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-   -   Converting r80/100* to GS (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/bmw-tech/converting-r80-100-to-gs-7728)

Edward The Head 1 Mar 2002 02:49

Converting r80/100* to GS
I have been looking for an 80/100GS bike. They seem to be few and far between though so I was wondering if it is possible, worth it etc to convert from say a r100r to a GS. What type of things would have to be done if it is possible at all. I'm guessing new suspention and higher wheel wells, but are the bikes pretty much the same or should I really just be looking for a straight GS.

I hope this question makes sence because I still don't know the difference between all the different BMW arangements.

John Ferris 1 Mar 2002 05:07

Starting in front: brakes, forks, wheels, headlight, speedometer,tachometer,dashboard, handle bars.
The oil cooler is in a different place and the exhaust is different.
The engine, transmission, reardrive are the same. BMW sold a kit to change a R100GS to a R100GSPD it was the big tank and the headlight crash bars. I saw a R100R with that on it, paint matched. it looked good.
The big difference is the front end.
Forks, I think you could get by with R100R forks but the rims are 2.50-18 the GS is 1.85-21. Tires, if you are going for a lot of dirt riding I have never seen 18" dual-sport tires. The rear rims are 2.50-17 on the R100R and the R100GS. You can find lots of tires road or off road.
Exhaust on the GS is high so it won't get damaged but that makes the left saddle bag smaller. If you mind the possable damage to the exhaust with the R100R you can have a larger laft bag.
Cost, I think if you want to go "off road" it would cost much more to change a R100R to a GS than to buy a GS and make changes to it.

Grant Johnson 1 Mar 2002 12:36

Minor correction - the first R80G/S - note the "/" came out in 81 with an 18" rear wheel which was pretty much the standard then, and in 88 BMW came out with the R100GS, which came with a 17" rear wheel.

There's no problem getting good 18" rear tires. It's the front 18" or 19" depending on what year R100 that's harder.

BUT - you could buy a gorgeous mint R80/100G/S/GS for less than the cost of the conversion.

Notes - the old one is lighter and simpler, but the forks aren't good, have been known to break, but the rest is mostly bulletproof. The later ones have good forks, but the driveshaft is a "standard replacement part." i.e. every 50,000 miles.

There's lots of discussion on both, good and bad, and there's the story on my own G/S under our trip pages.

Buy an R100GS and be happy!

Grant Johnson

Share the Dream!
at: www.HorizonsUnlimited.com

Alfie 1 Mar 2002 16:13


I've also been keeping an eye out of a cheap GS and am well aware of the fact that they go for silly money in the UK. Even an old rat bag of a bike seems to go for over £1500. It might be worth searching out an old R80ST. HPN (www.hpn.de) use either a GS or an ST as a starting point for their bikes so I would assume that the frame and engines are identical - thus converting an ST to overland spec shouldn't present too much of a problem. Even though the production of ST's was far more limited than that of the GS's UK prices for ST's seems to be far more reasonable. I few months ago I saw one of sale for £795 but it had already been sold when I called. Assuming this as a rough price guide you should be able to fully kit out an ST for less than it would cost to buy an unprepared GS.

In the end I gave up the BMW chase and went for an Africa Twin instead - cheaper, newer and more reliable (maybe).



Edward The Head 1 Mar 2002 20:29

Ok, so it'll be easier/cheaper just to buy one out right so I'll just keep my eyes open. Thanks for the info.

Kurt 2 Mar 2002 09:58

Why they're dirt cheap in the UK. I haven't seen a decent airhead GS here in the US lately for under $5000 US. Priced them right out of the market.

How about this: Converting an R1100R to a R1100GS. Just a thought.... Really I've thought about it.


vincent danna 2 Mar 2002 22:07

i had a r100r classic in perfect condition (1994, 25 000 kms)
i thought about making it a gs
first, too many worries
second, it would cost you quite a lot of money to adapt your R to a GS
finally, i bought a r100gs pd classic

if you do not find in england (because little choice, expensive), try in germany on internet
i'll find you some websites

safe travels

vincent danna 2 Mar 2002 22:12

here you are :
there's a lot of choice
maybe, there are some other websites ?

good luck

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