It’s The Alternative To The Naked-Bruiser Bikes

BMW’s R 1250 base serves as a platform for a number of variants, including the more streetwise pair of models: the R 1250 R roadster and the sport-touring R 1250 RS. As their names suggest, the “R” is a sport-naked with minimal body cladding and an essential layout that wastes nothing on superfluous equipment, but like the yin to the R’s yang, the “RS” is more about long-range comfort. Toward that end, it sports a fullish front fairing complete with screen. Both ride on a common chassis and suspension system with a few color choices per model plus BMW’s Option 719 Spezial and a host of dedicated accessories across the board. A liter-plus engine delivers the goods with ride-quality features as standard equipment and a whole lot more as part of the optional ex werke gear.

  • 2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 R / RS
  • Year:
    2019- 2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    Flat twin
  • Displacement:
    1254 cc
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    14995
  • Price:

BMW R 1250 R Design

2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 R / RS
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2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 R / RS
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Although the tank shape varies from model to model, both taper down at the rear to match the narrow waist with knee pockets and room for body English.

I love it when a marque gets the most out of a base platform; yes indeed. While BMW also has a full-on adventure bike built around the R 1250 core, I’m going to focus on the streetbikes for now, starting with the similarities. At a glance you can see the “R” hiding under the newly-redesigned tour-tastic fairing of the “RS”. Both models rock a cut-down front fender and sporty-looking inverted front forks. Short risers and a flattish handlebar can pull the rider into an aggressive riding posture over the 4.75-gallon fuel tank if that’s what you want to do. Although the tank shape varies from model to model, both taper down at the rear to match the narrow waist with knee pockets and room for body English.

An upswept subframe lofts the pillion pad and forms a shallow butt-stop for the pilot with fold-up footpegs and J.C. handles to round out the passenger’s points of contact. Honestly, from the bars on back, the flyline could fit in with almost any sportbike lineup, and so does the gear in the rear as the LED taillight is tucked up inside the tip of the tail and the rear blinkers/plateholder are mounted on a short mudguard.

Back up front, the “R” carries a combination halogen/LED headlight while the “RS” goes full LED, but if you want the DRLs, you’d better be ready to pay to add them ex werke. The “RS” comes standard with a wide front fairing and clear windscreen for a clear advantage in comfort over the roadster’s minimal flyscreen; too bad the RS doesn’t come with stock panniers, so it is not ready for touring, or even serious commuting, right out of the box.

As for colors, the factory chose a range of hues that starts out with the “R” in basic Black Storm Metallic and progresses through the Light White/Racing Blue Metallic/Racing Red “HP” model with the “Exclusive” package on the top tier in Pollux Metallic Matte. The “RS” base model matches its sibling with Black Storm Metallic on tap and an “Exclusive” model that’s Imperial Blue Metallic over Agate Grey and Asphalt Grey. An Austin Yellow Metallic “Sport” adds to the choices for the “RS”, and both models are available the Option 719 Spezial finish that mixes gold and glass flakes over a brown-bronze base.

BMW R 1250 R Chassis

2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 R / RS
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2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 R / RS
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2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 R / RS
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All things considered, the R 1250 R and RS have stable tracking at speed and decent agility in the turns making either a fun ride for commuting or leisure.

Much of the standing structure of the R 1250 R is displaced by the load-bearing engine. What’s left is a two-section frame that completes the assembly with a single-side aluminum swingarm to articulate the rear wheel. A BMW Motorrad Paralever monoshock tames the motion out back with adjustable rebound damping alongside an adjustable preload feature as the only suspension tweaks to be had on the base “R” and “RS.” If you’re into electronic suspension fandanglery and are willing to pay for it, the factory offers an optional dynamic suspension system that dials itself in automatically as you go to deliver a superior ride.

Across the streetwise board, the family relies on dual 320 mm discs and four-piston Brembo calipers to slow the front wheel and a 276 mm disc and twin-pot anchor out back. Beemer’s own switchable ABS feature comes as part of the stock package with its ABS Pro feature as optional gear.

Hydraulically-dampened usd front forks come with fixed damping values and a 27.7-degree rake angle that delivers stable tracking at speed and decent agility in the turns. Cast-aluminum rims round out the rolling chassis with a 120/70-17 up front opposite a 180/55-17, and the rubber comes with a ZR rating that will tolerate everything you can throw at it at speeds up to the 125 mph top end.

Frame: Two-section frame, front- and bolted on rear frame, load-bearing engine
Front suspension: Telescopic Upside-Down fork; stanchion diameter 45 mm
Rear suspension: Cast aluminum single-sided swing arm with BMW Motorrad Paralever; WAD strut (travel-related damping), spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable (continuously variable) at handwheel, rebound damping adjustable at handwheel
Suspension travel, front / rear: 5.5 in / 5.5 in (140 mm / 140 mm)
Castor: 4.9 in (125.6 mm), RS: 4.4 in (110.9 mm)
Steering head angle: 62.3°
Wheels: Cast aluminum wheels
Rim, front: 3.50’’ x 17’’
Rim, rear: 5.50’’ x 17’’
Tire, front: 120/70 ZR 17
Tire, rear: 180/55 ZR 17
Brake, front: Dual disc brake, floating brake discs, diameter 320 mm, 4-piston radial calipers
Brake, rear: Single disc brake, diameter 276 mm, double-piston floating caliper
ABS: BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (part-integral), disengageable

BMW R 1250 R Drivetrain

2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 R / RS
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2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 R / RS
- image 860209
2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 R / RS
- image 860150
With Shift-Cam technology, the engine is smooth with snappy throttle response and seems noticeably smoother than the out-going 1200 model.

Power on the R 1250 R comes from a flat-twin engine with deep roots that precede WWII but has evolved to keep up with the advance of technology to make itself a thoroughly modern machine. I never was a fan of the design, simply because of the way the heads stick out each side and are vulnerable to damage, but I guess it’s hard to argue with success. It’s a boxer engine, so the power pulses are 180-degrees out, but the bottom end sports a counterbalance shaft that takes the edge off the vibration from the evenly-spaced power strokes.

The bores mic out at 102.5 mm with a 76 mm stroke and a 12.5-to-1 compression ratio that leaves the mill bigly oversquare and in need of top-octane push-o-line to prevent pre-ignition/detonation. Each head totes a quartet of poppets with dual over-head cams to actuate them, and the cams feature Beemer’s ShiftCam technology that tweaks the intake valve stroke and timing to broaden the torque band. It also increases power by introducing a strong swirl to the intake stream in a bid to maximize combustion. These efforts pay off with a claimed 136 horsepower at 7,750 rpm and 105 pound-feet of torque at 6,250 rpm. This is nine percent more horsepower and 14 percent more torque than the 1,170 cc engine.

Power flows through an anti-hopping clutch for some backtorque mitigation between the engine and the six-speed transmission. As for ride-quality/safety gear, the standard equipment includes traction control along with a Hill Start Control feature and pair of riding modes. For 2020, BMW adds Dynamic Brake Assist and Configurable Hill Start Pro for smoother brake release and gives you the option to select “Automatic Brake Activation.” ABA automatically engages the brake when you stop on an incline.

If you’d like more of that ride-quality delightfulness, the factory offers some top-shelf optional equipment ex werke. Induction control falls to a pair of 52 mm throttle bodies that rock a pair of injectors each for effective atomization/vaporization of the fuel so you get the maximum power out of the burned fuel and cleaner emissions.

Engine: Air/liquid-cooled four stroke flat twin engine, double overhead camshaft, one balance shaft and variable engine timing system BMW ShiftCam.
Bore x Stroke: 102.5 mm x 76 mm
Displacement: 1,254 cc
Rated output: 136 hp @ 7,750 rpm
Max. torque: 105 lb-ft @ 6,250 rpm
Compression ratio: 12.5 :1
Mixture control / engine management: Electronic fuel injection with ride-by-wire throttle system
Emission control: Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-4
Clutch: Multiplate wet clutch, hydraulically operated
Gearbox: Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox with helical cut gears
Drive: Shaft drive

BMW R 1250 R Pricing

2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 R / RS
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2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 R / RS
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2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 R / RS
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MSRP on the R 1250 R is $15k and the R 1250 RS starts at $15.7k.

MSRP on the R 1250 R is $14,995 and the “RS” comes in a few bills more at $15,695. The optional packages will bump that up quite a bit, but well worth it for the extra features.

R 1250 R PackagesIncludesAdd’l Cost
Exclusive Style Tank Cover Pure, Pollux Metallic Matte paint +$500
Style HP DTC, Tank Cover Pure, Engine Spoiler, Light White/Racing Blue Metallic/Racing Red Paint +$600
Sport Package Sport Seat, Windshield Support, Sport Handlebars +$350
Select DTC, Dynamic ESA, Keyless Ride, Gear Shift Assist Pro, Ride Modes Pro, GPS Preparation, Chrome Exhaust Pipe, Heated Grips, TPM, Cruise Control, ABS Pro, Center Stand, Saddle Bag Mounts +$2,950
R 1250 RS Packages Includes Add’l Cost
Style Pkg. Sport Tank Cover Pure, Engine Spoiler, Austin Yellow Metallic Matte paint +$500
Exclusive Style Tank Cover Pure, Imperial Blue Metallic paint +$400
Select DTC, Dynamic ESA, Keyless Ride, Gear Shift Assist Pro, Ride Modes Pro, GPS Preparation, Chrome Exhaust Pipe, Heated Grips, TPM, Cruise Control, ABS Pro, Center Stand, Luggage Grid, Saddle Bag Mounts +$3,150

BMW R 1250 R Competitors

2019 Ducati Diavel 1260 / 1260 S
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2019 - 2020 BMW R 1250 R / RS
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The Diavel has a decisive edge on some points, but that's also reflected in the price.

No doubt about it, the R 1250 R and RS are hard acts to follow, but I think Ducati is my Huckleberry with its Diavel 1260 as a competitor for the “R” model. The Ducati ride veers out of naked territory just enough to pick up a shroud for the radiator and chin fairing that flows into a short belly pan. Like the Beemer, the Diavel sports a cyclops headlight but delivers DRLs as part of the standard equipment package to gain an early edge.

The bodywork and long fuel tank slope give the Diavel a bit of a muscular all-up-front look accentuated by the clean rear end. Actual spray control falls to a pair of huggers, and that leaves the tip of the tail with naught but the taillight to support.

As far as aesthetics go, I’d say the Ducati, as always, is pure sex on wheels, but the Beemer certainly has a charm all its own. The suspension category sees a wash as the Duc runs fixed inverted front forks and a rear shock that deliver adjustable rebound damping and preload. Brembo brakes are a constant across the board, but Ducati throws in the Bosch Cornering ABS to gain an edge in the anchors.

As for power, the Duc runs a 1,262 cc Testastretta engine that turns out 159 horsepower and 95 pounds o’ grunt for a decisive edge in ponies that’s ultimately just a trade off. One area where Ducati clearly shines is in the engine-control features. The stock Diavel 1260 starts with a Launch Control feature that hands control over to the traction control and wheelie control once you get moving. Power modes let you dial in the delivery, and Riding modes bind them all together in various combinations for quick setups.

The sticker on the Beemer is under $16k, four grand less than the Diavel, so you’ll have to decide if that price difference is enough to sway the sale for folks on fence between the two.

He Said

“While I recognize the appeal of the Euro-standard rides, I have to gig Beemer for the lack of baggage. Sorry, but having it in the accessory catalog isn’t good enough for a sport-tourer, not on our side of the pond, anyway. That said, I kinda like the fully-equipped RS model, though if I’m honest, I’d want something with a more upright riding posture for long hauls.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “As you’d expect, the rider position is upright and very comfortable and the handlebar is nice and wide. Both go well toward long-distance riding. The TFT display is really quite nice, very readable and lots of options to give you the metrics you want see. The engine is smooth with snappy throttle response and seems noticeably smoother than the 1200 model, probably due to the Shift-Cam technology. In short, if you rode the old R 1200 or any of the older “R” models and weren’t impressed, you really should give the new R 1250 R or the RS a spin. It’s a new experience.”

BMW R 1250 R Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Air/liquid-cooled four stroke flat twin engine, double overhead camshaft, one balance shaft and variable engine timing system BMW ShiftCam.
Bore x stroke: 102.5 mm x 76 mm
Displacement: 1,254 cc
Rated output: 136 hp @ 7,750 rpm
Max. torque: 105 lb-ft @ 6,250 rpm
Compression ratio: 12.5 :1
Mixture control / engine management: Electronic fuel injection with ride-by-wire throttle system
Emission control: Closed-loop 3-way catalytic converter, emission standard EU-4
Clutch: Multiplate wet clutch, hydraulically operated
Gearbox: Constant mesh 6-speed gearbox with helical cut gears
Drive: Shaft drive
Chassis:
Frame: Two-section frame, front- and bolted on rear frame, load-bearing engine
Front suspension: Telescopic Upside-Down fork; stanchion diameter 45 mm
Rear suspension: Cast aluminum single-sided swing arm with BMW Motorrad Paralever; WAD strut (travel-related damping), spring pre-load hydraulically adjustable (continuously variable) at handwheel, rebound damping adjustable at handwheel
Suspension travel, front / rear: 5.5 in / 5.5 in (140 mm / 140 mm)
Castor: 4.9 in (125.6 mm), RS: 4.4 in (110.9 mm)
Steering head angle: 62.3°
Wheels: Cast aluminum wheels
Rim, front: 3.50’’ x 17’’
Rim, rear: 5.50’’ x 17’’
Tire, front: 120/70 ZR 17
Tire, rear: 180/55 ZR 17
Brake, front: Dual 320 mm floating discs, 4-piston radial calipers
Brake, rear: Single 276 mm disc brake, double-piston floating caliper
ABS: BMW Motorrad Integral ABS (part-integral), disengageable
Dimensions & Capacities:
Length: 85.2 in (2,165 mm), RS: 86.7 in (2,202 mm)
Width (incl. Mirrors): 34.6 in (880 mm), RS: 36.4 in (925 mm)
Height (excl. mirrors): 51.2 in (1,300 mm), RS: min. 49.4 in; max. 52.8 in (min. 1,255 mm; max. 1,340 mm)
Wheelbase: 59.6 in (1,515 mm), RS: 60.0 in (1,530 mm)
Seat height, unladen: 32.3 in (820 mm)
Inner leg curve, unladen: Sport Seat: 73.8", Standard Seat: 72.4", Low Seat: 67.7"
Curb weight: 527 lb (239 kg), RS: 536 lb (243 kg)
Permitted total weight: 1,014 lb (460 kg)
Payload (with standard equipment): 487 lb (221 kg), RS: 478.4 lb (217 kg)
Usable tank volume: approx 4.8 gal with 1 gal reserve (approx. 18 l with approx. 4 l reserve)
Fuel consumption: 50 mpg
Top speed: over 125 mph (over 200 km/h)
Electric:
Alternator: three-phase alternator 508 W (nominal power)
Battery: 12 V / 12 Ah, maintenance-free
Details:
Standard Features:
└ R 1250 R: 2 Ride Modes (Rain/Road), ABS, ASC (Automatic Stability Control), Connectivity with TFT Display, Dynamic Brake Control, Headlight Pro, Hill Start Control, LED Tail Light, Multifunction Display, On-Board Computer Pro, Power Socket, ShiftCam (Variable Camshaft Control), Toolkit
└ R 1250 RS: 2 Ride Modes (Rain/Road), ABS, Adjustable Windshield, ASC (Automatic Stability Control), Connectivity with TFT Display, Dynamic Brake Control, Hill Start Control, Horseshoe Style "Horizontal Y" Headlight Element, LED Headlight, LED Tail Light, Multifunction Display, On-Board Computer Pro, Power Socket, ShiftCam (Variable Camshaft Control), Toolkit
Colors:
└ R 1250 R: Black Storm Metallic, Pollux Metallic Matte, Light White/Racing Blue Metallic/Racing Red Paint, Sparkling Bronze Metallic (Opt719)
└ R 1250 RS: Black Storm Metallic, Imperial Blue Metallic, Austin Yellow Metallic Matte, Sparkling Bronze Metallic (Opt719)
Price:
└ R 1250 R: $14,995
└ R 1250 RS: $15,695

Further Reading

Ducati Diavel 1260

2019 Ducati Diavel 1260 / 1260 S
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See our review of the Ducati Diavel 1260 / 1260 S.

BMW R 1200 R

2015 - 2018 BMW R 1200 R
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See our review of the BMW R 1200 R.

BMW R 1250 RT

2019 BMW R 1250 RT
- image 799863

See our review of the BMW R 1250 RT.

BMW R 1250 GS Adventure

2019 BMW R 1250 GS Adventure
- image 826194

See our review of the BMW R 1250 GS Adventure.

BMW R 1250 GS

2019 BMW R 1250 GS
- image 799872

See our review of the BMW R 1250 GS.

BMW Motorrad

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
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Read more BMW news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: bmwmotorcycles.com, ducati.com

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