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BMW R1250RS (2019-on) Review

Published: 07 August 2019

Updated: 09 August 2019

The new R1250RS is a joy of a road bike

BMW R1250RS

The new R1250RS is a joy of a road bike

  • At a glance
  • Read more about the BMW GS range.
  • 1254cc  -  134 bhp
  • 46 mpg  -  200 miles range
  • Insurance group: 12 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Medium seat height (820mm)
  • New: £12,100

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The R1200RS was already one of the most complete, comprehensive and capable sporty road bikes money could buy. The new BMW R1250RS carries over all its predecessor’s practicality – spacious riding position, adjustable screen, shaft drive – and adds a tangible boost in power, modernity and refinement.

The dash is clearer and quicker to read, the new headlights give a less-startled appearance, and the enlarged motor means it devours miles, whether you’re in the mood to go far or go fast, with even more ease. Its biggest issue is the price: there’s no denying it’s a lot of money with all the option boxes ticked. But the R1250RS is a truly supreme sports-tourer.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The brakes are not changed, and worth highlighting for that very reason. While the R1250GS and R1250RT switched to front brake calipers made by Hayes, the R1250RS and naked R stick with Brembos. The Hayes calipers have no shortage of stopping power, but for most riders the Italian brand is a far more familiar, established and proven name.

The bike handles well and although a little on the heavy side, can be swung through corners without too much drama. Tack action would be a stretch and only for the brave.

Engine 4 out of 5

The RS inherits BMW’s new-for-2019 1254cc flat twin. With a bigger bore and a longer stroke than the old 1200, there’s way more power and torque at all revs. Performance is identical to the latest GS and RT, with 134bhp and a thundering 105ftlb of torque (more grunt than KTM’s Super Duke GT or Kawasaki’s supercharged H2 SX).

Like its siblings the motor has ShiftCam, which seamlessly shuffles its inlet cams to swap between two sets of lobes; one for low-rev efficiency; the other full performance. The end result is an absolute joy of a road engine, with mountains of midrange, a plentifully powerful top-end and faultless low-rev manners.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The R1250RS oozes quality parts and there are little reported issues with its predecessor, the R1200RS. You get the finish you’d expect from a high-end BMW.

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

While the base bike costs an almost reasonable £12,100 if you get a bit lively with extra options you can soon find yourself piling on an extra grand or two. The bike tested here costs £15,640. It’s an Exclusive (£13,960) which gives it metallic blue paint, keyless ignition, semi-active suspension, GPS mount, cruise control and centrestand.

And it is also adorned with the Comfort pack (£465: chrome exhaust, heated grips, tyre pressure monitors) and Dynamic pack (£910: daytime running lights, two-way quickshifter, smarter aids, LED indicators). BMW’s SOS button is a further £305, bringing this test bike to a fairly hefty £15,640.

Traditional sports-tourers are now few and far between as adventure bikes seem to appeal more to riders wanting to cover big distance in comfort. But for thos wanting something a bit more sporty looking or to take on a track the Kawasaki Z1000SX is hugely popular.

It's more sporty than the RS, but costs just £10k and appeals to those wanting their sports-tourer more on the sporty side.

Insurance group: 12 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

The RS can now come with BMW’s latest Dynamic ESA (that’s semi-active suspension in plain English). The big difference from the R1200RS is that the latest system automatically sets rear preload.

Where you previously had to tell the bike whether you were riding solo, two-up or carrying luggage, the 1250 can calculate the load it’s carrying and automatically compensate to maintain the bike’s attitude.

Damping can be set to Road (softer) or Dynamic (firmer), with a noticeable difference between the two. Dynamic ESA is a £775 extra, part of the Premium pack or included as standard on the Exclusive model.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2019
Year discontinued -
New price £12,100
Used price -
Warranty term -
Running costs
Insurance group 12 of 17
Annual road tax £91
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 134 bhp
Max torque 105 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 46 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Specification
Engine size 1254cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 8v, flat-twin
Frame type Aluminium twin-spar
Fuel capacity 18 litres
Seat height 820mm
Bike weight 243kg
Front suspension 45mm USD non-adjustable
Rear suspension Paralever
Front brake Two 320mm discs with four-piston calipers
Rear brake 276mm single disc with twin-piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 190/55 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2012-2018: R1200RS. Original sports-touring version.

Other versions

R1250RS Sport model (£13,465) adds smarter lean-sensitive rider aids, a two-way quickshifter, LED indicators and metallic yellow paint.

R1250RS Exclusive (£13,960) comes with metallic blue paint, keyless ignition, semi-active suspension, GPS mount, cruise control and centrestand. .

Owners' Reviews

No owners have yet reviewed the BMW R1250RS (2019-on).

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Photo Gallery

  • BMW R1250RS
  • BMW R1250RS right side
  • BMW R1250RS front brake
  • BMW R1250RS shift cam
  • BMW R1250RS badge
  • BMW R1250RS headlight
  • BMW R1250RS controls
  • BMW R1250RS engine
  • BMW R1250RS seat
  • BMW R1250RS left corner
  • BMW R1250RS right corner
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