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Old 8 May 2005
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Decisions g/s80 or gs1100

I need some advice from all in the know on these two bikes. I'm on a tight budget to purchase a motorcycle for two up touring. I've come across two bikes a 1100GS in fair condition but it has 131000Km on it or a 1986 g/s 80 with 70 000km in almost perfect condition. Is 131k too high for an 11gs? I'll be using the bike for Trans Asia (Aus to Europe)
Any advice would be appreciated
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Old 8 May 2005
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For two uping they're nearly ideal, especially R1100 due having more power and the handling isn't much affected when there's huge load on the adjustable suspension.

Indeed, really hard to say which would be the better choice... 130K isn't much for R11 if it's well maintained with respect, love & care - i've seen more than 500K fully working one. So goes to G/S, altough i'd expect final drive failure sooner or later if it's not replaced yet?

What ever you go with sure buy Haynes or Clymer repair manual for it and get knowledged with them technically - you may never know what can brake down on any bike, better to be ready for it because most of the work you can do your own.

Before buying one with those mileages, mainly pay attention to:

clutch - does it slip when you accelerate hard?
gearbox - do all gears go OK?
suspension - no quirks?
Oil - no leaks from the engine, suspension or final drive?
Noises - any strange noises from the engine, gearbox, final drive on various RPMs and speeds?

You can always surf ibmwr.org, UKGSer.com & ADVrider.com for known technical problems and solutions on those models too.

Hope this helps, Margus
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Old 9 May 2005
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Location: Vancouver BC Canada
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NOTE: R80G/S 1986 monolevers have NO driveshaft or final drive problems - easily the best of all Gs series. They do have other problems though; gearbox is good for 70-80,000 miles, then needs new bearings, and the electrics are shaky. Rotors, diode boards, and regulators fail with some regularity. All can be upgraded with quality stuff available from Motorrad Elektrik. See their ad on our sponsors page.

You will also need to beef up the rear subframe considerably. See Ernie for that - yes another sponsor - his ad is at the top of all HUBB pages.

Other than that, the G/S is a good bike, ours worked well on our RTW.

The 1100GS is a very different bike, but well-proven, very comfortable and capable for two-up round the world stuff. They do need a couple of tweaks for sure - see the Touratech ad at the top of the page and look up their "hard parts" for the 1100GS - REQUIRED fitment for all 1100GS's!

If you're comfortable doing your own repairs and maintenance the G/S is a great choice - if not, go for the 1100. The G/S will probably need more, but you can fix it yourself. The 1100 should need less repairs (AFTER it's been gone over thoroughly by a pro mechanic who understands what you want to do and fixes what's needed) so will probably be a better choice for the mechanically challenged.

No matter which one you get, you WILL need to spend some money on a thorough service, some new bits, tires etc. Budget £500 at least for that, possibly more.

See out story on our rtw trip for more on our G/S, and read the travellers stories and "which bike" forum for more on both.

Hope that helps.

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


One world, Two wheels.
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
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