BMW R 1250 GS in long-term test: 100,000 test kilometers

BMW R 1250 GS in the long-term test

Extension from 50,000 to 100,000 kilometers

The BMW R 1250 GS with the new ShiftCam-Boxer has been running MOTORRAD’s endurance test since April 2019. After almost 50,000 kilometers, the test distance has now been extended to 100,000 kilometers. Here we inform you about the latest experiences and entries from the logbook.

BMW has switched its boxer models to the new ShiftCam two-cylinder. Reason enough for MOTORRAD to put the Bavarian bestseller in its new form in the long-term test. The BMW rolled on April 25, 2019 R. 1250 GS equipped with system cases and in a blue lacquer dress with the registration number M-PD 526 in the editorial garage. The display in the cockpit showed 1,085 kilometers, so the boxer still had a good 49,000 kilometers to go.

Before he was allowed to tackle this, however, he had to be secured against unauthorized access on the dynamometer, for input measurements and with seals. Read here how the BMW R 1250 GS fared in the endurance test.

Mileage 49,309, 10/2020

Uwe Seitz, deputy editor-in-chief of MOTORRAD and PS editor-in-chief states: "She runs and runs. Our endurance test GS is actually behind it in a few hundred kilometers according to the normal procedure. Final measurement, disassemble, appraise and then ask BMW engineers for a discussion. But this time everything is different: the BMW R 1250 GS gets an extension and is supposed to pass the endurance test up to 100,000 kilometers. That also makes sense, because with just over 49,000 kilometers it is still running so fresh and crisp that it would be downright sad to end it now. The Cam-Shaft-controlled boxer still pulls through great, easily carries you over the commuter highway at 180 km / h and everything else works perfectly – switches, buttons, etc. So I’m really happy that I the big GS can keep on going to drive home and back to work every now and then. A new front tire is now due before she leaves for the autumn ride with the other MOTORRAD endurance testers. Just don’t break it guys, the GS will be needed for a while!"

Uwe Seitz

Mileage in October. And because it’s so nice, the 50,000 test kilometers will be expanded to 100,000.

Mileage: 32,700, 5/2020

Thomas Schmieder, MOTORRAD test editor, describes his latest impressions with the travel enduro in the endurance test:
It is always amazing and fascinating how light, simple and nimble this motorcycle drives. Everything fits together here. Traveling with a perfect overview, sitting broad-shouldered, upright and lofty. The sovereign chassis and the bearish boxer do the rest. It’s amazing how strong and yet completely relaxed the ShiftCam-Boxer pulls through, in every gear, at every speed. In addition, there is the ingenious luggage system with the size-variable suitcases – narrow for stowing, widened with the inner bracket for long tours. The windshield also fulfills high touring demands: when the windshield is raised using the rotary knob, even full-throttle stages are possible. Keyword Autobahn-Hatz: Even with fully loaded, pulled out suitcases and raised windows, the truck runs straight ahead without any problems. This gives you a feeling of safety at all times, even in long motorway curves. At most, very sensitive drivers feel a very minimal tendency to tumble with the currently installed Metzeler Tourance Next tires.

Thomas schmieder

The driver likes the sophisticated luggage system with the size-adjustable suitcases.

If you have at least Super Plus fuel, the BMW R 1250 GS runs downhill, measured by GPS, at around 233 kilometers per hour. With Euro-Super 95 octane it doesn’t quite manage it! The knock sensor seems to do a great job here. During the hunt on German autobahns, the 1250 has no trouble getting rid of jostling Audi drivers in no time, the rear-view mirrors empty quickly by themselves. Sure, consumption then rises in double-digit regions. Anyone traveling at an average of 150 kilometers per hour shouldn’t be surprised by an average consumption of ten liters. Then the range drops considerably. In general, the cautious fuel gauge drives to the pump quite early. When the reserve is reached, you only fill up 16 liters of fuel. On the other hand, the rather robust sounding flap boxer is pleasantly economical when adhering to the speed limits on country roads.

Thomas schmieder

Nice feature: the red area shifts depending on the engine temperature – at around 5,500 tours, as long as the oil is still cold, up to "open fire" when the engine is warm.

The variable TFT display is rich in contrast and informative. A nice feature is the shifting of the red area depending on the engine temperature – at around 5,500 tours, as long as the oil is still cold up to "open fire" when the engine is warm. Is there anything else? Yes, where there is so much light (literally at night with very bright LED headlights) there is also a little shadow. In my opinion, the strut should be a tad finer on bumpy roads, "gentler" speak to. Subjectively, the Telelever filters and fishes out more at the forehead.

Mileage: 24,600, 11/2019

Since the last entry in the diary, several MOTORRAD employees have been on the road with the new BMW flagship. The R 1250 GS now has 24,600 kilometers on the clock and is thus nearing halfway in the 50,000-kilometer endurance test.

Test editor Rene Correra mainly used the new GS on his way home and mainly on the motorway between Stuttgart and Mannheim. His statement about the endurance test GS: "The GS is an excellent shuttle vehicle! Thanks to the adjustable windshield, cruise control, heated grips and extremely relaxed ergonomics, the cruel construction site and congested motorways from Mannheim to Stuttgart are reasonably bearable. The engine fits this, which is extremely smooth and cultivates the soul and massages the soul if necessary (on the rare not stowed and limited sections) but can also massively increase the travel average. The engine is almost absurdly high-torque. The windshield also makes high continuous speeds possible and can be safely adjusted while driving. With a height of 1.80 m, the head is not in the wind-protected area. The gearbox is improved compared to the previous model. The automatic gearshift is not the ultimate in terms of flexibility, but it still changes gears reliably without unexpected jumps into neutral or long waiting times. Like its predecessor, the new GS continues to be a real force on the road. A high seating position, good overview, wide and high handlebars as well as the extremely powerful motor allow maximum agility with minimal effort. Tea frame works great, but Telelever and ESA (semi-active chassis) dampen any feedback from the front. The sound has felt a bit less compared to the previous generation and is no longer quite as grumpy."

Rene Correra.

Actually, test editor Rene Correra was mainly on the highway, but the photo motif in Heidelberg was probably too tempting.

In addition to Rene Correra, MOTORRAD editor Nicolas Streblow was also allowed to run the new GS: "Yes, the GS – a wonderful means of everyday transport. In the morning to the office, on public holidays a visit with a detour, then to the Classic appointment in Sinsheim. A bit of the Black Forest, through the Zabergau, Lowenstein Mountains in the last evening light, you’re always well dressed with this thing. In between, it stands in the pouring rain for two days, and you never have to worry about whether the device will start. But, to be honest, in normal life I don’t notice any difference to the 12er GS, built in 2017 Euro 4, as I drive one myself. At least our long-term test specimen seems to me more shiny than my own, which has already covered almost 18,000 kilometers. I don’t like the screen, but it is flawless. If you have familiarized yourself with the function of the navigation system and menu navigation, everything works fine. And soon you will only enjoy the fact that it rushes through the curves as light as a feather, always pressure in abundance, and you always arrive relaxed, because the all-round carefree package works without comment. With the exception of an undue hardness from the rear shock absorber, which I remember as being more comfortable with machines that have been used in the past with the same setting – but that may be deceiving.

Mileage: 18,000, 08/2019

PS editor Tobias Munchinger was on tour to the Wadden Sea with the GS: The route is ambitious, and the endurance test GS was therefore set as a means of travel. From Stuttgart it goes north, sniff a little sea air. I hate being stuck in a traffic jam or just walking at a slow pace. That’s why I saddle up the BMW in the early hours of the morning and hit the road around 4.30 am with fully packed side cases. My plan is working until shortly before Frankfurt, the streets are empty and I am making rapid progress. Then the first refueling stop, refill 14 liters of super and continue. A little later, the first rays of sunshine should actually light up the sky, but instead thick drops pelt down from dark clouds – great. However, the GS is a motorcycle that doesn’t really care about meteorological conditions. If you turn the windshield all the way up and perhaps even activate the first stage of the heated grips, water is only an annoying factor because the asphalt offers less grip when wet. The BMW and I bravely shoot on, 180 as a constant travel speed fits. The third refueling stop is somewhere near Oldenburg: "Well, where are you from??", asks the attendant. "Stuttgart? Oh! Are you still dry, are you still far? Sleep off at home, it better eats it, no." Nordic cordiality is simply great – in the south, petrol station people would hardly have come across a greeting. In any case, I deny both, because my textile suit has given in after five hours of continuous rain. But I’m sure I couldn’t have kept up the pace on bikes with less weather protection. Good GS, well done! Oh yes: Both suitcases hold absolutely tight, not a drop of water found its way inside.

A few days later the sun is shining over the Otto lighthouse at Greetsiel, but fat BMW and I have to go again. About 300 kilometers further on, a 24-hour scooter race that I want to take part is climbing on a harvested stubble field near Uelzen. I’m stuck in a traffic jam on the way there. So bad that even without the case system you would not have found a way past the standing tin columns. I make it up to myself to only cover longer distances at night. Stuck in traffic – I HATE it.

Tobias Munchinger

We arrive in Uelzen on time to the minute. Unfortunately, I can’t find the right path to the field and to the race track and I’m standing somewhere at the other end of the field. Cross-country, the GS and I plow directly over to the paddock. Where there is a GS, there is also a way! By the way, if you are interested in the story about the scooter race, you should pick up the PS 11/2019. The issue is available from October 9th. in trade.

24 hours later, the GS is full of dust that the scooters threw into the air during the last hard 1.5 days. Half paralyzed by the lack of sleep, the GS and I cucumber back towards the lake, luckily the BMW drives in its sleep, so to speak. Strange signs appear along the way. Is that really a huge phallus over there on the house wall? I stop for a photo and drive on, shaking my head. Or did I hallucinate after all? There are things …

Tobias Munchinger

Freshly recovered, the R 1250 GS and I start our way back. Halfway through the route we stop at the Nurburgring for a photo at the Brunnchen section. With the GS I would even do a brisk lap around the Nordschleife, why not. The Shift Cam-Boxer can be sporty in pretty much every situation, delivers great pressure in every speed range. The GS is of course not a real racer, but the bottom line is that it can do a lot.

Tobias Munchinger

Back home, the dashboard shows 2,500 kilometers more than a few days ago, and she hasn’t used a drop of oil in the process. So far, the only negative thing is the hacky shiftability of the transmission. I’m curious. If this continues, the machine will hit the 50,000 mark very soon. Thank you GS, you were a loyal companion on this tour!

Mileage: 14,200, 08/2019

Fleet manager Tobias Wassermann rode the Black Forest with the endurance test BMW, arriving via Lauter and Danube valleys. Around 800 kilometers were driven in two days. Complaints: none.

Tobias Wassermann

Mileage: 8,842, 06/2019

PS editor Volkmar Jacob carried out the long-term test GS for a longer ride:

"Last week I took the rubber cow long-term test for three days for a trip Stuttgart-Harz-Stuttgart. In total, I unwound a good 1,600 kilometers, over 1,100 of them on the country road.

They have strange names in the low mountain range, such as Rammelburg (Photo). Would be interesting to know how the place got its name. Perhaps the nobility of the time had a pronounced libido? Not far from there are the villages of Misery and Sorrow. A direct consequence of Rammelburg? Be that as it may, there are really nice corners for biking in the Harz Mountains, not continuous, but definitely worth a sin if the journey is not too long. However, there are sometimes a lot of trucks jetting across the streets.

Volkmar Jacob.

PS editor Volkmar Jacob covered almost 1,600 kilometers with the endurance test GS.

Known as an all-rounder, the GS also proved its qualities on this trip. The cow can easily travel at speeds of 180 to 190 km / h on the motorway. Later on, thanks to its huge displacement and shift cam technology, it also powers out of the corners – great! As a sporty, ambitious driver, I lack the feedback, especially from the front. You hardly feel the front, you sit far away and the high handlebars mounted close to the driver and the relatively deep seat also result in an inactive driver posture. Really sporty is different. In addition, annoying roaring noises occur in the front panel structure from around 30 km / h. Probably caused by the airstream, because the noise occurs even when the engine is switched off. Ultimately, the trip with the GS was really fun, but there is more suitable material for shooting country roads according to my personal taste."

Mileage: 4,545, 05/2019


MOTORRAD reporter Michael Schumann grabbed the long-term test newcomer BMW R 1250 GS for a three-day tour in the Stubai and Otztal Alps. Following an invitation from Detlev Louis, the real purpose of the tour was to try out a range of Vanucci clothes and the new lightweight carbon flip-up helmet from Louis’ own Nishua brand. And also to wind the R 1250 GS a few brisk kilometers on the colorful TFT display. For Schumann, the trip from Stuttgart to Zams in Tyrol, from there to the Kaunertal Glacier and back to the editorial office was the first contact with the new 136 hp gearbox boxer. "The motorcycle looks incredibly coherent and balanced. Because of this, and with the relatively civil 850 millimeters seat height, I have no problems with my 1.68 meters in always having a good grip on the over five quintals.

Michael schumann

Thanks to the switch cam, the motor has become even more confident in terms of its performance and delivers pressure almost anywhere and anytime. This improvement is clearly noticeable. And speaking of my size: I don’t know how you got it in Munich, but the comparatively small screen, which can be adjusted by hand, provides an absolutely perfect wind protection for me. I really appreciated it, especially with the three degrees on the Kaunertal Glacier Road up to an altitude of 2,700 meters. Only against the three hours of continuous rain on the approach, the windshield was also powerless. Schumann did without the suitcases on the endurance test BMW during the 1,500 km tour. "I stand on my baggage roll. Which can also be easily lashed lengthways to the pillion seat in the direction of travel."

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