Throughout the 19 seventies , BMW continued to be very successful in the dirt which led to the development of new off road designs .
At the time , small single cylinder two stroke , Honda and Yamaha bikes were creating an enduro craze in the USA .
But BMW envisioned a new machine with a four stroke engine and a suspension that was capable of riding over long distances without strain .
And so the idea of a large comfortable endurance bike was born in 1978 .
The Italian company La Verda developed a prototype for BMW .
It was known as the G S 800 .
The same year BMW S test department built a prototype for cross country motor sports events .
It was created without formal BMW approval and featured a single sided swing arm known as a mono lever .
The following year , a team of six BMW factory riders competed in several major off road events .
They were riding a G S 800 prototype with better suspension , a lighter frame and an 800 cc motor assembled from various BMW parts .
The next year BMW sent two factory teams to the major races and won several titles with the G S 800 with these victories .
Fresh in mind .
On January 1st 1979 a new management team at BMW was presented with the G S 800 prototype as the basis for a new production model .
It combined components from the R 80 road model with newly developed elements , a lighter rear end and larger front wheels formed the basis of its off road credentials , but the most outstanding innovation was a single swing arm on the rear wheel .
The concept was approved and the development of the G S went into high gear .
Initial tests of the new G S were performed in Ecuador in January 1980 .
During the trip , the motorcycles and riders had to prove themselves in extreme climatic conditions .
By that fall just 21 months after the initial approval of the concept BMW S first production in Duro was ready to be released to the public introduced to the world on September 1st 1980 .
The R A G S was a groundbreaking machine .
It featured a powerful and refined two cylinder boxer engine with a generous 800 cc displacement and enough space to carry two people with luggage .
The single sided swing arm was a first on any production in it was the largest , the fastest and the lightest bike in the enduro class BMW S press release called it the most convincing two in one motorcycle to date .
Noting that it was built as the ultimate leisure time instrument for every situation .
Moto Rod called it the best street motorcycle BMW ever built .
The archetypal adventure motorcycle , the BMW R A G S was eminently suited for long distance travel under a variety of conditions .
While the press was generally convinced about the bike's off road capabilities .
Others were eager to see how it would perform in a real race .
They got their chance when BMW entered the infamous Paris to dear rally in a race where most bikes don't even finish BMW S reliability and performance set the bar .
In 1981 the company not only had the highest percentage of finishing motorcycles but in the hands of Uber or also won first place by a full three hours with a BMW R A G S .
After the Rita car , there was no doubt that the G S was as capable off the road as it was on the road with its 800 cc engine drive shaft and single swinging arm .
The R A G S quickly became the ideal motorcycle for global vagabonding and it opened up a new previously untapped market , adventure touring .
Motorcycle adventure touring were probably born with the motorcycles .
You know , it's about exploring new territories heading out in one direction and see where you come and with a bike , the road doesn't need to be perfect .
In 1982 Helga Peterson left his home in Norway and rode into the history books .
His two wheeled companion was an R AD G S named Olga .
I think it first hit me that I was on a journey when I arrived in Africa .
No , I know I had left the known behind me and ahead of me , it was just the unknown .
What started out as a dream to see Africa turned into a 10 year Odyssey around the world through more than 80 countries along the way .
Helge Peterson became the first motorcyclist to ride the length of the Pan American highway through the infamous Darian gap .
The Pan American highway have a missing link of 80 miles .
And I chose to take the bike to it .
I thought it was going to be easier .
We were following Indian tracks .
I had 40 yards of rope and , and to get through , I had to pull them off the hills and down deep steep embankments of the rivers .
I fell over with my motorcycle .
I broke my , my wrist or my air bone in a wrist .
There later , I broke my rib took us 20 days to go those 80 miles , probably the hardest I've ever done in my life when his journey ended in 1992 the R A G S that had taken him around the world , found a home at the BMW Museum in Munich .
And Helge Peterson rode away on a new BMW R 1100 G S