1980–1986: The R80 G/S

Meet the original Adventure Bike. There were plenty of contemporary bikes that handled better either on the street, or fared better in purely off-road conditions—but when it came to pulling dual duty, this bike beat them all.

The BMW R80 G/S was the first big displacement on/road-off-road production bike to come from a major manufacturer. The “G/S” designation comes from the German words Gelände for off-road, and Strasse for street.

The limited “Paris Dakar” edition is nod to the grueling 6,000-mile mostly-off-road endurance race from Paris to Senegal, during which riders averaged 500 miles a day in conditions so brutal that most never saw the finish line. This bike won the famous race a convincing four times between 1981 and 1985.

It also came in a standard version with a smaller tank, and was offered in white, or blue.

The G/S helped spawn an entirely new category of motorcycles, soon followed by other manufactures. BMW built 22,000 of these first-edition mono-shock dual-sport bikes between 1980 and 1987. By 2009, BMW rolled its 500,000 GS of the production line—a figure that certainly continues to grow.

+ Monolever suspension used on early “G/S” bikes. Later “GS” models would use BMW’s Paralever suspension.

Owner: Ken Aldin, 1985 R80G/S-PD

Click Here to go back to the Main Menu of the interactive BMW Airhead Show, or follow the links below to the other bikes in the collection.

1970-1973: The BMW /5
1974-1976: The BMW /6

1974-1976: The BMW R90S
1977-1992: The BMW R100RS
1978-1995: The BMW R80RT and R100RT
1979-1987: The BMW R65
1983-1985: The BMW R65LS
1980–1986: The R80 G/S
1982-1984: The BMW R80ST
1987-1995: The R100GS
1992-1995: The BMW R100R