2023 BMW R 1250 R
Motorcycle nomenclature is often very difficult to decipher, but when numbers are bookended by the letter R, chances are you’re in for a really good time. Brian Robinson takes us Two Wheelin’ BMW style.
BMW seems to have a bike for just about everyone. Whether you’re into cruising around town, chasing lap times on a track, or even riding around the world. And then they have some that can do it all.
We’re talking of course about their R series lineup, based on the recently updated R 1250 which can be outfitted for high-performance riding in the RS, long-distance touring in the RT, or even outfitted for full on globetrotting adventures in the GS. But it all starts with this R 1250 R, the all-arounder if you will.
BMW has been building opposed twin engines since the 1920s; performance wasn’t really part of the picture until the 1970s, but in this century, they’ve been painting that picture a lot more vividly, as this 1,254cc twin now delivers 136-horsepower and 105 lb-ft. of torque, and is smoother than ever, with much of its traditional quirkiness engineered out, for better or worse.
It works through a 6-speed transmission, which channels power through shaft drive to a 17-inch rear wheel with 180 tire. With a tubular bridge-style steel frame and cast aluminum single-sided swingarm, weight comes in at 527-lbs; 4.8-gallon capacity in the fuel tank gives you a range of around 200-miles between fuel stops.
Suspension is fairly traditional for BMW, upside down telescopic fork and single rear spring/shock combo with preload and rebound damping adjustability. Dynamic Traction Control, ABS Pro, and Dynamic Brake Control are all now standard.
This red, white, and blue beauty looks aggressive and sporty, but not intimidating. Updates for ’23 include full LED lighting and a rear seat cover. The front portion of the seat is plenty comfortable, and the whole package just wants to be ridden hard for extended periods of time. So, off we go. Riding position is just about perfect for my 6-foot frame; a minor lean forward, with an easy reach to the bars, and foot pegs mounted slightly to the rear.
The R feels very stable in corners, and with the bulk of its weight down low, very easy to lean into them, plus there’s oodles of power for getting to the next one in a hurry. But, if you want to take it easy, the R can do that just as well; there’s even a new Eco drive mode just for the occasion that will coach you into driving as efficiently as possible. When it comes to instrumentation, it may look like they just pulled a touchscreen style tablet out of a 3 Series, popped it on here, and called it a day; but the 6.5-inch TFT display is rock solidly mounted, glare free, and pretty much as good is it gets for a non-analog gauge package.
More bike, same base price as last year starting at $14,995. The Captain America style paint themed will cost you another $575. While that’s not inexpensive, you get an incredible amount of bike for the money here. The R has built up a legion of passionate fans over the years, and the 2023 BMW R 1250 R is built to satisfy them.