Unveiling the Understated Scion: BMW R1250R Roadster

Australia is a land of immersive motorcycling experiences. The expansive Outback, serpentine tracks in the Daintree Rainforest, and long stretches of coastline offer an ideal backdrop for any motorcyclist. Those who wish to conquer these terrains require a bike that melds power, performance, and style—a bike like the BMW R1250R.

Synonymous with precision, panache, and power, the BMW R-series has been a dominant force in the motorcycling realm. With models like the GS, RT, or RS, the defining question becomes: where does the BMW R1250R fit in the R-series lineup?

Riding under the radar akin to its predecessor, the R1200R, the R1250R emerges as an underplayed star in the BMW galaxy. Its exceptional versatility makes it the only bike you’d ever need to own, a true ‘Jack of all trades.’ Derived from my previous ride experience of two weeks press bike and owning a 2015 R1200R, I can assure you, the R1250R doesn’t compromise on power or performance.

Sporting a powertrain shared by the R1250 RS, this air and liquid-cooled boxer twin engine offers impressive power and torque. Replacing the engine cams with shift-cam technology, BMW has ensured a seamless power delivery throughout the RPM range—smooth, efficient, and with a signature BMW boxer growl. 

Precision is the watchword for the R1250R. Its superior handling capabilities owe much to the bike’s technical differences compared to other R-series models. Weighing in at 239 kilograms wet, four kilograms lighter than the RS, the R1250R also surpasses the GS by ten kilograms—proving itself as a sportier choice. It shares the same seat height of 820 millimetres with the RS but flaunts a smaller wheelbase (1512 millimetres), greater wheel caster, and equivalent steering head angle—61.7 degrees. 

These subtle changes deliver real-world benefits. The nimble R1250R handles better and turns quicker than R1250 RS — positioning itself as perhaps more sporting than the sports tourer. The immediate throttle response of the new boxer engine creates an exhilarating ride experience, complimented by the low centre of gravity boxers are known for.

Technical brilliance aside, what truly gives the R1250R its unique allure is its surprising versatility. The combination of low wind noise, heated grips and seat, dynamic suspension, and invaluable cruise control extend its utility across different riding styles—a daily commuter, a weekend warrior or a round-the-clock tourer.

While it isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing naked bike on the market due to its somewhat bland colour scheme and plasticky tank strip, its performance more than compensates for any aesthetic shortcomings. The only critique lies with the quick shifter, which falls short of the buttery precision found in the S1000 double R or Triumph Street triple RS.

Just like its owners, the R1250R thrives as a multi-faceted gem. As a weekend warrior, it exudes hooliganism, and with a screen add-on and a set of panniers, it morphs into an efficient touring machine. Lighter than the GS, a set of 80-20 tires could transform it into a capable dirt conqueror. 

The R1250R doesn’t flaunt a flashy demeanour like its R-series siblings, but it brings a minimalistic, classic naked bike design showcasing an exposed frame and a potent boxer engine. If you have a penchant for understated power and naked allure, the R series lineup’s hidden gem, the BMW R1250R, should be your future choice of ride.

About the Author
Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.

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