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Old 02-10-2011, 03:37 PM   #16
jehicks87 OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One Less Harley View Post
checked your profile....thanks for your service!

There are weak points which need to be sorted out if thrashing these things for months on end.

Guess it depends on how far you want to take the modifications. Here's a recent post on a real world test
All those mods are quite extreme, just depends on how much money you want to throw at it.


For a G/S, front forks upgrade is essential.




Thanks for the support, and that link was awesome.

jehicks87 screwed with this post 02-10-2011 at 03:44 PM
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Old 02-10-2011, 03:43 PM   #17
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Yes, the R80g/s won the PD 5 times.
No it was not bone stock
To make a g/s a PD bike would involve close to an additional 5-6k investment.

Here is another real world test; http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/johnson/

As you see, the bikes are capable of anything...just depends on what you do to them, A member here; Beemerguru He said that they are the ultimate swiss army bike. Mix and match until you get what you want.

The Raven screwed with this post 02-10-2011 at 03:50 PM
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:26 PM   #18
ChromeSux
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Originally Posted by jehicks87 View Post
I'll be honest, not the sort of answers I was expecting... which means that they must be truthful answers. I like that.

I was (have been, actually) checking out alot about the gs's and saw they won a few Paris-Dakar races in the early 80's... that's no slow-go race, either. Not motocross, which I've never ridden in the first place, but not slooooow either.

Hmmm... what to do, what to do. I don't like the Tenere', not sure I want such a big thumper (though I did look very closely at an XR650L not more than a month ago) and don't have the cash for a new F800 (which is on the top of my dream-bike list... rool:).

Thought I'd see what the sages here at ADV had to say about 'em.
The XR650L is tops for true 50/50 Dual sport stuff, has the edge over pretty much all others when it comes to the single track stuff (not factoring in KTM) and is tolerable for 50 mile or so stretches of 4 lane road.
Ride one for the day dual sporting around and you will start lusting for it.
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:43 PM   #19
crazydrummerdude
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They can do what you can do. I've never had a properly equipped airhead tell me "no."

..and a GS can do even more!
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:45 PM   #20
PaulRS
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Originally Posted by The Raven View Post
Airhead GS-G/Ses are simple, strong and reliable. You can fix them anywhere. That being said...you must know how to work on them to own them...not so with an oilhead. Those guys have BMW assist and a credit card.
Not sharing your opinion.

If you know your bike, you can fix it, whether being it an airhead, oilhead or something Japanese.

Less electrickery doesn't mean more reliable, on an old airhead points or coils can go, on an airhead HES and a sensor can go, on a Jap bike, anything can go.

The rest is mechanical, can go bad on any bike.

The main trick is, know your bike, know it weaknesses and prepair accordingly.

Out in the fields, the only problem is parts.

Paul.
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:46 PM   #21
hardwaregrrl
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Here's a hill my ST will climb...
P1040713

My bike is like a jeep. Won't win any fast races or beauty contests, but will get you there in comfort and one piece.
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:41 PM   #22
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What about the need for specialized computers to diagnose the motronic or canbus and the ever present FD failures. The weight is an issue too. I recall my old 1100gs needed crashbars, not for a crash but for when I had to let it fall over when it got off balance.

A good metaphor for the comparison is this; An Airhead GS is to an Oilhead GS as a Military Humvee is to an H2. All connotations transfer across metaphor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulRS View Post
Not sharing your opinion.

If you know your bike, you can fix it, whether being it an airhead, oilhead or something Japanese.

Less electrickery doesn't mean more reliable, on an old airhead points or coils can go, on an airhead HES and a sensor can go, on a Jap bike, anything can go.

The rest is mechanical, can go bad on any bike.

The main trick is, know your bike, know it weaknesses and prepair accordingly.

Out in the fields, the only problem is parts.

Paul.
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:07 PM   #23
bgoodsoil
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They're an offroad touring bike. If you're not looking to ride long distances on crappy roads, I'd get a thumper. They're lighter and cheaper.

A lot of the draw of the airhead isn't about performance. They're actually fun to work on since they're simple and the people that own them are often the types of folks I like hanging out with. Real motorcyclists that aren't in it for the flash or the fad. I think I get far more enjoyment out of my bike than most folks. Still, it'd be hard to make an argument for an airhead based on performance.

I appreciate your service, man. If you get an airhead and you need anything, drop me a line.
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:17 PM   #24
red bud
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ride it where ya wanta, fix it when it needs it, modifie it when ya wanta(less travel and beer money) losts of fun and starts conversations everywhere.

u knew this or u wouldn't be here




(thanks jena for picture)
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:22 PM   #25
advNZer?
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they are better than you think a twenty year old bike should be
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:23 PM   #26
One Less Harley
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Looks like Redbud found a good mountain bike trail!!
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:29 PM   #27
One Less Harley
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Originally Posted by advNZer? View Post
they are better than you think a twenty year old bike should be
I've got three bikes..oops four (one's for sale). If for some reason I could only keep one, it'd be the G/S.

The other two are more specialized in use. One more paved/twisty roads, and the other more off road, but the G/S is a Jack of all trades, master of none!! I'd take it anywhere my heart or ability desires. Ability being the limit as it's better than me off road, but that's not saying much.

One advantage the G/S has over the lighter DRZ is that it's easier to pick up when dropped. Those jugs come in handy!!!
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Old 02-10-2011, 10:38 PM   #28
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Totally depends on what kind of riding you do and what kind of riding experience you want.

The newest (stateside) airhead dirtyish bike was made in 1996 and that was the least dirty of the dirtish airheads.

For me a dirt bike is something that I ride on trails, I like challenging trails.
I'm not very good at riding in the dirt. And I don't like picking up heavy bikes.

So for the money that a nicely sorted dirty GS or G/S would cost
i'd pick up a nicely sorted 250-400cc dual sport.

Now if I was heading out to do fire/logging road
An airhead would be a decent bike

I really enjoy my GS, and it's decent for my skills on roads that you could drive a well sorted SUV down.

But like I said it's a heavy beast and I wouldn't want to pick it up more then once on a ride.
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Old 02-11-2011, 02:59 AM   #29
PaulRS
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Originally Posted by The Raven View Post
What about the need for specialized computers to diagnose the motronic or canbus and the ever present FD failures.
Moronic and/or canbus failures are seldom, and easely diagnosed with the GS911 DIY gimmick.
FD failures are an issue on early 12's, not so much anymore, 11xx and airheads are in the same leage, driveshaft can pop, FD can pop, gearbox......

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raven View Post
The weight is an issue too. I recall my old 1100gs needed crashbars, not for a crash but for when I had to let it fall over when it got off balance.
Agree. An airhead is a good deal heavier, just don't drop it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Raven View Post
A good metaphor for the comparison is this; An Airhead GS is to an Oilhead GS as a Military Humvee is to an H2. All connotations transfer across metaphor.
Yep, but is an H2 less capable?
Maybe for the hardcore off-roader, but for the mayority it will do just fine.

Paul.
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:51 AM   #30
Martian
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You're probably going to do what most of us have done; Explore the limits of you and the bike, and once you've found them, decide if you want to go even further. The airhead bikes will do a lot out of the box. You can spend a bunch of time and money and make them do more. As others have said, there's just something about riding a bike that you can fix with basic tools just about anywhere.

Discretion is the better part of valor. When you're pushing the envelope, always keep an "out", and almost any bike will do almost anything. Since you are 23yo and probably in pretty good shape, you can get away with things us warriors of the past no longer can. Have fun!

Add my thanks to the others for your service.
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