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.
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