BMW (R80 or 60) vs Guzzi 650? Advice?

Discussion in 'Classic Motorbikes' started by DH, Nov 13, 2003.

  1. DH

    DH Guest

    Hello to all,
    I hope it's ok for an unknown to ask a question here...when in doubt, go
    where the experts are.

    I've forever wanted to buy an old bike, I'm finally getting around to it.
    I've found two that I like very much, but need some advice, hopefully there
    are owners or ex-owners of these models out there.

    Choice 1) 1980 R80, motor re-built at 100+km and has been meticulously kept
    since. Has another 50K KM on the counter since the re-build, has a new
    gearbox but still runs on regular petrol, not yet re-built for unleaded.
    Seems in great condition (to a newbie), runs well.

    Choice 2) 1988 Guzzi 650 GT. 55K km. Never rebuilt, all original parts
    (except exhaust). In very good condition, not classic show stuff, but runs
    very well. I rode it for about an hour, a bit unstable at low speed, but
    very comfortable at speed. Not a sign of leakage or other problems, motor
    seems, from the outside, meticulously kept up.

    If anyone has experienced either of these models, or has thoughts on
    advantages/disadvantages, particularly up-keep, I'd really appreciate
    hearing them!

    Thanks to all

    DH, Nov 13, 2003
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  2. DH

    Guest Guest

    Well I'm prejudiced (see sig) but it's a nice bike.

    Mine's the monoshock, and I don't think it's all that different to the
    one you're considering (points vs. Hall-effect ignition?). The
    independent spares people: Motorworks, Motobins and Sherlocks compete to
    keep popular spares pretty cheap (Wing mirror is 7.50 from Sherlocks,
    for example), and they are weirdly easy to work on.

    Does it have a stainless exhaust? They add appreciably to the value, but
    the downpipes do discolour horribly ("They all do that, sir."). It may
    not need any sort of 'unleaded conversion' (check with Sherlocks). Mine
    didn't. Valve seat recession isn't an issue in normal use.

    Cheap insurance too - the reason I got it originally - but tyres are
    harder to find than for more modern, fatter profiles.

    Downsides: side stand is tricky (and embarrassing at times) but pot
    guards are a great face-saver. Handles beautifully when the tank's
    nearly empty, but feels a bit top heavy when full. Screen can be a
    nuisance in crosswinds (e.g. going across the Severn bridge). Seat is
    hard over long distances and riding position a bit uncomfortable (I'm
    5'7"), but I've done Bristol-Falkirk-Bristol in four days without really
    feeling too raw.

    Love mine, don't intend to swap it for a looong time.


    Guest, Nov 13, 2003
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  3. DH

    Timo @ work Guest

    They're generally very robust bikes, most people can't break them if
    they're well looked after. The mileage isn't that much of a problem if
    maintained properly, either.
    The lack of unleaded conversion is a bit annoying as the cylinder
    heads on these tend to suffer if you run them on unleaded. As the
    previous poster pointed out, stainless steel exhausts are worth
    having. Also, the normal Beemer buying rule applies - don't buy them
    without luggage.
    2V or 4V? Some of the 4V models have a reputation for lunching their
    final drives, which is considered to be rather unhealthy. The main
    issue with these bikes is that they're based on the "small Guzzi"
    V35/V50 series and in no way as robust as the bigger 850+ bikes. They
    do suffer from the usual Italian 'leccy gremlins, but that may or may
    not be an issue depending on the part of France you're in.
    Timo @ work, Nov 14, 2003
  4. well, FWIW, I've got an old R60/6, and it seems pretty reasonable. burns a
    bit of oil on one side, recently, which will need sorting soon, I guess.

    but they're good fun.

    mine, being old, started off life as a twin shock, but was converted to a
    monoshock by yours truly...

    the thumbnails and pictures don't line up too well, but ICBA to fix it.

    Still no progressive springs, mind. *sigh*.

    still, if I get the job I applied for, maybe the money will be available

    Austin Shackles. my opinions are just that
    1 weebl: What's this? | in recognition of the fun that is weebl and bob
    2 bob: it a SigRuler! | check out the weebl and bob archive:
    3 weebl: How Handy! |
    Austin Shackles, Nov 14, 2003
  5. DH

    Hog Guest

    There are plenty around with 1/3 of those miles for decent money
    Hog, Nov 15, 2003
  6. DH

    Timo Geusch Guest

    Hog was seen penning the following ode to ... whatever:
    Didn't know you were an expert regarding the French bike market as
    Timo Geusch, Nov 15, 2003
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