2019 BMW R 1250 GS and R 1250 RT | First Look Review

2019 BMW R 1250 GS and R 1250 RT
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS and R 1250 RT boast an updated boxer engine with more displacement, variable timing and more power, along with some snappy new style variants and electronic updates. (Photos courtesy BMW Motorrad)

BMW has announced changes to its flat-twin boxer-powered GS and RT models with the unveiling of the new R 1250 GS and R 1250 RT. Both bikes get a revised engine with a bump in displacement and ShiftCam variable timing, plus updates to various electronics and rider aids such as Riding Modes, Dynamic ESA (electronic suspension), full-color TFT displays and new Dynamic Brake Control.

BMW ShiftCam technology allows for variable valve timing and valve stroke on the intake side, and intake camshafts open asynchronously for more effective combustion. Along with the bump from 1,170 to 1,254cc, a new toothed chain driving the camshaft, twin-jet injection valves, a new exhaust system and a knock sensor system, BMW claims the new engine makes more power (136 horsepower vs. 125) and more torque (105 lb-ft vs. 92), but with reduced emissions, greater fuel economy and smoother operation.

Standard equipment on both models will now include two riding modes, ASC (stability control), Hill Start Control and ABS Pro (cornering ABS). Riding Modes Pro will be available as an option, adding the Dynamic riding mode and Dynamic Traction Control. On the R 1250 GS, it also adds three additional riding modes, Dynamic Pro, Enduro and Enduro Pro. Finally, optional Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) prevents unintentional acceleration when braking.

Full-color 6.5-inch TFT display
Full-color 6.5-inch TFT display on the GS is operated by the Multi-Controller l on the left grip.

“Next Generation” Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment) will be an option for the RT, as will an LED headlight (the LED headlight is standard on the GS; an LED DRL will be optional on both). Both bikes get a full-color TFT display; 6.5-inch on the GS and 5.7-inch on the RT. The RT’s is supplemented with an analog speedometer and tachometer.

The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS will be available in two basic colors and two special variants, including the off-road HP version shown in these photos. Pricing starts at $17,695, and they arrive in dealerships in late 2018.

The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT will come in one basic color, two style variants and two Option 719 Spezial versions. Pricing starts at $18,645, and they arrive in dealerships in late 2018.

Check out Rider’s Guide to New/Updated Street Motorcycles for 2019

R 1250 GS HP
The R 1250 GS’s HP style variant looks ready to tackle whatever off-road challenges you want to throw at it, even if that just means the gravel construction site on your way to Starbucks.


  1. These two offerings are making me think. Hmmm, maybe I ought to sell some of my bikes to enable me to purchase another spankin’ new BMW boxer. On one hand, buying another boxer would be an act of insanity; been there, done it – still have twenty T-shirts . . . and the receipts. After years of paying through the credit card to purchase and maintain boxers, I swore never more! I’ve owned and used many motorcycles and never has one cost more per kilometer. On the other hand, incremental refinements matter. Right? Come on, somebody tell me I’m right! Okay, okay, I’m off to my regular Thursday evening ex-BMW owner support group. Hi . . . my name is Walter . . . and I’m being tempted . . . again.

  2. Walter, after the hype of the newness is over you will find it was not worth the agony.
    Stick with your trusty bikes – as long as their BMWs!


  3. I’m so tempted. I agree with Walter. These things cost a shit ton to keep running, but the RT is about perfect for me. Other than the cost to keep it running

  4. I have 35k on my 2015 BMW RT, love all the amenities but the exhaust noise and vibration destroy the whole experience for me not to mention the money spent at the shop just to keep it going. It’s got more power than anyone can ever use so BMW in all its wisdom adds more for 2019! Totally ridiculous waste of time and money to my way of thinking. How about better fuel mileage??? And a windscreen one can clean without removing it. I’ve been riding 48 years, I know BMW can do better and should do better for its loyal customers. Thank you Matthew Forsberg

  5. I’ve never owned a simpler-to maintain bike than my ’16 R12OOGSA. Changing the oil on my KTM 500 is a flat pain in the a**!!
    YES, IT WAS VERY EXPENSIVE!! But, I do believe it might last forever. I watch the other brands play catch up with every model year on what BMW has been doing for years. Also, I will never own a street bike with a chain again. I love my Beemer!!

  6. I’ve owned four different Boxers and never had problems with any of them. After reading all of these negative posts, I guess that I should feel lucky.

  7. l bought a 2007 GS 1200 last year with 15,000miles on it far l’ve put 5,000 miles on it with no issues. l rode Harleys for 20 plus years. Talkj about expensive to keep running! l only paid $5 K for it with all maintenence records and a few accesories. l think l’ll keep riding it.


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