BMW R100RS vs Moto Guzzi SP1000

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by 110Mike, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. Andosan

    Andosan Adventurer

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    Thought I would revive this old thread as I am in the midst of this internal debate at the moment. A little background. I had my first airhead over this past two years, an 84 R80RT. I did a lot of repairs on it but realized it wasn't my dream bike in the end thought I'd get what I could for it instead of putting money into it. So now I'm bikeless, a strange feeling. Through a connection at a local shop I might have a chance to buy an '80 SP1000. I don't know all the info yet but it's low miles and appears in pretty pristine condition. On the OTHERHAND there's this '77 R100s for sale that is also tempting me. It has had the same owner since 1980 and he's done a lot of work on it. Has 42k miles but has had top-end rebuilt in '08, new clutch this year, transmission rebuild this year, shaft drive rebuilt, wheel bearings etc etc. A long list of stuff anyways and has the receipts. I liked my airhead but found it a bit tame. It was certainly capable but not very exciting. I want more power and sport handling in a vintage bike but still be able to take long trips with my gal. I've never ridden a Guzzi so I don't have much to compare it to. I've ridden an R90s and enjoyed it a lot. I'm sure either bike would be an exciting change but I'm not sure which way to go. The guys from this shop have me favoring the Guzzi as they think they're better bikes all around. It's certainly tempting to go Italian! Thoughts?
    #21
  2. Rathlindri

    Rathlindri Guinness fan

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    Go for the guzzi, BUT, be prepared to allow it time to grow on you.
    #22
  3. JonnyCash

    JonnyCash turd polisher

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    I'll expound on this later, but my short answer is the Guzzi. I've got one of each . I've had the BMW for 20 years, and love it more every year. I just this spring finished a rebuild of an 850 T3, and I feel like this is my moto nirvana. It is the bike I always felt the BMW should be. Thankfully, there is room in my life for both!
    #23
  4. Nolan Woodbury

    Nolan Woodbury Been here awhile

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    > Both 1000cc ish

    BMW: 980cc Moto Guzzi: 949cc.

    > Both full fairing offering by all accounts excellent protection

    One of the two biggest areas the SP has the advantage. BMW fairing is frame mounted, very thick, good fiberglass and (generally) well finished. The SP's kit is closer to the rider and in practice works much better. Stock RS screen with destroy your hearing. The SP is lighter/lower/narrower. The SP not effected by side winds and has far superior road holding/stability.

    > Both aircooled

    > Both shaftdrive

    > Similar fuel consumption, Guzzi slightly better

    > Guzzi more powerful

    Not stock for stock. The SP's 949 'small valve' is greatly enhanced by larger (mine has 36mm) carbs and exhaust (vintage BUB). Have some other goodies like lightened flywheel, etc. The RS had $3500 worth of CC Products engine work done and the more-stock SP just crushes it. Any gear, any speed. Plus! Guzzi much easier to work on...if needed.

    > Guzzi "funny" brakes

    Cast iron Brembo brakes are linked and very good. Far, far better than the cheapo stainless crap BMW mounted to the RS.

    BMW info and parts source seems better

    Depends on who you know. I've have no problem getting parts for anything newer than 1975.

    The RS is more sophisticated. Better finish. The SP is tougher, much more straightforward and more fun to ride. I've had both. The SP is better.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #24
  5. JonnyCash

    JonnyCash turd polisher

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    For long distance/high speed, I find the Guzzi to be way ahead of the BMW. On the BMW, I always have wished that the bike had one more gear, on the Guzzi I can cruise along happily in 4th at 70-75, and then I realize, "oh yeah, I've got another gear". While the Guzzi's gearing is taller, it's not just that, the BMW just sounds a lot busier at a given RPM than the Guzzi does.

    So now I feel obliged to say some things in defense of the BMW. It is lighter, and you do feel the difference, my BMW feels nimbler, particularly at low speeds. Under 4000 rpm, it is definitely smoother. I find that the BMW is easier to work on, on the normal maintenance items than the Guzzi. There's nothing tricky about the Guzzi, it just hard to reach a lot of things in comparison. That said, I rebuilt the engine and trans on the Guzzi this past winter, and in that regard, I found it easier than the BMW.

    The Guzzi sounds so good, you won't believe it. If you have only heard Guzzis on youtube videos, you're not getting it. I've been riding the Guzzi 3 to 1 over the BMW this year so far. When I am riding it, I'm constantly thinking how much better it is than the BMW, but then yesterday I spent a few hours on the BMW, and I fell in love with it again.
    #25
  6. Qaz

    Qaz Been here awhile

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    I don't own either but have ridden both quite a few time over longer miles. Here is my take: as far as looks there is no comparison, the RS all the way. If you don't believe it look back a couple of posts.
    Build quality also goes to the BMW, but there is something to be said for the tractor tuffness of the Moto Guzzi.
    Speed- I have watched too many Guzzi's run away from BMW's not to get that right, Moto Guzzi.
    From the factory the BMW rides better, but replace the seat on the Guzzi, and now you have a fight.
    Touring- If I had to travel 200 miles and had a choice, it would be on the Guzzi. The Guzzi engine has something the BMW never has, and that is soul! There is just something about that 90 degree V2 that is just music to the heart, while gulping miles up. The flat twin will get the job done, but that is all it does.

    Personally I have never considered the R100RS and the SP1000 in the same category, but I guess they are. I think the SP more closely matches the R90s or R100s class. I think the LeMans series is more too sporty for any Beemer.
    #26
  7. Andosan

    Andosan Adventurer

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    Good points all around. I'm def leaning toward to Guzzi but I still haven't yet got a firm answer back on the price and everything. Hoping it goes through! I at least want to try the Italian side of bikes. To be clear though I was comparing it to a 1977 R100s, not an RS. I'm gonna see the BMW this weekend just because I want to while I wait for the word on the Guzzi. Fingers crossed!
    #27
  8. Roach Carver

    Roach Carver Been here awhile

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    I have a 71 Guzzi Ambo and 4 bmw's ranging from 71-80. I cant comment too much other than to say the guzzi just has something my BMW's don't. I dont intend to part with any of them but if I had to then the Guzzi would go last. I have never had a bike that would run with so many things wrong with it.
    #28
  9. boxerboy81

    boxerboy81 Stay Horizontal

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    I've had 4 RS's. The bias is doubtless.

    I haven't had a SP, but did have a LM mk2.

    The MG seemed more raw, I loved the brakes, the electrics were rubbish. It could tour. I went trans Oz on the MG in comfort. Better comfort at speed I found. It's relative rarity always attracted comment. Unsure the SP would do that, but I'd be concerned re: the rarity aspect and parts acquisition.

    The RS by comparison is a better all rounder. I'm 186cm and built for comfort, and the RS suits me just fine for 600km-900km days. The screen MUST be trimmed however. It's also my daily rider, I commute in city traffic and have no issue with it. Parts are available and generally not too expensive, however I doubt that will stay the same for much longer as both these bikes get older and less common.
    #29
  10. huub

    huub Been here awhile

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    you made my day:rofl

    i am seriously biased , owning half a dozen of guzzi's.
    but if you want a perfectly adequate mode of transportation , get the BMW.
    if you want character , get the guzzi.
    one word of caution , guzzi's are addictive....
    with a 1000 SP, fit a pair of 36 mm pumper carbs , and a set of lafranconi's , and you start wondering why everybody else keeps riding boring bikes.
    #30
  11. Andosan

    Andosan Adventurer

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    So I think the SP is unavailable now. The guys hasn't responded to numerous calls and emails in the past few weeks so I think it's a no go. I think I'm gonna go with the '77 R100s and see what happens. At $3,500 is a great deal (rebuilt trans, new clutch, top end 20k ago, rebuilt final drive, wheel bearings, electronic ignition, brake rotors/ pads). Has all the receipts for work from a reputable shop and he's owned the bike since 1980 so he know the whole history. Would have really liked to take the Guzzi for a spin but I guess it will wait. Maybe next season I'll make the leap! I think I'll be happy with this until then.
    #31
  12. Old Mule

    Old Mule Been here awhile

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    Compare the torque peak on the two bikes- I think it's 2800 on the BMW and 5000 rpm on the goose.
    That's why 95 mph on the Guzzi seems lazy and easy. The v twins just eat up the miles.
    Hope you give the Guzzi a trial sometime.
    #32
  13. Rathlindri

    Rathlindri Guinness fan

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    Words of wisdom! I concur ( of course)!
    :clap
    #33
  14. Rathlindri

    Rathlindri Guinness fan

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    any updates?? all views welcome
    #34
  15. Rathlindri

    Rathlindri Guinness fan

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    bump
    #35
  16. adventure950

    adventure950 Anglo-Saxon

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    Over the last 35 years I have owned loads of BMW's(77 rs, several r80, r65, r80gs, r100gs and HPN dakar replica then I also had a load of Guzzis, a V50, v50 monza, Lemon 1 and 2, and a 1100 sport.

    Simply like most say the BMWs lack soul(and dare i say it - in many cases reliability as well) (except my 80gs travel bike which soldiered on through thick and thin and once much modified and travelled 'the bilge pump' picked up a soul somewhere along the road.

    The Guzzi factory used to have a whole stock room full of lost soul's ( I think they run out a good few years back now which was a shame) but used to put one in almost every bike at the factory - however be warned sometimes they are pretty mischieves buggers. That said they get under your skin - I still rate my Guzzis ( especially my 1100s Carb) as the best (most endearing, frustrating at times and occasionally unreliable but yet still enjoyable )bikes I have ever owned and yearn for another Guzzi that would fit my needs. (I am thinking of a project to suit).

    They say Soul is the immortal essence of a living thing well if a bike has it an older Guzzi does.

    As riding is a lot about touching your own soul give it some company on the ride buy a Guzzi.

    Tchus Jake.
    #36
  17. Nolan Woodbury

    Nolan Woodbury Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

    Have to respond! Mine's been good, except I can't seem to keep fork seals in it. The Carbie feels like a really good Desmo SS in the fast stuff. Loves to lean and isn't easily shaken. As a '96 it's the newest thing in the shed. I'm crawling through time but don't care. I wanted one since new and it took 13-years.

    The RS is a great machine. I really loved mine when I owned it. Except for a fried diode board, it never failed me. Good riders can ride anything fast, but I scared myself trying to hustle the RS like a Guzzi. More than anything it was down on power ($2000 to CC Products didn't change it much) and it had crappy brakes...at least, next to the Brembos. The headlight is super.

    Can't really go wrong either way, but the SP is getting hard to find. Many have been chopped into cafes'.
    #37
  18. bmwloco

    bmwloco Long timer

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    I guess I have been lucky, but I have owned both.

    The Guzzi is tractor like, will run all day, and is, well, o.k.

    On the other hand, there is still a R100RS in my fleet for a reason.

    When I left the BMW MOA National Rally in Madison, WI several years ago, I did 1063 miles in 23 hours and some change on my R100RS.

    And felt human when I got off it too.

    Both have their favors, but when I want to eat miles fast and in comfort, the BMW R100RS is the best hammer in the box.
    #38