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Old 12-11-2011, 04:06 AM   #46
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Melbourne
Oddometer: 1,070
Originally Posted by GSD4ME View Post
That`s what I`ll be fitting when I get my airhead GS rebuilt, possibly with an HID insert. Whether I buy an R100GS or a GSPD, the existing headlight and instruments will be removed, a 7 inch headlight, genuine surround and Acewell speedo unit will be fitted.
Since fixing my G/S speedo and ordering a G/S windshield I feel kinda committed to this funny G/S headlight bucket (which honestly I've never been the greatest fan of- hence why I want to cover it with the windshield). I do have a spare /6 headlight bucket and headlight (missing the lens which I stupidly broke)... I wonder if I could meld the two together somehow... yep, I just had a little play and with a bit of butchery I think it could be done. Butchered G/S bucket with the entire bottom removed to house the speedo and stock idiot lights, mounted above the /6 headlight bucket (kinda like the /6 instruments are) and all covered by the G/S windshield- which may also need a little trimming to not impede the 7" headlight. Uhh ohh.

I'm tempted to try a HID kit. Hell, I'm also tempted to try some LED spots. I like light.

I`d rather spend money on getting a rough GS rebuilt properly, by someone whose work I know, with the improvements to make it a reliable dirt capable touring bike, than buying a `nice looking` bike that has been worked on by someone whom I don`t know.
Yeah, me too, but then I don't actually want a mint condition stock G/S or GS. I am not very good with perfect and pretty things- they don't stay perfect or pretty very long.
With 50:50 hindsight, and as I slowly learn more, unless I found an affordable rough G/S (like I did) or GS, then I am not sure I would even start from a G/S or GS in the first place (in order to build a very dirt capable tourer). I've gathered this 'insight' by realising how much of the stock G/S I am actually changing.
I think I would just start from a twin shock frame (reinforced) and as late and low K's 1000 or 800 motor as I could find. Entirely new front end, extend and raise the rear end ( lots of final drive choices) with some decent adjustable dirt shocks... etc, etc.
But, I don't spose it matters where you start from so long as you end up where you want.

Sorry for the serious thread drift Netsuke,

your red charging light seems to be working perfectly (coming on at low rpms), so I wouldn't be too worried about your charging system- check it with a multimeter to see what it is putting out at different RPMs though to get a better idea.
If not ridden every day, my bikes start a little harder.
To compe with multiple bike ownership, and not riding every day, I finally got a cheap battery tender/trickle charger from Aldi recently- works very well.

your leaking petcock may just need that nut tightened a little bit- that's all it took on my 90/6 when it failed its RWC (that leak was one of the reasons).

Electron exchange occurs at the surface of a metalic conductor rather than the core.
Multi-core wires contain more surface area than solid cores of the same guage
Mutili-core is also more flexible, this one bends at the steering head repeatedly.
Thanks again Rucksta.
I am going to feel a great sense of achievement if I ever come to understand electric issues well- currently, I do not.
1974 R90/6
1981 R80G/S
1994 XLR250R
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Old 12-11-2011, 05:53 AM   #47
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Oddometer: 5,157
Originally Posted by netsuke View Post
However, the red light on the dash glows at idle but switches off with a few revs
That's 100% normal. The stock charging system is perfectly adequate unless you add a number of accessories (lights, heated gear, etc.) or regularly start it multiple times after riding short distances.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:08 PM   #48
Hawk Medicine
Coyote's Brother
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: NOR CAL
Oddometer: 3,304
Originally Posted by Lornce View Post
Someone's got to say it, so here goes...

Original R80G/S-PD's are hotter than R90S's on the collector radar, and that one's a looker

Save it for Sunday best and go get yourself an R100GS to thrash around and live out your tubeless airhead bush-whacker fantasies.

I'm just trying to help.

Lornce, youre always a voice of reason and I agree 100%.

Theres almost nothing that that little bike needs in order to deliver 90% of the GS experience and modifying the bike to get that last little bit makes no sense at all.

If you think you need something different, get something different to beat on and leave that bike as-is.

Hate rots the pocket that carries it.
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Old 12-11-2011, 04:52 PM   #49
Dare to be Stupid
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Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Washington, DC, USA
Oddometer: 4,640
I bought a G/S PD in very good shape and chopped it up. I knew I'd beat it up so I sold the signed gas tank to someone wanting to do a restoration that'd take care of it. I wish I'd started with an uglier bike but I didn't have the patience to wait for an uglier one to come up for sale. There are plenty of monolever garage queens in the world and I'm all for just riding them...but damn that thing looks beautiful. I have a hard time disagreeing with the folks that don't want to see it trashed.

If you do decide to slog it through mud holes in the middle of nowhere at least let us see the pics
'85 BMW r80G/S--Another G/S on the road--Central America on a Shoestring--Nova Scotia on a Shoestring--Never Leave a Man's Behind

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Old 12-18-2011, 11:09 PM   #50
netsuke OP
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Melbourne Australia
Oddometer: 36
ok, I've had time to ride this bike a bit and it's all good. One glitch : the tripmeter does not work, but I am not going to tackle that - seen what Ontic had to go through !
Being used to a 1200, I was expecting something seriously sluggish but it actually has a fair bit of grunt, particularly with my habit of short-shifting.
After some consideration, this is what I am going to do :
. fuel filters. Ugly, but the tank has been re-done inside-out and I am expecting a bit of gunk to foul the needles for a while - in fact I am about to change the float needles because of that. Pity to chop the cotton braided lines, but I'll buy some more.
. ngk sparkplug caps to replace the oem metal caps
. electronic ignition
. alternator (upgrade to 400W)
. starter motor (nippondenso has one which only draws 80 amps i/o the oem drawing about 110.
. front brake (a departure from the original look, but better than dragging boots to stop).
Later, maybe a suspension upgrade.
All up, nothing irreversible and for the most part, invisible.
Since 1976 : Yamaha 50ss, Honda xl125, Kawasaki z1300, Suzuki gsxr750, Honda vfr 800, Yamaha xtz660, Bmw r1100r, Bmw r1150gs, Bmw r1150rt, Bmw r1150gsa, Bmw r1150 gs/se, Yamaha sr500, Yamaha tdm900, Bmw r1200gsa, Triumph Thunderbird 900, Bmw r1200gsa + Bmw r80g/s ParisDakar + Suzuki DL650 ('12)
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:05 AM   #51
Solo Lobo
airhead or nothing
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Joined: Mar 2004
Location: Shoreline, WA
Oddometer: 9,112
Originally Posted by netsuke View Post
. ngk sparkplug caps to replace the oem metal caps
I've ridden airheads with NGK caps for twenty years... I wouldn't bother.
"punk rocks what it's all about" - J. Strummer

Originally Posted by Stagehand
your bike is suitably dirty. Well done.
So I sold my GS and went shopping for a G/S!
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:32 AM   #52
netsuke OP
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Melbourne Australia
Oddometer: 36
Hi guys, is there a problem uploading pics currently ?
Since 1976 : Yamaha 50ss, Honda xl125, Kawasaki z1300, Suzuki gsxr750, Honda vfr 800, Yamaha xtz660, Bmw r1100r, Bmw r1150gs, Bmw r1150rt, Bmw r1150gsa, Bmw r1150 gs/se, Yamaha sr500, Yamaha tdm900, Bmw r1200gsa, Triumph Thunderbird 900, Bmw r1200gsa + Bmw r80g/s ParisDakar + Suzuki DL650 ('12)
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Old 12-21-2011, 12:45 AM   #53
Joined: Jul 2008
Location: Melbourne
Oddometer: 1,070
Not sure about any problem uploading images to the site- I don't do it that way as I find the sizes too restrictive-
the best way IMO is to use an external image hosting site- might take a little bit to get the hang of but is really worth doing.
I've been with photobucket for a long time now and for a free service I am very happy with it.
Smug Mug is owned by Baldy the owner of advrider so many like to throw a bit of money that way for their image hosting as a way of saying thanks- it also seems like a good service in its own right.

I'm too much of a cheap ass or something like that, so free services will have to do for me for the moment. Maybe one day.
1974 R90/6
1981 R80G/S
1994 XLR250R
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Old 12-21-2011, 05:55 AM   #54
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: May 2005
Oddometer: 2,348
I've been using the $100- Valeo knock off starter fom Caltric on ebay for 2 years, 80,000 km and it has worked perfectly - draws the same as the ND.

A decent battery is essential as the G/S has a smaller one than most airheads. Motobatt do the correct BMW 519** and it spins my hi comp 1000 cc motor over like a sewing machine.

Coming off a GS with HPN inserts first thing I wanted to change on the G/S was the forks - they had been heavily reworked by a suspension expert, Biketech or someone, and were total crap.

Now with a tubular lower brace from Flatracer, a billet top triple from SJBMW, Wirth springs and full synth 7.5 wt HVI suspension fluid they are good enough for the rest of the bike.
Decent fluid alone makes a big difference.

Rear shock on my G/S is a WP, not a patch on the Ohlins on my GS.

I have a $50- Cree LED spotlight mounted on the Barkbuster brackets where I can adjust it as required - gives all the light I will ever need.

EBC HH brake pads will make a big difference, if you can get them for the OEM caliper - if not change to a caliper that you can get HH pads for.

Float level is important on these Bings, I find that around 21 mm deep fuel in the centre well of the bowl works for me. Just drop one bowl at a time and the petrol in the hose wont run out and spoil the reading.

If the stock ignition works OK I wouldnt bother changing it to something upmarket, none I have tried on my GS work as well as OEM.

Even with heated grips I have never had the need for a upgraded alternator - the easy way to stop the red light coming on at idle is to increase the idle speed.

My bike has a oil temp and pressure gauge, a sump spacer and a deep sump- holds almost 4 lt
The oil still gets pretty hot and thin, and when it does the pressure drops too.
If you intend doing much desert/slow single trail in the warmer months I would also consider some additional oil/cooling.
Adelaide Hills, Australia. 93 R100 GS, 77 R75/7 ,70 BSA B44VS, , 86 R80 G/S PD, 95 BMW Funduro F650 ST
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Old 12-21-2011, 07:35 PM   #55
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Mar 2002
Location: N.E. Ohio
Oddometer: 1,071
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:31 PM   #56
netsuke OP
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Melbourne Australia
Oddometer: 36
gone to a good home

End of story : I sold it upon returning from a 4month solo trip to South America, covering 20,000km through Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina on a current model Suzuki 650 vStrom. Including about 6000km of dirt roads.
I still think the R80g/s is the best all-road bike ever built, particularly thanks to its low center of gravity, good torque, fairly low weight and large diameter wheels (21/18). But I was confronted with three possible choices :
1-keeping the bike as it was, i.e absolute coucours condition and never ride it on dirt, let alone take it to an extended overseas trip. Why ? Because its value resided in the fact that it was an immaculate bike, and would not have stayed that way during an adventure.
2-making all the mods to take it to the next level of robustness and reliability, including frame modifications to allow for WP forks and dual sided swing arm. A lot of money with the immediate consequence of losing a huge chunk of the market price, because it would just have been another frankensteined bike. In retrospect, if I go down that path one day, I'll buy a beat-up buike and do it up rather than think about starting with a gem.
3-sell it to finance other trips.
There was a bit of speculation as to how much I had paid for this bike, which had been first advertised on ebay where it never reached the reserve price. Well, I bought is well under the highest bid and made a tidy profit upon selling it recently well above the ebay reserve. This may come as a surprise to USA enthusiasts, but Australia is a very expensive place.

Now a quick word on the 650VStrom I shipped to SouthAm and back : a real little gem which never missed a beat. It is, however, much more tarmac oriented than dirt road : weight distribution, quick steering, suspension travel ensured that I took it easy on dirt roads, particularly on sandy or deep gravel or mud patches, although I was running TKC 80 for the whole trip, getting a bit over 10,000km per set. My average fuel consumption over the 20,000km was 4.2l/100km, giving me a range of over 420km - I did not try to find out when exactly it would run out of fuel, but it looked like there was still about 2 litres left in the tank. Admitedly, I was not riding fast for obvious reasons, not the least because the bike was heavily loaded including a spare tyre on each side of the tank (for 10,000km !), where the engine protection bars offer the perfect spot (including weather protection for the legs and protection for the bike in case of mishap) to support and padlock them in place, thus removing the need to load and unloaded them.
Mods to the bike before shipping included : givi screen (a must, the stock item only has a cosmetic value), head light protector, heated grips, abs switch, sump guard, home made extended centre stand guard (to protect the lower part of the shock absorber), engine protection bars, Renthal 'fat bars', Barkbusters, Pivot pegs, Wilbers rear shock (a gem), Touratech alu panniers, battery with 2+ and 2- electrodes, 2 power sockets, front mudguard extension, radiator guard, homemade front engine protection across the front from the lower edge of the radiator to the upper edge of the sump guard (the Caterpilar blade !) and homemade rear rubber shroud to protect the shock absorber and battery bracket etc.. from rear wheel projections.
Would I recommend this bike ? yes, absolutely, but it is not the dual purpose bike Suzuki would like us to believe it is. It was hard work on sand and deep gravel and I ended up staying on tarmac. Would I take it again on a similar trip ? No, I would take something more dirt oriented such a klr, and xtz or an 800gs.
Next trip is Paris to Vladivostok or South America again (Chile, Argentina, Pery and Colombia.
Since 1976 : Yamaha 50ss, Honda xl125, Kawasaki z1300, Suzuki gsxr750, Honda vfr 800, Yamaha xtz660, Bmw r1100r, Bmw r1150gs, Bmw r1150rt, Bmw r1150gsa, Bmw r1150 gs/se, Yamaha sr500, Yamaha tdm900, Bmw r1200gsa, Triumph Thunderbird 900, Bmw r1200gsa + Bmw r80g/s ParisDakar + Suzuki DL650 ('12)
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