I retired at the end of January 2015, and in preparation, purchased a 1983 BMW R100RS motorcycle for my third rebuild/restoration project. I figured I ought to have a motorcycle project out in “Brook’s Garage” to help orient me to my new life-style.
Please be advised that there is no representation of the accuracy of any of the information presented on these web pages relative to BMW motorcycle maintenance or modification and that the material is presented for information purposes only. In no case will I be held liable for injury or damage (consequential or otherwise) resulting from or arising out of alterations you make to your motorcycle. The reader should recognize that motorcycling is a dangerous activity that can result in injury or death, and that the alterations portrayed on these web pages can and will change the behavior and performance of your motorcycle, possibly with fatal results. You are encouraged to seek qualified assistance before undertaking any of the procedures outlined here, and are here by notified that, should you decide to proceed, you do so at your own risk.
2019 Restart Update
I did a number of projects on this bike in 2015 and 2016, but in 2016 I ended up buying a first year, 1977 R100RS and did a complete restorationof that bike. So, this project was parked. I completed the 1977 project in September 2017 and rode it to the 40th RS anniversary rally in Pennsylvania. One thing lead to another and before I knew it, it was March 2019 before I had a clear plan to restart this project.
Since I now have a restored first year RS, I was not as excited about rebuilding this 1983 RT as when I first acquired it. After some months of reflection I decided to do a resto-mod of this RS into the RT configuration with a number of modifications and improvements. I renamed this project the 1983 R100RS/T build.
The R100RS was an innovative motorcycle when BMW introduced it in 1977. I loved it when I first saw one, and it’s been on my list of candidate project bikes since I finished the restoration of my wife’s 1973 R75/5 on July 4, 2014.
It was a snowy day in January when I first went to look at the bike with a fellow Airhead who owns a 1984 R100RS. The Craig’s List photos showed it outside, but when I arrived it had been put in a garage. The owner said he bought it for his significant other, but she decided it was too much for her “first bike”, so it hadn’t been ridden and they decided to sell it.
It came with saddle bags, some spare parts, a BMW tank cover, a Clymer manual, some parts catalogs, various registration certifications, the original owner’s manual and the original tool kit and tool box with the rubber cover.
The bike had 83,382 miles and a BMW MOA sticker on the rear fender mud guard. I took that as a positive sign; at least one owner was vested enough in owning the bike to join one of the BMW motorcycle owners groups. I got the VIN number and did a search to see when it was built and found the date was February 9, 1983.
I mulled it over and a couple days later made an offer a bit below the listing price and arranged to pick up the bike on the following weekend. I enlisted the aid another ABC member and we used his pickup truck to get the bike to my work shop.
Project Pictures & Videos
You can find the all the pictures for the project here on my Flickr account:
And, the videos that support this documentation are on my YouTube account in this playlist
I’ll add to this collection as I document the project.
Rebuild Procedures Index
This section provides links to write-ups about how I do the work on the project. As in the previous R75/5 restoration project, procedures are organized by the parts fiche numbering system BMW uses. This helps organize the content so it’s pretty easy to find any procedure you are interested in.
- 13 BMW R100RS Rebuild Carburetors & Karcoma Petcocks
- 13 BMW R100RS Update Pulse Air System and Replace Oil Breather Hose
- 31 BMW 1983 R100RS Remove Front Suspension Components
- 31 BMW 1983 R100RS Replace Fork Seals, Install Slider Dust Covers
33-Rear Axle & Suspension
46-Frame, Fairing, Cases
- 46 BMW 1983 R100RS Repair Panniers & Plastic
- 46 BMW 1983 R100RS Remove Windscreen, Fairing, Dash, Volt Meter, Clock, Ignition Switch
- 46 BMW 1983 R100RS Remove Rear Fender Assembly
2018-08-20 Fixed several broken links in the index.
2019-03-01 Updated to reflect new project build plan for a conversion to an RT.
2019-03-13 Add new article link in Section 46,new Section 52, YouTube playlist link
2019-04-14 Add new article links in Sections 31, 32, 34, 46 and 61
2019-04-19 Add section 33.