05
Mar-1993

BMW R80GS

BMW, Motorbike, My Bikes   /  

I bought this bike brand new before we went back to the Philippines in 1993. Originally I planned to ship it together with some personnel effects. The tax savings together with a 10% discount from the dealer that he agreed on because he did not have to take it out of the box and assemble it sounded like a good deal.

I worked for GTZ at the time and BMW gave 20% official discount for Germans who worked abroad for the German Government. By exporting it I would also save the 14% value added tax, so I would get the BMW 34% cheaper than it was advertised for.

Unfortunately much later, after I had bought the bike in the box, made it ready for shipping, and had moved back to the Philippines, I found out, that the Institute I was assigned to in the Philippines did not have the right status to allow it´s employees, or seconded scientists assigned to it, to import vehicles tax free. I did some inquiries how to get the bike in in legal ways. It was quite depressing. I would have had to deposit the value of the motorcycle at the customs office until re-exporting the bike. Knowing government offices in developing countries this did not seem like a good idea.

Well, I kept the GS anyway. Every time when we go on a home-leave to Europe I get to ride it and since it is one of the last ones made of it´s kind I am sure it will keep it´s value. Next time I was in Germany I unpacked it, assembled it, and registered it. I did not get the VAT back, but at least I still had the 20% official discount.

gs_unpacked

Unpacking the BMW in Thomas’ garage and assembling it…

gs800_big

…and on a  first trip.

I had bought the GS with some extras, side stand, stone protector and luggage rack. Initially I used a set of very old Krauser bags but I quickly replaced them with aluminium boxes. Trips took me to many places in Southern Germany, the Elsas, Italy, and France.

PICT0607_bearbeitet-1One of the early homelike trips, on the way to the Elsas

 

Garmisch, 2005

Garmisch 2005

 

IMG_4509

On the way to Kayaking in Italy, 2006

 

IMG_0597Switzerland 2008

 

The kids sort of grew up with the bike too. We would often take a car for the family on travel and I would go by bike, with the kids joining on the back if they felt like it.

IMG_0484

 

Bill, a friend from the US, also drove it to Italy and returned it saying it is a monster, he has relatively short legs and always had problems parking it.

The verdict: Simply one of the best travelling motorcycles ever made.

 

Riding the R80 in Bavaria, Summer 2012

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