Buying advice: Paralever or Monolever (GS)?

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Lesser, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. SPO

    SPO Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Oddometer:
    152
    Truth be told-I was singing "White Wedding" by Billy Idol when this pic was snapped. Hence the snarl.
    #21
  2. One Less Harley

    One Less Harley OH.THAT'S GONNA HURT

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    5,448
    Location:
    Bowling Green, Ky
    Nice ST, it'll cost a couple of grand to G/S-ize the ST, front forks and a longer rear shock.For me the G/S fork is crap and needs to be changed out anyway so even on a G/S one would have to change the fork..IMHO. I like the lighter and smaller G/S over the GS. It suits my needs perfectly.

    G/S
    + it's a G/S
    + lighter weight
    + durability (monolever)
    + better off road.
    + good road manners (see note on forks)
    - front forks are crap and SHOULD (IMHO) be replaced.
    - front brakes weak but can take a larger rotor (+500)
    - lacks power for two up touring
    - weak subframe when using hard bags

    GS-
    + two up touring
    + power
    + brake mod to four pot caliper $150 or less
    + better front forks
    + sub frame stronger.
    - not as durable drive line ( driveshaft)
    - heavier not as nimble off road.

    If money on improvements isn't an issue the G/S is better IMHO, hands down....if you don't mind dropping the cash. If you have the ability to wrench on it for the modifications this can be fun. If not then besides the drive shaft expense the GS might be a better choice, especially if not going to push the bike off road.
    #22
  3. igormortis

    igormortis Cafe Reise

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,491
    Location:
    London
    I'm gonna suggest that the "lightweight" G/S is something of a conceit.

    Take a G/S and an early '88-'90 GS. Give 'em the same tank, starter, and exhaust system.

    I'm willing to bet that there's not much more than 5-6kg between them at this point. Consider it the price of better suspension, stronger and tubeless wheels, better rear subframe, more travel, and a longer wheelbase. Oh yeah, more power. But not as cool.

    Someone prove me wrong.
    #23
  4. Box'a'bits

    Box'a'bits In need of repair

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,142
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    The forks & cross spoke wheels on a GS weigh a ton....:wink:
    #24
  5. eselhengst

    eselhengst adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    9
    Location:
    Bellingham, Wa
    If the only major drawback of the GS is the driveshaft, and an aftermarket rebuildable one runs about $425 USD, it seems more economical to go that route than a new front end and brakes on a G/S. As for weight, the amount of gear you pack for a serious trip will probably negate any small difference between the two. I do like tubeless rims as well. Sorry to flog a horse thats already at the glue factory
    Cheers
    #25
  6. Lesser

    Lesser Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Alas, money is a consideration. Don't let the bounty of beat up bikes listed in the signature line fool you!

    Okay the ST is nice. Bone stock, but a hoot all the same. The r65 was a project bike bought for $800, an exercise in turd-polishing turned back-up-bike extraordinaire. And the R90s was rescued from a musty shed in Massachusetts this summer and I'm just getting to getting her (her being a bike I've always lusted after) road worthy. She'll be a rough sleeper when I'm done with her. First step in rehab process: liberate the bike from the Lufemeister fairing. When I'm "done" with it she'll be good looking enough to not get stolen off the street in NY, but mechanically sound enough for any kind of riding. Maybe will start a thread to document the resurrection.

    Back to the Paralever/Monolever conundrum -- I've got the "I'll take it!" email drafted just need to sack up and send to secure the 91 R100GS.

    I'll likely keep the ST until spring and then sell it when it'll fetch more...or if I hit a windfall I'll keep it and have the best of all worlds.

    Thanks all for all the input. Will post back on the final outcome.
    #26
  7. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,109
    Location:
    Back home in the UK
    Having both is the only real answer to this question, you can then take the next 10 years deciding which one to keep. :clap

    Good luck with the GS, I hope it is a good 'un.
    #27
  8. Lesser

    Lesser Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    We have a ripple. Seems the VIN number says the bike is a PD. Seeing as its now dressed in the full Bumblebee, it's obviously been messed with.

    Did they ever make a bumblebee PD?

    A BMW service tech shows the VIN number is associated with a driveshaft replacement at 35k, then the trail goes cold.

    Also the word is that through the late 80s onward the frame and engine number on R100s were not matched -- that sound right??

    I was thinking ~$4k for a ~14k mile bike was a good deal but now not so sure what I've got here. At least the drivesahft was replaced...at some point. Past that it's a question mark.

    What says the ADV forensics squad?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #28
  9. Rob Farmer

    Rob Farmer Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2002
    Oddometer:
    6,731
    Location:
    Loughborough, Leicestershire. England
    I'd say it was never a PD with those forks. The bodywork on those bikes gets messed about with but people seldom mess with the coating on the forks. Now stop fretting and make it your own :thumb

    If that was in the UK I'd say the price was just right but now you own it it's a keeper so has no value.


    Pump your Vin in Here to find the year http://realoem.com/bmw/select.do
    #29
  10. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,823
    Location:
    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    I can't see any evidence of that being a PD in the past. They would've had to buy a whole lot of non-PD parts to make that a regular GS, which I can't imagine anyone doing. They may have crashed and bent the frame and migrated all the parts to a straight PD frame (identical frame, just a PD VIN) What year does the VIN say it is? Look at motor production date, trans serial number any castings with date stamp to see if they differ from the frame's model year.
    #30
  11. Lesser

    Lesser Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY


    Waiting for the title and VIN info. Owner works at a dealer and says he just ran the vin to find out it was a PD number with a BMW service record of the driveshaft getting replaced at 35k.

    I know it doesn't look like it was ever a PD but if that's what the title says...

    Will run numbers when I get them.
    #31
  12. Airhead Wrangler

    Airhead Wrangler Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,823
    Location:
    Back in Seattle, FINALLY
    Oh so it's the title that says it's a PD? Forget the title. The DOL never gets motorcycle models right. According to my title I have a R80RST
    #32
  13. marret

    marret Transient

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    260
    Location:
    Fort Knox KY
    Looks like the odometer has just under 14k miles, but the driveshaft was replaced at 35k? Maybe the bike has 114k miles, the speedo may have been replaced or the driveshaft replacement info is wrong.
    #33
  14. AntonLargiader

    AntonLargiader Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2003
    Oddometer:
    4,736
    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    You won't want to. Just ride it for a while and you'll appreciate the better handling. If you want some reassurance on a long trip, start with a new DS and leave your old one boxed as a mailable spare.
    #34
  15. igormortis

    igormortis Cafe Reise

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,491
    Location:
    London
    :nod This is me concurring wholeheartedly.
    #35
  16. Ras Thurlo

    Ras Thurlo Desert Lion

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Oddometer:
    771
    Location:
    Hillcountry, Italy
    how does the extended mono (+100mm) ride compared to the paralever?

    I have heard that once extended the monolever looses its jacking effect to a large extent. If this is right then you should get the best of both worlds.

    I am about to do a para to extended mono conversion, but unfortunately spend more time on this forum than test riding HPNs so have no real experience so far.
    #36
  17. Rucksta

    Rucksta SS Blowhard

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    Extended mono still jacks - it take more torque to make it jack the same as the extra leverage works against the reaction.
    #37
  18. Beater

    Beater The Bavarian Butcher

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,701
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA, USA
    I can confirm this ... I have a 100mm extension on The Dobber (see linky in my sig) and you can still feel the jack but only in high torque situations (like me hitting the throttle because it's a frickin' hoot).

    But I will also say that on the highway, you can give it gas and the bike rises a bit. Because of the lengthened arm, I'll bet the effect has been reduced by at least 50%.
    #38
  19. Rucksta

    Rucksta SS Blowhard

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,724
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    I never did any kind of dynamic rise comparison, wouldn't know how to even if I still had a long swing arm.
    My feeling was the overall rise was about the same only gentler (slower - damped by leverage) through a smaller arc.
    That was the zero sum theory.
    It is interesting to hear someone elses perception, thank you.
    #39