Classic Bike Guide

What is an R100RS?


Matt has hankered after a BMW R100RS for years. When first seen in 1976, the German ‘sportsbike’ was the most powerful of the boxers, with 70bhp and a 125mph top speed. It was the first motorcycle to be designed by a designer (Hans Muth, of Suzuki Katana fame) and not an engineer, and featured the first full fairing designed in a wind tunnel to prevent the front lifting at high autobahn speeds (the Vincent Black Prince and the Aerial Leader came before, but cannot really be described as a full fairing in the modern sense).

The combinatio­n of a classic sportsbike that you can comfortabl­y ride all day, every day, that is a quality machine, easy to work on, which has parts available, and is a genuine classic was too much of a draw for Matt. Add the fact that they are affordable and it’s hard to argue against.

Matt’s was bought from a lovely gentleman who had owned it since it was five years old, but it had been standing for more than 20 years, albeit inside. It started life as an R100S, which is the same as an RS but with just a bikini fairing like the R90S that preceded. The paint job is not standard, but was nicely done at some point in the first few years of the bike’s life and we have seen others like it.

The idea is to sympatheti­cally return the bike to original, so it can be used and enjoyed; not pampered.

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