This is the maintenance schedule and service intervals for the BMW R 1250 RS, released in late 2018 for the 2019 model year.
The BMW R 1250 RS is BMW’s sportiest of its sport-tourers with boxer engines. The 2019 model replaces the previous BMW R 1200 RS which had a liquid-cooled but smaller engine.
Still powered by a DOHC liquid-cooled boxer twin, the BMW R 1250 RS’s motor is a 1254 cc (previously 1170 cc) capacity engine, putting out a peak of 100 kW (136 PS / 134 bhp) @ 7750 rpm and peak torque 143 Nm (105 ft-lb) at 6250 rpm, both of which specs are a rough ~10% increase over the outgoing 1200 motor.
Final drive is still via a shaft.
The 1250 motor is known as the “ShiftCam” engine as it has variable valve timing to help it deliver a broad spread of torque.
The 1250 ShiftCam motor in the R 1250 RS is used in other BMW motorcycles of similar vintage, like the BMW R 1250 RT, which was launched at the same time.
In late 2022, BMW announced an updated BMW R 1250 RS with the same motor and drivetrain, but EU5 compliance too.
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BMW R 1250 RS Service Intervals
Overall, the service intervals for the BMW R 1250 RS are every 6 000 miles / 10 000 km or year, whichever comes earlier.
At every service, change the oil, and do a host of other checks.
The valve service interval is 12 000 mi / 20 000 km, wider than earlier air/oil-cooled models.
Other things to note about the service intervals for the BMW R 1250 RS:
- There’s no alternator belt to change in the 1250 engine (unlike earlier models)
- You change the rear bevel gear oil every 12 000 mi / 20 000 km or 2 years
- Change the brake fluid after one year, then every 2 years
One interesting thing is that BMW doesn’t mention changing the coolant, just checking it. BMW uses a “permanent” (OAT) antifreeze that isn’t meant to be changed. Various dealers/mechanics still say you should change it every 3-4 years, though. Especially if you do a test and conclude that its antifreeze and corrosion protection properties are failing.
What you need to service your BMW R 1250 RS
The R 1250 RS is a very reliable, durable motorcycle — in fact, it’s used by some police forces for their high-speed chase bikes.
Servicing the “ShiftCam” BMW R 1250 RS requires many different parts from the earlier liquid-cooled R 1200 RS models. The parts list is also slightly different from other 1250 bikes.
Here’s what you need to service your big RS.
|BMW R 1250 RS spec
|The 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.
|BMW part number for the oil filter is 11427721779. The HF160RC is a drop-in replacement from Hiflofiltro.
|Rear drive oil
|Use 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 that many dealers offer.
|Standard spark plug is an NGK LMAR8AI-10 per the manual for the 1250 motor.
|BMW part number for the air filter is 13727726799. The K&N BM-1113 is an aftermarket alternative.
|The manual doesn’t mention what type, but get long-life BMW coolant from a dealer or online.
|Use lithium soap-based grease to regularly lube external pivot points.
|Specified 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 34118548028 (you need two pairs). An EBC alternative is FA630HH (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 schedule for the BMW R 1250 RS
Below is the maintenance schedule for the BMW R 1250 RS, presented in a simplified format from the manual, as it’s unnecessarily repetitive there. The maintenance is consolidated into one table below.
Notes on the schedule
- The running-in check is omitted (Dealers usually do this during the warranty period)
- 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.
|km x 1000
|mi x 1000
|Conduct standard BMW annual service checklist (see below)
|Change engine oil and filter (BMW Motorrad Advantec Ultimate 5W-40, HF160RC)
|Change oil in rear bevel gears
|Check valve clearances
|Change all spark plugs (LMAR8AI-10)
|Replace air filter element (BM-1113)
|Check or replace air filter element
|Change oil in telescopic forks
|Check the universal shaft, and lubricate it (Recommended)
|Replace the universal shaft
|Change brake fluid, entire system (BMW DOT 4)
|After 1 year, then every 2 years
Note: The line items for checking and replacing the universal shaft are “relative to the service life of the component” per the manual. BMW added these items in the 2023 version of the manual, but it makes sense to apply them retrospectively.
BMW R 1250 RS Standard Service Checklist
This is the “standard service checklist” to be done every year or 10000 km / 6000 miles.
Note that this is updated guidance for the BMW R 1250 RS. Previous manuals didn’t mention a distance component for the annual service checklist, saying you only had to do this every year. However, it makes sense to retrospectively apply this to previous years.
Items marked [D] are for dealers as they require specialist tools.
|Standard BMW annual service (1250 motor)
|[D] Perform vehicle 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 the steering head bearing
|Check coolant level
|Check side stand/centre stand’s ease of movement
|Check tire pressure and tread depth
|Check lighting and signalling system
|Functional test for engine start suppression
|Final inspection and check for road safety
|Check battery state of charge
|[D] Set service date and countdown distance with BMW Motorrad diagnosis system
|[D] Confirm BMW service in on-board literature
Wheels and Tires for the BMW R 1250 RS
The BMW R 1250 RS is a sport touring motorcycle, so is best with sport touring or sport bike tires.
Below are the standard wheel and tire sizes, plus the tire pressure when cold. Naturally, adjust those pressures depending on the conditions in which you use your bike.
|Tire pressure (cold)
|3.50 x 17 in
|120/70 ZR 17
|36 psi / 2.5 bar
|5.50 x 17 in
|180/55 ZR 17
|42 psi / 2.9 bar
About the BMW R 1250 RS
The BMW R 1250 RS is the latest in the series of sportbikes that started with the R 100 S back in 1976 (for the 1977 model year).
A lot has changed since then, but the fundamental concept of a boxer-powered fully faired comfortable sportbike hasn’t changed.
But a lot has changed since even the R 1200 RS of a couple of generations ago. It was only last generation that the R 1200 RS got liquid cooling, and now the R 1250 RS gets a bigger engine and variable valve timing, for an even better spread of torque than before.
In all three bikes, it puts out the same power — 100 kW (136 PS or 134 bhp) at 7750 rpm, and a peak of 143 Nm (105 ft-lb) at 6250 RPM. These specs are a significant bump over the previous 1170cc liquid-cooled engine.
The motor has some improvements to mean that maintenance is even easier. The camshafts are driven via a toothed chain. Cooling and oil supply is improved, and the knock sensor system is optimised for travel.
Brakes are Brembo 4-piston radial-mount calipers biting 320mm rotors — sportbike spec.
The R 1250 RS has really advanced suspension in the higher-spec models — Dynamic ESA “Next Generation” which has fully automatic load compensation. They’re 45mm inverted forks, and the rear suspension is a BMW Paralever with remote preload and rebound adjustment.
The fact that the R 1250 RS has inverted forks rather than a Telelever front end is a break with history. Inverted forks don’t give the same stability that Telelever does, but they’re also lighter and allow for a motorcycle to be more compact.
The Exclusive package gets you a huge number of additions — cruise control, Dynamic suspension, a quick shifter, Riding Modes Pro, and more.
In late 2022, BMW announced an update to the R 1250 RS, adding an “ECO” driving mode, standard ABS Pro, a “Sport” core screen for the TFT, a USB socket, and optional seat heating. BMW also made a minor update to the maintenance schedule, which is reflected above.
Manual for the BMW R 1250 RS
The above maintenance schedule comes directly from the 2021 manual for the BMW R 1250 RS, with parts references coming from parts fiches.
In recent model years, BMW has updated the maintenance schedule for the R 1250 RS. Changes have been described and discussed above. See the screenshot above.
Below you can see the extra line items for maintaining the universal final drive shaft of the R 1250 RS.
You can download BMW’s manuals for their motorcycles here.