R1250 GSA and RT 5,000 Mile Update

‘I’ll take the high road and you’ll take the low road’

The new R1250 engine is starting to appear quite regularly as members invest in the new design. How is the R1250 shaping up? We asked Carl and Steve owners of an R1250GSA and R1250RT respectively for their views after 5,000 miles of ownership. As it happened both took their R1250s on trips to Scotland at the end of May, here is what they thought!

R1250GSA Update – Carl Flint

I took delivery of my new Ice Grey 1250 GSA on March 8th2019 from Vines Motorrad, Guildford. As I write the GSA has just had its first service at 6700 miles. A lot of miles have been clocked up quickly by a tour around central and west Wales (500 miles), then the North Coast 500 of Scotland in early June (1700 miles) and in early July a tour in the Spanish Pyrenees (getting there using the ferry from Plymouth to Santander) and then back up through west France (1700) miles.


Having had a liquid cooled BMW R1200 RT (2014 plate) before, having now ridden over 6000 miles, what do I particularly like about the GSA?

  • The new 1250 engine has more zip and grunt and a pleasure to use.
  • Riding position.
  • A little more flexibility on seat positions compared with my RT.
  • Keyless ride.
  • Handling in corners.
  • Positioning and brightness of LED side lights enhancing visibility of bike to other road users.
  • 30 litre fuel tank, so long rides between refuelling.
  • TFT instrument panel, rather than analogue dials.
  • TFT features, of media, telephone and connectivity that are excellent.
  • Heated grips now have their own button on handle bar controls.
  • Hill Start Control braking.
  • Can be customised to death.
  • Tends to dive less under braking.
  • Top opening paniers for ease of access to store and take out luggage, a big plus point when on tour.
  • Turn indicator speed related cancelling.

What are the downsides?

  • The most noticeable downsides are when the bike is stationary.
  • It is a big bike more suited to a rider that has long legs, experienced and strong.
  • Slightly heavier than RT and ‘top’ heavy with a full fuel tank.
  • Slightly harder to get on central stand.
  • Engine noise more noticeable compared with RT.
  • Wet weather protection not as good as on RT.

There have been so many reviews of the 1250 GSA that it is almost pointless for me to add my two halfpence worth in addition to my likes and dislikes above. I read one review recently in the TVAM Slipstream magazine, where in my opinion it was unnecessarily disparaging about the TFT instrument panel, suggesting it is overcomplicated. It does require some mastering, but it is a wonderful improvement on analogue dials with much greater functionality and information at one’s fingertips and I find it is a pleasure to use and look at while riding.

For me, this is a great motorcycle for long distance tours on all sorts of roads. So would I go back to an RT? No.


R1250RT Update – Steve Moxey

So far, I have used the R1250RT for solo riding, taking my RoSPA test and the trip to Scotland, mostly solo but my wife Catherine rode with me on the way back from Newton Aycliffe – about 250 miles. My comparison is with my previous R1200RTLC rather than my R1200GSA LC. I must admit I had second thoughts about taking the R1250RT to Scotland, as it is not my normal touring bike – that is the R1200GSA! However, the R1250RT seemed a good idea as my companions were on similar bikes: Dave Tomlinson (K1600GT), Dave and Rosemary Hicks (R1200RT) and Tim Read (R1200RTLC).

Touring bikes with fairings are good in NORMAL Scottish weather!

I had one small problem prior to the trip, a strange creak from the from suspension at low speed. Bahnstormer Alton were very good at getting the R1250RT in to see what the problem was and found it was very simple the telelever suspension tubes needed some lubrication. Apart from that everything has worked perfectly.

The R1250RT performed very well on the Scotland trip, apart from the engine it was very similar to my R1200RT, but the R1250 was noticeable more powerful for overtaking and on steep uphill roads. I feel the R1200 is however smoother, probably because of the smaller pistons.

R1250RT at Redworth Hall



The new R1250 engine seems to be working well and is a useful upgrade to the R1200 in terms of power and torque. There were some fears that by chasing more power a la KTM, BMW might have affected the driveability of the boxer. In practice the R1250 is even easier to use than the R1200 – there don’t appear to have been any major issues reported so far. Good though the R1250 engine is the R1200 is still a fantastic engine, which may even be slightly smoother at low revs. If you have an R1200 you can continue to enjoy your motorcycle and if in the market for a new machine the R1250 is an excellent choice.

R1250GSA and R1250RT


Originally posted 2019-08-06 08:06:12.


Author: drdrsteve