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BMW R 1250 GS & GS Adventure “ShiftCam” (2019+) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

BMW R 1250 GS HP LHS diagonal

This is the maintenance schedule and service intervals for the fourth generation of BMW R 1250 GS, released in late 2018 for the 2019 model year.

This also includes the maintenance schedule for the BMW R 1250 GS Adventure (the “GSA”) with the same ShiftCam engine, which was released for the 2020 model year (the GSAs tend to lag by a year).

Both bikes replaced the earlier DOHC liquid-cooled models of R 1200 GS that were available between 2013 (the first GS) and 2019 (the last GSA).

The BMW R 1250 GS is the motorcycle of the day (the 2020s) — or at least one of them.

It’s the age of adventure motorcycling, and the R 1250 GS is the most recognisable of adventure motorcycles — with some passionate competition from the latest Ducati Multistrada V4 and the KTM 1290 Super Adventure R.

The ShiftCam engine is the first BMW GS to have a bigger motor in nearly two decades. Still a DOHC liquid-cooled boxer twin, the BMW G 1250 GS’ motor now has 1254 cc (previously 1170 cc) capacity, and puts out a peak of 100 kW (136 hp) @ 7,750 rpm and peak torque 143 Nm (105 ft-lb) at 6,250 rpm, both of which specs are a rough ~10% increase over the outgoing model.

The 1250 motor is used in other BMW motorcycles of similar vintage, like the BMW R 1250 R.

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What you need to service your BMW R 1250 GS

Servicing the “ShiftCam” BMW R 1250 GS requires many of the same parts as the earlier liquid-cooled R 1200 GS, though some have changed (e.g. spark plugs, front brake pads, and even the recommended gear oil).

So here’s what you need to service your big adventure bike.

PartBMW R 1250 GS and GS Adventure spec
Engine oilThe manual calls for “SAE 5W-40, API SL / JASO MA2” without additives, preferably BMW Motorrad oils e.g. BMW Motorrad Advantec Ultimate 5W-40. A well-respected alternative is Castrol Power RS 5W-40.
Oil filterBMW part number for the oil filter is 11427721779. The HF160RC is a drop-in replacement from Hiflofiltro.
Rear drive oilUse a high-quality API GL-5 synthetic 70W-80 hypoid gear oil, though many BMW mechanics use 70W-90. A high quality choice is Castrol 75W-90 synthetic.
Spark plugStandard spark plug is an NGK LMAR8AI-10 per the manual for the 1250 motor.
Air filterBMW part number for the air filter is 13727726799. The K&N BM-1113 is an aftermarket alternative.
CoolantThe manual doesn’t mention what type, but get long-life BMW coolant from a dealer or online.
General lubricantUse lithium soap-based grease to regularly lube external pivot points.
Brake fluidSpecified fluid must be DOT 4, e.g. Castrol DOT 4 or BMW DOT 4 fluid. BMW part number for the brake fluid is 83132445461.
Brake pads (front)Part number for front brake pads is 34118405104 (you need two pairs). An EBC alternative is FA724HH (double sintered, long-life).
Brake pads (rear)Part number for rear brake pads is 34218562163. An EBC alternative is FA209/2HH (double sintered, long-life pads).
Maintenance parts for the liquid-cooled BMW R 1250 GS (“ShiftCam”)

Maintenance schedule for the BMW R 1250 GS and R 1250 GS Adventure

Below is the maintenance schedule for the BMW R 1250 GS and R 1250 GS Adventure.

This maintenance schedule is presented in an simplified format from the manual, as it’s repetitive. The maintenance is consolidated into one table below.

Things to note:

  • There’s no alternator belt to change (unlike many earlier models)
  • You change the rear bevel gear oil every 20K km/2 years, more frequently than on past models
  • Valve service intervals are 20K km, wider than earlier air/oil-cooled models

One interesting thing is that BMW doesn’t mention changing the coolant, just checking it. BMW uses a “permanent” (OAT or HOAT) antifreeze that isn’t meant to be changed. Various dealers/mechanics still say you can change it every 3-4 years, though. Especially if you notice the level declining.

Notes on the schedule

  • The running-in check is omitted (Dealers usually do this)
  • Past the end of the maintenance schedule, keep following it in the pattern shown.
  • The maintenance schedule for many items follows a “per x years” or “x distance” schedule. Follow whichever comes first.
‘000 km10203040Every X years
‘000 miles6121824Every X years
Conduct standard BMW annual service (see below)1
Change engine oil and filter (BMW Motorrad Advantec Ultimate 5W-40, HF160RC)XXXX1 (a)
Change oil in rear bevel gearsXX2 years (b)
Check valve clearanceXX
Change all spark plugs (LMAR8AI-10)XX
Replace air filter element (BM-1113)XX
Check or replace air filter elementXXXX1 (c)
Change brake fluid, entire system (BMW DOT 4)1, then 2 (d)
BMW R 1250 GS and R 1250 GS Adventure maintenance schedule table

Footnotes:

  • (a) annually or every 10000 km / 6000 mi (whichever comes first)
  • (b) every 2 years or every 20000 km/ 12000 mi (whichever comes first)
  • (c) if vehicle is used off- road, annually or every 10000 km / 6000 mi (whichever comes first)
  • (d) for the first time after one year, then every two years

Standard BMW annual service for the R 1250 GS / Adventure

The “standard service” to be done every year (irrespective of distance travelled) is below.

Items marked [D] are for dealers.

Standard BMW annual service (1250 motor)
[D] Perform visual test with BMW Motorrad diagnosis system
Visually inspect clutch system
Visually inspect brake lines, brake hoses, and connections
Check front brake pads and brake discs for wear
Check brake fluid level, front wheel brake
Check rear brake pads and brake disc for wear
Check brake fluid level, rear wheel brake
Check coolant level
Check side stand’s ease of movement
Check centre stand’s ease of movement
Check tyre pressure and tread depth
Check spoke tension (if spoked wheels fitted), adjusting if necessary
Check lighting and signalling system
Function test, engine start suppression
Final inspection and check for road safety
Checking battery state of charge
[D] Setting service-due date and countdown distance with BMW Motorrad diagnosis system
[D] Confirming BMW service in on-board literature
BMW R 1250 GS / Adventure standard annual service

About the BMW R 1250 GS and R 1250 GS adventure

The BMW R – GS line has been the staple of the adventure motorcycle world since the first one in 2004 (taking over from the BMW R 1150 GS.

For many years, BMW kept the displacement the same at 1200cc. The engine in the R 1200 GS evolved, finally becoming a “partly liquid-cooled” engine in the most recent R 1200 GS.

But a few things — consumer demand, evolving technology, and changing emissions requirements — needed a new engine from BMW, and the new 1250 range is it.

The flat-twin boxer-driven GS motorcycles have been one of the top choices for adventurers for more than 35 years. This latest incarnation of the boxer twin adds “ShiftCam” technology — variable valve timing so that the motor’s torque delivery is optimised over an even wider range.

The ShiftCam technology allows the engine to vary valve timing and valve stroke on the intake side. Additionally, BMW designed the intake camshafts so that they can open the intake valves asynchronously, for “enhanced swirl” of fuel/air mixture.

The camshaft is now driven by a toothed chain (previously a roller chain), too.

The new 1254cc engine makes 100 kW (136 hp) @ 7750 rpm and 143 Nm of torque peaking at 6250 RPM, a ~10% increase in both specs.

Aside from the engine, there are many other new features in the BMW R 1250 GS. These include

  • Standard riding modes, ASC, and hill start control, with optional Ride Modes Pro
  • Next-generation Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment)
  • Dynamic Brake Control — helping avoid unintentional accelerator activation while braking
  • Standard LED headlamps, with DRLs as optional equipment
  • Full-colour TFT screen standard — replacing the gauges of previous models.

The “Premium packages” include many of those options standard.

The BMW R 1250 GS Adventure (often called the GSA) is based on the base R 1250 GS, but with longer suspension travel (8.3-8.7 inches vs 7.5-7.9 front and back) and associated height, standard crash bars, and a 50% larger fuel tank. It also just looks massive!

Manual for the BMW R 1250 GS

The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the manual for the BMW R 1250 GS, with parts references coming from parts fiches.

You can download BMW’s manuals for their motorcycles here.

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