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Old 02-17-2013, 06:15 PM   #1
toyotarig OP
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Is an Airhead right for me?

So I have always lusted over R80GS and R100GS's, but I just do not know if it is the right bike for me. I have found a clean well maintained 1994 R100GS/PD that I have fallen in love with. I am just not sure if this bike will require more tinkering time then I want. I do not mind occasionally working on the bike, but I do want to ride more then work. So what does everybody think. I would be using the bike mostly for commuting and quick little (300-400 mile) trips with my wife. I am pretty sure I am asking the right group of riders for their opinions. Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:42 PM   #2
mark1305
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Several ways to look at it. Mostly pros rather than cons......

If you've always lusted for one then its the right one to try out. If you don't love it, you're not married to it and the market shouldn't go soft should you decide to sell later.

I also would rather ride than be wrenching, and I do all my own wrenching. I have one airhead and one F 650 Funduro. Both are reputedly reliable bikes. However I have found the airhead much easier overall to keep running reliably. Everything is much more accessible and designed to be worked on when its necessary.

Lastly, GSs are kind of the best of all worlds (I've ridden all kinds of bikes for about 45 years). Good highway legs, good ergos, and suitable for continuing beyond the end of the pavement.

The only con to me is that they do need regular attention to basic maintenance. But again, that is offset by the ease of maintaining.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:42 PM   #3
Mark Manley
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I think the R80G/S and R100GS are some of the best alround bikes every made, I have one of each and have done about 200,000 miles on them, they have done 330,000 miles in total.

They have both been used for everything from full around the world trips to commuting, holidays, doing the shopping, they are my only transport.

They require little maintainance between 5,000 mile services, this obviously depends on how you and previous owners treat the bike, and should go for about 80-100,000 miles between minor overhauls and possible clutch or gearbox problems.

Their only drawbacks are heavy petrol consumption compared to a newer bike such as the F800GS and the premium you have to pay for a G/S or GS compared to other airheads which might also suit your needs.

As you mention taking your wife the 100GS would be a better choice than the 80G/S.
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:46 PM   #4
toyotarig OP
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Mark, that is exactly the advice I was looking for. Thank you! How hard is it too find parts for these bikes? Is the dealership the only source? What would be the best manual? Cost of maintenance is a concern but I do realize it is a BMW, with that said are parts unnecessarily expensive?
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:55 PM   #5
squish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toyotarig View Post
Mark, that is exactly the advice I was looking for. Thank you! How hard is it too find parts for these bikes? Is the dealership the only source? What would be the best manual? Cost of maintenance is a concern but I do realize it is a BMW, with that said are parts unnecessarily expensive?
Service parts are easy to get. Cosmetic, paint and plastic parts not as much. The aftermarket for these bikes has really dried up over the last ten years.

If you are handy with a wrench they are easy to work on. But expect to be spending a lot more time fiddling with on then a more modern bike or even a Japanese bike of the same vintage.

I like my airheads, I have three and have owned at least one for twenty years. But some of my most challenging times were when I used my BMW as my only motorcycle and only mode of transportation beyond the bus.

I'll never again only on just a BMW as my only bike.

The best manual is the combination of the decent manuals that are out there with the added info of the wisdom of this places, airheads and other sources.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:10 PM   #6
toyotarig OP
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So, if it is my only motorcycle, I may be better off using the cash that would be spent on this bike and putting it towards the purchase of something newer? Possibly japanese? Super Ten?
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:34 PM   #7
disston
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If an Airhead is your only form of transportation you will be walking some days. This is probably the case with any mode of transportation but the walking part will be a little or a lot more with an Airhead compared to a modern bike. The frequency of incidence of having to walk will depend on the condition of the bike and the expertise of the rider who does his own maintenence. If you have good bus or other mass transportation available this may not be so bad. But if the ride needed required an expensive cab ride it may not be so good.

Many of us have been riding and working on these same bikes for years. We know the ins and outs of the bikes in general and even the quirks of our individual machines. We think they are dependable transportation but this may not be the case with a newcomer to Airheads.

I guess I want to say that the reason I ride an Airhead has more to do with the style of this marque than I want to admit. I'm not riding another Japanese bike just like all the others.

But I also own a car.
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:44 PM   #8
toyotarig OP
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That would be my situation also, I have another means of transportation. But I do want to mostly ride! The style of the bike and the history of the GS are what pull me so stronlgy towards it!!
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:58 AM   #9
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So....do you like working on things? If you're the kind of rider who chooses to farm out oil, plug, and air filter changes.....the airhead is not for you. What drew me to airheads was the ease of maintanence for a novice fixer, and they are pretty easy and dare I say, enjoyable to work on! Not every job I've done has been enjoyable, but the maintanence stuff, and things that wear out are pretty simple to deal with. But the airhead likes to be touched. It needs some TLC every now and then, and it will let you know when it does, cause you'll be in the dog house walking to work. The motor is smooth and eye catching, even in Atlanta where a shite-ton of aiheads call home, people still ask me what's up with my motor?

It's reliable in the way a vw bug is, the engine is easy to work on. I've only had 2 for 10 years, but I've ridden many...and they all seem to have soul unlike a newer bike. But I'm from Detroit and get attached to transportation items. I'm certainly attached to my airhead, I know a lot about it, but that's because I've put the time in. But it's been worth it.

So ask yourself. Do you like to get dirty and turn wrenches? No? Then it's not the bike for you.

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Old 02-18-2013, 06:52 AM   #10
oldroadie
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You should get the bike and find out. The bikes are reliable. They're like analog music devices, they require some hands on time but they produce the same kind of pleasure.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:00 AM   #11
homere
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Bmw

R100gs is a great bike, you do have a few maintenance items, but the are easy to do, they will run for many miles, if you don't abuse them . they feel great to ride, retain there value, or even go up a bit. get it,
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:09 AM   #12
worncog
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If you like it, it can be ridden for many years with regular maintenance. If you don't, someone like me will give you a fair sum to take it away for you. I don't think you can lose out an a nice airhead IMO.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:26 AM   #13
chollo9
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It's a used bike, so it's a crapshoot. Having said that, I think it's a better crapshoot than most. The downside is you may see major, expensive repairs, but that could happen with anything else. The upside is the bike would be worth repairing given the resale value, something you cannot say about a lot of other used bikes of the same vintage.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:15 AM   #14
jellycow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toyotarig View Post
a clean well maintained 1994 R100GS/PD that I have fallen in love with.
That statement makes resistence futile. You need to buy and live with one for some time. If it suits you you'll be happy ever after. If it's not your cuppa tea you can always sell. If you don't try you'll be in doubt and regret for the rest of your life.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:55 PM   #15
toyotarig OP
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If you don't try you'll be in doubt and regret for the rest of your life.

I think that is the truth!!! I thank you all for the advice and wisdom. If (when) I get it I will post up some pics.

Thanks again to everybody who shared.
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