"Photos by Milagro A few years ago most dual-purpose bikes were boring devices: too slow to be fun on the road, and too crude and heavy to be much good off it. BMW changed all that with the hugely popular "
BMW R 1250 GS
The new BMW R 1250 GS is in great shape.
BMW have reinvented their Boxer bikes and boy is it a bonus to the rider.
On first look at the new 1250 GS, you immediately see it is leaner and lower than the previous model. BMW have stripped off weight (249 kg), and now the Boxer based bike looks a middleweight rather than the top centred heavyweight. It has the upgraded 1250 engine now producing 100 kW (136 hp).
I climbed on the beautiful looking Black Exclusive version and felt at home. You sit snugly on or I should say, in the seat and the bike seems to mould around you.
The bike is light and agile whereas the previous model was heavier and had a high centre of gravity making it awkward to steer at low speeds. I could easily place both feet flat on the ground. This is always a benefit when riding off-road or on slippery road surfaces.
I rode away from Vines BMW in Guildford and headed down the A3 to the south coast. The bike is so smooth and surprisingly quiet, purring contently as I tackled the evening commuter traffic. When I reached the A3 and I was able to turn the throttle, it lights up and the power delivery is superb. Motorway speeds are reached extremely quickly.
You quickly love the thinner feel of the bike as your legs hug the tank, and you can flick it around much better than the outgoing model. Still a big bike it is very agile enabling quick direction changes and good filtering. The riding position is great. I thought the short looking screen would not protect me from wind, but it did that task very well. You can adjust it while on the go, manually.
The TFT screen is superb, offering so much information very clearly. The display can easily be changed by the menu button and then the scroll wheel on the clutch side of the handlebar. All the controls are easy to use while riding and you don’t have to take your eyes of the road apart from an instant to view the display.
The standard bike comes with two modes, Road and Rain. The Exclusive I rode comes with four.
Dynamic mode does exactly what it suggests, power delivery is quicker pushing you along rapidly with full HP, going to the rear.
Enduro mode is for those excursions off-road, taking the bike on the adventures it is designed for. It tackles mud, sand or shingle as easily as it tackles tarmac.
Rain mode cuts down the HP giving less of a kick when the throttle is applied. Thus preventing spinning on wet, greasy surfaces.
Road mode is your standard daily ride setting.
You can also adjust the suspension to match the riding modes, and the bike does also calculate the weight on the bike and alter the suspension to compensate. I.E. if you start your ride solo, then pick up a pillion with some luggage load up, the bike’s computer realises weight is now different and adjusts the suspension. A very nice touch.
Hill Start is standard which is a great piece of tech. Press the front brake lever and activate HS. An H appears on the digital display, the bike will not move even with your hand and foot off the brakes. When you want to pull away, pull the front brake and apply the throttle, the bike pulls away. Simple but very beneficial when two up and fully loaded stopped on a steep gradient.
The shaft drive is super smooth as you would expect from a BMW, matched with a great gearbox and the engine that now has ShiftCam Technology. This enables variation of the valve timings and valve stroke on the intake side. In addition, the intake camshafts are designed for asynchronous opening of the two intake valves, resulting in an enhanced swirl of the fresh, incoming mixture and therefore more effective combustion. Other technical changes to the engine related to the camshaft drive. A toothed chain replaces a roller chain set up. There are now optimised oil supply, twin-jet injection valves and a new exhaust system.
Safety in mind BMW has installed as standard ASC, Automatic Stability Control which automatically adjusts traction when it detects the possibility of the rear spinning or sliding.
My bike also came with an SOS system. If the system detects there has been a possible accident it will alert someone who then calls the bike. The caller will require a response from the rider and if they don’t get one, emergency services are called to the location of the bike.
Tank size is twenty litres allowing approx two hundred miles between fuel stops. Great for touring where you want to crack on and get the mileage crunched.
I love the keyless ride system which has been installed. No faffing for keys out of pockets or remembering to take them out when you park up quickly to nip in somewhere. Just have the key fob on your person and if you are in proximity to the bike you can start it and also open the fuel cap. It also links to pannier sets.
I am very impressed with the bike and it quickly felt like I had been riding it for months. I could easily use it as a daily ride, then load it up with the many accessories BMW provide for it and head off on a long trip. It is a major improvement on the old model which was already the leading seller in the Adventure market. The new R1250 GS will start attracting bikers who own other makes.
Prices for the GS start from £ 13,415.
The model I rode was the R 1250 GS Exclusive TE which has these features over the standard GS.
• Exclusive Style Package – Black Storm Metallic – Frame Achat Grey – Gold Calipers • Dynamic Traction Control
• LED Headlights
• Dynamic ESA
• Keyless Ride
• Daytime Riding Light
• Radiator and Frame Guard
• Gear Shift Assist Pro
• Riding Modes Pro – Includes Dynamic Pro, Enduro and Enduro Pro
• Chrome Exhaust
• Preparation for GPS
• Heated Grips
• Tyre Pressure Control
• Cruise Control
• LED Indicators
• ABS Pro with Dynamic Brake Light
• Black Powertrain
• Hand Guards
BMW Motorrad is providing 3 years warranty now on all new bikes.
Find out more about the 1250 GS here
Thanks to VinesBMW Motorrad Guildford
Photos by Jeremy Webb ©
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