Originally Posted by Stan_R80/7
If a recently built, high quality, older technology bike could be found I expect it would be reliable. However, I don't think they would stay in business long (although Ural seems to keep going) with the improvements from modern technology applied to increase performance and reduce maintenance.
Older technology requires more maintenance. One of the main 'selling points' of modern technology, aside from little deterioration and neglect, is the reduced adjustments and tinkering required accompanied with improved performance. Hence, why people want modern.
Taking an older motorcycle on a longer trip can be an adventure in itself. Taking a new motorcycle on the same trip makes for a different journey. But, if the trip is really all about the journey and not whether the destination is reached, then it's up to the rider to decide what is best. But, to answer the original question, either technology will work and can be reliable but finding older technology in good condition is not easy.
spot on .. yes older airheads like R80G/S can be dead reliable. but the catch is finding one and/or putting back in prime condition.
there are NO subsides for low miles .. starting with a worn out airhead will net you out same or more troubles as a brand new BMW.
totally lucked in on both my airheads ... R90S found dead with 7,300 miles .. R80G/S found with a frame off restoration by Beemerguru, which is essentially like starting with a new bike.
a lot of folks would rather find a high mileage airhead that's been maintained vs a dead low miles airhead. IMHO it's much easier to deal with small issues like replacing all seals on dead low mileage airheads vs dealing with major issues like overhauling engine/transmission with high miles airheads.
if achieving an older bike reliable enough to ride anywhere is the goal ... IMHO there are no substitutes for low miles.
new bikes have entirely different issues .. it's usually a binary situation .. either zero problems or big ones. if/when problems do come up on new bikes .. they usually are not minor. for instance dealing with ABS problems on newer BMW .. F8 not having an anti-knock sensor combined with bad fuel, resulting in a destroyed engine. fuel injection are pretty darn reliable until problems do show. like clogged fuel filters and/or bad fuel injection pump. problems with failed rectifier/regulator and/or stators, failed non serviceable final drives, failed non serviceable wheel bearings, etc. etc.
it's not that newer bikes have no service issues .. they are just different.
1981 R80G/S after frame off restoration by Beemerguru