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1986 BMW R80

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Color: Avus Black
Miles: 52,983
Stock Number: 6480517 Category:


This classic R80 is perfect for the Airhead enthusiast (or someone wishing to become one) who wants a bike to RIDE! Mechanically, it’s in great running shape. And while it may not win top honors at the vintage concours, we’d say its cosmetic condition is quite respectable. There’s a little story to tell about the joy of riding one of these that we’ll get to shortly. But if you already know the value of owning such a classic air-cooled boxer, then DON’T WAIT. Call 1-888-269-2627 to speak with one of our BMW Certified Sales Advisors —Jim, or Todd. Do it right NOW!

This R80 has had just two owners. Its first owner — the guy who bought it new in 1986 — kept it, rode it, and cared for it until the middle of last year — that’s thirty-five years of love for just one Beemer! It was then sold to someone in the Washington diplomatic corps who, it turned out, rode it less than three hundred miles before getting reassigned to an overseas post. That’s why the bike came to us; and now it’s our diplomatic mission to make sure it finds a suitable and loving new home. 

This model comes from the time of air-cooled twins in the mid- to late 1980s known as the “Monolever” period, named for the single sided swingarm and mono-shock rear suspension. The R80 is powered by a 798 cc boxer motor that, like all airheads, has two pushrod actuated valves per cylinder and gets its fuel & air mix via two constant velocity carburetors. The modest 50 horses it puts out feels like more because the big twin cranks out 43 lb-ft of torque and the bike only weighs 463 lbs. wet. That’ll get you up to a top speed of about 106 mph which should be enough to put a pleasant grin on your face. But one of the nicest things about the R80 is how SMOOTH it runs compared to the much more common R100 models of the period — which brings us to our little story. In 1996 your humble author had the good fortune to ride from California to Maryland on a 1986 R80 identical to the one offered here – down to the Avus black paint with red & white pinstripes and being fitted with a lower ‘S’ style handlebar. He was lucky enough to be traveling with a lovely companion who was ALSO riding an identical R80. In 3,000 miles, those two “His & Hers” bikes performed flawlessly — never skipped a beat. Both riders had traveled extensively on a variety of other BMW models before (and since), but by the end of this trip, were in complete agreement that these simple R80s provided the most comfortable, well-balanced long distance touring experience they had ever had! So there you have it: a heartfelt personal endorsement! You want some smooth, happy travels? Then this is the bike for you!

Of course, you probably want to know a few more details about this R80, so let’s go. Cosmetically, there are just a few small issues that we’ll bring to your attention. It’s not easy to see, but there’s a very small ding on the right front of the gas tank. The trim ring around the gas filler cap is chipped, there’s an extra hole cut into the dash pad, and one of the mounting tabs on the right side battery cover is broken. The valve covers were re-painted black with a spray can (not original). And some of the rubber bits around the bike are aged or sun faded enough that you may wish to replace them soon. Otherwise, the visible wear and tear on all finishes is well within typical for a bike of this age and mileage (only 53K – still young by BMW standards). As you see in the pictures, the bike looks GOOD! If you wanted to refurbish it to “like-new” condition, it would be an easily manageable and affordable task. You’ll be glad to know that parts for this vintage are readily accessible, and a good many of them are always in stock at Bob’s!

More FEATURES: As mentioned above, this bike is outfitted with the lower ‘S’ handlebar which is, in many people’s opinion, the superior ergonomic option. It has a braking upgrade of EBC Floating Rotors in the front. It is fitted with chrome engine protection bars and a pair of auxiliary driving lights. The previous owner removed the original turn signals and replaced them with mini LED signals, front and rear. Similarly, the original mirrors were taken off and replaced with bar-end mirrors. These options are nice and give the bike a slightly more sporty appearance. But if they’re not in line with your taste, original bits can easily be retrofitted. 

During the brief time this bike was owned by the Washington diplomat, it was brought to Bob’s for a complete service. Since that was just a short time and a couple hundred miles ago, we can confidently say this bike is “freshly serviced.” We did, however, give it a thorough re-examination when it was brought back to sell, tweaked and tightened as needed, checked everything again with an extended test ride, then put it through Maryland Safety Inspection for its final passing certification.

This R80 comes two keys, owner’s books, and the original factory tool kit. It also comes with a nice feature we don’t often see with the vintage and classic bikes we acquire: the original owner kept very detailed notes of the bike’s service history. Reading it, one can feel the trust in knowing that this machine was faithfully and scrupulously maintained for its entire life. We think that’s the best assurance there is!