2021 BMW R 1250 GS Adventure Review possibly the best ADV ever

BMW introduced the world to ADV motorcycles back in the ‘80s with the R 80 G/S. Ever since, BMW has been at the forefront of the ADV market, spearheading myriad innovations and cutting-edge technology. The 2021 R 1250 GS Adventure, BMW’s latest flagship ADV, promises the best experience, both on and off-road, of any motorcycle in its segment.


The 1254 cc liquid-cooled boxer twin engine produces 134hp (100kW) @7750 rpm and 143 Nm @6250 rpm. The horizontally opposed cylinders protruding out of the motorcycle helped with cooling back in the air-cooled days, however, the orientation of the pistons also helps to reduce vibration. The ShiftCam technology provides increased torque at low revs and electronically switches to high-lift cam above 5000 rpm for maximum performance.

Design and Ergonomics:

The R 1250 GS Adventure is equipped with a sophisticated 6.5 in colour TFT display, which provides all the information that you need and more. It can also connect with your smartphone via Bluetooth. The motorcycle comes with 19 in and 17 in spoke wheels at the front and rear respectively. It also has an upswept exhaust as standard for off-road clearance, and an optional sporty exhaust is also available. An optional 719 ‘Bumblebee’ livery is available as part of the 40th anniversary.

It is easily one of the most comfortable motorcycles on the market. It provides an ample amount of padding in the seat and enough space to move around. You would not feel tired even after riding hours on end. Pillion comfort is top-notch as there is plenty of room back there. The seating position is relaxed and upright. Footpegs are positioned low down, and the handlebar is tall and wide, allowing the rider to stand on the pegs while riding off-road. With a seat height of 890 mm, it is a tall motorcycle. As a result, inexperienced shorter riders will require some time to familiarise themselves with the high seating position.

Performance and Handling:

It is a fast accelerating motorcycle with a claimed top speed of over 200 kph, and it is equipped with a quick shifter for up and downshifts. The ride is very smooth over most terrains, and the suspension adapts and responds well to provide a comfortable ride. Considering that it is a tall and heavy motorcycle weighing 268 kg, it is surprisingly agile and nimble. These can be attributed to the implementation of a two-part frame with the engine acting as a stressed member. The Telelever front fork with a central strut helps to restrict the front from diving under braking, enabling the rider to tackle corners effortlessly. The power is transferred to the rear wheel through a drive shaft, which is quieter and requires much less maintenance when compared to a chain. It has a 30L fuel tank and a fuel efficiency of around 45 mpg, so a full tank of fuel should give you a range of approximately 300 miles.

The 305 mm dual discs with four-piston calipers at the front and 276 mm single disc with dual-piston calipers at the rear takes care of the braking. The brake lines are steel braided for better braking and protection. The brakes from BMW do their job very well and holds up to some abuse, which is crucial when riding off-road. It has a unique telelever suspension setup at the front with 210 mm of travel which protects the delicate parts of the suspension by moving it higher up. The rear suspension has 220 mm of travel and is adjustable for preload and rebound damping.

It comes with ABS, traction control, and hill start control along with three riding modes (Eco, Rain, and Road) as standard. The traction control and ABS can be switched off easily while on the go, to give better control off-road. Electronic Suspension Adjustment (Dynamic ESA) can be equipped as an optional extra which avails automatic load levelling and automatic damping mode. Riding Mode Pro is another optional extra which includes additional riding modes (Dynamic, Dynamic Pro, Enduro, and Enduro Pro), riding mode pre-selection, automated hill-start control pro (HSC Pro), dynamic brake assistant, and engine brake control.

Warranty and Servicing:

BMW provides a warranty for three years with unlimited mileage and roadside assistance. BMW is not exactly known for the cheapest service costs, but they are reliable, and the build quality is excellent.


The 2021 R 1250 GS Adventure starts at £14,905.

The R 1250 GS is a highly customisable motorcycle, as the manufacturer provides a lot of accessories like seats with different heights, handlebar risers, adjustable footpegs, auxiliary LED’s, heating seats and grips, and many more to ensure that the rider is comfortable, and well-equipped to tackle the harshest terrains. If you are in the market for a big ADV, be sure to check out the Ducati Multistrada V4 and KTM 1290 Super Adventure, as they offer similar packages in this price range.