We recently tested BMW Motorrad’s latest flagship adventure model, the BMW R 1250 GS. After concluding the fact that you can basically go anywhere and everywhere (including riding it as a daily bike), BMW Motorrad Malaysia gave us the opportunity to test its bigger and more badass version, the 2019 BMW R 1250 GS Adventure.
So, what does the extra ‘Adventure’ word means for the already versatile R 1250 GS? The most obvious difference with the standard R 1250 GS is its gigantic 30-litre fuel tank wrapped with a newly designed upper crash bar. That’s 10 litres more than the standard model which helps with increased riding distance.
With the tank is fully fuelled and ready to go, the R 1250 GSA can basically cover around 500km easily when ridden sensibly. This is indeed a good thing have for those who are always out and about on adventures around the globe. Hence why we nicknamed it the “Globetrotter”.
It is also a necessary feature to have considering that a recent study by the Motorcycle Industry Council Consumer Experience Study concluded that most GS owners are ‘experienced riders’ with over 30 years of riding experience and they tend to ride three times further than the average adventure bike owner.
With more mileage under its belt, BMW Motorrad understands that they need to increase its reliability and overall strength. That is why the R 1250 GS Adventure also comes with a new galvanised radiator cowl, oil intake snorkel cover, and a more durable front end thanks to new engine and tank protection bars.
Underneath all that muscle lies the new and more powerful 1,254cc flat twin boxer engine that is air and liquid cooled with DOHC, balance shaft, and BMW’s latest pride and joy variable engine timing system, the BMW ShiftCam.
Producing 136hp at 7,750rpm and 143Nm of maximum torque at 6,250rpm, you basically get some high torque action at higher speeds and smooth buttery control at lower speeds with the addition of the BMW Shiftcam technology. Like the R 1250 GS, the GSA was easy to manoeuvre when dealing with high traffic in urban jungles and punching it hard on open highways.
As for control, it was easier than initially anticipated but with the added girth thanks to its bigger fuel tank and crash bars, riders might want to be more careful when filtering through traffic congestions and narrower roads. In some cases, it’s easier to just wait behind traffic before the road opens up for you to hit it and hit it hard with all the power the GSA possesses.
The GSA also has a longer suspension travel compared to the standard GS by 20mm (210mm front, 220m rear). This means that bigger bumps can be absorbed easier when you’re on the less travelled unpaved roads. This works well especially with its cross spoked wheels and the always adaptive Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment).
Speaking of which, the Dynamic ESA feature is a very, very cool addition as it automatically adjusts preload and damping with auto-levelling function. This provides more ease for the rider and its ever-changing ride load (pillion and baggage) without messing with the controls. Less hassle with a smarter brain.
The suspension will also make another adjustment upon rolling off and putting your feet on its enduro-styled pegs to readjust your body weight on the bike. The Dynamic ESA also takes input from the brakes, throttle, and even lean angle from the IMU to constantly adapt the spring stiffness so that no matter how hard you pull, the bike will always provide minimum squat and high stability.
Other features that make the R 1250 GSA stands out above the rest are:
- 5-inch TFT display with Bluetooth connectivity
- Selectable Riding Modes (Rain, Road, Dynamic, Enduro)
- Hill Start Control (HSC)
- Automatic Stability Control (ASC)
- Bigger windscreen
- Full LED headlights
Riding the R 1250 GS Adventure is actually very smooth and comfortable thanks to redesigned riding ergonomics and adaptive engine power delivery. Throttle response is always on point no matter how high or low the engine revs and working the bidirectional quickshifter was always smooth and precise.
With that being said, we tend to ride in a more traditional manner using the clutch to shift. While that is also smooth and effortless, changing gears using the clutch feels a bit clunky at times. This tends to happen with bikes fitted with quickshifters that allows for clutchless upshifts as well as downshifts.
Other than that, we’re basically saying that the GSA is an upgraded R 1250 GS ready to take on any road around the world. With increased reliability, equipment and production quality (plus that ass kicking engine), you can go on more adventures without having to worry too much on constant refuelling or even the quality of fuel you’re getting in other countries.
Priced at RM125,500 (OTR without insurance, it’s RM9,000 more than the standard R 1250 GS but if you’re constantly riding and munching mile after mile non-stop, you’ll definitely want a bike like the GSA with all of its capabilities. It might be on a heavier side of the weight spectrum (268kg fully fuelled, ready to go) but once the wheel starts rolling, you’ll quickly forget about it and cruise through anything.