Hindsight has shown that the introduction of the GS model line was one of the best things BMW did for their Motorrad business. But at the press launch in 1980, journalists (and the public) shared a general sentiment of “what’s the point of a large, heavy dual-purpose bike?” Modern cynics still have the same complaint as the bike seems to grow a bit with every generation, but riders now see the point of a bike that you can take on the highway for hours and still feel OK when you get to the start of your off-road exploration.
21,864 examples of the R80GS were sold before BMW upped displacement to one liter and created the R100. The airhead 797.5cc engine produced 50 horsepower and 41 pound-feet of torque, good for a top speed of 104 miles per hour. Gaston Rahier won the Paris-Dakar rally a few times with a (heavily modified, obviously) R80GS and adventure riders around the world noticed. BMW responded by offering optional extras like a 8.5 gallon fuel tank, bigger battery, and solo seat/rear rack to help with long distance traveling. For more on the R80G/S and how it was initially received by the press, check out this story on Cycle World.
This example (VIN: WBM834801B6362339) has just 4,465 miles, and the seller says that it has 75 miles on it since a complete engine/transmission rebuild. “I found this bike at an estate sale in La Jolla, California. It had been owned since new by retired Navy pilot and who died at 94 years old 2 years ago, it spent time in various place around the world and will come also with those license plates.” The seller spent $5k rebuilding the drivetrain, during which he had 1,000 cc cylinders added (the originals are included).
Find this PD for sale in San Diego, California with bidding up to $10,300 and the reserve not yet met here on eBay.