20 years ago, I saw a red and white R100GS Paris Dakar on a state road in Florida. At the time, I was not fully up to speed on the BMW models, and thought based on the graphics that this might be an actual race bike from the event. The exo-skeleton was just not something seen on bikes at the time (much less a red one exo-skeleton). The whole image was burned into my mind with the words “cool”, “must have”, “desert racer”, and a few others.

Fast forward 20 years, and the ADVrider form for the GS had a thread about the next GS being water-cooled. Probably inevitable, but I saw a few of the R80 and R100 models, and began to monitor craigslist and the BMWMOA site. I even went to look at one about an hour away. It was very rough and I have enough deep projects thank you. Then one popped up that sounded about right, a driver with less than 60K miles on it and mostly original. A deal was struck, and a few weeks later I went to pick it up.

The trip to get the bike was another 24 hour marathon drive which will be its own post, but the bike made it back safely and I began by washing it. Now, some fans will cringe at the thought of washing a GS at all, but I am not of that tribe. They can get as dirty as they like from usage, but I like to get the crud off eventually. The bike cleaned up nicely, and then I set to work going through an inspection. The rear shock is one of the few non-stock areas. It is a Fox shock that the PO swears by. It feels “wooden” to me, but it is adjustable, so we’ll see. The headlight mount needs work, it needs a valve adjustment, tune-up, carb balancing, etc.

All of that aside, it is great to finally get my hands on one. The adventure begins….

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