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Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA

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  • 1 Post By Fernbrook
  • 1 Post By mark manley
  • 1 Post By LaurensT
  • 3 Post By Vaufi
  • 2 Post By nobby
  • 1 Post By Grant Johnson

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Old 10 Sep 2023
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Rtw on an r 80 gs or g/s

Here are the attributes that the 1981 -1989 models have which still apply to RTW travel. Not in order of importance they are:
Twin engine and very smooth motor, lightweight in comparison to other bikes of comparable size (186 kgs wet), capable of 399 kgs weight in total ( better than many other more modern bikes), low compression motor, air-cooled (no water-cooling to worry about) and simple rear wheel removal.
Rear drum brakes are a concern to some but a disc brake assists at the front. Parts are available. The electrical output is low compared to more modern bikes such as the recent iterations of the Africa twins and can be a bit unreliable but the Bosch unit can be upgraded to improve reliability I think. The stock seat can be uncomfortable I gather but a different one can be ordered from various manufacturers. The question I'm asking : is it still a viable option compared to the DR 650, Africa Twin, KTM 950 Adventure, BMW 800's and 1200's and Suzuki DL 650's, for example.
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Old 10 Sep 2023
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I have done a lot of travelling on both the GS and G/S and will say in their day both were well up to the task. I did big mileages on both of mine 175,000 on the GS and 195,000 on the G/S using both on long trips until I sold them both needing a lot of work.
With good preparation either will still be capable but with quit high fuel consumption compared to modern bikes and the increase globally of low emission zones which might exclude them or make using them expensive I would now use something more modern.
If you particularly want to use a vintage bike any airhead BMW would be a good choice.
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Old 14 Sep 2023
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Smile Rtw on an r80 g/s, gs.

Thanks for your thoughts Mark. A more recent post (R80 G/S, GS V R100 GS) adds much more information to the matter. I didn't consider your point about low emission zones. An excellent point to consider.
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Old 28 Oct 2023
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I personally love these bikes for traveling. Easy mechanics give me the confidence that I can repair my own bike. I am not worried about fuel consumption or low emission zones since I'm not really into getting into big cities. Fuel is cheaper outside of the western world too.
R65GS + R80GS Basic
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Old 29 Oct 2023
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I did 200,000 on my R80GS without many problems. It is easy to service, repairs can usually be done "next to the roadside", I love the low centre of gravity.
Having said that - I sold the bike 5 years ago and bought a F650GS twin because of it's low weight and better performance , lower consumption. But repairs are a pita To exchange the spark plugs or check the valve clearance means you have to disassemble (nearly) the whole bike. At 55,000 km I had to renew the stator. Same story. To be able to connect the cables I had to remove the fairings, the battery, the airbox etc. Took me nearly a day That's what I hate about the modern bikes.....
Only when we pause to wonder
do we go beyond the limits of our little lives.
(Rod McKuen)
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Old 6 Nov 2023
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r100gs long distance travel

I have had my 1988 R100gs P/D for 24 years now, just had major rebuild, rebuilt heads, carbs, new rings , up graded gearbox -new springs on gear shift cartridge and new output seal. when you do the work your self cheaper and you learn how fix your bike
drive shaft has grease nipples so take it out every 2 years to regrease, its 15 + years old now.
I traveled many miles now, criss crossed Europe, UK to Iran and back, last year dempster highway and Alaska. Next year trans Canada.
Parts are still readily available, so easy to fix. A conversation I had with a rider at eagle plains on the dempster, he had a new gs, if electronics' broke what happens ??? me almost bent corkscrew, elastic band and roll of duck tape.
I do see the point about emissions, can't see this being a problem for many years yet. having classic status may help, insurance is so much cheaper. Have not had a carnet de passage on a trip for a while but so much cheap with an older bike
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Old 10 Nov 2023
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For those of us with air heads there is a really useful resource - https://bmwmotorcycletech.info/

Also there is the airhead mailing list where you can ask questions if you are having problems and you get informed replies back quickly. The air list is very America centric but they even allow a limey like me to put up posts and ask questions. https://lists.micapeak.com/archives/airheads/login.php
You will have to do without pocket handkerchiefs, and a great many other things, before we reach our journey's end, Bilbo Baggins. You were born to the rolling hills and little rivers of the Shire, but home is now behind you. The world is ahead.
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Old 10 Dec 2023
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I can do a full service on my R100GSPD, including valves. I've changed the forks. And I have replaced most of the electrics, including the ignition. But I have absolutely no technical skills! There are a few things you can do to make it even easier, like using computerised electronic ignition, and the Stahlbus bleed valve on the brakes. But other than that, it's all easy.
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Old 11 Dec 2023
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Roboyobo is referring to this: Motorrad Elektrik - Keeping your Beemer charging along since 1989! (256)442-8886 or Motoelekt@mindspring.com
I know nothing about the Wedgetail, but if Rick at Motorrad Elektrik likes it, I'm happy, he knows what he's doing, and I have his alternator in my R80G/S.
Grant Johnson
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Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
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