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. From the outset, this bike was designed to do it all.
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. Race builds based off 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 continues to grow.
Owner: Ken Aldin, 1985 R80G/S-PD