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Old 1 Sep 2003
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Why not newer bikes?

Thanks for the info on my other post.

One last question, why is it on all the sites like this do the majority of peoploe going round the world ride r80's or r100Gs's instead of the R1100/R1150 GS models, surely they can't be not as good on milage and break down more. I'd have thought that through design and innovation they got better.
Obviously expense is a facto but going round the world over a 3-4 year period, money must not be a large factor in the equasion (sp?)
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Old 1 Sep 2003
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Several factors come to mind:
1. Weight:The earlier the bike, the lighter they tend to be, although the new GS for 2004 is reported to be 30kg lighter, similar to an r80gs.
2. Complexity: EFI v carbs, which most people can understand. The earlier bikes are easier to work on i.e. 2v and pushrods opposed to 4v, 2 camchains and high cams.
3. Cost: You can pick up an R80GS for about £2,000, double that for an 1100GS. I also doubt that everyone who goes RTW is loaded with surplus cash. The newer bikes also require more expensive tyres.
4. Reliability: the older bikes are not necessarily more reliable but have probably covered enough miles for all problems to have occurred and then sorted.

There are probably other points in favour of each type of bike that I don't know of. The faults of the 2v are already well documented. I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who's carried out their own maintenance on an 1100/1150 model?

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Old 2 Sep 2003
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On the cost note: for travel in some countries you are required to post a bond (at home) relatitive to the value of the bike you are taking. This is to ensure that you are well motivated to take your bike with you when you leave the country in question, and do not sell it. Having a new bike with a high book value can present a serious cash tie up. There is also a bit of comfort in a lower 'walk away' factor I think. One could spend a lot of time and energy extracting a crashed or broken $25,000 invested-my-life-savings machine out of some remote place, rather then being able to leave it and cut your loses. (but let's not focus to much on that negative thought!)

Also, there is always the issue of looking like you have lots of money, which a shiny new machine certainly presents.

In the BMW world of things people often seem to be trying to make the choice between the new 1150 GS and an older R100GS or R80G/S. Don't forget about the F650 series as well, which are closer to the older Airheads in size, weight, and power.

Personally, the lighter weight and simplicity of the older series does attract me. Although in many ways I have come to realize that the R80/100 GS series strikes an awkward compromise: it's capabilities in the dirt do not extend far beyond the 1100/1150 GS to justify what it gives up in brakes, ride quality, and comfort on paved roads. If dirt riding is a big part of the plan, then a lighter single such as a KLR or F650 dakar would be better still.

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Old 2 Sep 2003
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Could not agree more re: shiny new bikes and looking like a millionaire. To me this is one of the drawbacks of the KTM Adventure 950S - the slightly garish orange metallic paintscheme may not stand out too much in western Europe or the States but will stand out a mile even in eastern Europe let alone Africa et al.

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Old 3 Sep 2003
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Keeping my eye out for an 'old' R1100GS now. The airheads are getting too pricey in the US. Don't think the 1150 with it's electric power assist brakes and all that jazz will ever do....

IMHO fuel injections much easier to deal with once you sort out the BMW surging issue: Think open loop which can only be done on earlier models I think. Valve adj is a pain, but easy enough to do on the road.

A big advantage of the oilheads though is the electrical system. I can't think I'd ever run short of current on those bad boys.

The big disadvantage is size and weight.

That's my 2 cents worth....

[This message has been edited by Kurt (edited 03 September 2003).]
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