While the R 1250 GS remains a constant dominant force on the motorcycle sales charts it would be a mistake to overlook the charms of its more road-oriented sister, the BMW R 1250 R. That’s even more true now as the company has given the machine a going-over for 2023 including revisions to its appearance and technology to make it an even more appealing package.
The changes include restyles to the front and rear, a new LED headlight and indicators, an additional ‘ECO’ riding mode and a smattering of improvements to the standard equipment levels.
The redesigned headlight is the first change to make the 2023 machine distinct from its predecessor. The old model’s lamp, surrounded by a wide, metal-effect rim, has been swapped for a redesigned LED unit that’s now flanked by body-coloured plastic panels and topped with a black section that helps reduce its visual impact and make the front of the bike look more compact than before. While the LED unit is standard, there’s also the option of a cornering light system with extra LEDS that illuminate when the bike’s lean angle exceeds 7 degrees, pointing light towards the bike’s direction of travel.
At the back, the sportier look can be continued with an optional pillion seat cover. It comes as standard with the ‘Sport’ version of the bike, which also gets BMW’s racing blue and white paintwork with red flashes and a white frame, and with the self-explanatory ‘Triple Black’ model.
The visual updates are backed up with electronics tweaks, so while the engine’s 136hp output is unchanged, the 2023 bike can be ridden more efficiently than before. A new ‘ECO’ mode softens the throttle curve and encourages you to stay in the fuel-efficient part of the ShiftCam engine’s rev band to maximise the range from a tank of fuel. At the same time, a new display on the TFT gauges is activated to tell you whether you’re riding efficiently.
Optionally, the 2023 R 1250 R can be fitted with BMW’s ‘Riding Modes Pro’ software, including engine braking control and configurable riding modes.
BMW’s ‘Integral ABS Pro’ and ‘Dynamic Brake Control’ are both standard for 2023, offering cornering anti-lock and improved braking, and the latest R 1250 R also comes with Dynamic Traction Control as standard.
The base version of the bike, coming only in Ice Grey and lacking the pillion seat cover, costs £12,330. That rises to £12,804.99 for the Sport version and £12,980 for the Triple Black. The R 1250 R SE, which has BMW’s ‘Dynamic’ and ‘Touring’ packages (quickshifter, Riding Modes Pro, semi-active Dynamic ESA suspension, keyless start and centre stand), starts at £14,580 and rises to £15,054.99 for the Sport and £15,230 for the Triple Black.
With the R 1250 R updated for 2023, similar changes are expected to come to the faired R 1250 RS version any day now.