New BMW R1250GS and R1250RT officially revealed

The R1250 GS moves BMW's adventure lineup boldly into the future, with the new Shiftcam engine.
UPDATED SEPT. 19, 2018

We’ve already seen glimpses of the new BMW R1250 engine, as well as the R1250GS model, but now BMW has officially revealed the new GS as well as the new R1250RT.

Both the GS and the RT will go on sale next month in Canada. The GS will have an MSRP of $21,400 (up from $20,300 for the R1200GS), and the RT an MSRP of $22,050 (up from $21,750 for the R1200RT).

The R1250 engine brings two major upgrades over the outgoing motor. The first big difference is the bump in displacement from 1170 cc to 1254 cc. The second is the introduction of variable valve timing, thanks to BMW’s new Shiftcam design.

The Shiftcam design has two lobes per intake valve, instead of one. A shiftgate at the end of the cam moves its position to correspond with the engine load. This means the intake is always matched to the engine’s needs, improving throttle response and engine efficiency. Last week, we ran a video that explained the design.

BMW also says asynchronous intake valve opening along with redesigned engine controller and twin-jet injection valves means the engine’s airflow and carburetion have improved. There’s also a new exhaust system for “optimum performance characteristics.”

The cam chain has switched from a roller design to a toothed design, the oiling system and piston base cooling are revised, and there’s a knock sensor to help ward off problems with dodgy fuel—not an issue for many riders, but certainly important if you’re traveling through the third world.

The result of all these changes? BMW has confirmed the new engine makes 136 hp at 7,750 rpm and 92 lb-ft of torque at 6,250 rpm.

Here’s what the new RT model looks like. There are more photos of each bike in the gallery below.

There are two riding modes standard on the new models, with traction control and hill start control standard. BMW’s Riding Modes Pro update can be had as an add-on for either machine, along with Dynamic Traction Control, leaning ABS (standard on the RT model) and emergency stopping feature Dynamic Brake Assistance.

Electronic suspension (Dynamic ESA) is also available on both machines as an option. LED running lights are optional for both machines, and the GS comes with an LED headlight as standard.

Along with the adjustable stock seats, both the R1250RT and R1250GS have optional seats to help riders get the perfect fit.

Both  new bikes have built-connectivity, to integrate mobile phones and other technology. The GS gets a full-colour 6.5-inch TFT screen as well, in place of an LCD panel or traditional gauges. The RT gets a smaller 5.7-inch TFT screen.

BMW will likely introduce further models in the R1250 lineup this fall  if emissions documents leaked earlier this month are correct. Expect the R1250GS and R1250RT to be on display at October’s Intermot show.


Check out all the pics that go with this story!


  1. Just updated this story with pricing and availability: Both the GS and the RT will go on sale next month. The GS will have an MSRP of $21,400 (up from $20,300 for the R1200GS), and the RT an MSRP of $22,050 (up from $21,750 for the R1200RT).

  2. Hi Ryan, I have a 2010 RT. If you ride in any and all weather conditions (other than freezing) it offers amazing weather protection and is all day comfortable. If you want the ability to turn down gravel roads to explore, it is the GS, which is also comfortable but does not offer as much weather protection. When is is 8 deg and pouring in our western mountain passes, I am very happy to have an RT. With my PR 5’s the rain hardly slows me down at all. Amazing combo. Cam

    • I’ve been craving an RT. Heard such good things about them for so long. It’s about the only bike I can think of that gives you large sport touring/touring bike comfort and weather protection without weighing a ton. Or baking you when it’s hot. If I decide to go this way, though, I think I’ll have to look for a good used one. Any early 1200 should have had any rear drive issues sorted by now, right?

      • Hi Ryan, 3 years ago I bought a 2010 RT with just over 50 k km. It had every factory option except stereo and about 5 grand in extras, so about a $30 k bike, for $12 K. It now has 105 k km and has only needed routine maintenance. However the 2010 and on oil heads have valve shims which is a pita and expensive. So every 10 k km is full service and new tires, about $2 grand. Just so you know. I don`t care at all, the best all around road bike I have ever owned, a total ripper. Gets into its sweet spot at 140 and very easy to go all day at 160-180 with bags on. Of course this is only for middle of nowhere, but despite a heavy right hand, never less than 6.5 l/100 km. At legal speeds 4.5 l/100 km. An amazing bike, zero desire to spend 30 grand on a new one, this one goes fast enough and handles amazingly well. Can’t say enough good things about this bike. 800 km days, no problems at all, Cam

        • No reason you can’t adjust shimmed valves yourself. I’ve done it on two different bikes now, twice on one. Definitely a little fiddlier than threaded adjusters. Well, no hurry to buy anything right now, but thinking about it. Thanks for your insights.

  3. Should your headline actually read “New BMW R1250GS and R1250RT…”?

    For those who have experience with both, which is more comfortable for long rides (on pavement) – the GS or the RT?

  4. The new GS appears to be awesome!

    Some have said it looks exactly the same as the current version but somehow I think it looks better, more modern.

    I may very well buy one, but I’d like to see the new RS first.

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