This is a 1988 BMW R100GS that’s been cleverly back-dated into the style of the earlier BMW R80G/S, a motorcycle famous for founding the modern adventure bike genre, and winning the Paris Dakar Rally four times, in 1981, 1983, 1984, and 1985.

The BMW R100GS debuted as the replacement for the R80G/S in 1987 with a slew of changes over the earlier model, including a more powerful 980cc engine and a revised rear end with a Paralever swingarm and a monoshock.

BMW R100GS Custom Motorcycle

Image DescriptionAt first glance this looks like an original BMW R80G/S, but it’s actually a back-dated later R100GS model.

The R100GS would be offered in a number of variations, including the Paris Dakar and later PD models which offered long range fuel tanks and a series of other modifications for serious continent-crossing. The model family would remain in production from 1987 until 1994 when it was replaced with the more modern “Oilhead” GS models.

Today, these earlier “Airhead” BMW GS adventure bikes are enjoying a surge in renewed interest as they become vintage collectibles.

There are other owners who buy them specifically to use them for adventures, as the simple air-cooled engines, the lack of complex electrical and computer systems, and the fact they can run on lower-quality fuels found in developing nations, makes them ideal for serious cross-country adventures.

The Custom 1988 BMW R100GS Shown Here

There can be little argument that the best-looking GS ever made by BMW was the first, the R80G/S that debuted in 1980. The combination of classic Airhead styling, the long range fuel tank, the livery, and the Paris Dakar Rally history make it one of the most iconic motorcycles of the 20th century.

The motorcycle you see here looks like an R80G/S at first glance, only those well-versed in the history of the GS family will notice the fact that it has a Paralever rear end rather than a Monolever, and the other small tell-tale signs of the R100GS.

The original bike was modified with a new R80G/S fuel tank, the long range Dakar style, and a number of other R80G/S parts including the front fender, seat, rear luggage rack, and the headlight and cowling. The bike keeps the 980cc air-cooled engine of the R100GS as well as the 5-speed transmission and driveshaft rear inside the Paralever swing arm.

BMW R100GS Custom Motorcycle 2

Image DescriptionThere are a few clues as to this bike’s real identity, perhaps the most obvious of which is the Paralever rear end – the R80G/S had the earlier Monolever design.

In some respects this bike now offers the best of both worlds, with the styling of the R80G/S and the additional refinements of the later R100GS. It’s fitted with Akront alloy rims and Heidenau dual sport tires. It has the original Brembo disc brake caliper up front mated to a more modern rotor, and the standard drum brake remains in the rear.

The bike is now being offered for sale out of Charleston, South Carolina with a tool roll, a rider’s manual, and a clean South Carolina title in the owner’s name. Maintenance in preparation for the sale involved adjusting the valves, replacing the battery, and changing the fluids. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can visit the listing here.

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Images courtesy of Bring a Trailer

Published by Ben Branch -