Motorcycles

BMW rolls out 2019 R 1250 GS and RT with variable valve lift

BMW rolls out 2019 R 1250 GS a...
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS and RT will be the first motorcycles to feature the new ShiftCam-equipped  boxer motor
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS and RT will be the first motorcycles to feature the new ShiftCam-equipped  boxer motor
View 46 Images
BMW offers the Dynamic ESA electronic suspension optionally for both the 2019 R 1250 GS and R 1250 RT
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BMW offers the Dynamic ESA electronic suspension optionally for both the 2019 R 1250 GS and R 1250 RT
The four-valve cylinder head of the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS and RT
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The four-valve cylinder head of the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS and RT
The 2019 boxer engine debuts with the BMW R 1250 GS and RT
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The 2019 boxer engine debuts with the BMW R 1250 GS and RT
BMW introduces the ShiftCam variable valve system for the 2019 R 1250 GS and RT
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BMW introduces the ShiftCam variable valve system for the 2019 R 1250 GS and RT
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS and RT will be the first motorcycles to feature the new ShiftCam-equipped  boxer motor
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS and RT will be the first motorcycles to feature the new ShiftCam-equipped  boxer motor
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in Granite Grey color
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in Granite Grey color
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in the Exclusive paint scheme
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in the Exclusive paint scheme
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS retains the looks of the current R 1200 GS LC
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS retains the looks of the current R 1200 GS LC
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in the Exclusive paint scheme
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in the Exclusive paint scheme
Rider's view aboard the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS
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Rider's view aboard the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS Exclusive
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS Exclusive
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in Cosmic Blue color
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in Cosmic Blue color
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS will also come in an HP variant with BMW Motorsport colors
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS will also come in an HP variant with BMW Motorsport colors
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS gets a 6.5-inch color TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity as standard
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS gets a 6.5-inch color TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity as standard
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in action
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in action
BMW employs LED headlights in the 2019 R 1250 GS
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BMW employs LED headlights in the 2019 R 1250 GS
Details from the front side panel of the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS
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Details from the front side panel of the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS
The cylinder head covers of the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS display the ShiftCam logo
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The cylinder head covers of the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS display the ShiftCam logo
Although it doesn't look different from the current model, the exhaust system of the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS is brand new
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Although it doesn't look different from the current model, the exhaust system of the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS is brand new
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS rolls on a 19-inch front wheel
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS rolls on a 19-inch front wheel
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS features larger displacement and more power
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS features larger displacement and more power
The Dynamic ESA electronic suspension can be optionally fitted to both the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS and RT
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The Dynamic ESA electronic suspension can be optionally fitted to both the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS and RT
The 6.5-inch display of the 2019 R 1250 GS can be connected with a smartphone via BMW's free app
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The 6.5-inch display of the 2019 R 1250 GS can be connected with a smartphone via BMW's free app
The Intelligent Emergency Call is an ex works item that can be fitted to both the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS and RT
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The Intelligent Emergency Call is an ex works item that can be fitted to both the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS and RT
The left side cluster of switches controls most of the electronic functions and safety systems of the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS and RT
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The left side cluster of switches controls most of the electronic functions and safety systems of the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS and RT
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in action
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in action
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS can be an efficient tourer on paved roads
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS can be an efficient tourer on paved roads
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS can be outfitted with a lot of equipment to cater for off-road adventures
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS can be outfitted with a lot of equipment to cater for off-road adventures
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in off-road action
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in off-road action
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in off-road action
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS in off-road action
BMW graced the 2019 R 1250 RT with the new ShiftCam engine
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BMW graced the 2019 R 1250 RT with the new ShiftCam engine
The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the basic Alpine White color
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the basic Alpine White color
The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Elegance color scheme
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Elegance color scheme
The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Sport color scheme
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Sport color scheme
The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT Sport is based on a Mars Red metallic color
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT Sport is based on a Mars Red metallic color
The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Sport color scheme
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Sport color scheme
Rider's view aboard the 2019 BMW R 1250 RT
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Rider's view aboard the 2019 BMW R 1250 RT
The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Sport color scheme
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Sport color scheme
The instrument cluster of the 2019 BMW R 1250 RT includes a 5.7-inch color TFT screen
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The instrument cluster of the 2019 BMW R 1250 RT includes a 5.7-inch color TFT screen
Front side panels of the 2019 BMW R 1250 RT
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Front side panels of the 2019 BMW R 1250 RT
The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Elegance color scheme
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Elegance color scheme
The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Option 719 special finish
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Option 719 special finish
The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in action
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in action
The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT should be a very competent touring machine
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT should be a very competent touring machine
The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Option 719 color scheme with a special brown seat
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The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Option 719 color scheme with a special brown seat
Front view of the 2019 BMW R 1250 RT
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Front view of the 2019 BMW R 1250 RT

The fifth generation of BMW's four-valve boxer engine will make its debut in the new R 1250 GS and RT. The latest evolution of its liquid-cooled boxer features increased capacity, more power and introduces a new ShiftCam variable valve lift and timing system for the first time in a BMW motorcycle.

The two-cylinder boxer engine has been a part of BMW Motorrad's history since its first ever model, the 1923 R 32. After several decades of two-valve, air-cooled variants, BMW introduced a four-valve, air/oil-cooled boxer in 1992 with the R 1100 RS.

Two years later this motor powered the R 1100 GS, the emblematic model that ushered in a new era for large-capacity adventure motorcycles. Since then, BMW has rolled out four more generations of its iconic motor, starting with the 1150, the 1200 and, in 2012, the 1200 LC, which introduced a hybrid setup, with a liquid-cooled engine block and air-cooled cylinders.

The 2019 boxer engine debuts with the BMW R 1250 GS and RT
The 2019 boxer engine debuts with the BMW R 1250 GS and RT

For 2019 BMW retains the same air/liquid cooling architecture in an extensively redesigned boxer engine that grows in capacity by means of both longer piston bore and stroke, up from 1,170 to 1,254 cc.

The new engine features a novel valve train that BMW calls ShiftCam, and is in fact a variable valve lift mechanism. Applicable only on the intake valves, it relies on a camshaft that hosts dual sets of lobes of different lift for each valve.

A slotted gate on one side of the camshaft is connected to an electronic motor that slides the cam axially in order to position the appropriate lobe above each intake valve rocker arm. The short lobes provide shorter valve lift and duration when the engine works in low revs, while the longer ones will better accommodate full-load conditions.

BMW introduces the ShiftCam variable valve system for the 2019 R 1250 GS and RT
BMW introduces the ShiftCam variable valve system for the 2019 R 1250 GS and RT

Also, BMW has arranged the two intake lobes of each cylinder with a small angular offset on the cam, so that their timing is asynchronous. As the two intake valves open at different degrees, the fuel enters the combustion chamber in a swirl, making for a more efficient burn.

According to BMW, the motor produces more torque all through the rev range; from 2,000 up to 8,250 rpm there's always more than 110 Nm (81 lb-ft) available. The new boxer's peak output measures 136 hp (100 kW) at 7,750 rpm and 143 Nm (105.5 lb-ft) at 6,500 rpm, (the previous motor would do 125 hp (92 kW) and 125 Nm (92.2 lb-ft) at exactly the same rpm), and also suggests a four percent reduction in fuel consumption.

In terms of weight, the new model tips the scales at 249 kg (549 lb) in road-ready form, which is some 5 kg (11 lb) more than the previous R 1200 GS.

The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS Exclusive
The 2019 BMW R 1250 GS Exclusive

The 2019 engine incorporates a new exhaust system, updated BMS-O engine control unit, a slipper clutch as standard, improvements in lubrication and cooling, a quieter toothed (HyVo) timing chain, and the incorporation of two knock sensors that should be greatly appreciated by those that venture to places where low RON gasoline may be the only available option.

BMW also updates the GS' electronic equipment with two riding modes (Road and Rain), Automatic Stability Control (ASC, BMW's basic traction control), and Hill Start Control (HSC) as standard. The optional electronic gear that can be loaded on the 2019 R 1250 GS is extensive, with several Pro packages for almost everything, from riding modes and ABS, to dynamic traction control and even brake assist, allowing the rider to fine tune the motorcycle.

All these can also be complemented with BMW's Dynamic ESA that electronically adjusts the suspension's damping characteristics in real time according to the riding conditions, as perceived by the bike's sensor array.

The 6.5-inch display of the 2019 R 1250 GS can be connected with a smartphone via BMW's free app
The 6.5-inch display of the 2019 R 1250 GS can be connected with a smartphone via BMW's free app

Finally, the new GS receives a brand new 6.5-inch color TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity as standard.

One thing that doesn't change in the R 1250 GS is its looks. The design remains almost identical to the existing R 1200 GS, with only some new color schemes and a few details that reveal it's the 2019 model – such as the front side panels, the cylinder head covers and, obviously, the small 1250 decals on the fuel tank.

The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Sport color scheme
The 2019 BMW R 1250 RT in the Sport color scheme

Most of the GS model changes are carried on to the 2019 R 1250 RT as well. The boxer-engined touring machine gets the new ShiftCam motor with the same gearing and performance figures as in the GS, while keeping its design largely unchanged.

The new RT also receives two riding modes, ASC and HSC as standard, and can be updated with the full electronic arsenal from BMW's long list of extras, including the Dynamic ESA, which wasn't available for this model previously.

See the new ShiftCam technology in detail in BMW's video below.

Source: BMW R 1250 GS and R 1250 RT

The new 1250cc Boxer Engine with BMW ShiftCam

3 comments
rude.dawg
How is this different from Honda's VTEC?
Dave Brumley
Why do the photos of the tachometers show a different redline? One shows a redline of only 6000 rpm !
bkfist
Dave, the redline is lowered when the engine is cold as a means of protecting the engine from idiots who think starting a cold engine and immediate revving it to redline is somehow "cool", causing premature engine wear and damage. The redline goes up once the engine is up to operating temperatures and the oil is warmed and fully able to protect the engine.