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Thread: Recommendations on getting an AirHead

  1. #1
    mane
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    Question Recommendations on getting an AirHead

    Hi you all!

    I'm currently own an BMW R1150R '02, which I'm think to
    replace with a R1150GS or R1200GS(I'm not sure which one yet!)

    However, I became to like the simplicity on the air cooled boxers, and I even find it romantic, without ever have owned one.

    So I'm thinking on getting an airhead, but I not sure what should I be looking, and want to hear some recommendations from people more experienced on this subject.

    I don't plan to ride the airhead much, just the ocassional commute (20km) to work, and some short rides on weekends.

    And who knows maybe my wife would find the airhead less intimidating, and would like to start learning on it.

    And finally, I would like to get a model that has chances of becoming a collector's item, in 50 years of so. So that when my grandchilds look at it, it would say cool!

    I guess I'll be looking at late 70's or early 80's model, since I believe that it would be easier to find parts. You tell me?

    Am I asking for to much? If not which models do you recommend me?

    I live in Guatemala, Central America, and being and small (third world) country, the BMW Motorcycle community is small, so I have not that many options where to choose regarding second hand market, however, we do get some Euro-spec only models here!

    Currently my research has bring the following models:

    1997 R80GS Kalahari 14000KM (8700 milles aprox). $5,000.00 (Expensive!)

    1982 R65 3000KM (1,800 milles aprox) $3,500.00

    Is there any of this models ok with my specs or should I keep looking?

    Thanks in advance and sorry for my English!
    Mane

  2. #2
    Registered User mag00's Avatar
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    Tucson
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    Hi, Hey I just passed through your airport a couple weeks ago. I have been considering the drive to Panama on my 91 GS.

    Here's my take on the BMW's. If you want a truly collectable and versitile bike get the r100gs pd. Get it in the BumbleBee colours. Now you have a classic bike that can go anywhere.

    When BMW first introduced the R100 GS, I saw the Bumblebee and said to myself I will own one, I do now. As far as My driving style and usage, there is no better bike built. Not the newer ones or R80's.

    If given any bike in the world to drive regular, regardless of price or make, I would still choose the R100 GS Black and Yellow Bmw. I still get the wows even dirty and used.
    91 R100GS Bumblebee

    http://davesbmw.com

  3. #3
    rocketman
    Guest
    well now that's a tough one, being as where you live. Anything from the 70' or earlier is already a classic, my kids (12 and 15 now) thought that my bikes, a '73 and '78 were kool even several yeara ago. I have to say though that one of the deciding factors would be what years are you likely to find parts for in your country. The '70's air heads don't need a lot of work to keep right on running, but they do need some attention and if a part breaks, well it breaks and has to be replaced.

    So keep looking see whats available something from the 80's may be just the ticket, and a GS may be more useable, depends on what the roads are like where you live, etc.

    In 40 years, even a new bike today will be a classic, any BMW will, I would suppose.

    RM

  4. #4
    Registered User R100RS's Avatar
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    North Florida
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    435
    If you're the least bit handy, an airhead will be a good choice.

    I'd avoid the R65. They are underpowered and they have a lot of parts unique to them, so parts could be hard to find. However, if the bike is destined for the wife, the disadvantages may be offset by its small size.

    Are those prices $US? $5000US for an airhead GS with only 9000mi doesn't sound bad at all. I guess it's an R80, so worth somewhat less than an R100.

    I prefer the late 1980's/early 90's models even though they have less power than the 1977-1979. Supposedly the single shock (80's/90's) models handle better, but I don't ride hard enough to know the difference. The late 70's models do have more power (at least in US spec).

    I figure the parts availability will be better with the newer ones and I can continue to get parts longer than I would with an older one.

    The airhead RS is a classic model, definitely one of the most collectible newer (70's and newer) airheads. IMHO, the most desirable newer airheads are probably the R90S, R100RS, and R100GS PD. I can still sell my bike for the same amount I paid for it 7 years ago.

    But, don't buy an airhead based on its resale value. Buy it because it's fun to ride and easy to work on and take it out and enjoy it.
    -Mike

    '02 R1150R
    '88 R100RS

  5. #5
    mane
    Guest

    Thumbs up Thank you!

    Thank you for the advice!

    I sure would like to get a R90S or R100GSPD however, it's going be hard to find any someone willing the sell it.

    Thank you for steering my away from the R65, it was the one I was more close to get.

    The $5000US it indeed a R80GS and it is a 1997 year model.


    And Mag00 if you ever do that trip to Panama, feel free to drop me a email, when you pass through Guatemala, and I would show you some really nice places here!

    Please if anyone has anything more to say, please do so. Since this is being really helpfull to me.

    Thank you very much again.
    Mane

  6. #6
    Registered User PeoriaMac's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
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    Washington, Illinois
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    780
    Mac
    1986 R80RT, 2005 R1200GS
    Livin' Large On The Lake

  7. #7
    James.A
    Guest
    Personally, I like the /5's because of the smaller headlight bucket with the instrument set in the top of it. I also like the solid feel of the 4 speed transmission. Let's not forget the kick and electric start option on the /5's and early /6's. I've only owned /5's and /6's with the exception of an R1100 that I bought new in 1994. Too much power for me. As an owner/maintainer, I also like the farm tractor simplicty of the earlier bikes.

  8. #8
    dlearl476
    Guest
    Originally posted by woodnsteel
    Personally, I like the /5's because of the smaller headlight bucket with the instrument set in the top of it. I also like the solid feel of the 4 speed transmission. Let's not forget the kick and electric start option on the /5's and early /6's. I've only owned /5's and /6's with the exception of an R1100 that I bought new in 1994. Too much power for me. As an owner/maintainer, I also like the farm tractor simplicty of the earlier bikes.
    Second here. No brainer for me: A late model long wheel base R75/5, with the big euro tank and small euro bars. (I'm actually getting one later this spring to compliment my R60/5)

    >Are those prices $US? $5000US for an airhead GS with only 9000mi doesn't sound bad at all. I guess it's an R80, so worth somewhat less than an R100.

    Dude, that's not any R80, it's a Kalihari! I'd kill for a Kalihari. IIRC, they made them up to 1996 for the South Africa market,.

    Forks instead of tele, about 75 lbs less fat, and RARITY in spades.

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