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Thread: How Big is Big Enough?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lkchris View Post
    You're confused by all the numbers.

    Here's the thing: when it comes to "physical size," ALL Airheads are the same. That's because they all have the same frame and wheels. They are "parts bin" bikes.

    When you see 500, 600, 750, 800, 900, or 1000, the only differences are in size of cylinders and cylinder heads, carbs, and rear drive ratios.

    Seats are all the same, foot pegs are all the same in the same locations, there are about 5 different handlebar shapes, making the only ergonometric differences. A fairing may make the bike look bigger, but it's the same bike, heavier obviously.

    Here are the VERY FEW exceptions:
    In mid 1973 the wheelbase was lengthened. Basically you should avoid the earlier versions.
    In 1985 the frame/wheels/suspension were significantly modified, but overall dimensions changed very little.
    From 1979 to ~1984 there was the R65, which indeed is a physically smaller bike. The R65 of 1985 is not.
    From 1981 to 1986, there was the R80G/S, which is different but not particularly smaller.
    The R80ST is basically the same as the R80G/S, but smaller front wheel brings it close to R65 size.
    The R100GS and R100R are a unique pair and a little longer than the G/S and ST.

    That's all there is.

    Compared to a modern BMW like for example the R1200RT, all Airheads are small. The F800s are similar in size, but have more power and significantly better fuel economy. The Airhead "soul" is still there in the R1200s, not at all in the F-models.

    PS: physical size is often psychological but the physics is real. An R100RS with its itty bitty handlebars is a heavy pig, a G/S or GS with wide handlebars seems a featherweight in comparison. That's how they comparatively handle, too.
    Kent -

    Yes...confused for sure.

    But you information has been really helpful. THANKS!

  2. #17
    jdubeemer jdubick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srq.fl View Post
    Kent -

    Yes...confused for sure.

    But you information has been really helpful. THANKS!
    I am six three two hundred and ten pounds with thirty six inch inseam and Seventy two years old. I presently have a R100/7 which I only ride with friends on Airhead only outings. It has an S fairing and short bars but is comfortable for me. I have owned two R100GS bikes which were tall enough and upright seating which made an all day ride real easy and comfortable. Both of them had Corbin seats which made a big difference also. I also had a F650GS and made a lot of day trips with it and it had plenty of leg room for me. Most people complain that BMWs are made for us tall guys so I don't think you will have trouble finding something that fits you and your riding style. Back in the early eightys I had a Honda CB750 Custom. In my humble opinion it was very uncomfortable to ride more than around town. So I know where you are coming from. The best advise others have given you is to make sure it is mechanically sound and up to date condition or you could spend a lot of cash making it so.
    Jim Dubick
    Boaz, Alabama
    R1200RT,R100/7,KLX250
    BMW MOA, BMW MOAL, AMA, CMA

  3. #18
    Registered User lkchris's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure "most people" think BMWs are designed around a smaller person than the average American.

    On my R100RS, for example, it required a couple inch taller windshield for me--at 6-3--to see under it to view the clock and voltmeter. BMW cars barely have enuff headroom for me.

    Lots of guys fit footpeg lowering kits to BMWs. I'm always shocked how high the pegs are on my 1100S, but I kind of like it.

    For motorcycles, handling doesn't happen to BMW standards with low riders, so they can be a bit tall. For Rs and Ks, pretty much every BMW newer than an Airhead is taller. There are factory "low" versions for some.
    Kent Christensen
    21482
    '12 R1200RT, '02 R1100S, '84 R80G/S

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdubick View Post
    I am six three two hundred and ten pounds with thirty six inch inseam and Seventy two years old. I presently have a R100/7 which I only ride with friends on Airhead only outings. It has an S fairing and short bars but is comfortable for me. I have owned two R100GS bikes which were tall enough and upright seating which made an all day ride real easy and comfortable. Both of them had Corbin seats which made a big difference also. I also had a F650GS and made a lot of day trips with it and it had plenty of leg room for me. Most people complain that BMWs are made for us tall guys so I don't think you will have trouble finding something that fits you and your riding style. Back in the early eightys I had a Honda CB750 Custom. In my humble opinion it was very uncomfortable to ride more than around town. So I know where you are coming from. The best advise others have given you is to make sure it is mechanically sound and up to date condition or you could spend a lot of cash making it so.
    Jim, your post made me smile. I'll be 62 in January's and I hope to wear out some tires by 72...i've got some catching up your do. Thanks for your post.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdubick View Post
    I am six three two hundred and ten pounds with thirty six inch inseam and Seventy two years old. I presently have a R100/7 which I only ride with friends on Airhead only outings. It has an S fairing and short bars but is comfortable for me. I have owned two R100GS bikes which were tall enough and upright seating which made an all day ride real easy and comfortable. Both of them had Corbin seats which made a big difference also. I also had a F650GS and made a lot of day trips with it and it had plenty of leg room for me. Most people complain that BMWs are made for us tall guys so I don't think you will have trouble finding something that fits you and your riding style. Back in the early eightys I had a Honda CB750 Custom. In my humble opinion it was very uncomfortable to ride more than around town. So I know where you are coming from. The best advise others have given you is to make sure it is mechanically sound and up to date condition or you could spend a lot of cash making it so.
    Isn't Boaz, the outlet capital of the world? I bought my two boys (now 27 & 23 and one is a BMW owner) some toys from there when I was down on a business trip to Gadsden, AL.

  6. #21
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    Here's a useful site for motorcycle ergos. Seems that last time I looked at it, it had the actual dimensions between seat, handlebars, and footpegs:

    http://cycle-ergo.com/
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  7. #22
    Registered User helmut_head's Avatar
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    Buy a Harley

    Really, you may want to check out a Harley Soft tail, Dyna Glide or the like just to compare your comfort. I know this is blasphemy, but it may be more comfortable for you. You are a pretty big person.
    Helmut always wears a Helmet.

  8. #23
    jdubeemer jdubick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylee View Post
    Isn't Boaz, the outlet capital of the world? I bought my two boys (now 27 & 23 and one is a BMW owner) some toys from there when I was down on a business trip to Gadsden, AL.
    Boaz used to be a big outlet center back in the 80s and early 90s but there are so many outlet malls on the interstates now that it dried up about ten years ago. The buildings are sitting almost empty. I moved from Orlando to Birmingham back in 82 and my wife used to come up here shopping for bargains. I was a corporate pilot in Birmingham and my employer in the 90s had a store in the mall here and outlet malls across the country. I moved up here in 02 to take a job flying for Progress Rail Services (a Caterpillar Subsidiary) and then my wife had to go back to Birmingham to shop.
    Jim Dubick
    Boaz, Alabama
    R1200RT,R100/7,KLX250
    BMW MOA, BMW MOAL, AMA, CMA

  9. #24
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    I'm 6' 2", size 12 feet, 33" inseam, and 215lbs - while I Really enjoyed my 88 R100RT (monolever frame) the fairing lowers did pretty much restrict foot position a bit more than the carbs and cylinders did alone. And the placement of the passenger pegs would cause foot conflicts when my wife was riding on the back (she has size 9 feet, but she claims that they are 'little'.... yeah) anyhow...

    If you want to go with an airhead, I'd look at the R100GS to have the most "moving around" room for you, and plenty of seat height to work with. Unfortunately these aren't as easy to find, but they are out there. As a next best, I'd agree that the R100/7 isn't bad. The stock seat is actually at least an inch taller than the aftermarket corbin I've tried on my /7, but seats can be changed if needed, within some range.
    BMWs in my garage: 1982 R65LS, 1978 R100/7

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