Barn Find 1981 R80GS

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by Big Bamboo, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. Big Bamboo

    Big Bamboo Aircooled & Sunbaked Supporter

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    A few years back, a guy here on the island called me about a 1981 R80GS (or is it a G/S?) he had for sale. He wanted $3000 at the time, which sounded like an OK deal, but when I went to look at it, I noticed a few issues. Bent front rim, bad bearings in front wheel, broken turn signals, dented headers, quite a bit of rust, it's been sitting over 10 years, and there was some issue with the title, so he wasn't able to put it in his name. I contacted him again recently, and he said he would take $2000 for it now. Flash forward to yesterday, he had dumped the bad gas out of the tank (carb bowls were dry) and was trying to jump start it with no luck when I pulled up. I checked a couple things; battery was completely dead, so I disconnected it, jumped it off his truck, and got the starter to turn. The clock works! Gas wasn't making it to the carbs, but he hadn't added much. When we lifted the tank and sloshed it over to the left side, fuel started flowing. Once the bowls filled up, the thing started with just one tiny puff of black smoke, revved easily, and settled down to a nice idle. Never ceases to amaze me, how these things survive the long sleeps! The bad; it's not charging, and the tanks interior is toast. As I was describing parts availability and prices with him, in an effort to negotiate the price, he was undecided if he should sell it to me, or just have me fix it up for him to use. The biggest factor for me is the title issue. If I can't get in my name, it's parts. Also, in Hawaii, if you don't store the plates when the bike is inoperable, the county will charge all the missed registration fees when you try to put it back on the road. In this case it could be over $1000 owed. I have to call the DMV today to confirm. If I can't get a clear title for it, or the back taxes are owed, my interest at his price will be greatly diminished. Anyway, here's some pics, after he had washed it. He has the seat, side covers and a few spares in a box. Original speedo shows 27,000 miles. What do you think it's worth? DSCF0662.JPG DSCF0664.JPG DSCF0659.JPG DSCF0671.JPG DSCF0667.JPG DSCF0669.JPG DSCF0673.JPG A few questions; being an '81, is it a GS or a G/S? Will this have points in the bean can? Flywheel or clutch carrier? Will R100GS pipes fit? Will an R65 tank fit? Anyone have a tank they want to sell?
    #1
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  2. cyclefreak13

    cyclefreak13 Been here awhile

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    It's G/S. An R65 tank will fit, I use one when I go offroad. My 81 doesn't have points in the bean can. Has a flywheel. I have no idea about the r100gs pipes.
    #2
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  3. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list Supporter

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    Pipes will fit but the crossover won't. Original examples are getting harder to find. In CONUS it would easily bring 2500. Nice find.
    #3
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  4. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

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    I am not sure the GS pipes will fit as the G/S ones curve into the collector box which is different but Keihan stainless are available and interchangeable with original BMW. The R65 tank will fit but is a slightly different shape as well as the recessed cap.
    A nice find but no idea about value on Hawaii, if it were local to me I would be shuffling things around in the garage right now!
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  5. groop

    groop So much to ponder

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    I see the plate on the bike. What does it mean to "store the plates" when not in use? It the same as filing a non-op with the DMV? And, I'm guessing if that's the case, the seller would then also be on the hook for those $1k in fees. That should be part of the negotiation as well. To me it looks like an ideal project

    Also, did he spray paint the entire cockpit except for the gauge faces? And what's the story with the odometer?
    #5
  6. Big Bamboo

    Big Bamboo Aircooled & Sunbaked Supporter

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    Thanks all! Should have read "store the plate" with the DMV, which is required when taking it out of yearly registration. DMV says no back taxes owed because it's "out of the system"!!!
    #6
  7. Big Bamboo

    Big Bamboo Aircooled & Sunbaked Supporter

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    Yeah, he spray painted everything. The tell tales are just worn off. I'll be getting a Katdash to fix that. The speedo shown is aftermarket, the original is in the box, but its plastic lens is badly degraded. Title problem turned out to be a typo on the insurance card, so he couldn't get it inspected! Now he tells me PO has first dibs if he decides to sell it, but the PO no longer lives on the island. Waiting.......
    #7
  8. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer Supporter

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    I have a hard time with people that just sit on things and let them rot. I get not wanting to sell to someone who is going to chop it up, but honestly, he's not going to take care of it and you will so why not let it go?
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  9. Big Bamboo

    Big Bamboo Aircooled & Sunbaked Supporter

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    I'm not going to chop it up. He says it's mine, if the PO doesn't want it.
    #9
  10. tennessee thumper

    tennessee thumper Long timer

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    BB,

    Like One Less Harley (and others I'm missing), I've spent a fair amount of time and money getting the same bike (81 G/S) in proper running order.

    I've found it to be time and money well spent.

    It's my favorite airhead of all times and the most versatile bike in my garage. Nothing like it.

    Hope it lands w/ you
    #10
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  11. Mark Manley

    Mark Manley Long timer

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    The same here.
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  12. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer Supporter

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    No, of course not. The bike has clearly been neglected, then you come along and get it running and he suddenly might keep it? Why, only to run it into the ground?
    #12
  13. 2WheelTraveler

    2WheelTraveler backinthesaddleagain Supporter

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    I had a similar story, with a non-running '81g/s. I bought it as-is, confident that I'd get it running. Turned out to be bad coils. The fact that it wasn't running I'm sure saved me money. 25 years later I still have the bike.
    In California we also have to pay for delinquent fees. I pleaded with the clerk saying that the bike wasn't running and not worth the fees. I told her that if I couldn't title it I would have to part it out. She talked to her supervisor and they dropped the penalties, so I only paid a couple hundred dollars. 25 years later I still have the bike.
    The R80g/s is a great bike, and belongs to someone who'll appreciate it.
    I hope it lands in your garage for a fair price.
    Mint they can go for $10k+, as a rider its probably worth at least $4k.
    #13
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  14. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Long timer Supporter

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    I had a similar experience with an r80G/S about 6 years ago. Guy advertised it on CL and I responded. Went and looked at it and said I wanted it. This one was a runner and was in fair to good condition. When I said I wanted it he told me that the guy he bought it from (whom he had sold to previously - bit of a spider web) had a friend that was promised first refusal. What?! Why advertise it and let me waste my time? Ended up 3 days later the guy tells me the “friend of a friend” bought it. I guess I was just leverage.

    Don’t really understand the logic - either it’s for sale or it’s not.
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  15. Desmodue

    Desmodue Adventurer

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    Won’t sell to someone who will chop it up or export it? What a bizarre sentiment. These things are not living creatures. And if they are that precious then keep them inside, in running condition, or at least don’t sell. Wtf. Stupid.
    #15
  16. Desmodue

    Desmodue Adventurer

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    I have a gold r65 tank in good condition I’d sell ya.
    #16
  17. sprouty115

    sprouty115 Long timer Supporter

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    You missed the point...
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  18. Big Bamboo

    Big Bamboo Aircooled & Sunbaked Supporter

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    I've already had a few offers of tanks and trades. I'll keep you all posted when/if it becomes mine! In the meanwhile, any of you who are in a hurry to sell your tank, why not post it in the Flea Market?
    #18
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  19. Boxerbreath

    Boxerbreath 2017.5 GS Black Storm

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    Get it for as cheap as you can. There will be $$$ to invest...
    #19
  20. Big Bamboo

    Big Bamboo Aircooled & Sunbaked Supporter

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    :wings Well, looks like it's mine! Former owner had a back injury and no longer rides or wants it. The FUN begins... :ricky
    #20
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