BMW R80ST

Testimony

The R80G/S was the world's first (and still possibly the best) adventure (dirt road) touring bike. But it handled really well on pavement too, especially in mountain twisties. So they made a street version: the R80ST. But it didn't do well, especially in the states. People didn't see the value of a hybrid bike, so it was only offered here for about two years in the USA, 1983-1984. And so there are only about a 1.000 of them ever in the states. So the bike is increasingly rare.
(There were only 5,963 ever built between 1982 and 1984 in Germany.)

Like the R80G/S, it is increasingly sought-after. From 0 to 80mph/130kph (Autobahn recommended), it is the best handling bike BMW has ever made, especially in mountain twisties. It handles well in the dirt and is sufficiently nimble that it is easy to avoid rocks so you can take it off-road with no bash plate on occasion. I have never stopped at a road closed sign.

The bike is fast on the curves. One well-known rider in the San Francisco bay area used to mount a plastic milk carton on the rack, fill it with groceries, and then go sport riding in the Santa Cruz coastal hills, regularly passing all of the ducks and squids.

And it carries heavy loads: two up with camping gear, it still handles well, especially if an after-market shock is used. This is the SUV of motorcycles. But unlike real SUVs, the R80ST really handles. I've turned 2:11 laps at Sears Point and I'm not the fastest ST rider out there. This is an amazing all-around bike.

(Here's an unsolicited tstimonial.)

Here's a great UK Review.


Specifications

ST Vs. G/S Vs R65 specifications

ST Wiring Diagram

G/S Forks Repair Manual

Specifications from the BMW Klubben Norge

BMW Motorrad hardly recognizes the R80ST any longer!
BMW Service ,does not even show the even tire possibilities (Bereifungsmöglichkeiten).
Interestingly, the R80ST is NOT included in BMW History. Click on Dekaden des Erfolges and then on 80er Jahre. The resulting selections don't include the ST.
But if you click on :

and you can still get the official specifications. By further clicking on Datenblatt PDF, you can get the R80ST datasheet, which I have downloaded here so it doesn't get lost again.

There are also specifications for all R-models, including the R80ST.

And for now, the BMW archives (using the Gast-Login) go up only until 1959 and the R60.


Pictures and Email


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_____________________________________________________________________
Charles J. Petrie
<petrie@snrc.stanford.edu>