Trevor Jones has owned his vintage BMW motorbike for 37 years and still rides it regularly today. Photo by Nicola Edmonds.

Wheel Love: Trevor Jones and his 1984 BMW R80 RT Motorbike


Trevor Jones from Masterton has owned his vintage BMW motorbike for 37 years and still rides it regularly today.

“I’ve had the bike since January 1986.

It was the new year and my wife and I went for a ride on the bike that we had then. We looked in the window of the BMW dealer in Wellington and there was one on the showroom floor. It had a price tag of $14,000 with a big line through it.

That was because, on 1st January 1986 the Government had changed the duty. Up until then you paid more duty from certain countries, Germany being one of them. Once the duty was reduced the bike was under $10,000 – I couldn’t believe it.

Trevor Jones' vintage BMW R80 RT Motorbike.

Trevor Jones' vintage BMW R80 RT Motorbike. Photo by Nicola Edmonds.

We were saving up to buy a house at the time, but my wife convinced me to buy it, saying that if it turned out we needed the money I could always sell it again. But I’ve never had to sell it.

The bike was actually manufactured in October 1984, but I put it on the road as a new bike in 1986.

Now that I’m retired, I ride it a bit more often. I probably do around 5,000km a year.

I generally keep away from the main roads, I prefer to ride on country roads. When I say country roads, I’ll go out through Biddeford to Pongoroa or out to Pōrangahau – which is about 400km. I have ridden up to Hawke’s Bay and through the Gentle Annie route to Taihape and back in a day which is about 560km.

All up the bike has done 201,901km.

I’ve done nothing to the motor since I bought it 37 years ago. It’s still got all its original bearings and valves. It has never ever dripped oil on the garage floor.

Now that he's retired Trevor does about 5,000km a year on his motorbike.

Now that he's retired Trevor does about 5,000km a year on his motorbike. Photo by Nicola Edmonds.

The other thing that is original is the vinyl seat cover. It’s never cracked. I do usually have a sheepskin cover over it, which might be a factor. And I have never parked it out in the sun much, it’s always been under cover or in the garage. So that’s probably helped, too.

I can get on a modern bike and yes, they have a lot of power, but I still get back on mine and prefer it. Even though it’s got inferior brakes and inferior power to what bikes have now, it’s still comfortable. It keeps up with modern traffic, it’s quiet, it’s smooth. It does everything I want it to do. Plus, it’s relatively light. A lot of modern bikes are much heavier.

It’s almost a lazy bike. It’s got enough power and just cruises along.”


Story by Jo Percival for the Summer 2023 issue of AA Directions Magazine. Jo Percival is the Digital Editor of AA Directions Magazine.

Photographs for this story were shot on a private road.

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