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-   -   gs strengthening (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/bmw-tech/gs-strengthening-8033)

alan hopkins 28 Nov 2003 05:12

gs strengthening
Starting to sort my g/s 80 out.
Got couple of light weight ammo boxes for panniers and will probably ask ernie to sort out a rack and strengthen subframe at the same time but are there any other known weak points or welding mods that are common to the old airhead?

Also are there any special tools or gadgets or regularly needed spares that are particularly usefull on this old bike (1982) or places to adapt, stash stuff that people want to share

If these points have been covered a thousand times, sorry, just sign post me on, cheers all all


p.s. this is such a good site. Probably the most useful and entertaining and informative site I have ever stumbled accross.
Nice one Grant :O)

Mombassa 28 Nov 2003 09:16

If Ernie is going to help you out, you're set. He made an entire rear frame for me, pannier carriers etc. It works as advertised. Nothing to correct on that stuff. If you want some pics of some frame bracing I had done, send me an e-mail (link in the icons above) and I'll send you some.


[This message has been edited by kberetta (edited 28 November 2003).]

Grant Johnson 30 Nov 2003 09:00

Alan, thanks - good to hear you like the site! (and don't forget to visit the souk http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/smile.gif )

On the left menu at the top is "Our trip" and from there "Our bike" or something like that - see what I did to my R80G/S.

The only real big problem is the rear subframe. Ernie does a good job of bracing it. We spent a whole day a couple of years ago looking at mine and discussing what he should do for people in the future, and he has taken that and run with it nicely.

Last time I looked "light weight ammo boxes" was kinda like "military intelligence"...

Ally or soft bags are the popular choices, and recently I've seen Pelican boxes, and even big plastic Coleman coolers utilised to good effect.

You really want to read almost all the threads in this forum, there's a vast amount of information stashed away. Make sure you have "Show all topics" selected at the top, and note there are six pages of threads.

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


One world, Two wheels.

nobby 1 Dec 2003 00:09

replace the dioede board with thunder cat one ,rebuild gear box before yu go the drive shafts can go replace with one with grease nipples email me and talk some more the road test post between grant and chris bright is interersting
cheers nobby

Timo 1 Dec 2003 03:35

Note to post above: the G/S's ran a wet, monolever shaft drive that does not have the weekness of the later R80/R100 GS, so no need for a rebuild or nipple.

Good call on the diode board. Also recommended to change the rotor and carry a spare. Motorrad Elektric does them, links in the links page.

I highly recommend a 90/110 headlight bulb - cheap and effective.

With time, access to welding equipment and expertise you can strengthen your sub frame and build racks. However, with all the other stuff you will want to do, farming out items where there is a proven fix, such as Overland Solutions is a good idea.

alan hopkins 1 Dec 2003 15:16

thanks to all above. This is really such a fantastic site. Not only lots of free info but true, no nonsense no profit info. Brilliant. This is what the net was made for I'm sure.

Yes please, I can't get enough info at the moment and appreciate anything however abstract. Just epdated my e-mail address on my profile. Thanks Kevin.

You are a star. Thought so at the traveller meet last year, can't wait till next one in 04 (wish I could make the Argentina bash, sounds like a hoot) I plan on getting in touch with ernie re the subframe. Talked with him last year at his open day and it was he who suggested going for the old g/s (not GS) for exactly the reasons mentioned above so the least I can do is give him some work (as if he needs more!) Plan to check out all you inventory, bike prep advice etc elsewhere on the site when I have a few hours to spare and make proper notes rather than the usual time drain browsing. Will also buy as many books as poss via your link to Amazon to help a little with your expenses. The ammo boxes really are light weight ones, see them on Ernies 1100gs. I know alloy are the way to go but bought these for £11 pounds each and alloy ones seem to belong in the 'must have shiny GS accessory fashion item' catagory and command too high a price. The price difference will pay for fuel for the whole trip! Once again Grant big respect.

Took my bike along to euro classics in northampton and Phil Kingston gave it a once over and said sounds ok so take it as it is, no need for expensive re build as I'm not racing. He's been working on airheads for years. Yes it's a g/s so so I'm going nipple-less (even in November!) Point taken on rotor, head lamp and diode board. Will replace and take old ones with me as spares.

Cheers everyone

Grant Johnson 3 Dec 2003 12:27

thanks for the nice comments Alan, glad to have helped!

Good to hear the bike sounds good - that's the main thing on a G/S - if the engine sounds good it probably is!

Electrics as noted can indeed be iffy.(Although I personally never had ANY trouble - go figure) You can also go for the full Motorrad Elektric electrics upgrade, the Omega system, changes all the iffy bits and bumps the output way up. Tell Rick I sent ya!

By the way, don't forget to check out the Souk - link on the left. Our expenses are getting HIGH, well over US$300 a month just for hosting - we are a huge site and use a frightening amount of bandwidth - and I AM full time on it, and am looking to hire someone at least part time because I simply can't keep up. But the income isn't keeping up either!

Membership in HU gives good karma! See the Souk for details. Think of it as a magazine subscription! Gotta be worth one of those at least.

good luck with the bike, we'll be interested to see how it goes!

Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


One world, Two wheels.

alan hopkins 4 Dec 2003 04:19

i am a member already.
Joined at the overland bash in somercotes last year. You made a fuss of swapping my 'ordinary' sweatshirt for a 'member' one no less, just as Ted Simon turned up on the Sunday.
I will support as best I can. This is such a valuable site and worthwhile.


Grant Johnson 4 Dec 2003 05:55

ah, that was you! Wish I had a memory like my computer does, but thanks, and your support is MUCH appreciated, believe me.

see you on the road!


alan hopkins 24 Feb 2004 19:27

hi grant
was about to check out the Motorrad Elektric omega systems upgrade you mention above but all search on net gets is german sites. Can you post me on if you have a minute?

Cheers again


Grant Johnson 25 Feb 2004 00:13

See our sponsors page: http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/sponsors.php for the link, and please make sure you tell them you heard about them from here!

A search on Motorrad Elektrik omega on the search box here finds their ad by the way. http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/ubb/wink.gif


Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.


One world, Two wheels.

Cameron 26 Mar 2004 00:22

Hi Alan,
I just bought a 1983 r80g/s and will be doing the same as you with a slow rebuild program, only on this side of the pond.
If I can help with parts supply from over here feel free to ask.
Saw a picture of the "shed" and first thought was, my god is there a bike under that tank... let me know about the mods you do and how they are working.
Cheers, Peter


Richard Jakobek 26 Mar 2004 21:07

Hi Alan,
REgarding your request for places to stash stuff : I replaced my standard battery with a Hawker item. Not only is this a much better battery, but it is also a lot smaller. This gives me extra spoace under the seat where I can carry light bulbs etc.


alan hopkins 20 Jun 2004 06:33

The 'Shed' is looking good and on course but unfortunately won't be running in time for July UK meet. Low budget, slow build plan.

Got a local specials builder to make me a bolt on subframe that wraps around original bolting onto main frame then unbolts when not needed.
[Cameron. Can e-mail you pix if you want. How's the rebuild coming along?]

The seat was recovered at leightons in Birmingham, highly recommended. Their sales prevention guy insisted on talking me out of new foam as the original stuff was ok... it was too.

The electrics...
I was all set to have a go myself but being colour blind and no mechanic I decided to do what I do best and earn money to put an expert on the job.
Phil Kingston at Euro Classics in Northampton received the 'shed' yesterday and we discussed the work needed.
Cannot recommed this guy enough, old style mechanic, been working on airheads for donkeys years and just listening to him talk about them filled me with confidence. I made the right decision for sure.

Incedentally I mentioned this site and he had not heard of it and hopefully will be coming to the travellers meeting in July. If he does come along on his r80g/s you can see for yourself what a well sorted simple utilitarian bike can eventually look like.

Have contact details regarding all above but not sure about posting/advertising on here so can e-mail back if anyone contacts me


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