When BMW brought out the R80G/S in 1980, it confused the British motorcycling press. I know, I was one of them.
It was too big and heavy when compared with regular trail or enduro bikes, yet had knobbly tyres, bags of suspension travel and ground clearance and those high dirt-orientated handlebars. It wasn’t quite a dirt bike nor a normal road bike. The idea of an ‘adventure bike’ had yet to materialise.
But what became clear on the first ride was just how much fun the R80G/S was. It could be manoeuvred round town, blasted along country lanes and would cruise reasonably at around 70mph. Any faster and that upright riding position would create so much drag that your arms would start to stretch.
So, the R80G/S became a bit of a cult bike and now, of course, it’s been appreciating in value. The great thing about these original air-cooled BMW ‘flat’ twins – with the cylinders laid horizontally – is that spares are plentiful, they’re easy to look after, they’re tough and well-made, and, well, they’re a bit different. Hence, the booming custom bike industry is starting to modify them.
This is the XTR Raid from Spanish customiser Pepo Rosell who has been creating his own bikes since 1996. However, it took him until 2015 to embrace a radical new look, relaunching his company as Extreme Pepo.
“After 13 years of a frenetic activity been at the head of the constructor scene, I must stop and rethink my life,” said Pepo.
“Finally I saw that bikes were my life. So in the beginning of 2015, I restart again with a new company called EXTREME PEPO (aka XTR PEPO, with a new vision – less business and more fun! Because you must live the life… Be Extreme!”
And this is Pepo’s latest creation, the XTR Raid. It’s based on a BMW Nine T donor bike and is “a tribute to Hubert Auriol”. Auriol is the rider who won in unbelievably tough Paris-Dakar Rally in 1981 and 1983 on a BMW R80G/S. He was competing again on a BMW in 1987 and leading when on the last day he crashed and broke both ankles. He carried on for a while but had to retire. In 1988, he switched to competing in cars and became the first to win the event on both bikes and cars in 1991.
Back to the bike. The list of mods is extensive:
- Luis Moto modified front mudguard
- Bultaco Cross front fairing with╩Bultaco light
- Acossato handlebar
- Motogadget dashboard
- Modified╩BMW R80G/S Paris-Dakar fuel tank holding 26 litres
- DNA air filters
- LIPO battery
- 2 in 1 Supermario exhaust system╩by XTR
- Sil silencer
- Unit Garage cylinder protectors
- 2 Hella High Beam projectors
- Modified Luis Moto seat upholstered by XTR
- Modified Luis Moto rear mudguard
- Ossa rear light
- Suzuki DR50 blinkers
- XTR side panels with Paris Dakar numbers
- Unit Garage cotton side bag with support.
Pictures : Del Perro / Laura Garcia