00 BMW 1983 R100RS To RT Project Complete Overview

I restarted the project on March 1, 2019 after acquiring this bike in January 2015. My 1977 R100RS rebuild project halted work on this bike as I wanted to complete the 1977 RS in time to attend the 40th anniversary rally hosted by Todd Trumbore. I finished assembling this bike on September 30, 2020, so the build took about 18 months to complete.

I did a 10 mile ride as part of the first engine start before completing the project. It’s now early October and I’ve ridden the bike 200 miles as I break it in. One of the first trips was to get coffee with some “scooter scum” friends of mine. It’s a public unveiling, if you will.

1983 R100RS Public Unveiling At Out First Coffee Shop Ride

1983 R100RS Public Unveiling At Our First Coffee Shop Ride

I like to name the bikes after Muppet characters based on the bike color. I mount a Muppet figure on the bike so there is someone to talk to on long trips. And, if they talk back, it’s time to stop for the day and take a rest. 🙂

My wife’s 1973 R75/5 is Grover.

Grover: 1973 R75/5

Grover: 1973 R75/5

Grover: 1973 R75/5

Grover: 1973 R75/5

The first year 1977 R100RS is Gonzo.

Gonzo: 1977 R100RS

Gonzo: 1977 R100RS

Gonzo: 1977 R100RS

Gonzo: 1977 R100RS

And my wife’s 2002 F650GS is Elmo.

Elmo: 2002 F650GS With My Wife Aboard

Elmo: 2002 F650GS With My Wife Aboard

Elmo: 2002 F650RS

Elmo: 2002 F650RS

A little over a year ago, I sold my R1150RS that I put 110,000 miles on. It was named Cookie Monster. So I’m naming this bike Cookie Monster Too, and transferred the figure to the top of the master cylinder.

Cookie Monster Too: 1983 R100RS/RT

Cookie Monster Too: 1983 R100RS/RT

Cookie Monster: 1983 R100RS

Cookie Monster: 1983 R100RS

Project Documentation

I posted descriptions, pictures and YouTube videos of all the work I did. I also put together some summary documents that ought to make it easy for you to find information you are interested in.

These two documents are organized pretty much in the order I did the work.

This document is organized by parts fiche category.

All the pictures and YouTube videos are combined into these collections.

Video: Pre-Build Walk-Around

Here is a walk around video I took before starting the project.

VIDEO: 1983 BMW R100RS Pre-Build Walk-Around

What Before Looked Like In Pictures

The bike had been loved in the early days, and then neglected outside for awhile before I bought it. Here are a couple before pictures

Right Side Front View

Right Side, Lower Fairing & Header

Right Cylinder Air Injection

Right Side Brake Hose Routing

Right Side of Cross Over Pipe, Corrosion

Right Side, Front Wheel

Right Side Mid View

Front Screen

Left Cross Over Pipe Corrosion

Gas Tank Top

Gas Tank Neck with Rust

Tank Rear Paint Damage


Left Handlebar Controls

Right Handle Bar Controls

Front Wheel Corrosion

Original Side Stand Detail

Left Carburetor Detail

Right, Rear Drive, Top

Right Side, Rear Brake Reservoir

Left Side, Rear Brake Piping Under Battery Box

Transmission Bottom with Neutral Switch

Oil Pan Rear & Center Stand

Left Frame Rust

Video: All Done Walk-Around

Here’s a walk around video after I completed the project.

VIDEO: 1983 R100RS All Done Walk-Around

What Done Looks Like In Pictures

I mixed some themes from earlier RS bikes for the paint work. I painted the front brake  calipers with a paint that replicates blue anodized aluminum as a tribute to the first year R100RS which had blue anodized calipers.

Blue Calipers In Tribute To First Year 1977 R100RS

Blue Calipers In Tribute To First Year 1977 R100RS

I borrowed the idea of using white wheels that Hans Muth introduced on the R65LS. To my eye it makes the bike seem lighter.

White Wheels In Tribute To R65LS

White Wheels In Tribute To R65LS

I used the two-tone paint scheme from 1979 that combines Dunkel Blue (Dark Blue) with Hell Silver. But again, in a tribute to the 1977 R100RS, I had the painter apply matte clear coat to the Hell (Bright) Silver as the 1977 clear coat was all matte since it was a single color; Silver Blue. I like the contrast.

Side View

Side View

Side View

Side View

Gas Tank

Front View

Dash And Screen

Dash View

Side View

Carburetor and Tygon Fuel Line

Shift Lever

Side Cover And Rear Shocks

Cylinder Head and Panel

Lower Panels

Lower Center Panel

Oil Pan & Center Stand



Gazi Shock

Rear Caliper


One other deviation from the 1979 two-tone paint scheme I made was to paint the seat cowl in Hell Silver instead of Dunkel Blue. Combined with white wheels and the chrome pipes, I think it  makes the rear of the bike more cohesive and integrated.

Rear View

Seat Cowl

Rear View

Here is a video walk around of the completed project.


VIDEO: 1983 BMW R100RS All Done Walk Around-Meet Cookie Monster Too

Thanks To Those Who Made This Project Possible

I want to thank a number of people and businesses for suppling parts, knowledge, tools, and services. All of these folks work to support keeping airhead bikes on the road. If you need work done, or parts, consider giving them your business.

Person Company Supplied Contact
Clem Cykowski BMW Denver, Former Owner Advice; Used Parts None
Dan Neiner Cycle Works Airhead Tools www.cycleworks.net
Rick Losh Denver Pinstripping Pinstripes www.denverpinstriping.com/about/
Norman Schwab Euro MotoElectrics Electrical Parts; Airhead Parts www.euromotoelectrics.com
Foothills BMW, Colorado Parts www.foothillsmotorcycles.com/
Gian Sticherman Heritage Stickers Airhead Stickers & Decals www.heritagestickers.eu/
Matt Parkhouse Long Time Mechanic Advice; Airhead Services; Replace Rear Main Bearing [email protected] 
Robert Fleischer (aka, “Snowbum”) Long Time Mechanic & Airhead Website Advice; Airhead Technical Information www.bmwmotorcycletech.info/technical-articles-list.htm
Randy Long Long’s Mechanical Services Machine Shop, Rebuild Heads (610) 286-5870
Dealership MAX BMW, New York, Conneticut Parts www.maxbmw.com
Mike Galindo Painkiller Customs Painting www.facebook.com/painkillercustoms/
Powder Coating Specialities Powder Coating www.powdercoatingspecialties.com/
Tom Cutter Rubber Chicken Racing Garage Advice; Transmission, Suspension Parts; Cylinder Machining Services www.rubberchickenracinggarage.com
Don Wreyford (aka, “Radar”) Self, Airhead Extraordinaire Advice, Tools, Assistance None
Bill Lambert Self, Airhead Extraordinaire Made Me A Set Of Transmission Tools None
Larry Stoner Stoner’s Beemer Stash Used Parts [email protected] (951) 813-1704
Terry Vrla Terry Vrla Speedometer & Tachometer Repair [email protected]
Tom Johnson The Bolt Guy Stainless Steel Hardware Kits www.theboltguy.com/
Bud Provin The Nickwackett Garage Advice, Parts www.thenickwackettgarage.com/bmwtwin/
Stephen Gaulin Toaster Tan Top Brace www.toastertan.com/

In addition, I received numerous Emails from members of the Airheads Beemer Club and the Micapeak airheads mail list (with information, advice and support. Thank you all.


2020-10-21  Fixed incorrect link to Flickr picture album.

3 thoughts on “00 BMW 1983 R100RS To RT Project Complete Overview

  1. Brook,
    It been sometime since you had your wheels powder coated, so I am wondering if you believe it was still the right call. I am either going to have my wheels powder coated or repaint them, and I would appreciate any thoughts you might care to share before going down one of the paths.

    Best regards,

    • Hi Saunders,

      I find painting the snowflakes difficult due to the many ribs with associated nooks and crannies. That’s why I have been having them powder coated. The downside of powder coat is it’s not as easy to touch them up when they get nicked. So far, my wheels are looking good. But when I do get too many nicks and dings, I’ll likely look around for some paint that’s close enough to the powder coat color to patch the damage.

      Since the wheels are alloy, they don’t rust where the powder coat is missing, so that’s a plus.


      • Brook,

        As always, thank you for prompt reply and insights. I believe I’m going to go the same route as you chose.

        Best regards,

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