BMW has every bit as long of a history making great bikes as it does making great cars. Some of BMW’s motorsport motorcycles are legendary and one of them is the BMW R80 G/S Paris Dakar Rally bike, which won Dakar in 1981, 1983, 1984, and 1985. So it’s about as accomplished a bike as you’ll find. In this latest video from Harry’s Garage, we get to see Harry Metcalf drive his own R80 G/S Paris Dakar bike on some dirt and some grass.
Typically, Metcalf’s reviews are of cars, not of bikes, which is what makes this one such a treat. It doesn’t hurt that the bike in question is so damn cool. It’s quite big for a rally bike, with an 800cc flat-twin engine and massive fuel tank, but because its center of gravity is so low, it’s actually quite easy to ride off-road. Before Metcalf takes it out into the field, he talks about the bike’s history, its quirky mechanical bits, and both its pros and its cons.
After a bit of a lesson, we get to see what it can do in an open field. Even though he doesn’t push it too hard (I wouldn’t wanna push that bike hard while trying to talk about it over rough terrain, either), it looks like so much fun. Just the ability to traverse whatever you want, even with tires that aren’t as grippy off-road as you might like, seem like a blast. Throw in the long suspension travel and its ability to tackle uneven terrain, and the BMW R80 G/S Paris to Dakar is tempting even me, who really isn’t too into bikes.
Personally, I don’t dig bikes too much. I find them fascinating to look at and behold but I’ve never really aspired to own one. However, if I were to ever want a motorcycle, it’d be something like this G/S.