New BMW 1250 GS re­vealed plus Honda CBX1000 café racer.


DE­SPITE THE FA­MIL­IAR looks of the new GS, BMW have com­pre­hen­sively over­hauled the old R1200GS, giv­ing it vari­able valve tim­ing, an ex­tra 84cc – so it’s now the R1250GS – and sig­nif­i­cantly more power and torque across the rev range. Wet weight is up by 5kg, but that’s the only down­side on pa­per. The R1200RT gets the same treat­ment and be­comes the R1250RT. There’s a bl­iz­zard of mi­nor tweaks, but the big news is Shift­cam, BMW’S first go at vari­able valve tim­ing on a mo­tor­cy­cle. Like Honda’s VTEC, it can shift be­tween two cams, one for eco­nom­i­cal cruis­ing and one for full-on ac­cel­er­a­tion. Also like VTEC, the sys­tem only op­er­ates the in­take valves, though doesn’t have the cu­ri­ous 7000rpm changeover thresh­old of the Honda – the BMW ac­tu­a­tor shifts cams de­pend­ing on how the engine is be­ing used. Hope­fully this will mean changes are im­per­cep­ti­ble. Peak power is up to 136bhp at 7750rpm (from 125bhp) while peak torque is 105 lb.ft at 6250rpm (pre­vi­ously 92 lb.ft at 6500rpm rpm). But more rel­e­vant to ev­ery­day life is the ef­fect Shift­cam has in the mid­dle of the

rev range. The new GS makes 88 lb.ft from 3500rpm, which is more than a GSX-R1000R makes at its 10,800rpm peak. Over­all, torque is up 14%, power up 9%. Be­sides the head­line ben­e­fits, BMW also claim the new engine drinks 4% less fuel, re­duces emis­sions, and is ‘tan­gi­bly’ smoother than the old one – es­pe­cially at lower revs. We’ll re­port if this is the case in next month’s launch test. Other engine changes in­clude a camshaft drive chain (now toothed rather than roller), im­proved oil sup­ply, twin-jet in­jec­tion valves and a new ex­haust sys­tem. There’s also a new slip­per clutch.

There’s more…

Af­ter the ex­cite­ment of the engine changes, things calm down some­what. Among the usual al­pha­bet soup of elec­tronic as­sis­tants is a new one called DBC (Dy­namic Brake Con­trol) which stops you ac­cel­er­at­ing when you’re brak­ing. It’s not clear who asked for that one. There’s also a full colour TFT screen as stan­dard and plenty of con­nec­tiv­ity should you wish to talk to other peo­ple while rid­ing. There will be three ver­sions of the GS – stan­dard, Ex­clu­sive (ev­ery­thing painted black), and HP (white/blue Mo­tor­rad colours, spoked wheels). There are three RTS too – stan­dard, Sport (shorter wind­screen, black trim) and El­e­gance (fancy paint op­tions). Prices for both bikes have yet to be an­nounced, but if they’re about 10% up on the cur­rent model it’ll mean the R1250GS will be £13,500 and the R1250RT £15,300.

‘Sig­nif­i­cantly more power and torque across the rev range’

The new GS, which we ride in the next is­sue

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