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Erlkönig: BMW R80RT

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Intro to the Fairing

Fairings are cool, and this bike was my introduction thereto, as well as being in many ways my first complete experience of having a full-sized motorcycle, from having a nice helmet, to carrying passengers, to riding in adverse conditions, to being hit by a less-than-together driver.

Owned Brand Model Born cm3 Mileage Color Fate
1995-1996 BMW R80RT 1985 798 50k mi. Red Squish

Aspects of being the Nth (where Nth is not first) owner of a BMW...

The previous owners made interesting improvements to the bike.

  • Parabellum windshield
  • Fox sport shock
  • Metzeler tubeless tires
  • Corbin seat
  • A mysterious engine modification, possibly for airflow
  • Big red button inside the fairing
  • Aftermarket sidestand


  • There are subtle clues that it's been damaged and repaired: the pinstriping on the right fairing section is missing.
  • The turn indicator lever was suboptimally designed.
  • One pannier is cracked, although correctly drilled and still useful.
  • The other pannier's brace, intended to keep it from opening past 90 degrees, is failing.
  • The keys to the panniers neither match the ignition key nor each other.
  • The little rubber diaphragms between the front fork and fairing are split.
  • The tool kit and its under-seat box were missing, although they're now replaced.


  • 1996/Spring - an electrical plug comes unplugged. Taking the fuel tank off allowed replugging, all without tools.
  • 1996/Summer - an idiot apparently got on my bike while it was parked (and I was away), dropped it onto his own car, crushing the bike's left mirror, and the associated fairing panel.
  • 1996/Autumn - [info] restricted
    A blonde (name withheld) runs a stop sign in her white car and rams my poor, hapless beemer from the front right side. She continues straight (my leftwards), taking the beemer with it, while I continue straight and bounce on the asphalt. Ow. My next view of the bike revealed that it was standing upside down, with one pannier off on the side of the road, fairing broken in three or more places, cap on the end of the right side of the engine gone, many other points of damage. I like helmets. I also like the way the protruding BWM flat twin protects your lower legs from free radical drivers. I feel strangely vindicated by the fact that the collision tore a big piece off the front of her car. I never did find the kite I'd kept in the fairing. Oh, yes -- she did apologize, and her insurance company acquitted itself well. Proceeds from USAA insurance: property + medical + $5000,-
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