1 / 9
2 / 9
Introduced in 1987, BMW’s patented Paralever suspension works wonders on the GS. The single shock makes rear wheel removal a breeze.
3 / 9
All GSs used BMW’s two-valve “airhead” opposed twin, the last in a long line of two-valve, air-cooled BMW engines.
4 / 9
5 / 9
6 / 9
7 / 9
Geoff May and his 1993 R100GS.
8 / 9
9 / 9
Although its more at home on the road, the GS is a great backroad cruiser, and more than capable of an occasional off-road romp.


Years produced: 1987-1996
Total production: 34,007
Claimed power: 60 bhp @ 6,500 rpm
Top speed: 112 mph
Engine type: 980cc, two-valve, horizontally opposed twin
Weight: (dry) 207kg (455lb)
Price then: $7,794 (1991)
Price now: $3,500-$4,500
MPG: 45-55

“The real difficulty in changing the course of any enterprise lies not in developing new ideas,” wrote economist John Maynard Keynes, “but in escaping from old ones.”

Every so often a motorcycle comes along that successfully escapes the old ideas, changing the course not only of the enterprise, but of the motorcycle industry as a whole. Edward Turner “escaped” the idea that performance motorcycles were big singles when he created the 1937 Triumph Speed Twin — and in the process he defined the sporting motorcycle for the next 30 years. Honda’s 1969 750 pioneered the four-cylinder, overhead cam layout that became the “Universal Japanese Motorcycle.”

In the late Seventies, conventional wisdom said that any motorcycle with off-road aspirations was small, light and had one cylinder: But just 25 years ago, BMW “escaped” this idea and launched a bike, the R80G/S, that created a whole new category — the large adventure/touring sportbike.

Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine
Motorcycle Classics Magazine Featuring the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!