I have lust in my heart...... I may need some help here

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Solo Lobo, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

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    OK, I can admit this openly.... I cannot shake the desire to own an R80G/S. It nags at me constantly.....

    I have a really hard time finding any (unacceptable) faults with my 1993 R100GS... and having tried to move away from BMW's and specifically airheads, I have always come back to the fold.

    So here is what I need to know from any of you who have owned both an R80G/S and an R100GS, and yes, I have read the specs and compairisons... what is the true cost/benefit to the R80G/S? How does it compare to the '100 both on and off road?

    I think I have been averaging about 50% dirt on my '100, with an annual trip of 500-1000 miles, some of that slab.


    What are the short answers about what you get and what you give up with the R80? and do you gain back much by taking and R80 up to 1,000cc's

    Your answer may help (and I need help, ask anyone:D )!

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. jtwind

    jtwind Wisconsin Airhead

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    Well I doubt if this is a decision that can be made on a cost/benefit basis. It's just not a rational sort of thing, it's a motorcycle and you like what you like. I have a g/s and it's my favorite bike of all time. Mostly because it just does everything. I've never owned a gs, though have 3-4 buddies with them and have ridden then quite a bit. What I like about the g/s is the weight difference, the smoother r80 engine and the simplicity of the mono lever. I don't think these bikes ever get or should be ridden fast enough off road for the suspension of the r100 to make a big difference. I ride with guys who have klr's, dr's etc. For the type of gravel, dirt, easy single track etc. we do, they don't have much advantage and the g/s is way better on road. I have toured with the bike and 75-80 all day isn't a problem. If there are cost advantages it's not having to deal with driveshafts whenever, slightly more detuned than the r100 so it isn't as hard on itself and it may hold or gain value better especially if mostly stock. If you gotta, you gotta. They both are great bikes JT
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  3. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

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    What I keep coming back to is that R80 ride report our in euroland, LuckyLuke I think?, riding his GS out in the middle of no-were

    1 vote for the R80! :deal
    #3
  4. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

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    One new question, how are they two-up for around town and short freeway jaunts?
    #4
  5. Stephen

    Stephen Long timer

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    Ah, the G/S; truly, the good, the bad and the ugly all in one bike.

    Relative to the GS, you give up top speed, some comfort, some stability, and a lot of vibration. And some weight and some fuel capacity. You lose a tacho, maybe. You lose tubeless tires, which is good or bad depending on your attitude. You lose clearance and suspension travel.

    The R80 motor is a far smoother and happier lump than the R100. It's the only boxer I really like anymore. The R100 just never worked out. The liter engine always struggles; the 800 purrs, then spins up like some insane clock.

    The forks on the GS are inadequate, but the forks on the G/S are awful. Terrifying. Obsolete even in 1981. NFG. The brake is lame. The rear brake is a joke.

    I wouldn't want a stock G/S, though they can be made usable (see HPN...). I wouldn't want any GS.

    Two-up. Feh. Fine if you're both midgets. GS has a little more room, a little more brake. It was okay for haulin' small gals around. I wouldn't want to go far with a pillion on either, but I'm tall and the boxers are cramped.
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  6. cpatstone

    cpatstone N00b, obviously.

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    Yo Solo -

    Let's look at this differently. Want cure your desire for a G/S? Go test ride a KTM 950. The prices are coming down nicely, and the G/S's seem to be rising. My limited experience -- the 950 is a completely different animal, and the contrast makes both more interesting.






    nah, pick up a G/S or ST, fix the suspension and front brake, and let your next of kin fight over it when you check out. :freaky
    #6
  7. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

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    All good points, but I see that you now ride a KLR, which makes my very suspect!:rofl

    :rofl :rofl
    #7
  8. BareRider

    BareRider Adventurer

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    JTwind said it well. I love my R100GSPDs but I miss my R80. It was smoother on road and more nimble off road than the R100s. I put many a west Texas mile on my R80 with a friend who rode a K75. When we'd trade and ride I'd always want my R80 back and he wouldn't want to give it up. I recently rode a friends R80GS and it really made me miss mine. I regret selling the old girl and I'd buy another if I had the opportunity. I think you'd like an R80.

    Now for what it's worth, the R100s will carry more and go a little faster. If you pack heavy for long trips or ride two up the R100 is probably more comfortable.

    Follow your lust!

    Here's a pic of me and my 81 with a PD tank I put on it. Overlooking I10 in west Texas 1985. Sorry for the quality of this picture of a picture.
    #8
  9. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

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    I really, really tried to like nice, new modern bikes better than airheads, really I did! ]

    Every time I buy one I get tired of it and buy another airhead... besides, I rarely go more than 10 mph over the limit...

    #9
  10. Stephen

    Stephen Long timer

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    Dude... KTM 950 for more than two years now!
    [jeebus, I swear I updated my profile a long time ago... ]

    But yes, KLRs really suck two up. On the whole, KLR and R80 are in the same performance class, though the KLR is easier to ride and maintain.

    Look, I have a kind of soft spot in my heart for the G/S, especially that 800cc motor. Otherwise, I'd not have said all those nice things about it. :rofl

    Put another way, the GS will probably outperform the G/S in any objective measure, but I like the G/S better -- it has more potential to be a satisfying motorcycle.

    Uh.. you saw this, right?
    #10
  11. Solo Lobo

    Solo Lobo airhead or nothing

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    Thanks Stephen, I did and it get me thinking... but not the one I'd buy as I indend to ride my bikes as they were intended. And given the low mileage I would guess this one will take some sorting, seals and would definately be in need of some serious farklization. I'm not scared of miles on airheads (having owned a 92K R100RS), and would prefer to have one that was riden, used and upgraded.



    #11
  12. ADVnut

    ADVnut Still Looking

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    I am with you on the newer bike thing. I have owned all types and always come back to the airhead.

    I have never owned an R80G/S, but have ridden quite a few, and it may just be me, but it didn't handle as well as the R100 on the road. The 800 engine is much smoother, but I didn't feel like the the bike felt half as good on the pavement. To me the paralever handles better than the mono onroad. Yes, the paralever driveshaft needs to be beefed up for offroad goodness, but it can be made to be pretty reliable. You gotta ride the slab to get to the good dirt.

    That being said, I would love to own an R80, but due to the cult status and the availability, the prices are pretty steep. I decided to build up an R100 to be as good onroad as off-- similar to the R80, but in in my opinion better.

    So, I guess +1 for the R100GS. R80G/s is badass, but I gots to be realistic..:D

    ADVnut
    #12
  13. Charlie b

    Charlie b "Que pasa...?"

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    Solo, my 2c...

    The 800 motor is THE airhead unit. :thumb
    I have tried others, R60, sweet ride but underpowered, R100R, nice punchy motor and good road bike but so vibey it gave me numb hands 1 hour into a run, rubber mounted bars, double checking mounts, tuning etc never did improve things, put me off those motors and I went back to a mono R80 for my daily ride in UK. No question for me, the best size motor for smoothness/adequate power/longevity.

    I decided to look for a G/S, (lighter bike, simpler and stronger monolever with the 800 motor) and not a later model. I advertised for one in the local paper and got a phone call... deal done and 5 years on I love it.

    Sure it could do with more power, better front end but I enjoy it every trip.
    Also for me, the G/S is the original and 'best' version before it got improved and heavier.
    Like the Willys MB jeep... I've got a soft spot for the original jeep which like the G/S, later versions didn't necessarily improve as they moved further away from a good design with no frills.

    Solo... if you gotta have one, get it out of your system and get one.
    You will find a way... go on, I don't think you need much encouraging do you??? :D :D

    My '85 G/S on Ruta 40 north of Mendoza a couple of years back with the Andes in the background...
    #13
  14. BobLoblaw

    BobLoblaw Comfortably Numb

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    For a tall guy , is the seating position on the R80 similiar to the R100
    #14
  15. walkingbear

    walkingbear Lets Play Chicken!

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    I had my R100GS for sale...and yesterday.. I decided to keep it.I put many years planning how to rebuild the wrecked 95 R100GS. I tookthe best of all things.
    The retro 80's look, the 70 big valve heads, the low first and high fifth.
    The custom brown side stand. High compression pistons, 40 mm bings, kick start. The big PD tank, now I just found a R80 GS tank..that I will use off road.
    I've taken lots of weight off the 95 and yes, the gremlins of the paralever
    will haunt the R100GS .. but what a ride. Acceleration the growl of the and smoothness on the slab. Took off on fire road .. yesterday, lots of dusk on the black tank. Weights in below 400 lbs. Not a sand dune bike.. but riding stills I have.
    I've ridden R80GS very nibble and great bike. It would be hard for me .. to trade this one now.
    #15
  16. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    I will own an R80 someday. I will own an R80 someday. I will own an R80 someday.

    /clicks heels three times

    Get one, and I will live vicariously through you until mine arrives. :thumbup
    #16
  17. clang

    clang Not lost, Exploring!

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    I love my R100s too, however, I've been sort of looking for a R80 G/S as well. The kicker is, I don't necessarily want a pristine bike, I want one I can turn Jim down at Map Engineering loose on :evil
    #17
  18. Mugwest

    Mugwest .

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    El Lobo, i can pitch 2 centavos here w/ a bit different data set.

    Have had the G/S 6 years or so now. It was @ 17k miles on delivery (we think), and as close to dead-stock as they get. It also had desert and/or 3rd world cred when i got it-- well-used but young. Compared to the 77 RS i had at the time (70HP) i initially found the 800 faster off the line (gearing, smoothness, lighter clutch, new-bike giddiness). I paid prolly $500 more than i should have, but that was forgotten the day it was rolled off the shipper's gooseneck trailer. I'd been riding the RS for 9 years when i got the G/S-- i feel now that i really did'nt know shit about motorcycles or riding until the G/S arrived.

    Pillion: the 800 motor carried some friends and 2 fabulous women (not simultaneously) around just fine; but i could have been thrashing a moped and still would have been ecstatic with those women on the back. Situations often make one forget HP. There were golden FL and CA days with loves-to-be that would have made 3 HP seem like enough-- rocksteady burbling around the romantic zone. Let's say the G/S did way good. Realworld non-love-smitten passenger riding will try yr nerves, esp if you want to haul ass in the mountains. So get more engine or stay in love all the time. I know which one is easier.

    more: I crossed the US 3x on the G/S with much cargo and each trip pointed out minor adding-up quibbles w/ longhaul travel on the 800. In some realworld (read: western wind) situations the 800 felt like it was being beaten slap to death. I know we all love to crow about "it'll do 85 all day long", but the rider/pilot factor makes that laughable. Factoring out things like the worn seat (replaceable/stuffable) i still found myself wanting 3 things that became an in-helmet bitch-mantra: More power! More Windscreen! More/functioning instruments!

    After the last CA to FL run i swore i would not do anymore longhaul mileage on the G/S without addressing these things. This thinking moved me extremely close to a 95 1100GS. But I refused to sell the G/S to fund another bike, and as deals do, i dropped the New Bike idea.

    grad school kicked in (still kicking) and i resolved to make the G/S what i wanted, keeping the original parts to restore if needed.

    [​IMG]


    it's still sporting the orig 800 motor here-- it got a 19k miles '91 R100R engine a couple weeks later.

    Result? 10 more HP that do make a difference, and, given that the 800 was dropping rocker arm bearings and had pulled a cylinder stud, i got essentially new-bike smoothness and a new lease on powerplant life. The GS fairing gives a slight bit more protection than the small round-headlight windscreen used to, and it gained me a tach (finally!) and a working speedo. All the used fairing parts and instruments cost me less than a new G/S small tach (and you'd order new b/c they almost never show up used)

    I retain the bulletproof (for BMW) G/S driveshaft, though the suspension is still obviously obsolete. But it works for me, and i'll add fork spring upgrades to sweeten it up. The stock rear shock is still workable for me and my usage profile.

    The weight gain with all these swaps has been microscopic, and handling is as good as before the mods. The previous owner mentioned how 'flickable' the G/S is, and it still is even w/ the heavier fairing; the front end feels so light viz. control inputs that it totally belies the actual weight of the machine-- one of the hallmarks of the G/S-GS from '81 to the present bikes.

    Mine is a schizo G/S-GS that has the power and plastic of the later bike w/ the light weight of the earlier one, and no shaft issues. I'm truly loving it. It's smoother than the old 800 motor b/c i work a Twinmax well, and hell, i've got a young 1000cc where the 800 had 60K miles on it.

    [​IMG]


    But you better believe i'll be restoring the 800 motor for a rainy day. At 60k miles its pistons and jugs were still sweet.

    With a paranoid/preemptive gearbox overhaul, my '81 R100G/S will be doing a 10k mile all-US ride next year.

    G/S. Fun as hell as-is. Upgradable if it needs it. I'd probably buy a 2nd G/S and go further on the mods (later GS forks) before i'd buy a different bike.

    That help? :lol3
    #18
  19. elmoreman

    elmoreman takin' a break, boss

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    Came from a GSPD to the G/S
    • as stated, less power
    • waaaay smoother
    • reliability factor
    • more wind (I like this though, because I dont ride on the interstate)
    My 84 g/s has been modified like this
    • R100GS tank
    • progressive springs in front
    • Wilbers ready to mount in the rear
    • corbin dual saddle from r1150GS
    • Happy Trails panniers
    • PD skid plate (shipped to me from ADV member in Mongolia)
    • toaster tan top plate
    • upgraded charging system
    It is much more fun to ride than any of the beemers I've had (except for my k100rs at speed--100 mph+). For my style of riding and desire to maintain my own bike, it is perfect. Its kind of a deal with my wife in order to reduce our stuff-one of everything. SO my shotgun is a Beretta over/under, and my bike is a g/s.
    #19
  20. datchew

    datchew Don't buy from Brad

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    Remember the Alamo!
    you're just gonna have to get it out of your system.
    It's like your first job... you have money burning a hole in your pocket.
    It won't stop till you buy something.

    Go buy a g/s and keep it a year. Then, if you're poor, sell one of them.
    It's not like you won't get your money back. :evil

    Or, buy a g/s with a blown engine and put your r100 engine in there. and new forks, and do something about the tubed tires, and the...

    nevermind. you're screwed. you're just gonna HAVE to own both.

    Once you're a luddite, you cannot love a machine until you can understand it completely. Fuel injection, computer monitoring and control, etc. make that almost impossible. I think the historical line is drawn about when they started designing things with computers.
    #20