1983 BMW R100RS Rebuild: Project Index


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.



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.

Hidden in the Back

1983 R100RS Project Candidate

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.

Extras Included

Some Extras Included Plus the Side Panels in the Small Box

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.


Loading it Up On a Cold Morning



Unloading at “Brook’s Garage”


Bike & Bags

Bike and Bags Ready for Project to Begin

Project Pictures

You can find the all the pictures for the project here on my Flickr account:
–> 1983 BMW R100RS Rebuild

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.



12-Engine Electrics

13-Fuel Preparation

31-Front Suspension


46-Frame, Fairing, Cases


62-Instruments Dash

12 thoughts on “1983 BMW R100RS Rebuild: Project Index

  1. Awesome find, Brook! This is just the bike I’m looking for for my next rider, so as with your last restorations, I’m sure this will be very helpful once I do.

    Good luck with it –


  2. Hello Brook, I have been following you from Madrid (Spain) for a long time. Your restorations are the best and have learned a lot… but now, I am the proud owner of a BMW R100RS ’81 so I am going to follow your steps very very close… Thank you for your fantastic job¡¡¡¡

    • Hi Sergio,

      Thank you for the kind words. I was in Malaga just a week ago where I started on a motorcycle tour of Morocco.

      I hope to post some more write-ups on work I’ve done on the R100RS soon. Stay tuned.


  3. Hi Brook, my name is David, I live in Cape Town, South Africa. I came across your site while searching the internet for interesting articles on the R100RS. Your site is a goldmine and I have bookmarked it for future reference.
    I have been riding BMW air heads since 1974 and since then have owned numerous R models as well as the K, G, and C series. Currently I own a R1200GS, a R1200S and a R100RS.
    The RS has been one of the bikes that I have always wanted but strangely never owned until finally I bought an ’82 model with 60,000 miles on it. The bike was tired and in need of a refurbish. No time was wasted and the bike was stripped completely and re-painted, parts re-furbished and then reassembled with new parts where necessary.
    I have just bought a 1984 R100RS with only 5,000 miles on it. The bike rides like new and the overall condition is very good. As the bike spent most of it’s life in storage, it just needs a service and a good clean. I am in the process of getting it road legal and hope to be riding it regularly.
    Unfortunately the ’82 has to go as there is not enough room in my garage for 4 bikes.
    I look forward to new posts on your site.

    • HI David,

      Thanks for stopping by and the kind words. My wife and I have good friends in Cape Town. We’ve also done a motorcycle tour from Cape Town along the Garden Route to Port Elizabeth and then returned through the Karoo via Stellenbosch back to Cape Town. We enjoyed the country, people and food.

      Yes, I understand your “addiction”, as my wife and I currently have six BMW at our place. Four are airheads and I have both a 1977 and 1983 R100RS. I just started a rebuild/restore of the 77 R100RS so I’m learning more about the first year RS.

      And, with spring coming round, I’m sure you are looking forward to summer riding weather. 🙂


  4. I’m preparing a rebuild of a 1980 RS, I live in Summit County but will be doing the work in a garage I rent in Denver. Would love to meet you and buy a coffee or a beer to pick your brain. Thanks.

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