2019 BMW R 1250 RT

Improved power and performance from an award-winning sport-touring twin.

2019 BMW R 1250 RT on white background
2019 BMW R 1250 RTCourtesy of BMW

For more than 40 years, BMW's twin-cylinder RT series—Reisetourer is German for "travel tourer"—has blurred the line between sport and touring, its significant fuel- and luggage-carrying capacities favoring the latter side of that two-wheel equation. This year, a 1.5mm bump in bore and a 3mm longer stroke has yielded an 84cc increase in engine displacement to 1,254cc. What's more, the R 1250 RT and its sister model, the R 1250 GS, represent the first twin-cylinder production application of BMW's ShiftCam variable engine-timing system. How quickly does ShiftCam change from low-load cam profiles to high load? As Cycle World Technical Editor Kevin Cameron explains in greater depth here, the change takes just the time between valve closure and valve opening, so the shift takes of the order of one engine revolution. At 3,000 rpm, that is 0.020 of a second.

Like the previous-generation R 1200 RT, the R 1250 RT has a lengthy list of standard equipment, which includes: ABS Pro; Automatic Stability Control; Hill Start Control; on-board Computer Pro; handlebar-mounted multi-controller, Road and Rain ride modes; adjustable gear lever, seat, and windshield; body-color saddlebags; LED turn signals and taillight; tool kit; and heated handgrips.

Likes: Smooth rush of power; ShiftCam action virtually imperceptible; powerful brakes

Dislikes: Optional "719" colors—Blue Planet Metallic or Sparkling Storm Metallic—cost $1,800

Verdict: A pricey but highly capable and immensely satisfying apex-hunter and mile-eater

2019 BMW R 1250 RT Reviews And Comparisons

“Sure-footed and comfortable with sophisticated lines have always been an RT trademark,” Jeff Buchanan wrote after riding the new model with its 9-percent-larger engine. “Add to that an enhanced boxer twin with the new ShiftCam technology and you have a machine that straddles the line between sportbike and touring machine.”

2019 BMW R 1250 RT Competition

Cycle World's traditional definition of a sport-touring motorcycle has always included available—either optional or standard—hard-shell saddlebags. And, yes, the 2019 BMW R 1250 RT meets that criteria, as do a number of other road-going machines, some of which displace less or even more than the twin-cylinder water-pumper that powers the latest RT.

2019 BMW R 1250 RT Specifications And Pricing

Looking to create a more personal look and feel? BMW offers five colors (Alpine White, Carbon Black Metallic, Mars Red Metallic/Dark Slate Metallic, Blue Planet Metallic, Sparkling Storm Metallic), three packages (Style Sport, $650; Style Elegance, $450; Select, $5,150), and five options (three seats, two sets of wheels).

2019 BMW R 1250 RT right side on white background
2019 BMW R 1250 RTCourtesy of BMW

Manufacturer Claimed Specifications

Price $18,645
Engine Liquid-cooled, DOHC, opposed twin
Displacement 1,254cc
Bore x Stroke 102.5mm x 76.0mm
Horsepower 136.0 hp @ 7,750 rpm
Torque 105.0 lb.-ft. @ 6,250 rpm
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Shaft
Seat Height 31.7–32.5 in.
Rake 25.9°
Trail 4.6 in.
Front Suspension 37mm, fully adjustable; 4.7-in. travel
Rear Suspension Fully adjustable; 5.4-in. travel
Front Tire 120/70-17
Rear Tire 180/55-17
Wheelbase 58.5 in.
Fuel Capacity 6.6 gal.
Claimed Curb Weight 615 lb.
2019 BMW R 1250 RT left side on white background
2019 BMW R 1250 RTCourtesy of BMW

Cycle World Tested Specifications

Seat Height 32.3 in.
Wet Weight 642 lb.
Rear-Wheel Horsepower 121.8 hp @ 7,500 rpm
Rear-Wheel Torque 95.7 lb.-ft. @ 6,200 rpm
0–60 mph 2.9 sec.
1/4-mile 11.13 sec. @ 120.50 mph
Braking 30.3 ft.
Braking 121.1 ft.