BMW R1250RS (2019 - on) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£200|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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. We don't have any BMW R1250RS owners' reviews at time of publication.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
Changes from August 2020
The Sport version is now a metallic yellow with a matt black frame, while a change to Euro5 sees the ABS on permanently. Pro mode now includes drag torque control and there’s even more of those opinion dividing ‘Option 719’ parts.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 8v, flat-twin|
|Frame type||Aluminium twin-spar|
|Fuel capacity||18 litres|
|Front suspension||45mm USD non-adjustable|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||46 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£101|
|Annual service cost||£200|
|Used price||£10,300 - £12,000|
12 of 17
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||134 bhp|
|Max torque||105 ft-lb|
|Top speed||135 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||200 miles|
Model history & versions
2012-2018: R1200RS. Original sports-touring version.
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 for the BMW R1250RS (2019 - on)
13 owners have reviewed their BMW R1250RS (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:||£200|
Annual servicing cost: £250
A superb bike that handles extremely well due to its electronic suspension and has power (torque) in spades; ideal for "real world" riding. It is "all day" comfortable and is not tiring to ride. Having tried the Kawasaki Ninja SX1000 I would not swap even though the Kawasaki is cheaper. In my opinion you really do get what you pay for.
Fantastic Brembo brakes and electronics.
Shiftcam is brilliant delivering oodles of torque.
Long proven engine that is sublime with the shiftcam engine.
Compares favourably with any other motorcycle manufacturer.
Has all the bells and whistles you need and more.
Buying experience: Bought from North Oxford Motorrad - a really genuine and honest BMW dealer.
Liquid torque. The dopey sounding engine seems to make the bike feel like its accelerating much faster than a BMW should be allowed to. Then when the time comes to stomp on the Brembo's, just hang on and hope you're not thrown over the handlebars. The bike has a mind of its own right before the stopping point whereby it seems to squeeze the brakes harder for you.Apart from the grunt, the BMW experience (this being my first) for me has been OK. Nothing much if anything is left unsorted. The electronics package overall is pretty good right through to the Connected app. The Navigation Preparation mount is ugly but the ConnectedRide Cradle should be a nice addition in 2022 so I can mount my own phone properly to the bike. I also took up a 3 year 30,000 kilometre service package (here in Oz) which seemed like a no-brainer but not all dealerships will partner with BMW on this. So far I've had two services and had the auto-cancelling indicators switched off along with a software upgrade done for no charge. Genuine BMW luggage is expensive and more so if you don't include it when purchasing the bike. Just adding a rear case costs over AU$1000.00 with the BMW symbol itself costing AU$40.00. The tumbler for the lock is also separate and make sure you get their service techs to fit it. I failed and had to pay extra for them to fix it in the end anyway.Since the 80's, I have owned and commuted every day on an XJ900, GSX750FN, VFR800, had a hiatus from 2003 to 2018 when I bought a KTM1090R which I hated and sold to buy a new BMW R1250RS Sport. The KTM was fatiguing on highway stretches but a good back road blaster. I wanted to be able to cruise and scratch comfortably and searched for a way to go back to my sport touring roots with the added benefit of cruise control and the maintenance free shaft drive of my first large bike, the XJ900. I also wanted to be able to plant my feet back on the ground without the feeling of toppling over on the KTM.During the preceding years, I swore I would never buy a BMW after test riding some friends and colleagues examples and deciding they were all too gutless. The familiar low-slung sports tourer has vanished from showroom floors but I had my heart set on the Yamaha FJR1300. None in the country until the following year. So I looked at the Triumph Tiger Sport which still had this sit-up-and-beg look about it but it was cheap. There was a problem with the luggage being incomplete so I walked into the BMW showroom next door and saw this opulent looking gold BMW; sat on it, asked how much it was and then immediately got off it again and wandered off, sad that the market had gone the way of all these sharp angular nakeds and glorified trail bikes known as ADV's.But the information about the BMW looked good once I did some research and the following for them is well established. It had everything I wanted but to gain those, I had to go for nearly the top option - the Sport - and although you can "build" your motorcycle on their website, you really can only take what you see on the showroom floor which in a lot of folk's minds, ends up being all-or-nothing.The factory Akropovic attached to this bike I was looking at was indeed a curiosity for someone believing the boxer was supposed to be sedate. With the reviews I was reading that the bike was a barnstormer, I booked a test ride (this can only be done through the BMW website in Australia, not at the dealership) after which I was a transformed man.
On a 30,000km/3 year plan.
For me, this is a bike that ticks all the boxes. It’s fast enough to keep up with sportier bikes across country yet practical enough and not too bulky to work as a commuter.
Having the ESA make riding and taking pillions and luggage a doddle. Brakes are confidence inspiring and have never felt the ABS being interruptive.
The classic boxer twin, although clearly not quite the same as an old R80, can be a bit agricultural when it’s hot but it is so real world fast and useable it makes the corners of my mouth rise a lot!
I hear so many people moan about the quality of BMW’s but they’ve never let me down in the 10 years I’ve been using varying models of them. Perhaps I’m just lucky?!
Though a few fancy pants bits are optional, the packages do tend to make the bike a reasonable cost when compared to similar other males amd models
Buying experience: I have used my local dealer over many years and although recently changed hands and consequently some staff members, they remain ever helpful
Annual servicing cost: £200
Slow Burner, these do everything well that it somehow makes it almost too good. Great kit levels and mostly it all works. Recommend to anyone but not everyone will get the bike. However the more I ride her the more I love her. My previous bike was all about the engine and it just wanted or egged me on to rev her and go faster and faster, The RS is as happy pottering about as it is racing around so you can just sit and enjoy the ride and whatever you ask her to do she is more than willing to please.
Great all rounder. Can do seriously big miles before the seat gets uncomfortable. I regularly do 6+ hour days and generally it's my legs that give out first. A quick coffee or fuel stop can give me an opportunity to walk any stiffness off and then I'm set for the next round. Generally after 2-3 hours and a stop is a welcome thing. Pillions seem to quite like the seat though with the rack on the rear my daughter has complained one side is harder to hold onto than the other, but both seem the same. Footpeg height for the pillion has not been an issue. The Standard screen isn't great.
When I road tested the RS in November 19, I did tell the Dealer the screen was awful buffeting and noise and I could not buy the bike because of that, they offered me a test ride on a 1200RS with a MRA screen to compare, now it was better but what the test ride did more than anything was show how much the 1250 was an improvement over the 1200. The 1250 has more power and torque everywhere though the 1200 isn't slow or gutless, but as well as the extra grunt it is just so much smoother than the 1200. The gearbox and clutch also felt so much better on the 1250 as well. Yes when it's warm it will still clunk heavily going into first but it doesn't clunk between the ratios and it isn't agricultural like the 1200 boxer is, it is generally beautifully smooth. The engine is happy pottering about or revving freely it will perform however you want it to perform. My only criticism is that it can run into the rev limiter all too quickly, however that is probably more due to me being used to triples or 4s than a big old flat twin,
Just after I got it delivered on my first outing a warning came up for the taillight and to take it to a Dealer, well as with most stuff now I switched it off and back on and it's never had any issues since that first day. It was squeaky bum time especially so soon after taking delivery, but been perfect ever since
Actual running costs don't appear to be horrendous, £200 for a 6k service and £400 for a 12k including valves doesn't sound too bad, currently getting around 65mpg and I'm not hanging about. Tyres the standard Metzler Z8s have now covered around 4.5k and should last another 1.5k or maybe more but I want to get some better wet weather tyres so they may be replaced a little before they are totally used up. My bike was just under £17k with all the equipment it has and to be perfectly honest it would be very hard to justify that kind of price, I bought it just over 6 months old with 600 miles (not a ex demo) for a lot less than the cost new, which perhaps does make it better value but not everyone will be able to do that.
Whats Standard with BMW, well not a lot, but they make it hard as hell to buy a standard bke. The equipment level is staggering if all or most of the options are taken. The TFT is great, The way it integrates with your phone or the Sat Nav is truely very very good. Using the free BMW connected app you can get turn by turn directions through the TFT, I personally didn't like the amount of dash this takes up but it does work. The Semi active suspension works well as do the rider modes though most of the time I'm in Dynamic or Dynamic Pro. The tech works really well and it's a toss up between the Tech or the engine as my favourite feature. The Standard Metzeler Z8s are ok but I won't be replacing them like for like. I bought a Nav6 Sat Nav for the bike and so far not had any issues with it. The DRLs are great and that's what I use mostly reserving dipped for very low light conditions or really heavy rain, MRA screen or similar to me is essential. As is a sat nav relocation kit to move the sat nav from the handlebar area, as you need to look down to see the display.
Buying experience: Bought from a Dealer during lockdown so all done via the net or phone. Got to say was made very easy. I managed to get a bit knocked off the advertised price and anyway I was still getting around a £5k saving on a brand new one by getting an ex BMW management bike. I didn't know it had the SOS feature, or a Tracker fitted as those were down a very long list of equipment. so imagine my delight when the guy delivering told me about some of the features my new bike had and some were a total surprise.
Brilliant all rounder. Quick, plenty of low end torque, comfortable and agile considering its weight and fantastic level of equipment as standard.
Front brake is razor sharp. Not a big fan of the linked back brake but you get used to it. Most comfortable seat I’ve ever sat on, on or off a bike.Riding position is a little forward for me (coming from a GS) but I’ll either get used to it or add a set of bar risers
Brilliant engine. Shift cam has made such a big difference to the bike.
Can’t go wrong with BMW fit and finish.
Servicing can be pricey but you know this in advance, just b ready for it
TFT works well, switch gear is the best around. People complain about it not being backlit but if you have to look down every time you use a switch, you’ve got bigger issues. Cruise control is super accurate and ESA in Auto mode means its just set and forget regardless of load, pillion or solo riding
Buying experience: Bought from Chester Motorrad. Brilliant service from start to finish and so far, after sales has been great
This bike is a proper all rounder. It has all the features and functions of its RT & GS siblings but in a form factor that is so much more manageable for most riders. Feet on the ground at traffic lights, easy to manhandle in the garage and plenty of room for the wife but also a beast when you light her up. What happened to sport tourers? Honestly they're the best for most riders and you won't go wrong with the RS. Vibey and engaged when you want it, laid back and relaxed when you want that. Ride all day and stroll off with good memories and no tiredness.
Ride quality is a subjective thing. Personally I love a bit of feedback from the road. If that's not your thing but an RT and feel like you're in a Range Rover. Personally I prefer a bike. As for the brakes, their incredible. First bike I've had where I love pulling emergency stops just for the hell of it. Looking in the mirrors obviously! It stops so short it's honestly hard to believe.
Shift- Cam Boxer 'nuff said. Try one, there's no going back. Don't try to wring it, you'll be in prison. Pick up and take-off is frankly ridiculous - and addictive. Buy it for the engine, it's amazing.
Build quality is terrific, I can't give 5/5 simply because of the amount of plastic that BME seem to love but no complaints. And after-market parts fit really well too, often with pre-drilled mountings. Top quality, no worries so far (6 months / 1 winter) no furred screw ends.
It's a BMW. Don't buy one if you can't afford the servicing.
Goodness knows how much all those electronics cost and likewise how to make use of it all. It's all a mystery too me and a waste of money frankly. It's just the premium you have to pay to get your hands on the rest of the bike, which is fantastic. What's good from an equipment point of view? Hill hold. Who knew? Amazing, use it all the time, uphill but more usefully down hill as well.
Buying experience: I bought from a BMW dealer. Paid roughly £15k new for an Exclusive less £5k trade in for my TEX plus another £5k in Nippy Norman's. Pretty average experience, they don't care if you buy or not. Very different to the old-school Triumph dealership. Don't expect a relationship, it's just a transaction to them, like buying a piece of furniture.
Very comfortable, though a heavy bike it doesn’t feel it, as easy round town as on motorways or B roads. Surprisingly quick. Good luggage capacity, though only 18litre fuel tank that’s good for over 200 miles. Very smooth engine engaging engine, I personally find it has the best BMW gearbox I’ve owned, and provided done correctly (read manual and not 1 to 2) quick shifter is excellent.
For a heavy bike it’s surprisingly agile, the weight is low down so easy to paddle around, and slow feet up manoeuvring. I rarely carry pillion, but lots of room solo to move around, I have no problem with reach or height of handlebars, and footrests in the right place. 200 mile tank range is normal and I need a break in four hours in any case. The fairing keeps most of the wind off, screen has four adjustments and personally I have no issues. Front Brakes excellent, I find you have to press firmly on the rear, but adequate for control at slow speed.
It’s a five if you like the flat twin, very smooth (though not four cylinder smooth) and third gear is all you need on B roads. It sounds distinctive and IMHO wonderful without upsetting the locals as it’s a deep pleasant noise. As mentioned the gearbox is smooth with well spaced ratios, I only get into 6 on motorways.
Superb finish, provided you keep winter road salt away, the engine is painted so is not a problem here, fasteners and bits are stainless steel. The centre stand cross bar seems to get paint damage, then rusts but easy to resolve.
First service was a little steep but annual (6000) around £200. No oil used. OEM tyres are good, bulbs are LED so should last lifetime.
The TFT is very nice, and doubles up with connected phone as basic Sat Nav. All the info you could want. The control wheel manages Garmin BMW sat Nav and TFT functions on the move (I personally don’t) Heated grips are excellent, and lots of luggage options. The front mudguard is too short, and you have to fit a hugger or road crap goes everywhere.
Buying experience: Faultless, don’t pay full price there are deals to be done as unbelievably the RS isn’t as popular as the GS (image thing it’s a better bike for the average rider)
Version: Exclusive + all extras
Annual servicing cost: £180
Lovely bike for touring and days out. Best features: low centre of gravity, handling, oodles of torque, electronic suspension, cruise control, accurate fuel gauge, perfectly happy and balanced when fully laden for touring. Worst features: windscreen (most replace it), tank too small (so just as well that gauge is accurate!), no seat height adjustment (but 4 different seats/heights), daft position for satnav mount (many including me have relocated). Other: Bar risers are common (and affordable), not all the gizmos are worthwhile but most are (at a price).
Plush ride with a good range of adjustment
Oodles of torque and engine braking, good fuel economy. For a flat twin very refined
One engine warning message advising to proceed with caution when not much wrong remedied by a warranty upgrade to the firmware
Service costs are high but so are service and showroom standards.
You pay a lot for the extras but do it with your eyes open Favourites: ESA, Cruise control, TPS
Buying experience: Bought late June, 2020 with 4.5k on the clock and 12 month old fully spec'd including colour matched panniers from an indy dealer
Version: R1250RS EX
+ brilliant all rounder for the road. - not a lot
Cornering ABS & dynamic electronic suspension - superb! Phone app tells you how many times the ABS & TC cut in & it's surprising how often they are activated (average twice per commute - it doesn't say to what extent)... but you'd never know it.
Torque, torque, torque. More than the K1300R I had. More than most bikes short of 1600cc & 2300cc monsters.
Only had it a month but the 1200 I had before had no real problems. Can't see this being much different. The engine is extremely unstressed in normal riding.
Fuel economy is similar to the 1200 with around 53mpg on daily half hour rural commutes. Servicing is BMW expensive but only not too much more than others.
Lots of aftermarket goodies becoming available. I got the EX so most everything OEM you can add has been added. Up/down quickshifter is a must. ABS pro is a nice to have as is the elec suspension. Mine came with a Datatool tracker, which is nice. The app is free & links up well recording everything to do with your ride (speed (optional), revs, lean angle, g-force, altitude(?), & throttle position).
Probably the best all round road bike I have ridden.
Enter the “ Mode” and get the ride style you want for the road conditions. brembo brakes are great
Exceptional torque makes safe overtakes with no fuss.
Solid well put together, very well thought out. Hill start well worth the extra
Everything a rider could ever want
Buying experience: Purchased from dealer. You will forget the price in time but live with a bike that you respect and totally enjoy.
Annual servicing cost: £150
Four months of daily riding, I'm thoroughly impressed by the quality of the build and engine performance.
Superb braking power.
Great. The torque is truly exhilarating.
Hill start control, the TFT display and the seat are awesome. I don't have any problem with the windscreen as some do; it's just big enough and I find myself lowering it even in hot weather. The ride position is something that I've not gotten used to yet and I keep wondering if I should get a handlebar riser.
Buying experience: Dealer - no issues there.
The standard screen as with the previous 1200, is too small. This is the only thing that spoils an otherwise superb motor cycle. With an aftermarket screen, the R1250RS makes a brilliant all rounder. I would definitely recommend it.
Good comfort for a sporty tourer.
New shift cam engine gives good spread of torque, right throughout the rev range.
Definitely opt for the optional Dynamic Suspension package.
Buying experience: As usual a pretty good experience when buying a BMW. Did manage to get discount off list price.
The motorcycle is raely good after some changes: new seat, new windshield and additional handlebar risers. The engine is the best in the world for me :) The quick shifter is not so smooth and the gear box is not so precise
Buying experience: From dealer