BMW R1250GS (2019 - on) Review
- Updated for 2021 with more tech
- Rugged, capable, all-rounder
- Higher spec models hold value more
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
With identical styling to its BMW R1200GS predecessor and its chassis left untouched, not a lot seems to have changed with the R1250GS at first glance.
- Latest news: BMW developing R1300GS model for 2022
But delve a little deeper and you’d find a higher level of standard equipment and more advanced optional electronic rider aids. But the big news is BMW’s venerable Boxer engine gets a capacity increase and 'Shift Cam' variable valve timing for the first time, drenching it with more power from top to toe.
If you own an R1200GS it’s probably not worth an immediate trade-up but ride it back-to-back with the 1250 and you’ll notice the newer machine’s extra lowdown grunt and added urgency up top. If we’re honest it still isn’t the most exciting adventure bike out there and its looks aren’t to everyone’s taste, but you can’t deny just how talented it is - a comfortable tourer, off-roader and scratcher, all rolled into one Tonka Toy-like package.
- Related: BMW R1250GS Adventure review on MCN
- Related: Best adventure motorbikes
- Related: 2019 BMW R1250GS Adventure long-term test
- Related: BMW R1250GS news on MCN
It isn’t the cheapest adventure bike out there, either especially if you want all the goodies. Understanding exactly what you get in standard trim and what all the options and packages are has become truly bamboozling, but a full-spec GS will always hold its value better than a bog-stocker. It’s proven to be reliable, despite its complex engine tech and it’s won every MCN group test and award since it was released. It’s never hard to see why.
Updates to the 2021 BMW R1250GS
For 2021 the R1250GS gets minor tweaks to the engine for Euro5. There's lean sensitive ABS as standard, a knock sensor and an adaptive swivel headlight as an option. The German firm also celebrate four decades since the original 1980 G/S with a '40 Years GS' edition model, based on the fully loaded R1250GS TE, with an R100GS-inspired black and yellow 'bumble bee' paintjob.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
With no changes to the chassis, it’s little surprise the R1250GS rides and handles just like the R1200GS and isn’t flustered by its extra power, but that’s fine by us. It may be a quirky, clumsy looking beast, but it isn’t.
It’s actually a spacious tourer, performance bike or mud muncher, depending on your mood. It exudes poise, grip, has superb wind protection and despite the change from Brembo to BMW-branded Hayes calipers, it’s never left short of solid braking power.
Off-road the R1250GS doesn’t have the outright speed or playfulness of big-bore rivals like the KTM’s 1290 Super Adventure S, or the character of the Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin, but the motor’s extra grunt and delicious throttle response give you more control over a GS than ever. Its standing-up riding position is natural and the optional 'Enduro Pro' electronics offer off-road tailored traction control, ABS and suspension settings.
In May 2020 tester Mike Armitage pitched the BMW R1250GS Exclusive TE against the Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports ES and Yamaha Ténéré 700 around the MCN250 to find out which adventure bike is best.
He said: "If 'best' means greatest weather protection, fastest, fiercest brakes, lightest steering and most tech, the BMW wins. More GSs are sold in Europe than any other bike and it’s easy to see why. It’s a lot of money, but it’s an extraordinary bike."
The Honda was a worthy challenger, but the Yamaha really impressed. "I’d buy the Yamaha" he continues. "It’s not as fast or luxurious but it has a refreshing honesty. Chassis, motor and riding position are great on trails, but it’s a refined capable, frugal and engaging road bike that’s great value. Want a bike for big miles and pillions? Buy the GS. Want a proper adventure bike? Buy the Yamaha."
MCN has also tested the optional (standard on the TE model) adaptive headlight available on the 2021 R1250GS, as tester Jon Urry explains: "It works on the dip beam, angling it into a corner and also keeping it level when the bike leans. Although the range of the dip beam seems a bit short the adaptive system is a genuine help and does illuminate areas that otherwise would be unlit and raises the beam under braking. It’s also quite fun to pick the bike up quickly and watch the beam re-level itself. The main beam is amazing, lighting up the whole road ahead and half of the next county."
EngineNext up: Reliability
Forget the clever engine tech for a moment, because from the comfort of its skyscraper-tall cockpit, all you need to know is that the ride-by-wire controlled 'Shift Cam' simply gives you a GS with more low-down grunt than ever, with the softest throttle pick-up this side of a factory race bike. As a result, the BMW R1250GS has so much grunt that sixth gear is all you need around town, on the open road or even powering out of slow, uphill hairpins.
Yoga teachers struggle to be as flexible as this engine and it’s impossible to feel the Shift Cam doing its thing. There’s no step, jolt or hesitation, just a flood of perfectly delivered power and a nice, throaty exhaust note.
But pile on the revs and the BMW becomes less pipe-and-slippers and more crowbar-and-Dr. Martens – fast by any standards with enough poke to clutch-up easy third gear wheelies with the electronics turned off. It may still not have the power of its big orange rivals, but the BMW has more than you’ll ever need on the road.
For 2021 the engine is tweaked to satisfy Euro5 and gets a new knock sensor to look out for misfires and let the engine run on lower quality fuel when needed. It also has an additional 'Eco' riding mode, aimed at improving fuel economy, which tester Jon Urry tried when he rode the 40th anniversary model around the MCN250 in December 2020.
He said: "It gives a softer throttle response and slight limitation on the engine’s torque. On straight roads at constant speed the muted power delivery isn’t too much of a nuisance, but I did find the green bar, which indicates how eco you are being and is displayed on the TFT dash, distracting as it flutters back and forth.
"I don’t really see the point in it, if you want to be more economical just ride slower, you don’t need an indicator to know that! I guess it is a neat function that might save a few quid in fuel, but I can’t see owners selecting it on anything other than motorway-style roads as it saps a bit of the boxer’s spirit on fun B or A-roads."
Shift Cam: How it works
To give the 1254cc Boxer twin its seemingly magic powers, each of the boxer twin’s inlet cams have low and high-lift cam lobes sat next to each other.
The camshafts continuously slide from side to side across the top of the engine (in five milliseconds), via an electronically controlled shift gate, depending on revs and throttle opening. Below 5000rpm (around 80mph in top) the engine is in a mild state of tune, with lots of lowdown grunt, but when the rider asks for a lot more power its high-lift cams come into play for maximum acceleration. Above 5000rpm the motor stays in full fat mode.
Capacity is increased from the R1200GS’s 1170cc thanks to a bigger bore and longer stroke (from 101mm x 73mm, to 102mm x 78mm) and the inlet valves are staggered as they open, to create swirl in the combustion chamber for a better burn. Power is up from the 1200’s 123bhp to 136bhp and there’s 14ftlb more torque, delivered 250pm lower in the revs.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Despite initial reservations about the complexity of its Shift Cam motor there have been no issues with reliability and the same goes for overall durability. The R1250GS is proving to hold up well, even with big miles under its belt, although according to our Owners’ Reviews section, there are some reports of leaking front brake calipers and isolated cases of engine and electronics issues. But the GS comes with a three-year warranty and BMW dealer service scores highly, even if prices aren’t the cheapest.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The base R1250GS doesn’t cost the earth, but the reality is most buyers will tick boxes and add optional performance, electronics and equipment packs. They add thousands to the price but considerably enhance the owning experience and make your machine more desirable when it’s time to sell.
BMW servicing isn’t the cheapest out there and it isn’t especially good on fuel. During MCN’s various UK tests we’ve managed a 47mpg average and a theoretical 207-mile range from its 20-litre tank.
The GS is widely considered to be the adventure bike benchmark, but it isn't without rivals. The Triumph Tiger 1200, Ducati Multistrada 1260, Honda Africa Twin and KTM 1290 Super Adventure are all viable options.
A colour TFT dash with Bluetooth connectivity, LED headlights (both add 5kg to all-up weight) and a basic Hill Start Control system are now included on the base R1250GS. The 'Riding Modes Pro' package includes 'Dynamic Brake Control', which automatically shuts the throttle butterflies when you brake hard and stops you from accidentally braking against the throttle in an emergency.
Hill Start Control Pro knows when you’ve pulled up on a slope (via the Inertial Measurement Unit) and applies the rear brake for you until you pull away again.
For 2021 the GS is fitted with a six-axis IMU to allow lean-sensitive ABS in standard trim (and an advanced hill start option), as well as an optional adaptive swivel LED headlight. A '40 Years GS' model, based on the top spec TE model, is also available featuring a black and yellow paint job, yellow hand guards, screen and bench seat, gold wheels and bars.
BMW R1250GS Edition 40
BMW marked the GS’s 40th birthday through a special ‘Edition 40’ paint scheme harking back to the R100GS - which was actually released in 1988 and the new bike itself is a 2021 model – so the chronology isn’t quite right.
That aside, the Edition 40 certainly does stand out from the crowd. We took one for a spin around the UK’s toughest test route, the MCN 250, to see what the new edition is made of.
The machine tested copies the ‘bumblebee’ look of the R100GS and as well as the black paint with yellow decals comes with yellow brush guards, Shadow cylinder head covers, gold wheels, gold bars, a yellow screen and a yellow bench seat – the last two of which have been swapped on this bike.
Underneath the new look (which will set you back a cool £1990) is a standard R1250GS TE (£16,940 RRP), so that means a range-topping amount of extras including Dynamic ESA and Headlight Pro which is BMW’s adaptive headlight system. So basically it is a fully-loaded GS TE with a bit of a heritage paint job. However, that’s not all.
BMW have added a few extras for 2021 and while the ShiftCam boxer engine is unchanged (it is Euro5-compliant) a new ‘Eco’ riding mode joins Dynamic ABS and Traction Control and a USB socket as standard. On a bike costing upwards of £14,500 in base trim, it does seem harsh forcing owners to pay extra for safety aids, so that’s great. But as for the Eco mode...
Selected via the bar-mounted ‘mode’ button, ‘Eco’ joins ‘Road’ and ‘Rain’ as standard modes (others are added via the Pro option) and gives a softer throttle response and slight limitation on the engine’s torque.
On straight roads at constant speed the muted power delivery isn’t too much of a nuisance but I did find the green bar, which indicates how eco you are being, distracting as it flutters back and forth on the TFT dash. I don’t see the point in it, if you want to be more economical just ride slower, you don’t need an indicator to know that!
Another new feature for 2020 (one that is standard on the TE or a £720 to add to a stock bike) is BMW’s adaptive headlight.
Angling the dip beam into a corner while also keeping the light level it is a far more elegant solution than some rival manufacturers’ products that simply turn on extra lights when a certain angle is reached (something that oncoming drivers can find very distracting).
It is a genuine help when it comes to night riding and an option box I’d recommend ticking. And let’s be honest, most BMW owners go for the Full Monty.
Underneath the ‘bumblebee’ paint the Edition 40 Years is still a BMW R1250GS TE and therefore a fairly loaded version of what has been proven over the last four decades to be a brilliant machine. It is, as always, the benchmark and the ultimate do-it-all. But what does the £1990 you need to pay to gain the black and yellow paint get you? That’s the slight issue...
As brilliant as the GS is, I’m not convinced many will want to pay extra for this anniversary paint. I hate to say it but the yellow screen (ours is fitted with a clear one, a free option...) has a hint of 1990s GSX-R bolt-on about it.
The problem BMW have encountered is that having somewhat over-played the GS heritage card, the truly iconic (and far classier) white G/S paint scheme has already been used on the Urban G/S, so bumblebee was all that was left in the locker.
If you like the bold look then the GS still rules the roost and the Edition 40 Years certainly stands out in a car park, but to add the subtler paint options Rallye style to a GS is only £1000 extra and the Triple Black just £800.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 8v, flat twin|
|Frame type||Tubular steel|
|Fuel capacity||20 litres|
|Front suspension||Telelever with non-adjustable single spring|
|Rear suspension||Paralever with single spring adjustable for preload and rebound damping (Dynamic ESA optional)|
|Front brake||2 x 305mm front discs with four-piston Brembo radial calipers. ABS|
|Rear brake||276mm rear disc with twin piston caliper. ABS|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 19|
|Rear tyre size||170/80 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||47 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£250|
|Used price||£12,300 - £13,800|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Three years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||134 bhp|
|Max torque||106 ft-lb|
|Top speed||130 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||207 miles|
Model history & versions
2019: R1250GS replaces R1200GS, arriving in dealers at the back end of 2018. New bigger capacity Shift Cam motor with more power and torque. Colour dash and an LED headlight now standard, chassis remains unchanged.
2021: Updated model with Euro5 upgrades, cornering ABS, an Eco riding model and an adaptive headlight as an option. Black and yellow 40th anniversary model added to range.
BMW R1250GS Adventure – the rugged one with a 30-litre fuel tank, long travel suspension and spoked wheels. It replaces the 1200 version and gets the same updates as the standard GS.
Owners' reviews for the BMW R1250GS (2019 - on)
27 owners have reviewed their BMW R1250GS (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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Version: Rallye TE
Annual servicing cost: £225
Quite powerful but noisy at higher revs.
More powerful than R1200GS but not as smooth and noisier
No problems to date
High initial cost and relatively high Mtce charges
Buying experience: Excellent sale dealership but as always, not as brilliant aftersales
Annual servicing cost: £170
Comfort and power
Had to bleeding rear brake myself after 2 years after a service
Rattles a bit but they're all the same
Tft issues, loss of power on a few occasions as you upshot through the gears.....frightening.....dealer say nothing on diagnostic so of you go....can't find a problem.....appalling
Will not take to dealers after 2nd year I'll do it myself......final drive had almost twice the amount of oil in.....Pidcocks
Cruise control and suspension, beautiful.
Buying experience: New from dealer
Annual servicing cost: £330
Probably the best bike in my garage but as it has let me down 4 times in the first year I have no confidence in it any more. I couldn't recommend it until BMW own up to the problem so many of us are experiencing and sort it out.
When it is working it is hard to think of a better all round machine. So comfortable you can ride all day but I haven't coaxed the misses onto the back yet.
This is why I bought it. I had a 2005 R1200GS which went everywhere fully loaded but ran out of steam a little. The new shift cam engine just gives me all the performance I need in a gentle touring manner.
Very well built as you would expect. The bike has left me stranded on 4 occasions failing to start after stopping for petrol ( twice) and taking a coffee break. Each time it has been returned to my dealer but they assure me that 'there is nothing wrong' however they have replaced the battery twice in the first 11 months.
I took out the BMW service package for 3 years on purchase. I have just had my first annual service.
Best heated grips that I know. I have full BMW hard luggage which is essential for the sort of riding I was hoping to do.
Buying experience: From a BMW Motoradd dealer and I have been very disappointed from day one. The price was full price as it seemed that in June 2020 as we came out of the first lockdown it was a sellers market. My salesman bragged about having the best month ever.
It gets up the road ok , but the new shift cam engine is not all that . The previous 1200 engine was a lot better . BMW have got lots of quality of issues which is a poor state of affairs and they are trying too hard to up with the like of KTM and Ducati .
Shift cam engine sounds like a bag of marbles in a tin can !
I have had countless issues , with battery failure , corrosion on both wheels which have been replaced . Loads of vibration issues , it’s broken down 20 miles from home and it took 8 hours to recover it and my main dealer was only 25 miles where I broke down !
£200 for the 500 mile running service as opposed to £98 for the same bike with the 1200 engine . £215 for the 1st year service , try and work that one out ?
Good but expensive .
Buying experience: Ok ish , bought mine new from a main dealer . Can be good but only if it is for their benefit .
Two up comfort is great, sometimes a bit difficult for the wife to get on and off with the luggage on but she is short.
Lovely low down torque, enough real world power but wouldn't say no to more.
Used most of the year, cleaned after use and covered in ACF
How deep are your pockets? You can get almost anything for a GS, engine and frame bars are a must, theirs a massive choice of luggage and other accessories. My only real complaint would be the Garmin nav6 which has proved unreliable but has been designed for BMW and leaves the cockpit looking unfinished if not fitted
Buying experience: Dealer PPE good deal
Version: Rallye TE
Annual servicing cost: £250
Noisy, not as smooth as my previous 1200. 52mpg as opposed to 60mpg versus the 1200. However, it's much faster... very responsive and great fun. Still corners like a demon!
It's noisier than the 1200 and a bit more lumpy. However, the quick-shift works better and BMW have ironed out the "hill-start" issues. I have ridden for 2.5 hours without a break and could have kept going (but I'm too old to risk it)... very comfortable.
It's quick and resposive but noisier than the 1200 and somewhat less smooth. It responds well to a strong right hand! Power delivery is not as smooth as the 1200 either but that's probably because in the peak rev range (5000-7000) it really will hustle.
My bike is only 6 months old and ridden just under 3000 miles (all winter miles though). I'd be gutted if it showed signs of wear!
It's only had its running-in service so far. MPH is down on the 1200 by about 30 miles a tank.
I love the riding mode options and the automatic suspension adjustment when 2-up. I will change to Road Pilot 5 when I need tyres. It makes such a difference from the Anakees I had form new.
Buying experience: I got a great deal from Ling's BMW Welwyn Garden City. The cost of change was 2K less than other dealers and I couldn't resist. However, overall I prefer my previous 1200. The extra power is not worth the loss of smoothness.
Annual servicing cost: £200
Best feature is the engine. Never short on power at any revs or in any gear
Buying experience: Dealer
Version: Rally TE
Annual servicing cost: £220
Fantastic all round bike
I can ride at least 150 miles non stop.
Wonderful engine with loads of low down torque.
Battery failed. New one fitted under warranty.
Bit steep for an annual service
I love the instrument display.
Buying experience: Paid list price. Had to order it and wait 6 weeks
Version: Rallye TE
Annual servicing cost: £250
Noisy tick from engine is still a downside fir me and is the only reason that prevents 5/5
Still too noisy
Torque is incredible
Buying experience: New from dealer £19k
Version: Rallye TE
Annual servicing cost: £220
Fabulous bike. Does everything. Comfortable for all day rides. Ample power.
Had battery replaced under warranty.
Bit pricey given it’s a mimimal service.
TFT screen is excellent. I fitted a muddling which protects the rear shock. Also engine bars and hand grip extenders(Givi). Just fitted headlamp protector too. I bought the Navigation 6 also which links to the helmet speaker.
Buying experience: Dealer purchase. Paid list price plus options. Around £17.5k
Probably the best all round bike I’ve ever owned. Previous bikes being Honda. VFR 750, Super Blackbird, Yamaha Fazer 1000, Triumph ST 1050, Honda VFR1200( the worse bike) and three Multistradas Mk.1,2 and 3.
The ESA suspension is faultless. The brakes are the the best I’ve ever experienced for feel and power (Hayes front callipers) and are far superior to those on my previous Multistradas, which were equipped with Bremboa.
With the high torque of the shift cam engine it picks up rapidly virtually regardless of speed/ gear position it’s nothing short of impressive.
The bike has run perfect from day one and now has nearly 10,000 miles recorded.
Both the first and second year annual services came in at just under £200
In view of the price of this bike I think luggage and certainly panniers should by standard equipment. Because they’re not I’ve given it 3 out of 5.
Buying experience: I purchased the bike from a newly appointed new dealership (M & P, Swansea) and enjoyed the experience. As it was late 2018 and a newly launched model I paid the retail price but had a factory fitted alarm and SOS button free of charge.
Version: Rally HP with sport suspension
The bike is very comfortable and powerful. Good brakes and seating position. Terrible left cylinder knock.
No caliper leaks yet.
Power is good. As others have said the left cylinder is extremely noisy. Sounds like the knock will smash through the valve cover. Very dissatisfied. Dealer says it's normal.
Left cylinder engine knock is terrible. Dealer says it's normal.
The different modes are nice such as Enduro Pro.
Buying experience: No issues
Version: GSA EXCLUSIVE
Annual servicing cost: £195
BEST FEATURE IS COMFORT,SMOOTH ENGINE, TORQE AND WEATHER PROTECTION. WORST FEATURE, WEIGHT. THIS IS A HEAVY BIKE TO PULL OUT OF THE MUD,WHEN OFF ROADING.
THIS IS A BIKE YOU CAN RIDE ALL DAY IN COMFORT, GOOD WEATHER PROTECTION, AND HANDLES WELL ON A AND B ROADS.
LOADS OF TORQE AND SMOOTH DELIVERY.
I WOULD LOVE TO GIVE 5 OUT OF5 , BUT I FOUND FRONT SUSPENSION WAS A LITTLE SOFT, AND SECONDLY , WHILE DEPARTING MY GARAGE IN DEC 2020, AS I PUT BIKE IN 1st GEAR AND LEAVING CLUTCH OUT, THE FLY BY WIRE THROTTLED SURGED AND WHEEL SPUN BIKE INTO GARAGE WALL. ITS NOE UNDER INVESTIGATION WITH MT LOCAL BMW MOTORCYCLE DEALER..
600 MILE SERVICE FREE. JUST HAD 6000 MILE SERVICE IN DEC 2020. HAD TO CHANGE FRONT TYRE AFTER 4600 MILES .
I LOVE THE TFT SCREEN, A QUICK LOOK AND THE GEAR SELEC AND SPEED DISPLAYED CLEARLY,EVEN IN SUNLIGHT. A FRONT FENDER EXTENDER HELPS WITH OVERSPRAY, AND A REARV HUGGER HELPS KEEP THE WATER OFF YOUR BOOTS. CHANGED FRONT TYRE WITH METZLER 888 . QUIETER RIDE .
Buying experience: BOUGHT FROM DEALER, MOTORAD SWANSEA. ADVERTISED PRICE. £17,821.13 NO DISCOUNT, SO PAID £17821.13
Version: R1250 GS TE
Keyless , what a joke you only get one key and a bit of plastic for an excuse for a second key . How embarrassing is that for dealer to have to explain to a customer .
Does it all .
I’ll let you know when it’s two years old .
Buying experience: Reiten made it a great experience .
Annual servicing cost: £210
The bike does everything. Wish they would put an electric screen on.
Crud catcher and mudslinger
Buying experience: Coopers Sunderland Great service
The handling, engine performance and ESA suspension are too drawer in all aspects. The gear shift assist is terrible I don’t like it, it is virtually impossible to get smooth up and down shifts snd therefore rarely use it. Yes I would recommend it in fact a friend bought a used GS on my recommendation.
The ESA suspension is brilliant and the Hayes brakes are the best ever. My previous three bikes were Multistradas with Brembos and the GS brakes are superior.
Can’t fault the engine the shift cam is seamless, the engine is so smooth and the grunt from low revs is impressive in the extreme.
I’ve owned Kawasaki’s, Hondas, Yamaha, Triumph and three Ducati Multistradas and the GS is the best for build quality followed closely by my Triumph and so far the GS has been faultless for reliability
So far the GS has been the cheapest for annual servicing. Fuel consumption has never dropped below 52mpg even if I ride it like I stole it.😊
The TFT dash is my favourite but it is essential to fit a fender extender and a ‘Mudsling, for the rear as without it on wet roads the rider and pillion get covered in crud. Should be standard equipment considering the purchase price. Also panniers should be standard on the TE spec.
Buying experience: Bought new from a newly appointed main dealer. Paid the retail price but had a factory fitted alarm and SOS button for free.
Annual servicing cost: £220
The worst bit about the bike is the left cylinder that starts to tick loudly when it warms up, even though the left cylinder on my bike was replaced under warranty it didnt solve the problem, BMW know they have a serious problem and i still await a fix, i paid nearly £18k for a bike with a faulty engine like so many others . Best bit about bike is how usable it is at commuting and touring
Has factory fitted comfort seats so 4hrs not a problem for myself and wife on pillion before we need a break or fuel stop which ever comes first
Shift cam is brill so much more useable than my r1200gs. Dislike the ticking left cylinder when its warmed up, it was fine till i put 2000mls on it then it started to tick
Fault as above, if not rectified i will be pushing for a refund
Gear shift assist and akro silencer also comfort seats, the auto suspension is a great feature,just get on and go Mine came with anakee adventures which suit the bike
Buying experience: Bought new at dealer
This is the best bike I’ve ever owned from the quality of finish, comfort, performance is effortless and the handling is excellent after I changed from the original Bridgestone tyres to Michelin Pilot Road 5 trail tyres.
Some were sceptical about BMW changing the front callipers to the Hayes brand but they are faultless for feel and power in fact better than the Brembo brakes on my previous Ducati
The high torque means the throttle response is impressive regardless of speed or gear and when the shift cam operates it takes off like a scalded cat.
I’ve owned several Hondas but the GS in inva totally different league is way better.
The TFT colour dash. I highly recommend a fender extender and a rear Mudsling otherwise on wet roads your legs get covered in crud.
Buying experience: Bought new from a dealer and although I paid list price the bike had a factory fitted alarm and the SOS system valued at about £550 and I had them free of charge.
Version: Rallye TS
Having owned some where in the region of 40 plus bikes over the years I have to say this is undoubtedly the best all round bike ever It just ticks ever box ,I simply can not get enough of it Never in my wildest dreams would I have put money on loving a BMW Just goes to show even an ardent sports bike lover can be converted
Super comfortable for long distance touring
1250 shift cam has exceptional torque from low down the Rev range
I small warranty repair (exhaust butterfly valve stuck) Brilliant service from dealer even during lockdown
Reasonable price and in line with other makes
Buying experience: Dealer Very good deal plus offered higher P/x value
Annual servicing cost: £1
I have several other bikes of varying ages, but the gs really can do it all including greenlaning and a quiet hooligan when you want. I was never a fan too many going to the shops looking like they were off round the world. It doesn't look like it should be so able but it is.
Handles well, even with Anakee wilds on the road. They are noisy but what do you expect on a 50/50 tyre doing 70. brakes are great. The single Rallye seat looks great doesn't it, then you get to about 50 miles and its awful, replaced it with a standard seat nowhere as cool looking but you can last pretty well on it.
Great engine. the vari cam setup is pretty much unused of road, maybe if you are an enduro hero but not me. When you wind it up on the road it can be surprisingly quick. Each generation of boxer engine from the original 4 valve 1993, 1100,1150,1200, 1250 gets to sound louder and more mechanically lumpy and to be honest not so nice, you listen to a decent 1100 next to a 1250 you'd think the 1250 had issues, you just have to accept that they all fo that sir.The standard has a good sound and a nice bubble on over run and its quiet for a non annoying stealth mode
Mine was second hand from the BMW off-road skills so its spent a lot of time laying down and I've added to that several times in the mud and simply things don't break off it. well i did lose one indicator, but that'd been sorted with tat Australian click'n'go indicator set up.
Not serviced yet, but once the warranty is out it, will be as simple as all the other boxer models. Its seems to be a bit heavy on the back tyre wear rate
Bought the expensive ALTrider bash plate and lower bars, having tried them, they will not be bending ever, well supported so they won't just move the damage to frame or engine via its mounting set up. Swapped the pillion seat for a Cymarc back box not cheap but better for a day out than an ugly top box. Front wunderlich engine protection plate, made of tough plastic but it keeps all the pebble dash off the front, always a fail on boxers, maybe this can sort it. Had the BMW black frame protection, sort of spidery thing that protects the white paint work of the frame, on when i picked it up, a pointless exercise as they seem to rub the paint where they are clipped to the frame.
Buying experience: From Vines in guilford who were ok but i went to collect the bike went up by train and asked to be picked from the station, this was not available on a saturday. I asked how much i had to spend to make it available?was not 12K enough. Was it also not possible to get a car on a Saturday, even if you have a huge car dealership. Pretty poor really IMO. Not the sort of thing you would have got from CW in Dorchester, sadly no longer a BMW dealer perhaps their standards of customer service were too high ( i do mean CW).
Version: Ralleye TE
Annual servicing cost: £600
Brand new the bikes failed after 30 miles with - blown starter motor relay, the main wiring loom knackered and ECU blown - plus batter terminals melted. Known issue that Tracker installed as standard can knacker bike as faulty wiring in - confirmed by BMW recovery when they picked me up. Showrooms attitude - was tough we fixed it under warranty - now have i bike that do not trust.
feels like a chugging tractor compared to R1200RS that I mistakenly traded-in. Cam variables suck - I this is based on having had a VFR800 VTEC - and know how they should feel
major electrical fault after 30 miles from new - that could have killed me had I not been at a stop when it occurred
£173 for a basic nut tightening after 600 miles - really??
Buying experience: overpriced - buy OEM
So this should be a fantastic product , the best yet. On the whole the bike is great. Unfortunately it has brakes that might fail and on bikes you need your brakes. Mines had 3 sets of front callipers and im not alone. Bmw customer service is appalling at i thought Ktm were bad. Think long and hard before you up grade.
See above calipers are not up to the standard of a BMW
The brake callipers have been changed 3 times due to leaking. Banjos at the end of the brake lines are going white
Has everything i could want
Buying experience: Dealer has been very good sorting out the problems. BMW uk have made the whole process a nightmare re the brakes. Own up to the problems i am not alone the brakes are faulty
Annual servicing cost: £230
Very impressed with all aspects of the bike. My only criticism is the gear shift assist which is terrible and I very rarely use it. The Hayes callipers are far superior in performance to the Brembos on my Multistrada. I would highly recommend the bike
It’s a joy to ride through the twisties and has all day long comfort, in fact I thought my each of my Multistradas (I’ve had three) were comfy but the GS in in a different league.
You get instant responsive acceleration almost regardless of road speed or gear selection and when the shift cam switches it takes off like s scalded cat. The power delivery is as smooth as silk, faultless.
Very impressed with the build quality far superior to the last two Honda bikes I purchased
Heated grips are my favourite accessory. It is virtually essential to fit a front fender extender and a Mudsling for the rear otherwise in wet conditions the rider is covered in dirt from ankle to hip should be standard fitment.
Buying experience: Bought new from a dealer. Paid the list price but had the SOS and factory alarm free.
Version: Rally TE
Annual servicing cost: £550
Brilliant do-anything bike
Front brakes are superb but there is a lot of dead movement in the ear pedal which is annoying. Suspension is more than good enough for me.
Loads of smooth torque.
I generally need a service every 8 or 9 months so this is an average.
Everything I could want and some I don’t really - keyless ignition seems pointless to me.
Buying experience: Great local dealer makes buying easy.
Version: Ralleye TE
upgraded from R1200RS Sport SE, 2017 model. Find the handling and seating position is better and more relaxed - and gives a lot more confidence when slow corning and city driving.
BMW is always slightly the case of paying for the brand name - but that's expected
extras are expensive - but plenty of alternaitves from Givi, Shad, etc
Buying experience: good -dealer handled smoothly
Annual servicing cost: £200
I've upgraded from the previous R1200GS, also with full extras, and it felt immediately like "this is the same, but somehow it feels different". And the difference is in the engine. A big plus. It's new and improved and there's no doubt about it, as you can feel the extra torque. The only doubt is if it is different enough to pay for it (I don't think so, but I still prefer it). Everything else is almost the same as the previous model and that is good because the bike is absolutely amazing in all aspects. Does it consume less as BMW states? After 10.000 miles it doesn't, as the consumption are the almost the same as the 1200 (+0.3 l/100km or +2 mpg). So, not worst and you get more for the same consumption, which is not bad.
It's a GS. This bike goes for miles and miles only stopping for gas and food (only because it/ we require to). Comfort is a plus but no changes from the R1200. Much has been written on the front brake and I do feel its a bit worse then the previous version.
It's better and improved. So, if the previous was a 5*, this is definitely a 5* also. You can hear the new shift cam into work with an extra *clank* coming from the boxer but even knowing when it kicks in, it is (i would say) impossible to feel it when driving, it's imperceptible. Still, I would like to: - have a lighter GS not a heavier one - even more quieter running engine - smoother low gear (driving slow in the city sometimes there's just no gear for it) - higher 6th gear (only for highway that would give the required extra) (but maybe I'm wrongly trying to transform a boxer in a 4 cylinder)
With an aggressive riding, jumps and hard breaking, 10.000 miles after I have no issue what so ever. Even the regular a check on the screws required almost no tightening
It's a BMW, you know what you're getting into. Still, could be cheaper and the service is not always premium (e.g. BWM oil is way to expensive is not better then other brands) Regarding consumption, after 10.000 miles it doesn't consume less then the 1200 as BWM states (+0.3 l/100km or +2 mpg). So, not worst and you get more for the same consumption, which is not bad. For reference, averages are: highways - 6.8 l/100km ( 41.54 mpg) city - 5.4 l/100km (52.31 mpg) driving slow and below 4000rpm - 4.0 l/100km (70.62 mpg)
There's a LOT of GS out there but there's almost none of them are standard. Safety optionals are usually a no brainer (and expensive). The GS price is absolutely not the annunced, it more 3-5k in extras. BMW is cleaver in the options they present: 2 packs (R1200 had 3), each with 1 very relevant extra (probably a must) and the remaining needless (e.g. comfort - heated grips; touring - Dynamic ESA)
Version: Optional extra black paint
Annual servicing cost: £100
Great engine, comfort and equipment on TE spec. The handling is great at any speed and the weather protection and luggage options are fantastic. The controls are easy to use whilst on the move and the build-quality of the bike and switch gear are top-notch. The TFT screen is fantastic as are the safety features and the on-road or off-road capabilities. The height and weight of the bike can be a problem, particularly when using the centre stand.
The bike is just as happy in town as it is on a motorway. I can ride it for hours without discomfort.
Strong performance and pulls in any gear. Engine is very smooth.
Very well made (it's German).
Love the TFT screen it's perfect. Will be adding luggage any day now.
Buying experience: Purchased from local BMW dealer new.