Keep It Classic
BMW Motorrad changed the market when introducing the R80G/S family of dual sports in 1980. They were the first large displacement multisports manufactured, and essentially created a whole new category of motorcycles that helped boost the company during a particularly rough period. The engine produced 50 horsepower and could reach speeds of over 100 mph. At the time, this was quite an accomplishment.
These bikes have since become legendary. Elaborate builds started popping up everywhere in the recent years, fueling the market for classic BMWs. After moving to Pittsburgh in September of last year, Michael Poole purchased this 1980 BMW R80 from a friend in Washington state. The only downside was that, unlike Houston, there’s not many riding opportunities here in January. The shaft-driven, flat-twin boxer mostly sat in the garage until springtime, but Michael was able to sneak in a few rides when there wasn’t fresh salt on the roads.
Luckily, the person Michael bought it from also built the bike. James Iwase and the guys at Boxer Metal in Chico, California, specialize in vintage BMW motorcycle parts and commission builds. They started by upgrading this 800cc twin engine with a 1,000cc big bore kit, a fresh pair of Dellorto carburetors, and an electronic ignition. A racing cam straight from an R90S model was used to increase torque and horsepower, giving the bike a much sportier feel.
On the outside, the R80 was fitted with Boxer Metal rear sets, Tommaselli adjustable clip-on handlebars, and a 2-into-1 exhaust system. The tail section and front fairing are new, but it uses the factory tank and front fender.
Other impressive upgrades are the keyless ignition and a complete re-wire using some aftermarket pieces. Neatly placed under the seat is a Motogadget wiring board—one of the cleanest installations I’ve seen. A Motogadget speedometer fits nicely up front using a custom triple tree and mount.
This old German bike is sure to grab the attention of other airhead enthusiasts with its modern upgrades and classic style that stays true to the unique look BMW is known for. Keep an eye out, and you might spot Michael and his R80 cruising around the Mount Lebanon area.