In 1978, a French man named Thierry Sabine created one of the toughest and rally raids in the world: the Paris-Dakar. Racers have to find their way in arid and sandy deserts, making repairs when necessary. It is a test not just of pilot skill but also vehicle reliability. In 1981, only 3 years after the first edition, BMW snagged their first win thanks to the riding of Hubert Auriol on their R80G/S. BMW decided to produce a road legal version of motorcycle in 1984 and some kits to celebrate the winning – meaning this ’81 has had a kit retrofitted to it.
The story of the G/S actually started in 1980. In a world where dirt-ish bikes were usually displacing less than 500cc and weighing not more than 300 lbs, the R80 arrived in the market like a real rhino at 796 cc and 420 lb. It was a revolution. Nobody really understood the purpose of the bike when it was released but quickly critics and clients figured it out: the GS was made to discover and explore. Equipped with a shaft drive, it was also reliable. The engine was basically the same as the R80/7 from 1979 with modifications to lower the weight of the bike: the flywheel, the clutch disc and even the cylinders were not in cast iron anymore, but in aluminum. The bike lost 17 lbs, had an engine of 50 hp and a top speed of 105 mph which unheard of at the time for that kind of bike. When released in 1984, the Paris Dakar version was the equivalent as the 1200 GS Adventure today with equipment made for longer trips and off road riding: larger tank (8.4 gal), a longer luggage rack, Michelin T61 off-road tires, and a fork brace. The vast majority of Paris Dakar bikes are made thanks to kits as the original 1984 R80GS Paris Dakars were only made in small quantity (around 250) and were essentially sold in Germany. For more information, check out this story on Cycle World by Paul Dean.
This featured bike (VIN: wbm03480686362248) is in good shape with a Paris Dakar kit. The bike has 74k miles but it seems to be moderately restored as the seller claims that it has been gone through and that everything is fresh. It’s not shown in the pictures but the sale includes Hepco & Becker saddle bags.
Find this BMW R80 GS Paris Dakar for sale in San Francisco, California with a BIN of $14,979 or best offer