BMW R80GS Anniversary Party - Harleysville, PA, USA Sept. 2019

DrGMIA

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Pit stop after 6th ride around the world, in USA,
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For the serious BMW R80G/S and R65 global aficionados, a 40th birthday party has been announced. In the convoluted and twisted world of words, motorcycle affiliations and clubishness, the attendees (aka "beemerphiles") to this one time confab will be convening in the small town of "Harleysville" Pennsylvania.

Details at www.r80gs.org

bmw-r80gs-1980-1.jpg


Dr G
Chief of the World Adventure Affairs Desk, CITY BIKE magazine, researching adventurous affairs around the globe
Adventure Strategy Columnist, MOTORCYCLE CONSUMER NEWS magazine
Professor of Motorcycle Adventure, SOUND RIDER magazine
Sole sexual survivor: www.greataroundtheworldmotorcycleadventurerally.com
 

DrGMIA

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Location
Pit stop after 6th ride around the world, in USA,
Bikes
Oldest 1931, newest 2016, numerous makes and models in between on several continents
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder it's said. One G/S amazingly went for $38,500. USD at the Mecum Auction January 22-26, 2019 in Las Vegas, and it was not 100% concours. "Simply amazing!" one collector was heard to comment after dropping out of the bidding at $16,000 USD.


My 1981 R80 G/S, ridden hard and often put away wet, with over 240,000 miles on it and donated to BOB'S BMW Museum, will be on display at the R80GS Anniversary Party next to a stock 1981 R80G/S that BOB'S also has on display.



r-80-gs-1980---87-3901721008895973418839276.jpg


USA July 2010 180 (600 x 450).jpg


The "dummy" in the display above with likely remain in the museum as the real dummy will be tagging along to the confab :-)

Dr G
Chief of the World Adventure Affairs Desk, CITY BIKE magazine, researching adventurous affairs around the globe
Adventure Strategy Columnist, MOTORCYCLE CONSUMER NEWS magazine
Professor of Motorcycle Adventure, SOUND RIDER magazine
Sole sexual survivor: www.greataroundtheworldmotorcycleadventurerally.com
 

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DrGMIA

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Location
Pit stop after 6th ride around the world, in USA,
Bikes
Oldest 1931, newest 2016, numerous makes and models in between on several continents
GS800 (600 x 450).jpg

Above is a 100% copy of the original proto-type of the R80G/S designed by Hans Muth (standing in back) while he was chief motorcycle designer at BMW. He is being assisted in the photo above by George Martin, the big boss at Germany's largest BMW motorcycle dealership, where the proto-type was reconstructed. Martin's dealership does custom BMW designs and was said to be considering doing some more like the above. Muth, Martin and the proto-type were flown into the GS/LS 40th Birthday Rally from Germany. Muth, at 84, spoke excellent English so was able to give well understood and informative presentations at the Anniversary Party.

After Muth left BMW Motorrad, the company morphed the prototype into the below which was sold as the R80G/S. Note (on the proto-type seat graphics) that Muth originally called the model the "GS800," GS being short for "Gentleman's Scrambler."
Production R80GS.jpg

For the G/S aficionado they will see other changes, like the missing swing arm on the R80G/S versus that on the original. And of course, the marketing department likely had a hand in changing the "GS" from meaning Gentleman's Scrambler to "Gelande Strasse" or "Off-road" and On-Road."

While many journalists and followers of the GS history mistakenly believe the GS cracked the door on the word/slang/niche "Adventure" riding, not once did Muth use that word in his two presentations.

What really put the R80G/S on the global map was not adventure motorcycling, but rally racing. The BMW factory decided to take the R80G/S and hand it over to a small (three person) German company outside of Munich called HPN to make rally racers for entry in the Paris Dakar Rally. HPN produced the below rally motorcycles that won the Paris Dakar in 1981, 1983, 1984 and 1985.
Real HPN.jpg

These rally models were far from the proto-type GS800 and were pumping out somewhere around 70 bhp with 980cc engines....and one can see from the seat graphics they were called HPN, no longer GS800.

Sidebar: As of the end of 1981 BMW had a total production run of motorcycles of 6,631, 20% of which were the R80G/S model, so one could say the motorcycle division was pretty close to being "on the rocks." The R80G/S gave the company a much needed boost, but not through any "adventure" verbiage in marketing, but through rally racing. There was some bantering in the early years, such as the use of the word enduro...but that was not a new concept. So when one reads that BMW "created" the adventure niche, the writer/poster/journalist/troll has not done their due diligence or fact checking. However, Hans Muth did give the BMW company a life saving machine, with the GS800, and also the R65LS. Quite a "big creative and artistic mind" in the motorcycling world, he also designed the Katana for Suzuki.

Meeting Hans Muth and listening to his inner circle tales of the development of the G/S and LS was a historical event stretching over 2-3 days. Two USA based BMW club magazines covered the event and my reportage should be out in the next issue of MOTORCYCLE CONSUMER NEWS.

Dr G
Chief of the World Adventure Affairs Desk, CITY BIKE magazine, researching adventurous affairs around the globe
Adventure Strategy Columnist, MOTORCYCLE CONSUMER NEWS magazine
Professor of Motorcycle Adventure, SOUND RIDER magazine
Sole sexual survivor: www.greataroundtheworldmotorcycleadventurerally.com
 
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