If you’re aiming to take on an intercontinental ride, spanning time zones with stretches of massively varying topography, it’s hard to find a better way to conquer it than a BMW GS.
BMW can rest easy knowing it lays claim to one of the most successful and popular adventure motorcycles of all-time with its GS line. The top-of-the-range R 1200 GS, the brand’s best-selling motorcycle, is getting ditched for 2019 to make way for the all-new and improved R 1250 GS. Having been in production since 2004 with a few updates along the way, BMW needed something more than a minor 1200 GS refresh — the 2019 R 1250 GS gets a bigger engine, more power and more tech.
There might be a rise in popularity with smaller adventure bikes but that won’t stop BMW from refining and improving its biggest. The iconic BMW boxer engine grows from 1170cc to 1254cc and its power output swells to 136 horsepower and 105 ft-lbs of torque.
Normally, a simple power bump wouldn’t be enough to set anyone’s hair on fire, but the new engine incorporates a new variable valve timing system to better spread the power band across the rev range — a first for BMW. Ducati’s Testastretta engine already puts a hydraulic valve timing system to use, but BMW’s isn’t that far off from Honda’s long-standing V-tec system, using multiple cam profiles on sliding camshafts to adjust power and efficiency depending on throttle position. Up top, BMW introduces a TFT display, which is becoming the industry standard. But the Beemer gets its own unique design for basic bike information and for riders to scroll through and customize ride modes.
At what will probably be around $19,000, and similar to the outgoing R 1200 GS, the new R 1250 GS will be overkill for most riders. For a weekend on the mountain, hitting the trails and camping out, you actually don’t need much to have a great on-road-off-road adventure. But, and this is a big but, if you’re aiming to take on an intercontinental ride, spanning time zones with stretches of massively varying topography, it’s hard to find a better way to conquer it than a BMW GS.
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