Ready for Adventure: 1987 BMW R80G/S

After watching “Long Way Round” Jim Balestrieri bought himself a BMW R1200GS, which led to buying a 1987 BWM R80G/S Paris-Dakar.


1987 BMW R80G/S Paris-Dakar

Engine: 797.5cc air-cooled OHV opposed twin, 84.8mm x 70.6mm bore/stroke, 8.2:1 compression ratio, 50hp @ 6,500rpm
Carburetor: Dual 32mm Bing CV
Transmission: 5-speed, shaft final drive
Electrics: 280-watt alternator, 12v 16ah battery, electronic ignition
Frame/wheelbase: Twin-loop steel tube, 57.7in (1,465.5mm)
Suspension: Telescopic fork front, single-sided Monolever rear
Brakes: 10.2in (259mm) disc front; 7.9in (200mm) drum rear
Tires: 3 x 21in front, 4 x 18in rear
Weight: 437lb (199kg) w/half tank fue
Seat height: 33.6in (853mm)
Fuel capacity: 8.3gal (31.4ltr)
Price then/now: $4,800 (1981)/$15,000-$25,000

Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor, this one is all on you.

When Matt Balestrieri first saw an episode of Long Way Round, he knew his dad, Jim, would love the 2004 adventure where Charley and Ewan essentially circumnavigate the globe from London to New York City aboard a pair of BMW R1150GS motorcycles. Matt bought his dad the series on DVD, and Jim binge-watched the episodes.

“You know, it was winter in Wisconsin,” Jim laughs, and adds, “so I watched them again. It was just great stuff.”

He followed this up by watching Charley Boorman’s attempt to race in the 2005 edition of the Dakar Rally and then took in the 2007 series Long Way Down — another Charley and Ewan adventure.

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