1983 BMW R100RS Project Restart; A New Direction

I bought a 1983 R100RS in January 2015 just before I retired so I would have a project to work on. At that time, this was to be the RS I always wanted. I fell in love with the RS the first time I saw one in 1977, so what better way to kickoff my new retired life than to own one and restore it.

In 2015, I corrected several problems and did some needed work:

  • Fixed a flickering oil pressure light
  • Fixed a flickering charge indicator light
  • Rebuilt and refinished the carburetors
  • Replaced the alternator brushes
  • Replaced the broken rubber diode board mounts with metal ones along with the diode board
  • Fixed all the cracks in the panniers and welded the broken pannier frame weld.

After that work, I rode the bike for a few months and several hundred miles and had every intent of finishing the rebuild when winter came. But, I got side tracked with some needed refresh work on my 1975 R75/6. And then in early 2016, someone put a first year, 1977 R100RS up for sale. Long story short, I bought it. And then I decided to restore it so I could ride it to the 40th R100RS anniversary rally in Pennsylvania in September, 2017.  I posted a couple blogs about that ride and was asked to publish three articles about the build and the ride in the BMW MOA magazine. Of course, I published a lot of documentation about that build here:

So, it’s now March 1, 2019 and I’m ready to restart the build of the 1983 RS. But, I changed direction from restoring it to doing a resto-mod and converting it into an RT. I refer to this as the R100RS/T build project.

I revised my original build plan to reflect the new end-state and I added a video walk-around of the beginning condition of the bike. It’s a whole lot cleaner than when I brought it home in 2015.

I plan to make a number of modifications to improve performance, handling and appearance beyond the conversion from an RS to an RT, I summarized what my plan is in the updated build plan you can find here:

As on all my projects, I’ll continue to add links to how I did various parts of the project to this project build index:

So, stay tuned.

9 thoughts on “1983 BMW R100RS Project Restart; A New Direction

  1. Eager to follow the progress,Last one was a great outcome,attention to detail was impressive.I always liked the RS,after a ’76 R75/6 and a ’78 R100S,I finally got an ’83 R100RS when I retired a couple years ago.Needs a little freshening up,I’ll be interested in your project.

    • Don,

      Yes, I think having a project to get your hands dirty with when you retire is a good way to shift your focus from the habits that come with a regular job. Best of success with your project.


    • Thanks Sebastian. I’ll try to make progress on this project, but maybe not enough for a daily blog about it 🙂

  2. I have read through your multiple projects several times and in great detail Brook. I glean new ideas eavery time. This spring I swear my old 76 R90/6 will be rolled out from 20 years under canvas and up on the hoist for a full refresh and sale (I’m 75 now my riding days are done. But oh… the adventures we have had together over the miles. Your generosity in your documentation and explanations have been inspiring! Thank you!

    • Hi Joe,

      Thank you for the kind words.

      I wish you every success in getting your airhead in running order and then finding a new owner to keep it rolling.


    • Joe,
      If you decide to not do the work yourself, I am looking for anew project if you are anywhere near Pennsylvania.

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