BMW’s updated its 1250 and 310 GS models for 2021, with the R1250 GS receiving several small upgrades that should result in a much better bike. The 310 only received minor tweaks.
The R1250 GS still has the same liquid-cooled Shiftcam engine, but now it’s Euro5-compliant with no torque or horsepower loss. That’s probably not too exciting to most riders, but it’s a necessary move if BMW wants to continue sales. There’s also a new ECO mode, to improve fuel economy.
The R1250 GS gets an optional cornering headlight for 2021, with the beam adapting to shine into turns while riding at night. This is becoming standard on most high-end touring-oriented motorcycles now, so it’s wise for BMW to make it available. BMW’s dynamic traction control system (BMW’s term for its cornering-sensitive traction control); it’s standard now on the R1250 GS, whereas it was only an option for previous models.
BMW also updated the 1250’s brakes, with its proprietary Integral ABS Pro system. Now, front and rear braking is linked if you use the front brake lever, while the rear brake pedal only operates the rear brake. BMW uses a new six-axis IMU for this system, claiming improved braking as a result, and there’s also a new, lighter ABS module. The new IMU also supposedly allowed refinements to the ABS system and hill start assist system. It seems heated seats are standard now, too.
As you’d expect, BMW also has new paint for 2021, including a 40th-anniversary model with classic black/yellow bumblebee paint job. MSRP for 2021 is $20,345 US, $21,550 in Canada (plus fees).
What about the G310 GS? The updates for this budget-oriented ADVer are more modest. For 2021, the mini GS is now Euro5-friendly, while keeping output at 33ish horsepower, and around 27 pound-feet of torque. There’s a new electronic throttle that’s supposed to help the bike reduce emissions while improving response; if true, that’s a win-win. There’s also a new anti-hop clutch, and brake and clutch levers are adjustable. BMW put a new LED headlight and signals on the 310, and there are three standard paint schemes as well as a special-edition 40th anniversary paint scheme as well.
The 2021 G310 GS isn’t on the US website yet, but BMW Motorrad’s Canadian website lists pricing at $6,750, plus fees.