Buying a classic bike is an expensive business and mistakes can prove costly financially and in time, effort and stress. Wouldn't it be great if you could take an expert with you? With the aid of this book's step-by-step guidance from a marque specialist, you can! BMW's GS series is one of the world's milestone motorcycles, in production for over 25 years. It pioneered the adventure sport‚ category big bikes that are capable of traveling off-road, in many ways, it's the Range Rover of motorcycling. And it's now more popular than ever, thanks in part to the massive publicity surrounding Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's round the world trip, on GS's. This book is a complete guide to buying one of these iconic bikes secondhand: what to look for (10min and 30min evaluations); spares prices; guides to auctions and paperwork; lists of useful contacts in the GS community; and just as important, consideration of whether it's the right bike for you. You'll discover all you need to know about the GS you want to buy. Working step-by-step through the bike's strengths and weaknesses. This books unique points system will help you to place the bikes value in relation to condition whilst extensive photographs illustrate the problems to look out for. This is an important investment - STOP! don't buy a BMW GS without this book's help. One hundred color photos, useful appendices and expert advice mean this book could save you 1000's.
About the Author
Peter Henshaw has had an enthusiasm for anything with wheels from an early age - from bicycles to 500hp tractors. He was the editor of Motorcycle Sport & Leisure for five years before going freelance, and now contributes to a whole range of transport magazines, including MSL, TAG, A to B and Tractor, as well as The Telegraph. He's also written over 30 books, including 10 about bikes, and is an all-year-round motorcyclist who does not own a car.
Review from Classic Bike Guide, June 2008
OK, so, you're tired of the flashy hyperbike scene and fancy something different. The retro scene and old motorcycles has started to appeal but the problem is you're completely new to old motorcycles and know nothing about them. Yes, you've seen them about and have probably even heard of a few of the makes like Triumph and BSA but beyond that ... well. What do you do to find out if the scene will suit you and what bike could be the one for you?
A useful first step could well be one of 'The Essential Buyer's Guides' by Peter Henshaw and published by Veloce Publishing if you're fancying a BSA twin or a Triumph Bonneville - OK and BMW GS as well. The buyer's guides are not an in-depth look at every machine, that would be difficult in a 64-page 7 11/16in x 5 7/16in soft back book. Instead they are squarely aimed at the newcomer and advise on model changes, recognition points, pitfalls and other things to be aware of when seeking out a classic.
A long time classic owner will find the information fairly run of the mill but if you're just starting out then it's all new and after reading 'The Essential Buyer's Guides' you should be able to spot a Bonnie from a T'Bird or an A7 from an RGS.
Ian Kerr for inter-bike.co.uk, 2008
This is the latest in the essential series from Veloce Publishing and written by well-known journalist Peter Henshaw. The small soft-back A5 format is designed to be slipped into a jacket pocket to be available as an invaluable handy reference source when looking at a machine with the intention of buying it. Viewed in that light, the book like all the others in the series, gives the reader sufficient knowledge and confidence to view a machine and investigate any areas that might prove costly without the knowledge imparted in the book. As a pre-read for those intending to purchase, it is also excellent and it points you in the direction of other more in-depth publications or specialist websites should you want to go further. Good use is made of experts and technicians who know the flaws in the various models and you also get a good idea of what the running costs will be like. Likewise those riders who have clocked up serious high mileage on the models also contribute to the informative text, which is totally independent of the manufacturers input. My only slight criticism of this particular book is that more care could have been taken with the photography. This at times, gives the impression of a series of snaps quickly taken at a dealer, rather than images planned to illustrate the points being made in the text. However, this is just a small point as the book does exactly what it sets out to do at a very reasonable $19.95, which could be money well spent.
"If you're looking to buy a used BMW GS, this is one handy book. If you're not, it's pretty well useless, but there you go. It'll fit in the pocket of your average touring jacket ... It's only 64 pages, but it's jam-packed with information. There's a list of websites, books, clubs and auction places. It's a great idea." – www.bikeme.tv
"Henshaw's writing is concise and his points are also well illustrated with plenty of colour photographs. This is the book to have in your back pocket if shopping for a GS." – Inside Motorcycles