BMWSportTouring

Thinking about buying a 1986 R80

Posted By: BarnRat

Thinking about buying a 1986 R80 - 11/06/17 05:23 PM

I'm thinking about purchasing a 1986 R80. Is there anything I should know about this model or anything I need to ask the seller about?
Posted By: Tri750

Re: Thinking about buying a 1986 R80 - 11/07/17 04:12 AM

The R80 wasn't quite the red headed stepchild of the Airhead family, but it was close. It wasn't that much less in dollars than the 1000 and weighed the same, everything was about the same except less power.
Many owners Installed 1000cc top-ends on them to get he extra power.
If you look at the cylinder where it meets the engine block, there will be a number cast or stamped into the top edge. 8 means 800cc, 1 means 1000cc .

They run forever of course with the only wear areas being the rear wheel splines. By 86' the trans spline wear wasn't an issue but many old school dealers insisted on keeping it on the service list.

So, how many miles ?

The steering bearings are very common to need replacing, not a red flag as he bearings were/are not of the best quality.
Keep a good rear shock on it as a weak shock or constantly overloaded bike puts the driveline in a bind. $$$.
They all benefit like almost any bike by fitting steel braided lines and grabby pads such as the Galfer HH in the front.
Hang on, I may add something else

See if the "air injection system" is still hooked up. If it is, disable it. It's an old emissions thing that feeds the bike hot air which is not healthy. You can bypass it or remove it with detailed instructions online.
It's old. The brakes won't be great, just ok. The chassis and suspension are old. But can be freshened. They respond well to quality tires. Avon AM26 or Metzeler Laser-Tec.
The headlight and taillight are old. You can't bump the headlight up much as the charging system is old too . The taillight you can probably get an LED board insert that helps immensely .
They are a lot of fun and easy to care for. You have to ride it like an old bike. Not baby it, but just learn it.
I'm on my 4th airhead and my R1100RT though a 99 is so much better in many ways, but the old bike just has a feel that makes you grin.
(Especially with non-stock mufflers that have a bit of a snarl)
Feel free to PM or email me.
Tri750@hotmail.com
Posted By: BarnRat

Re: Thinking about buying a 1986 R80 - 11/07/17 01:18 PM

The R80 has 18K miles. The original owner too. I've attached a pic. I'm going to look at it later this week.

Thank you very much for the detailed info. I appreciate it.

I've owned three boxers: 1994 R100 GS/PD, 1999 R1100S, 2002 R1150R


Description: 1986 BMW R80
Attached File
1986-BMW-R80S.jpg  (25 downloads)
Posted By: Tri750

Re: Thinking about buying a 1986 R80 - 11/07/17 03:25 PM

That's a beaut ! Oh, when it's time, get it an AGM battery. The MotoBatt is a good choice . Compare Impact Battery to Amazon for pricing.
If there's no history of a recent brake flush, do it using a vacuum pump or an air compressor siphon type, NOT by pumping the brake lever/pedal. Don't invite trouble.
Posted By: BarnRat

Re: Thinking about buying a 1986 R80 - 11/07/17 07:58 PM

Originally Posted by Tri750
That's a beaut ! Oh, when it's time, get it an AGM battery. The MotoBatt is a good choice . Compare Impact Battery to Amazon for pricing.
If there's no history of a recent brake flush, do it using a vacuum pump or an air compressor siphon type, NOT by pumping the brake lever/pedal. Don't invite trouble.

Thanks again.

Why not flush brake system using the brake lever and brake pedal? That's the way I've always done it. I know it's slower but is there another reason why not to?
Posted By: Tri750

Re: Thinking about buying a 1986 R80 - 11/07/17 11:27 PM

If one has done he flushes regularly , then you are ok.
Most have not.
Over time, any master cylinder will develop a "crud ring" where under normal braking, the piston within the master will stop at. Even tho the piston can travel the full length, under pressure, the piston may travel only 1/2" (to pick a number) behind the pistons rubber seal or wiper, crud builds up over time and will harden almost like glass .
When you go to manually bleed it, forcing the rubber seal or wiper through this ring can tear it .
Then the next day, next week or even right then, you lose pressure or develop a leak .
Bikes that are older or that sit a lot are more prone to this .
Then a new master or at least a kit is in order.
When a shop does the work, who does the finger get pointed at ?
The use of a siphon type or vacuum type bleeder almost eliminates this problem as the lever is not pumped past the normal piston depth.
Posted By: BarnRat

Re: Thinking about buying a 1986 R80 - 11/07/17 11:46 PM

Thanks for the explanation. Good stuff to know. thumbsup
Posted By: BarnRat

Re: Thinking about buying a 1986 R80 - 11/12/17 04:47 PM

This thread has run its course. Thanks for the constructive/informative replies.

Decided against buying the R80. Instead I bought a 2004 R1100S.
Posted By: Dennis Andress

Re: Thinking about buying a 1986 R80 - 11/14/17 03:56 PM

Good choice. The R80 was a fun bike, until you reached the end of the freeway on ramp.
Posted By: BarnRat

Re: Thinking about buying a 1986 R80 - 11/15/17 12:10 AM

Originally Posted by Dennis Andress
Good choice. The R80 was a fun bike, until you reached the end of the freeway on ramp.

In 1972 I rode a BMW R75/5 that would do 70-80 MPH all day long on the interstate -- not 2-up of course. What happened 14 years later with the R80? Was it de-tuned? Was it a lot heavier?
Posted By: Tri750

Re: Thinking about buying a 1986 R80 - 11/15/17 02:18 AM

No, pretty much all airheads have a sweet spot around that speed (except maybe the R65)
People say at that speed the bikes "talk to you".
The R80 was fine but us Americans must have big, big, big.
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