BMW unveil anniversary R1250GS alongside a host of new tech

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BMW have used the 40th anniversary of the GS to unveil their most technologically advanced models yet, which have everything from heated seats to lights that aim around corners. Oh they even look a bit like the R100GS ‘Bumblebee’ too.

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The R100GS has an electronic ignition, heated grips and er that’s it. The latest GS – well where do we start? There’s a huge list of electronic goodies that are new this year but top of the tree has to be the new adaptive cornering lights. These things have existed on cars for a while and we’ve had the wee extra cornering LEDs but never beams that go around corners.

That’s right on the new GS and GSA, the headlight reflector is able to swivel by 35 degrees, so on dipped beam as you turn into a corner, the headlight pivots and aims the beam where you’re going.

It can also adjust its height too, say if you pop a particularly heavy pillion on at the back. Genius. There’s other nifty features too such as faint ‘position’ lights in the indicators, plus a ‘follow me home’ function that keeps just the headlight on to help you park it in the dark.

BMW R1250GS 40 years edition front

BMW have also upped the level of safety electronics as standard now too. Both the GS and GSA will now come with dynamic traction control and ABS pro as standard, as well as Hill Start Control (HSC). Ex-works you can add Pro riding modes plus HSC Pro for smoother takeoffs.

There’s additional comfort to be found elsewhere including heated rider and passenger seats (something people have been asking after for years) plus updated heated grips, that now offer five stages of heat adjustment all controlled through the TFT dash.

There’s also extra power options, with a standard 12v takeoff as well as a 2.4A USB port, which is enough to power even the hungriest smartphone. Hell there’s even an ‘eco’ driving mode if you really want to eek out the miles from a rapidly reducing tank. BMW have also made some practical additions, so for the first time ever you can raise the bars by 30mm without buying parts from a third party.

BMW R1250GS 40 years edition tank

Last but not least, all the new features are available alongside a "40 years of GS" edition with a paintjob that mirrors the classic R100GS, with yellow accessories on an all-black bike. If that’s not for you BMW are also offerings the basic ice grey as well as ‘triple black’ and ‘rallye’.

No word yet from BMW on when we can expect the new features, or how much we’ll have to pay for them, but we’ll update you as soon as we know.

BMW unveil 2019 R1250GS

First published on 17 September, 2018 by Ben Clarke

2019 BMW R1250GS

BMW have unveiled full details of their incoming R1250GS after a video explaining the new engine and including images of the bike itself was leaked online last week. 

The new GS will have a larger 1254cc engine making 134bhp and 92 ft-lb of torque. The engine will also feature new ShiftCam technology, which uses a shift gate to move the camshaft sideways in the head, changing between two different cam profiles depending on the position of the throttle.

This has improved the power spread across the rev range and fuel efficiency, but the tech doesn’t end there. The 1250 also has a clever self-adjusting oil intake, a new 6.5" full colour TFT dash and an all-new engine management system called BMS-O. 

How does ShiftCam work?

This system is similar to some variable valve timing systems we’ve seen in the past. Ducati use a system on the Testastretta engine that advances and retards the cam timing to alter valve overlap to similar effect. The cam profile stays the same in the Ducati but a hydraulic cam phase adjuster at the end of the cam shaft shifts the timing slightly to give more torque at lower revs without sacrificing power at the top end. 

Honda’s VTEC system is closer to the BMW but that closed off valves completely. At low RPM half of the cam lobes didn’t rotate with the shaft, meaning two valves per cylinder didn’t open. At a higher RPM engine oil pressure pushed a locking pin into place that activated the remaining valves. 

The BMW is different in that both cam profiles are fixed to the same shaft which maintains a constant relationship with the crank. The whole shaft is moved laterally by an actuator. The valves themselves are also asymmetric (one opens and closes slightly ahead of the other) creating a swirl of fuel and air which burns more cleanly. 

BMW R1250GS in numbers

  • 1254cc boxer twin
  • 134bhp @ 7750rpm
  • 20l tank (260 mile range)
  • 850/870mm seat height
  • 249kg (wet)

It’s not just the GS which is getting updated, the BMW R1250RT will get the same engine, a mild facelift and Dynamic ESA with ‘fully automatic load compensation'.

There's no word on price yet, but we expect the GS to cost around £14.5k.

2019 BMW R1250GS was revealed in a leaked online video

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Jordan Gibbons

By Jordan Gibbons

News Editor, owns some old bikes. Should know better.