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  #1  
Old 25 Feb 2004
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Wanted BMW R80G/S or Africa Twin in North America

I am looking for a decent R80g/s or Honda Africa Twin in North America. Anybody have one they would like to sell...I don't really want to have to go to Europe to get one.
Thanks, Peter

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  #2  
Old 25 Feb 2004
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For BMW's the best place to look is
http://www.ibmwr.org/market/
Africa Twin In the US ?
John
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Old 26 Feb 2004
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Thanks John, I have been checking there already, But US$8,000 for a decent R80g/s is a bit much... I can fly to Europe, buy a bike there, ride it around and ship it home for the same money.Hmmmm Cheers, Cameron
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Old 27 Feb 2004
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R80G/S's are worth a lot of money in North America due to their popularity amongst aficionados and the fact that they've been out of production for a long time now. Expect to pay at least $6K for one that's in decent shape.

Africa Twins are virtually nonexistant in North America, since they're not sold here and can't be legally imported into the U.S. (don't know about Canada) without some serious legal wrangling. I met a guy here in California who managed to get one over after doing military service in Europe, and then had a two-year battle to get the paperwork finished. He then (suspiciously) put the bike up for sale immediately after he "got it all settled".

There have been one or two ATs posted on www.cycletrader.com, so you may want to check there.

A quick ride on an R80G/S will show you pretty quickly that it has terrifyingly weak brakes, flimsy suspension, and generally really shows its vintage. After the expense of upgrading and rebuilding aging components, you'd likely be better off with a new or newish bike.

There are lots of good modern choices that may be more practical, like the new BMW GSes, or the KLR.

Best of luck,
Wright
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  #5  
Old 27 Feb 2004
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Yes but there are some R80GS's R100gs'S.
You can get close with a R80ST.
If you have a R80G/S and want to sell it you will find that it is old junk. If you want to buy one they are rare and exotic motorcycles.
John
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  #6  
Old 28 Feb 2004
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Thats right on John, I'd just like to find R80g/s that a seller thinks is old junk...as for newer bikes(KLR's,F650's,etc)they are probably much better, but I could fix anything on my 1984 R80RT (300.000kms)with a rock and a screwdriver if needed.I am not as handy with a multimeter...
As for the Africa Twin (Transalp too)I have been impressed with their reliability even though they are "newer" technology. I still can't figure out why they didn't sell well in the U.S. and are only available in Europe, where a good dirt road is rare thing.
I'm sure a decent bike will become available, if not I might take the RT to South America... Cheers, Cameron
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Old 28 Feb 2004
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Why didn't the Africa Twin sell in North America? - simple really - North Americans were too busy buying cruisers...

They didn't do hugely well in the UK either, although adequately. The Brits were busy buying sportbikes.

By contrast, in Europe the big trailie was the bike to have for those wanting to be "in."

Doesn't matter that most of them never saw a speck of dirt. Many however DID, because it was and is also "in" to do the Sahara.

Different countries, different preferences/styles. Happily North Americans are clueing in to the advantages of big trailies, led by the BMW GS's of course, and apparently Aprilia is bringing theirs here, and of course the Suzuki V-strom and KTM's are already here.

More to come? Let's hope!
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Old 29 Feb 2004
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Big traily popularity is on the increase in the UK as well.

Sports bikes have always been the biggest sellers but alot of riders are slowly but surely moving to other styles of bikes.

This is due mainly to the introduction of licence destroying speed cameras, spiraling insurance and maintainance costs and also the fact that the average age of riders in the UK has risen. 'Born again bikers'(35+) have more money to spend but don't, necessarily, want to hurtle around the countryside at breakneck speed hunched over a plastic rocket with aching wrists and there knees around there ears.

Even though sports bikes still hold the lions share of the market, sales of tourers, cruisers and big trail bikes have all increased over the last few years.

This has been reflected in the models, especially cruisers, now stocked by dealers and imported into the UK by manufacturers.

With regard to big trailies the GS, especially the 1150, has been BM's biggest seller in the UK and throughout the rest of europe for some time and no doubt the 1200 will be the same.

The big KTM 950 is a great bike and also becoming more popular. It's the bike Honda should have built to replace the Africa Twin.

Honda has, to some extent, missed the boat by ending production of the Africa twin with no replacement and selling the Varadero, which is marketed as direct competition to the GS but, inferior due to its huge weight, excessive fuel consumption, soft suspension and vulnerable plastic. The Transalp is a good bike but, needs more power.

Honda could have easily modified the Africa Twin to bring the bikes emissions in line with the new EU limits (the reason Honda gave for its demise) They did it with the Transalp which has the same engine.

The Africa Twin is still a great bike, if slightly outclassed by the competition. It needed more power and less weight. Perhaps they will bring out a new version, (with a bigger engine, 800 perhaps!) when they realise there's a gap in their range thats being exploited by other manufacturers. I certainly hope so.




[This message has been edited by mcdarbyfeast (edited 29 February 2004).]
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  #9  
Old 24 Mar 2004
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Could not find an Africa Twin in North America, at least not as quickly as I wanted, but thanks to everyone for the tips..
I did however purchase a stock 1983 R80G/S. Now comes the "modification phase" which I am sure will be fun,exciting and costly... any hints on mods, and parts are appreciated. And yes Grant I will, seek and ye shall find. Cheers, Peter
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