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BMW R1250GS Adventure Officially Debuts with ShiftCam Engine

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It is not like the BMW R1250GS Adventure was a big surprise for the 2018 EICMA show. It’s debut was telegraphed in emission documents filed with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and photos of the machine recently leaked onto the internet.

But, the GSA has always been an important motorcycle to the German brand, and as such, the debut of the 2019 BMW R1250GS Adventure is a bit of a thing.

As expected for the 2019 model year, the big feature on the R1250GS Adventure is the addition of BMW Motorrad’s “ShiftCam” boxer-twin engine. Getting a bump to 1,254cc, this increase in displacement means that there is a modest performance increase of 134hp and 92 lbs•ft of torque.

Always one to re-brand the obvious, the BMW ShiftCam technology is really just a variable valve timing system for the intake valves on the R-series  engines. As such, it provides two possible cam lobes for each valve, and the “ShiftCam” camshaft shifts position in the cylinder head to engage one of the two lobes, depending on throttle inputs. Hence the name, ShiftCam.

This allows for different intake valve actuation (timing and stroke) during touring and city riding, for better gas mileage and softer throttle response, but still leaves the engine the ability to wake up during spirited riding, and provide more power.

Other technical changes to the engine relate to the camshaft drive, which now taken care of by a toothed chain (previously a roller chain). There is also an optimized oil supply, twin-jet injection valves and a new exhaust system.

On the electronics side, Hill Start Control (HSC) and Automatic Stability Control (ASC) comes as standard. The “Riding Modes Pro” option is really where the magic happens, as it brings two more riding modes to the mix (“Enduro” and “Enduro Pro”), as well as BMW’s Dynamic Traction Control (DTC).

BMW Motorrad also offers cornering ABS, under the name “ABS Pro”, and the R1250GS Adventure can come with what the German company calls “Dynamic Brake Control” DBC, which provides additional safety when braking by avoiding unintentional throttle activation. This is achieved by modulating the throttle so the drive torque can make full use of the braking power at the rear wheel, which increases stability.

While there are a lot of add-ons to the 2019 BMW R1250GS Adventure, it is good to see that at least the LED headlight is now a standard option. It’s the small victories in life, right? We are also pleased to see that BMW Motorrad continues to outfit its machines with a gorgeous 6.5″ TFT dash.

Of course, the really big feature on the BMW R1250GS Adventure is the motorcycle’s really big gas tank, which has just under 8 gallons of fuel capacity.

So, you can expect the 2019 BMW R1250GS Adventure to be a big girl at the curb – to the tune of 590 lbs (with 90% of fuel onboard). For the social science majors in the room, this marks a 17 lbs increase over the current generation BMW R1200GS Adventure.

Source: BMW Motorrad

As always, Asphalt & Rubber will be covering all the new bikes debuting at EICMA this year. Be sure to follow our coverage for the most recent news and photos.

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.

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