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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 26 May 2010
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Which R80 GS

Hi,
We are currently searching for a bike to buy for an Africa trip and are at the stage of R80 GS / Transalp / Africa Twin, for today anyway!
My question is with regard to the R80 and which model to go for, is there any reason to choose the round or square headlamp models? i am looking at a few of each for sale and am tending toward the square model for the sumpguard, fairing and added crash protection. The high mudguard has obvious advantages. Any advice would be more than welcome to a couple of novice bikers.
Cheers,
Robin
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  #2  
Old 26 May 2010
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Hi Robin and Helen, good luck with your search. everyone has their preference, but the differences to consider are, weight reliability and repairability. The r80/100gs with the fairing is heavier, the wiring and fairing make things very difficult to get at, and it offers little more in the way of weather protection from what you can get by putting a higher screen / handlebar fairing on the unfaired models( I have replaced mine with a HPN handlebar fairing better wind protection lighter, superb headlamp, and 4 bolts to remove it for access to everything behind.), the Paralever on the r80/100gs is a fail point, and goes wrong anywhere from 40000 mile on, the g/s has the old monolever system far more reliable. The starters vary on each model, I would also go for one with a kickstart and learn how to use it. The paralever you can get a rebuildable - servicable or new drive shaft that will last your journey. The old g/s has weaker forks, worse brakes and a shorter sub frame, and is obviously an older model depending on your budget consider a late upto 96 model gs without the fairing make sure you take someone who knows these bikes as a lot have been bodged. dont just look at pretty paintwork you need to look at its owner and how well they know and have looked after the bike. If properly sorted these bikes are much more reliable than many would have you believe - but a bad one like any bad bike is a wrong choice. tread carefully.
PM me if you need any specifics tchus jake ps they tend to be cheaper, much more available and better for your money in Germany.
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  #3  
Old 26 May 2010
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You have a PM

Thanks for the reply I have PMed with some specifics
Cheers,
Rob
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  #4  
Old 27 May 2010
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I totally agree with adventure950.

The light/fairing is not a big issue but IMHO the round light with the small faring is the best standard-solution (I used it for 200kkm incl 80kkm in Africa). The weight is low and it handles vibrations (from corrugation) better and it has fewer parts to break.
It can be combined with all kinds of tanks, like the 33-litre, the PD-tank (requires modification of the indicators) and the massive HPN 43-litre. If you go for a model with fairing changing the tank might be an issue.

The lamps (round or square) doesn't give you massive light. The design is not brilliant and the reflectors are ageing. I find the round lamp a bit better but for a TransAfrica-trip bright light is not important.
If you use the round lamp I would suggest to put a wide spacer on the bottom-bolt, it reduces stress.

But all models will work, it's not a big deal.
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  #5  
Old 30 May 2010
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Keep in mind that R80/100 GSs are 210 kgs dry.

I am not sure if they fit to a trans African trip. Something lighter should be more advantageous.

About R80/100 GS both Adventure950 and AliBaba said enough. Personally I would go for a R80 Basic model which is produced until the end of 1996. You can find a good used one with low mileage.

After certain maintenance like driveshaft, you can have a good bike. My Basic has a 35 ltr original tank on and can go around 500-550 kms with good adjusted carbs.

Be sure carbs are balanced very well together with valve clearances.
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Old 30 May 2010
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Thanks guys

Thanks everyoone for all the advise and info. I have just bought a 13K mile 1 owner FSH R80GS which has never been off the tarmac for an extremely attractive price from a guy in Germany.
Cheers,
Robin
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  #7  
Old 30 May 2010
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Congratulations!

Have fun!
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