Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > BMW Tech

BMW Tech BMW Tech Forum - For Questions specific and of interest to BMW riders only. Questions comparing which bike is best etc go in the "Which Bike" forum.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Parts & accessories for adventure touring motorcycles including GPS mounts, panniers, luggage, protection, dry bags, camping gear, tools, books & DVDs.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 4 Nov 2003
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 6
retrofitting an older R series

Hi,
I'm new to the site and I love it! I am currently working on a plan for a big trip but since it has to be at least a year away, I am still busy researching most of the variables.
My question to anyone with an opinion:

I have been riding a 1977 R75/7 for the past three years. It is due for a major tune up and new shocks, brakes, and maybe a new clutch.
Would I be able to give this bike a workover to set it up for a really long tour that would include some dirt roads and maybe even some desert riding.

I haven't seen anyone talking about taking a bike like this overland on long journeys. Why is that? It handles aweful on dirt roads now but I think a lot of that is the road tires and poor shocks. But maybe not...?

I don't want to kill this bike...I waited years for this exact one to come to me and it's very dear to my heart but I would rather ride this into the ground somewhere in Asia, than into the back of truck in a Vancouver traffic jam. (I'd rather have it die with its boots on so to speak) I'd rather not have it die at all though!

Another factor would be the price to ship it across the Ocean. It's in storage in Vancouver now and I had thought about starting in Europe, though that could easily change.

Price is one of my main considerations. I couldn't afford to pay more than $4000 cdn. for a touring bike.

So, should I just buy a bike in Europe that's built for the job or is it worth thinking about getting my R75/7 set up for travelling. I have to put about $1500 into it either way, and could bump that way up if it was for a year long journey.

Any info or insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for the help,
Jason

[This message has been edited by j-bird (edited 04 November 2003).]
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 4 Nov 2003
Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 239
There is certainly no reason why you cannot fix your /7 up for a long, RTW trip. The parts are availible to bring your bike to 'as new' or better condition. People were, and still are, doing the long trips on less competent equipment.

The R80 G/S that many have circumnavigated on is not that radically different then your machine. A bit better suspension front and rear, a 21 inch front tire, High exhaust, and a smaller headlight necal are the major physical differences. the post '81 bikes do have some other functional improvements like lined bores, and electronic ignition.


A thorough going through (if you do it yourself) will also get your completely familiar with your machine should repairs be needed. Also, your /7 is a true standard, and more multipurpose then many of the modern Harley or sport bikes that people are adventure touring on today. It is really a matter of where you want to go, and how quickly!

On the other hand, I think the real question is not about the bike, but about your ambition. do you want to ride your old /7 around the world or simply do the trip in the most functional way possible? Time has marched on, and there is no doubt that a newer enduro single like a KLR, DR650, F650GS or the like will be easier to handle on rough roads, probably better on fuel, and likely require less repairs. In particular, suspension and brakes have improved, and weight has dropped. Also, in terms of equiping a bike (large tank, panniers, bash plates, etc.) Newer bikes tend to be better supported with bolt on up-grades. If it is simply a decision based on cost, then purchasing a new or nearly new single cylinder enduro may actually be cheaper in the long run.

There is also your attachment to your current bike. Such a trip will, at a minimum, put lots of wear and tear on the machine and there is alway the possibility that you will have to walk away from it after a crash or other transportation episode.

Still, I personally am warm to the idea of riding a bike that you have fixed up yourself and know well. Even a brand new bike should have some upgrades done or changes made. Riding what you have, or can afford seems to be the prevelent advise on many of the forums. The important thing is to go.

If I were you, I'd sit down and add up the cost of getting your bike to a point where you can expect it to be reliable. This will be an extensive list of work and could mean much $. Then I'd weigh that against esthetic values and cost of purchasing a bike in Europe and selling it at the end of the trip.

[This message has been edited by Timo (edited 04 November 2003).]
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 5 Nov 2003
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 6
Thanks for the response. I agree that my bike is not the best on fuel and with the low pipes, weight, constant need for tinkering, etc, it might not be the best for the job. But it does have a big tank, a great seat, a nice hard bag system, an electronic ignition, and I know the bike a bit.
I guess it's really up to me to decide how much I'm willing to spend and how attached I am to the bike.
Thanks for the tips.

I wonder how easy it would be to get parts and service for a /7 in Western Asia and Africa? Pretty standard stuff but would it be much easier for a newer enduro?

Any other experience with this or opionions for or against....?
Thanks again,
Jason
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 5 Nov 2003
Fritz's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Yorkshire
Posts: 220
Someone gave me the advice to modify an r100/80/7 rather than buy an R100GS, I didn't heed, and I have to say, with hindsight, I'd do what you're planning rather than getting another machine.
The lower exhausts are better for lugguge - provided you don't cross many rivers (how many do we really ?)
Good suspension will work great at the speeds you are likely to travel off road (unless racing unloaded)- the 2 or 3 inches difference in clearance is unlikely to be an issue - but getting your feet down quick on an overloaded (surely not ;-)) bike may prove advantageous.
I bought a bike that is NOT the solution.
Modifying an old friend is a better solution I now think (Put too much cash into the R100gs to withdraw now !).
The /7 have better parts, and providing you can get in touch with Motorworks or Motobins in UK (as easy as finding a local shop if Uzbeckistan I'd imagine) you shouldn't have too much difficulty getting s/h or new parts. Those 2 companies will prove more useful than a list of BM dealers (but I'd take that too, just in case). The support via them is better than for new Jap model when it comes to getting parts.
As mentioned, by prepping your bike, you'll know it so well.
It's horses for courses, but I'd say more power to your spannering elbow !
These comments are based on a lengthy trip (economies of scale) - and after that, you won't want to part ! At least you know what you've got - if you bought a cheap BM R80/7 in UK it might be less than £1000 - but what history ?

[This message has been edited by Fritz (edited 05 November 2003).]

[This message has been edited by Fritz (edited 05 November 2003).]
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 6 Nov 2003
Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 239
Yes, I think that personally, I would agree. I purchased an old 'basket case' R80G/S and if I were to do it again I would probably have gone for a road model instead. The parts interchangability is better and the lower seat hight is an advantage. If you really want to, you can put longer travel suspension front and rear and end up with the same thing anyway. The older two-side swingarm is a proven design, and HPN offers an extending kit if you really want to go for the 'big travel'. I ended up putting better forks on mine in the end, so I wouldn't have been much further behind with a /7 then with the G/S. If you are going to be using an older bike, you might as well start with a major rebuild, as you want to go through the whole thing with a fine tooth comb!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 6 Nov 2003
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 6
Great advice everyone...
I'm happy to hear what everyone has to say, and will take it very seriously!
Thanks again,
Jason

-anyone else?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 9 Feb 2005
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 5
I have been hunting around for a similar set of questions which I am pondering over and came across this older string.

I have a R100RT (1990) which is immaculate and has 9000 miles on it (bought it last year).

I am really wondering about whether to PX it for something else OR just rip the fairing off it and play around to set it up? Having checked out the weight I note that it is actually 20kg lighter - even with the major frame-mounted fairing - than a GS!

The main pages of this site say that you can go RTW on anything.

I wonder?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 9 Feb 2005
John Ferris's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Reno,NV,USA
Posts: 564
Yes and no.
A R100RT is lighter than a R1100-1150 GS but the RT is heavier than the R80GS and the R100GS.
There are people who want "stock" RT's.
You should decide if you want an "airhead" or an "oilhead"
I would sell the RT and buy the kind of bike I wanted before I would change the RT.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 9 Feb 2005
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 5
Thanks for the reply

The thing is like airheads as I have had them for so long. I actually sold an ST I had for 10 years to buy the RT. The RTW event has come through rapidly changing marital events.

I'm confused as hell really about whether to stick with the RT. My guts tell me to get something lighter (and more versatile) like a Dakar! The problem is everybody says different things - "You can go RTW on anything" therefore an RT will do................?????

Jesus, will I survive this if I cannot even pick a bike!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 9 Feb 2005
John Ferris's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Reno,NV,USA
Posts: 564
But if the RT is paid for then it is the best choice.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 9 Feb 2005
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: B.C. Canada
Posts: 214
Hi Guys,
I too had the same questions, and although Fritz and Timo have pretty well summed it all up, here's my 2cents.
I wanted an R80g/s for my rtw trip but could not find one to buy. Fortunatly an 1984 R80RT came up for sale and I assumed it was close to a g/s, same engine,driveline ,etc.
I say fortunatly because it turned out to be an excellent rtw bike.
With good help and advice, I fitted new good quality twin shocks and large aluminum saddlebags, which the low dual exhaust easily allowed, and a "large" aluminum topbox.
The fairing is great for poor weather riding and decreases fatigue on long rides.
With good tires it handled all roads fairly well from German autobahns to Australian outback gravel/sand tracks.
Parts were available everywhere there was a phone, with good suppliers that ship globally. The mechanical simplicity allows for fairly easy repairs and with regular maintenance(oils,valve adjustments,filters) they just keep on going and do not cost to much to run.
I now have an 1983 R80G/S which I bought for a South America trip and after one summer of comparison, if I go to South America two up I would take the RT...
As for shipping it at first seems cheaper by sea, but factor in crating, port fees, customs clearance, handling,etc and it is better to fly your bike.
A rough rule of thumb for price is the cost of a return ticket for one to the destination.We shipped ours twice and flew it three times for around $5,000Cdn total in 2003.
Your bike is certainly capable of going RTW without killing it and Taking your own bike has both pro's and con's.
Almost all of your questions can be answered here,thanks to Grant and Susan ,by serching this site, but feel free to email me if you would like. Cheers, Peter
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 9 Feb 2005
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 5
Thank you, I was thinking the RT might be the completely wrong choice! BTW I wasn't looking for somebody to confirm my choice as if people dived in and said 'no way' then my nagging doubts would have been confirmed. The fact that you have used it and lived to tell the tale means a lot!

Must admit you have noted my main thoughts on engine / transmission and spares. I gave up using chain drives many moons ago.

Also the fact that it is mine and (newly) new plus has a full hard luggage set - I do have various add-on soft luggage options from my wandering over the years.

The fairing is still something I'm puzzling over.

I had thought of taking it off due to the size and weight and yet you left it on. I was also thinking of shipping costs as the fairing does considerably increase the physical size of the bike?

Alternatively I have considered just taking the inners out of it (they are small) so I can fit side bags between the tank and the fairing. This could hold either / both tools and spares / fuel containers.

Still thinking about that.

The downside of taking it off, as you said, is the weather protection............... The upside is lighter and easier to handle I think - both these points recognise the fact that I'm 49!!!!

Decisions, decisions.

Spent last night (like many others) pouring over maps to come to a decision about a route.

Damn - I think I'm regressing to my teens.............pass me a .

Motorcycles, Men and Midlife Crises?

Thanks for your comments (all) and I will take you up on your kind offer of email. Will have a think and email you in a few days.

Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 9 Feb 2005
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 762
I think there is a scale that bikers sit somewhere along. At one end you have the Robert Pirsig type, at the other end is Charlie Boorman, and somewhere in the middle ground is Ted Simon. We all travel for different reasons, which is the greatest freedom there is on the road.

The correct motorcyle for RTW isn't a myth, it's just not defined in terms of suspension, fuel range, electronics, etc.

[This message has been edited by DougieB (edited 09 February 2005).]
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 9 Feb 2005
Grant Johnson's Avatar
HU Founder
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: Vancouver BC Canada
Posts: 4,580
Quote:
Originally posted by bmwboxerman:

Also the fact that it is mine and (newly) new plus has a full hard luggage set - I do have various add-on soft luggage options from my wandering over the years.
The stock plastic factory luggage sucks for RTW travel... has a habit of just plain falling off, leaking water, and breaking when crashed. I use a BMW tie strap on them as a matter of course to keep them from falling off when the catch fails - which they all do eventually - or sometimes sooner....

Quote:
Originally posted by bmwboxerman:

The downside of taking it off, as you said, is the weather protection............... The upside is lighter and easier to handle I think - both these points recognise the fact that I'm 49!!!!
The weight saved can't be more than 20-30 pounds, and in the overall context of the total weight, it's insignificant. 3-5%?
Re: size for shipping purposes, the saddlebags will define the width, and the height with the windshield off is around the height of the bars anyway, so no real gain taking off the fairing.

See also http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/art...kroadsofbc.php for offroading on an S version of that bike. (With S bars, much smaller and less leverage, so more work.)


------------------
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.

------------------------

One world, Two wheels.
www.HorizonsUnlimited.com
__________________
Grant Johnson

Seek, and ye shall find.

------------------------

Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
www.HorizonsUnlimited.com
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 9 Feb 2005
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 5
Thanks folks for all the comments.

It helps just to bounce ideas off people even if they just come back and confirm what you thought you knew!

I always luggage strap cases anyway (since about 1980) due to a pannier opening on a British motorway and distributing the contents across three lanes!

By people's comments I think the fairing will stay on................ and just take the fancy bits out to increase space for side-tank bags (get that weight distribution right!)

Thanks folks. I will keep trawling through the site for other answers until I come unstuck then I may reappear.

Cheers
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

Latvia to Australia, an inspirational 5 month journey full of unexpected adventures!


Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 01:35.