can be a challenge.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

The bike is definitely an all-rounder, it can cruise it can scratch it can tour, it can even go off-road, not that mine ever will. It was bought as a touring bike because I find the traditional tourers a bit too cramped for my ageing Rugby knees. The bike will just keep going however, I need a pee after 150 miles so anything else is superfluous. The brakes feel a bit weird at first, when you first pull the front nothing much seems to happen, totally different to my previous GS, I'm not sure about them yet and it's still to be decided if I like the feeling, they do feel very wooden compared to the GS.

Engine 5 out of 5

The engine is amazing, it's quick, responsive and sounds very nice with the Acropovic factory exhaust on. The power delivery is smooth and it really climbs through the speedo at an alarming rate of you want it to. It also pulls in any gear and 30 in 6th is not an issue at all.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

So far everything is working as intended. The TFT dash is awesome and the integration with my iPhone and Pactalk bold is faultless. Very impressed so far.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

It's a BMW, if you want cheap then you need to look elsewhere. It will do 250-280 on a full tank which costs around £30.00, averaging around 43mpg. Servicing is the usual BMW extortion, but if you want to maintain the value and warranty then it has to be done.

Equipment 5 out of 5

I love the TFT dash, cruise control is awesome and everyday useful especially with the 1250s acceleration. Heated grips are a godsend on cold days and the down blipper is nice if you are having a bit of a play on the twisties. I really like the tyres that came as standard, Bridgestone A21's and they feel every bit as nice as the Pilots I had on the GS.

Buying experience: Listed price £22,300 paid £18,910. I bought from Marshall BMW Grimsby and they were awesome, no fuss, no messing around with price, they gave me their best offer and we made a deal just how it should be.

5 out of 5 Great touring & off-road classic
27 February 2021 by AylesburyKev

Year: 2020

Annual servicing cost: £500

Fantastic touring bike. Big, solid and stable. Loads of safety features to get you out of trouble if required.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Lots of ride adjustment if required Plenty of feel on brakes, great ABS

Engine 4 out of 5

Great torque - pulls from low revs It’s a tourer, not a boy racer machine Rather noisy at times! There are lots of better sounding machines out there if this bothers you.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Boxer mill and shaft drive. Sounds a bit agricultural but always reliable

Value vs rivals 3 out of 5

Yes, BMW main dealers are expensive

Equipment 5 out of 5

Serves all my needs well

Buying experience: Main dealer who wouldn’t budge an inch on price or value added extras.

3 out of 5 Honest opinion of R1250GS Adventure
08 May 2020 by Greenspeedtriple

Version: Rallye TE

Year: 2019

Because it’s a GS, parts are twice the price of similar bikes. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s any better than a Japanese equivalent.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

If you want to do long distances, this bike is very good for the rider but the pillion not so hence 4 out of 5

Engine 4 out of 5

Not the fastest thing on two wheels but that’s not why you buy a GS. If you’ve come from a sports bike you’ll find it a bit underwhelming. The gearbox is still very agricultural compared with Japanese or Italian bikes. The quickshifter is a bit of a joke as well. On the plus side, the engine isn’t buzzy and never feels like it’s struggling. Good MPG if that bothers you.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

The bike never failed but the stainless panniers filled with water on my 1st trip and had to be replaced. In my opinion there are better panniers out there other than BMW.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Still waiting to get it’s 1st annual service so I can’t comment on how good or bad it is.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Comes well equipped, but you pay for it. Don’t buy BMW panniers, I’m really not impressed. If you want heated grips they work extremely well, warm or thermonuclear settings. Fender extender is required as soon as you buy the bike along with a crud catcher or hugger. You can spend a small fortune on accessories for a GS. It’s a bit of a pig to try and sync your phone to the bike or satnav to get it to work with comms. Your music will play at one level and the satnav cuts in and nearly bursts your eardrums. I’ve tried various ways of connecting them all but still haven’t found a perfect way yet and the dealer can’t tell me either. I do like the extra lights which are bright so car drivers can see you coming and the led dash is also very clear and easy to see. The automatic suspension settings are the best thing about the bike. Two or three pushes of the buttons and you can adjust the ride height and firmness of the suspension, for somebody who hasn’t a clue how to set up suspension it is a godsend. The anti dive telelever front end is really good as well. I don’t find that the front of the bike is a bit distant feeling. Keyless ignition I can take or leave. Hill hold assist is a brilliant idea especially when the bike is fully laden with a pillion.

Buying experience: Bought the bike new from a dealer. Gave me long test rides on several bikes. Really can’t fault the purchase experience from BMW Dundee.

5 out of 5 Moved up from an R1200 GS LC to R1250 GSA TE and I will never look back
03 October 2019 by Rob H

Version: TE

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £300

Stunning colour in Ice grey, fantastic fairing design, awesome engine upgrade and simply very easy on the eye!!!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: Dealer

5 out of 5 BMW GS skeptics... this is the one to buy
06 June 2019 by Carlos

Version: Exclusive

Year: 2019

Fantastic motorcycle

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Phenomenal ride quality and excellent brakes

Engine 5 out of 5

Smooth and powerful

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Good and sound quality

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

BMW service still a bit pricey

Equipment 5 out of 5

Recommend that if you decide to buy this bike, go for all the optionals and packages.

5 out of 5 R1250 GSA TE
08 May 2019 by JAMES ALLEN

Version: TE

Year: 2019

So far I am very happy with my purchase.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5

Shift cam is definitely a noticeable improvement.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Early doors with just 3000 miles but so far so good.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

It seems the harder you ride the earlier your service intervals become. I will monitor this after my second service.

Equipment 5 out of 5

TE spec bike is loaded with goodies. TFT dash is brilliant in all light conditions.

Back to top