Cleaner, smarter, and more powerful—the 2019 BMW R1250GS and the BMW R1250RT have just been announced by BMW Motorrad with a slew of technical and mechanical updates. As a whole, the updates add power, safety, and convenience, bringing 35 years of boxer touring heritage forward.

More Displacement, More Power, And BMW ShiftCam Technology

The big highlight is that both power and torque have been increased for the R1250GS and R1250RT to a claimed 136 hp at 7,750 rpm and 105 pound-feet of torque 6,250 rpm, a gain of 11 hp and 28 pound-feet respectively. How these gains have been achieved is a mixture of displacement and technical improvements. Both models are up 84cc to 1,250cc, a move we’ve seen regularly from other manufacturers to help meet ever stricter emissions requirements while retaining current power levels. In addition, for additional power and lower emissions, BMW has added its new ShiftCam Technology.

ShiftCam valve train
An overview of the new ShiftCam valve train.BMW Motorrad

This variable valve timing setup is the first application for BMW, and features a secondary cam profile activated by a set of pins sliding in groves to move the camshaft axially. This allows a BMW to optimize emissions cleanliness with smoothness of low-end power, plus an addition of power in the upper end of the rev range. We're very interested to see how this system stacks up to other variable valve systems in the market, and we took a detailed look on this technology here.

Rounding out the engine changes are a toothed chain for the camshaft drive instead of a roller drive, an “optimized” oil supply, twin-jet injection valves, and new exhaust system.

R1250GS
2019 BMW R1250GSBMW Motorrad

Ride Modes, Electronic Suspension, And More Connectivity

For 2019, the R1250GS and the new BMW R1250RT feature Automatic Stability Control (ASC), and Hill Start Control for help starting on inclines. In addition, the optional Riding Modes Pro feature adds a Dynamic riding mode, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), and in the R1250GS the riding modes Dynamic Pro, Enduro, and Enduro Pro.

The hardware behind DTC and Dynamic Braking Assistant (DBC) is not specified, but BMW claims that DTC enables even safer acceleration when turning, and DBC ensures safer slowing by avoiding unintentional acceleration and by controlling drive torque during braking. We’re interested to learn what hardware and software changes are implemented in the Riding Modes Pro option package.

For the R1250RT, BMW has added its electronic suspension Dynamic ESA with fully automatic load compensation.

The new R1250GS now has the equipment feature connectivity as standard. This includes a 6.5-inch full-color TFT screen, and works with the BMW Motorrad Multi-Controller to access vehicle and connectivity functionality. The R1250RT is fitted with a large 5.7-inch TFT color screen that is supplemented with an analog speedometer and rev counter.

R1250RT
2019 BMW R1250RTBMW Motorrad

And, finally, rounding out the changes are a standard LED headlamp for the R1250GS, optional LED daytime riding lights for both models, optional Intelligent Emergency Call that can alert emergency services automatically, and revised standard and optional colors.

Why It Matters

Ever smarter, faster, and more efficient, the R1250GS and R1250RT have the burden of carrying the heritage of BMW’s boxer engine into the most stringent of emissions requirements and the highly competitive heavyweight touring and ADV space.

Big changes like ShiftCam Technology and even smaller ones like the optional riding modes point to a heavily revised riding experience for both models. Both look ready for the Long Way Round whether on pavement or off.

Of course, a full ride report will follow in the coming months when test models become available.