BMW’s flagship R models have been given bigger engines and more horsepower for 2019, with the R 1250 GS and R 1250 RT now promising 136 hp – an extra nine ponies over the previous generation.
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The boxer-engined GS and RT platforms have anchored BMW’s line-up for more than 35 years, with the former consistently showing up at the top of European sales charts. The GS has also spawned so many imitators as to create an entire movement, and with bikes like the Triumph Tiger 1200, Ducati Multistrada 1260, and KTM 1290 Super Adventure R/S all offering more impressive power figures BMW had to have been feeling a little bit of pressure.
The capacity boost still keeps BMW at the bottom of the power stakes, however, so the German manufacturer is keen to highlight instead the technological advances coming to the platforms – namely “ShiftCam Technology,” or variable valve timing.
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“With the extensively further advanced boxer engine, the new R 1250 GS and R 1250 RT… optimize refinement and running smoothness – especially within the lower engine speed range,” claims BMW. “What is more, the new engine offers improved emission and fuel consumption levels as well as a particularly satisfying sound.”
Thank goodness they’ll have a satisfying sound. The bikes also receive a number of tweaks internal and external, including:
- Camshaft drive now via toothed chain (previously roller chain)
- Optimised oil supply and piston base cooling
- Knock sensor system
- Riding modes, ASC and Hill Start Control now standard
- Multifunctional instrument cluster with 6.5-inch full-color TFT screen
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And some other stuff, too. Not to mention the optional bits; BMW is offering all the bells and all the whistles. Starting price on the R 1250 GS is £13,415, whereas the new R 1250 RT starts at £14,415. One wonders if this means we’ll be seeing some discounted R 1200 GS/RT models in dealerships as the year come to a close…