30 years of the BMW GS

I don’t know what possessed BMW to give the R80 G/S a red saddle back in 1980. But it’s become one of the most enduring motorcycle liveries of all time. The G/S was designed to combine on-road and off-road qualities, just like a traditional scrambler—but unlike most scramblers, it was also an accomplished long-distance tourer. Then Hubert Auriol won the 1981 Paris—Dakar Rally, and the G/S reputation for reliability was born. The “G/S” designation (Gelände/Straße, or off-road/on-road) soon became the GS (Gelände Sport) we know today, and the Germans have dominated the adventure touring market ever since. Next month, BMW celebrates 30 years of the GS with new bikes harking back to the original livery—including that iconic red saddle, white bodywork, white indicators and a tinted windshield. There’s a great overview of the GS bikes on webBikeworld, and if that’s whetted your appetite, a terrific new book you can order called BMW GS: Adventure Motorcycle: A 30 Year Catalog, by Hans-Jugen Schneider. [Available on Amazon.]

BMW F800 GS '30 Years GS' special edition
BMW R100 GS Paris-Dakar

  • http://www.7agescustommotorcycles.blogspot.com ian solley


  • Gilberto

    The red color completes the traditional BMW M stripes

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sasha-Pave/515682882 Sasha Pave

    It’s so rare that an iconic motorcycle like the GS is introduced. It’s among the great.

  • http://ohoh2.blogspot.com/ DoubleOhTwo

    Celebrating 30 Jahre de GS: BMW’s online photo album for owners to upload family snapshots: http://www.bmw-motorrad.com/com/en/index.html?content=http://www.bmw-motorrad.com/com/en/fascination/history/bmw_qs_30/photobuch.html

  • Jolyon

    I’d have the original R80 G/S over the F800GS in that colour scheme and I already own a grey 800

  • Turgut

    Bleu – Blanc – Rouge
    The french national flag’s colours, one of the major markets of this bike.
    Not sure if that was the only colour option, though..