Triumph Tiger 1200 vs BMW R 1250 GS

Triumph Tiger 1200 Vs. BMW R 1250 GS

Want to go for the best adventure touring motorcycles that the market has to offer? You need to decide between the Triumph Tiger 1200 vs. BMW R 1250 GS because they both stand at the top of the list for touring motorcycles.

Touring motorcycles have found their groove between the realm of dirt bikes and sports bikes. These bikes come with stronger frames and have larger tank sizes and a range of other utilities. And the best part is that you can ride them for long distances before you need to refuel them.

Today, we will compare two of the best in this category; the Triumph Tiger 1200 (top speed: 140 miles an hour) and the BMW R 1250 GS (top speed: 135.7 miles an hour).

Keep reading to find out in-depth details about these two tourers.

Industry History


Triumph is a British motorcycle manufacturer that has been producing some quality rides for its consumers since the time of its inception. The company hasn’t been around for that long, but it has still managed to produce high-quality bikes that compete with the industry’s top brands.


BMW needs no introduction as it has been producing bikes since 1903. It has taken part in many championships throughout history, and we all know how reliable BMW is in terms of performance and consistency.

Triumph Tiger 1200 vs. BMW R 1250 GS – An Overview

The Tiger 1200

The Tiger 1200 features a powerful engine and has a lightweight design. It means that this bike can zip along pretty quickly while still being very comfortable when it comes to handling. It’s ready for any adventures that you can throw at it. You can use it to ride the pavements as well as unpaved paths.

The BMW R 1250 GS

This adventure bike is great when it comes to mileage as well as speed. This combination is hard to find, especially when we talk about adventure bikes. It also features superior traction control. It comes with a large fuel tank as well and is built to take on any adventure.

Comparison Chart

FeaturesTriumph Tiger 1200BMW R 1250 GS
Fuel and vehicle typePetrol adventure bikePetrol adventure bike
Fuel tank capacity5.2 gallons5.0 gallons
Engine typeLiquid-cooled 12-valve DOHC, 3-cylinder inlineAir/liquid-cooled flat twin engine
Maximum power141 HP @ 9350 RPM136 HP @ 7750 RPM
Maximum torque90 lb-ft @ 7600 RPM105 lb-ft @ 6250 RPM
Seating capacity and type2, dual stepped2, dual stepped
Seat height32.87-inch to 33.66-inch33.5-inch to 34.3-inch
Weight534 lbs549 lbs
Gear transmission6-speed shaft drive6-speed shaft drive
Front and rear suspension7.48-inch travel upside-down fork and 7.6-inch travel monoshock7.5-inch travel Telelever and 7.9-inch travel Paralever
Front and rear brakesTwin floating discs with 4-piston caliper and a single disc with 2-piston caliper (both with ABS)Dual disc brake with 4-piston caliper and single disc brake with 2-piston caliper (both with ABS)
Front and rear tires120/70 R 19 and 170/60 R 17120/70 R 19 and 170/60 R 17
Wheelbase59.84 inches59.60 inches


Engine of BMW R 1250 GS

Let’s start with a comparison of Triumph Tiger 1200 vs. BMW R 1250 GS engine. The Triumph Tiger 1200 comes with a liquid-cooled DOHC engine that features a 12-valve 3-cylinder inline configuration.

This engine is pretty powerful and is designed to take on a variety of road conditions with ease. As it’s a liquid-cooled engine, therefore, you won’t have to worry about it getting hot even in tough weather conditions. DOHCs are advanced engines that pack more power than SOHCs, but they are slightly difficult to maintain.

On the other hand, the R1250GS features a flat-twin engine that is robust and ideally suitable for riding in tough conditions. It means that your BMW adventure bike is great for any adventure, regardless of the terrain and weather conditions.

Twin engines are more balanced in terms of taking loads and building speeds. They can handle different terrains as well. They might be slightly difficult to handle when it comes to repair and maintenance because they are costly but deliver true value over time. So we are going to give this round to the BMW R1250GS.


Now, let’s talk about the weight of these monsters. The weight of the Tiger 1200 is around 534 lbs when fully road-ready. On the other hand, the R1250GS weighs around 550 lbs when road-ready.

It means that the Tiger 1200 is slightly lighter as compared to the R1250GS. Therefore, you will be able to handle it much more conveniently through those tight corners or even when going uphill.

Tiger 1200 features a fuel tank that is slightly bigger than the R1250GS, which means you can continue to ride longer on your Tiger 1200 as compared to the R1250GS.

The R1250GS is also pretty convenient to ride, and it can have a much better pick-up speed than the Tiger 1200. So it is going to perform very well on those slopes, and it will also take up more load and carry it along the way when you are twisting the throttle.

In terms of handling, the Tiger is better, while the R1250GS takes the lead in terms of performance. Therefore, we are going to call it a tie here.

Suspension and brakes

Suspension of BMW R 1250 GS and Triumph Tiger 1200

The Tiger 1200 features upside-down forks on the front end and offers the rider a travel height of almost 7.5 inches. Whereas, on the rear end, this bike has a mono-shock suspension with a 7.6-inch travel height. Therefore, at both ends, this bike is pretty comfortable to ride, and you will not feel any road bumps at all, no matter what kind of terrain you are riding.

BMW has done a fine job introducing its own set of suspension systems for its rear and front-wheel over the years. The Telelever on the front end has 7.5-inch of travel, and the Paralever on the rear end has 7.9-inch of travel which puts the rider’s comfort right at the center stage and allows you to go on for long miles regardless of what terrain you are riding.

The R1250GS has way better travel on the rear end as compared to the Tiger 1200. But still, the Tiger is not that bad in terms of performance either. However, if you are looking for more rider’s comfort, then the BMW is going to reign superior here.

As far as the brakes go, the Tiger 1200 has 4-piston clipper dual floating discs on the front end and 2-piston single disc on the rear end. Both the brakes also feature ABS technology to provide you with incredible stopping power.

The R1250GS features a 4-piston caliper dual floating disc brake on the front and a 2-piston single disc brake on the rear end. Both the ends have ABS, so these features are almost identical to what the Tiger 1200 has.

Overall, the R1250GS is going to clinch the suspension and brakes comparison round of Triumph Tiger 1200 vs. BMW R 1250 GS based on better suspension travel.


Ergonomics of Triumph Tiger 1200 and BMW R 1250 GS

Going through this comparison of Triumph Tiger 1200 vs. BMW R 1250 GS, you might have been noticing that there is not much difference between these two adventure bikes. But the difference is still there. Talking about ergonomics, both these machines are incredibly comfortable riding for longer distances, both on paved and unpaved paths.

The Tiger 1200 comes with an adjustable seat height. The adjustment can conveniently go from 32.87 inches to 33.66 inches. So, this bike is a good choice for anyone who engages in height from 5 feet 6 inches to 6 feet 2 inches.

In contrast, the R1250GS comes with an adjustable seat height, but it can be adjusted from 33.5 inches to 34.3 inches. Consequently, this bike seat is better suited for taller riders.

The Tiger 1200 also has a wheelbase of 59.84 inches which is considerably more than the 59.6-inch wheelbase of R1250GS. You are going to feel much closer to the ground when you are sitting on the Tiger. Therefore, you will feel much more comfortable when it comes to maneuvering and handling the bike on those uneven paths.

The footpegs and handlebar are much more convenient to handle on the Tiger as well, and you won’t feel any stretches during your rides either. So in terms of ergonomics, we are going to say that the Tiger 1200 is somewhat better than the R1250GS.

Looks and aesthetics

Looks of Triumph Tiger 1200

The looks and aesthetics of a bike have different appeal for different people. Some people prefer the classic style while others like to go the modern way. Both Tiger 1200 and R 1250 GS are similar in looks but have some unique characteristics.

If you have a look at the R1250GS, the bike resembles a classic adventure bike with a jacked-up body to incorporate that powerful engine. Whereas the Tiger 1200 is a slightly different look with a slightly bigger tank and with a head that looks like it has been placed on the front fender rather than just being part of it and an extension.

If you are looking for a more traditional look in your adventure bike, you need to go for the BMW. And if you are looking for a model with a slightly different design, then the Tiger 1200 is a good choice for you.


It’s a no-brainer that the BMW R1250GS has a slightly bigger price tag because it is equipped with a 1250cc engine. Of course, it has some high-tech features incorporated by one of the best motor-engineering brands in the world.

The Tiger 1200, however, is like a younger brother of R1250GS with a slightly smaller price tag and everything else, but it looks way more modern. If you are interested in going for a unique design, Tiger 1200 is the right choice.

Triumph Tiger 1200 vs. BMW R 1250 GS – The Similarities

Despite all the differences, there are some similarities between these two bikes as well. In this section, we’ll highlight some of the similarities between the Tiger 1200 and the R1250GS.

Fuel and vehicle type

The most significant similarity between these two bikes is their fuel and vehicle type. Both these machines are powered by gasoline, and they both are adventure bikes. The Tiger 1200, however, is much more unique and modern in terms of looks. But the R1250GS has a more classic adventure bike look with a jacked-up body.

Gearing system

Both these machines come with a 6-speed manual transmission system with the shaft as the final drive. The only difference between the two systems is that the Tiger 1200 features a multi-plate, wet hydraulic torque assist gearing system. In contrast, the R1250GS has a wet clutch hydraulic system with anti-hopping functionality. Both the systems work in a highly productive way and are effective on varying terrains.

Seating type and capacity

Seating of BMW R 1250 GS and Triumph Tiger 1200

Both Tiger 1200 and R1250GS come with dual seating capacity, and both the machines have stepped seat configurations. But there is a slight difference between both the rides because the R1250GS is much more suitable for a slightly taller person with a higher adjustment bracket.

Triumph Tiger 1200 vs. BMW R 1200 GS – Pros & Cons

Triumph Tiger 1200


  • Modern looks.
  • Unique and lightweight construction.
  • Bigger fuel tank.


  • Smaller engine.

BMW R 1200 GS


  • Powerful engine.
  • Classic looks.
  • More load capacity.


  • Smaller tank.


In this comparison of Triumph Tiger 1200 vs. BMW R 1250 GS, the winner is the BMW R1250GS. It is equipped with more features to make your ride comfortable. You might notice that it should have come with a much bigger fuel tank, but that is the only issue this adventure motorbike has.

It is equipped with a powerful engine and has incredible suspension and brakes. Handling and maneuvering are extraordinary too. Though, it’s a much better option for slightly taller individuals.

However, the bike can conveniently handle rough terrain, thanks to its massive suspension travel. If you are truly looking for some fun on your adventure bike, then you need to ride the R1250GS on your next adventure tour.

Featured Image from Flickr © Marko Fischer – The original image was not changed

Featured Image from Flickr © Wolfgang Pones – The original image was not changed

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