There is in fact nothing at all ‘Stupid’ about keeping things ‘Simple’. Particularly, with a Round the World (rtw) bike. Which is why the humble r80g/s became a benchmark machine for such adventures. The worlds moved on since then. Apparently we’ve gotten smarter. We’ve certainly got more complicated. But none of that has got us any further around the world. I’m not having a go at new technology here, I’m certainly not looking for trouble, and nor it seems is David* which is why he just took delivery of this particular Rooneycycle.
The original ‘mono’ r80g/s is no longer a Dakar Rally contender. But the durability of the original machine that dominated the race in the 80s has not at all eroded away, or even been superseded. We’ve got faster, more agile, and done a lot of work on our attitude too, well, some of us. But the rock solid heart of the r80g/s has indeed endured. It wont stand out among the race inspired livery of the current lot of retro rally raid pontifications – but it doesn’t need to, because my dear you don’t need to look like you’ve done it, if everyone knows you actually have.
We’re not Luddites though, more like, you know …”if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”. And that’s just the point, the bits that worked are kept and the bits that didn’t you evolve. We don’t “throw the baby out with the bathwater”.
The original mono swingarm was BMWs most robust drive offering. Davids extended version provides better traction, stability and the additional travel to allow both luggage capacity and an openness to arduous exploration, or, if the mood takes him, a good amount of luggage free frolicking.
Conventional forks are durable and reliable and the ones used here are not only renown performers but ubiquitous around the world. That’s a winning combination for a rtw machine.
And now we’ve given the bike some legs why not make some room for David to stretch his own. Lowered and pivoting footpegs make a huge difference to long days on the road. So does the R100gs solo touring saddle while the subframe and rack from the same model provide the comfort and capacity he needs for his adventures. Of course the whole package benefits from Paul Rooneys frame enhancements so David is assured stability and durability.
Throw on the big 43l HPN Acerbis tank, a decent headlight, simple but effective instruments and controls, some strong rims, and bolt it all up to that that proven aircooled engine kitted out with a few other bits of goodness, like Rooneys own exclusive muffler /collector and there … something special begins to take shape.
What emerges from Pauls’ decades of lessons learnt building rtw machines does not at all scream out its adventurous fantasies, it ‘simply‘. doesn’t need to.
But it’s as much about what you leave out as what gets bolted on. Start with just what is needed to get you there. In that way too there’s always plenty of potential for David to collect a few things along his way. It’s a big rack back there, plenty of room for some lasting memories.
*actually his real name