RSD Dakar GS

An iconic image of the 80s is the BMW R80, ridden by the elf Gaston Rahier, during the Paris Dakar, undoubtedly the toughest and most dangerous off-road race in the world that, starting on New Year's Day from Paris, made drivers and cars travel as many as 15,000 km in the land of Africa in the most brutal conditions on the planet

Starting from this image, Roland Sands began his work for this new project by transforming a BMW R1200 GS into a neo retro that would pay homage to that man and his motorcycle.

The bike rolled into the RSD shop as a 2008 GS 1200. The client had a few ideas for the direction, all of which revolved around turning the bike into a machine more adept at handling arduous technical terrain. 

Roland agreed and suggested executing it in a neo-retro theme that paid homage to the 80's Dakar era. After a few renders, the vison was arrived, and the teardown began. The first step was to replace the GS's 41mm telescopic fork with a set of oversized 45mm legs from a Honda Africa Twin upgraded with an Ohlins cartridge kit. The task proved to be more complicated than just sliding the replacement legs through the stock triples. 

Due to BMWs unique fork design, the entire front half of the GS's frame was swapped out for a 2018 BMW R nine T frame. RSD's in house fabrication wizard Aaron Boss, replicated the Africa Twins triple clamps with slight tweaks to fit the R nine T front half, and when it all bolted together, the geometry was almost identical to BMW's enduro HP2, which has off-road chops of its own finishing the Baja 500 in just over 10 hours on its maiden voyage in 2006. 

The tank is off an original 1986 GS, modified and retrofitted with the modern GS EFI electronics. The subframe is original with minor fab work for a retro look and to accept the 86 era fenders, custom Saddlemen seat, and survival box. The breastplate was hand machined from aluminum and built to replicate the line of BMW breastplates offered on the RSD website.

Photo by @jose gallina 

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