BMW R1250 RS: Classic boxer touring platform gets a revamp

The boxer-powered tourer is a long-standing cornerstone of BMW’s lineup, and the new BMW R1250 RS will help fill that role going forward.

The RS joins the R1250 RT, offering a sportier take on the touring role where the RT is more of a fully-equipped mileage muncher. As such, the RS has less bodywork and doesn’t come with luggage as standard.

The new R1250 Shiftcam flat twin engine is the bike’s highlight, with 136 hp at 7,750 rpm and 105 lb-ft of torque at 6,250 rpm. The charging system puts out 508 watts, more than enough for any electrical accessories needed. A six-speed transmission puts power to the rear wheel via a shaft drive.

The Shiftcam engine uses a variable valve timing system on the intake valves to allow for maximum efficiency at all throttle openings. This reduces emissions, saves gas, makes for a smoother-running engine, and delivers power more evenly. A shiftgate manipulates the intake cam position depending on the engine’s needs—see a video about that process here.

Like the other R1250s, the RS uses a two-part steel frame, with bolt-on rear subframe and engine as stressed member of the chassis. The front forks are telescopic units, but the rear suspension is BMW’s Paralever design. Electronically-adjusted semi-active suspension is optional.

The front brakes have 320 mm discs and four-piston floating calipers; there’s a single 276 mm disc in rear, with floating two-piston caliper. ABS is standard, ABS Pro (leaning ABS) is an option.

An LED headlight is standard on the RS; LED daytime running lights are optional. Wheels are die-cast aluminum 17-inchers. Seat height is 820 mm in standard trim, but accessory seats can change that in a range from 760 mm to 840 mm. Wet weight is 243 kg, and fuel economy is a claimed 3.25 L/100 km. Fuel tank capacity is 18 L.

Two riding modes are standard, along with Automatic Stability Control and a hill start assist feature. Many of the same accessories and options that are available for the R1250 R are also available for the R1250 RS, including bundles such as a Comfort package (chromed exhaust, heated grips, RDC tire pressure control), a Touring package (Dynamic ESA, Keyless Ride, wiring for a GPS unit, cruise control, centre stand, sidecase mounts) and a Dynamic package (daytime riding light, LED indicators, up/down quickshifter, sport windshield, and Pro riding modes). Some of these options are also available on their own, without the bundle, and buyers can also opt for bits like luggage, extra lighting, an alarm, and much, much more. The ex-works add-on catalogue for the R1250 series appears to be quite impressive.

The R1250 RS will have a $18,000 MSRP when it hits the Canadian market.

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