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BMW R1250GS: 2021 BikeWale Off-Road Day Review

13 March 2022, 09:00 AM Pratheek Kunder

Introduction

BMW R 1250 GS Left Front Three Quarter

The 2021 edition of the BikeWale Off-Road Day was all about bringing some exciting adventure motorcycles to one big playground and figuring out how capable these bikes are on an off-road gymkhana course that was specially developed to gauge the bike’s off-road prowess and practical traits. While we love to take capture drama for our Instagram posts, we decided to stick to basic yet fundamental obstacles that could easily judge the bike’s off-road abilities. 

The Bike

BMW R 1250 GS Left Front Three Quarter

Now, there are multiple reasons why the BMW R1250GS is said to be the best adventure bike that’s available in the market today and why it continues to be one of the highest selling bikes worldwide for BMW Motorrad. Firstly, that boxer engine is known to offer incredible performance and balance. Secondly, the tele-lever suspension is out of the world. Thirdly, the overall weight distribution of this GS is just perfect. Plus, the bike comes with technologies and features that could put even some modern cars to shame. 

The Gymkhana

BMW R 1250 GS Left Front Three Quarter
BMW R 1250 GS

BMW R 1250 GS

  • Displacement1,254 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)134.1 bhp
  • Kerb Weight249 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 20,55,000

The R1250GS is a big motorcycle. It has big panels, the engine is bigger and so, it also has some big responsibilities to fulfill. In this lengthy yet compact gymkhana test, the R1250GS did manage to become a fun motorcycle to ride. While there was almost 134bhp of peak power available but for obvious reasons, I could use only some of it. It was the same story with the torque. The entire gymkhana course was done in first gear. But it did take me a while to get used to the sensitive throttle. Once I was over it, I could ride the R1250GS over the drums, tyres, logs and even the rock garden.  

BMW R 1250 GS Left Front Three Quarter

My favourite moment with the GS, however, was when I was riding over the drums and logs. The good ground clearance and the front suspension gives out an experience that not a lot of ADVs are capable of. While riding over the course, the BMW impressed me with its ability to go over these hurdles with ease and without touching the sump-guard. Even with the 19-inch front wheel, the GS can manage almost all obstacles that comes its way. The bike is extremely stable, especially while riding over rock gardens. 

BMW R 1250 GS Left Front Three Quarter

The presence of tele-lever suspension meant the fork tubes didn’t really compress like the regular ADVs. It does bottom-out, but the rider doesn’t feel that on the handlebar. The story is the same while jumping over the tyres and the log. The GS lands without any drama.  

BMW R 1250 GS Left Front Three Quarter

The R1250GS is equipped with a top-spec braking setup. This clearly meant the bike would nail this part of the gymkhana and it did. The stopping distance was the least and the rear brake works like a charm. Even the front setup is predictable with great feel on the lever. I'm sure even the high speed braking on dirt sections are taken well care of by the R1250G's system.

The Garage

BMW R 1250 GS Left Front Three Quarter

Now the garage is an excellent place to judge how the bike really responds to slow speed maneuvers. The R1250GS almost aced this part of the gymkhana. The bike could manage full lock turns but the turning radius is a bit more. So I had to put my body weight on the opposite footpeg for each turn and lean the motorcycle. While this did the trick, the high kerb weight of the motorcycle brought in some fatigue as well. The GS is known for its low center of gravity, but like it or not, there’s still a considerable amount of weight that needs to be handled, especially at slow speed enduro trails. And I believe the GS lost a couple of seconds due to this and the fact that I was extra-cautious with this test bike as it was brand new and had no crash guards. 

The Verdict

BMW R 1250 GS Left Front Three Quarter

The BMW R1250GS is one kickass motorcycle. The bike is really well-equipped, it has an engine that is the best in the segment and it has a personality that makes it extremely aspirational. This GS over the years has managed to earn a reputation for its ultimate off-road abilities and in fact, at the 2021 edition of the BikeWale Off-Road, the bike did finish the course as expected. But it is a large bike and that meant it needed to be ridden carefully along with a lot of planning for a compact gymkhana course like ours. The GS would definitely nail everything that you throw at it while riding on long trails, but in a compact and tight course, the R1250GS felt a little slow and difficult to manage. The R1250GS finished 4th and finished the entire circuit in 1:53:29.   

Photography by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi

Gallery

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