00 BMW 1983 R100RS Pre-Project Inspection


I picked this bike up in January, 2015 with 83,380 miles on the odometer. It has had a hard life and was stored outside for a time.

The VIN shows the bike was built on February 9, 1983. I found the original owners manual which included information about the original dealer inspection, the date of sale, the first 600 mile check.

Original Owner Manual

Original Owner Manual


Original Dealer Prep Date, March 1, 1983 (European Date Form)

Original Dealer Prep Date, March 1, 1983 (European Date Form)

The original owner was a Mr. Phil Salvatore in Granda Hills, California who bought the bike on April 20 1983.

Original Purchase Date and Location

Original Purchase Date, Location and First Owner

In one week he had logged 689 miles and was ready for his 600 mile first service.

600 Mile Inspection Date

600 Mile Inspection Date

After carefully inspecting the the dealer stamps for the 5,000 and 10,000 mile inspections, I could make out the dates written underneath them, and added the dates to the margin.  The original owner put 5,000 miles on the bike from April 26 through July 2 and the another 5,000 miles in one month.  I suspect he went on a long ride on his summer vacation.

5000 & 10,000 Mile Inspections 1 Month Apart

5000 & 10,000 Mile Inspections 1 Month Apart

There are no other dealer inspections filled in after this. Perhaps the bike was sold, or the owner started to do his own maintenance.

The word “Cancel” was written across the limited warranty page. I’m not sure why.

Interesting "Canceled" Written Across Warranty Page

Interesting “Canceled” Written Across Warranty Page\

Photo Inventory

I took a large number of detailed pictures of the R100RS so I have a record of the original condition and to help when I can’t remember what part goes where.  For instance, when painting, it’s nice to have pictures of the original pin stripe location on the parts, to confirm where oil leaks were, and to identify missing pieces of the bike. The slide show below contains the photo inventory I took of the bike.

The following is my summary of the condition.  The red items will need attention.

Summary of Bike’s Condition

Body Work

  • Fairing paint has a large number of stone chips and missing paint.
  • Fairing mounting hardware is not cracked or broken
  • Fairing has no visible cracks
  • Fairing right side rear view mirror bracket has paint missing
  • Windscreen is not cracked or badly scratched but is very dirty
  • Windscreen mounting bolts have white areas (stress concentrations)
  • Seat pan is not rusted or cracked
  • Tail section “R100RS” emblem is missing the white paint on the lettering
  • Package rack is not broken
  • Pannier frame on the left side has a broken weld
  • Panniers have several cracks in the ABS plastic
  • Battery box and lower frame gusset is rusty due to battery acid leaks
  • Rear brake line bracket is rusted from battery acid leaks
  • Battery box plastic battery nut, right side, is stripped and threaded upside down
  • Headlight glass is not cracked or pitted
  • Rubber boots around the fork legs are shot
  • Forks have rubber gaiters that restrict the steering lock to lock
  • Gas tank has no dents
  • Gas tank paint is worn down to the bare metal at the rear due to rubbing on the seat.
  • Gas tank paint is damaged around the filler cap and has some small rust spots
  • Gas tank shows intact red rust protective coating
  • Gas tank filler neck is rusty
  • Gas cap and lock works
  • Gas cap outer black seal is cracked
  • Gas tank petcocks not leaking
  • Gas tank petcocks black cover lettering white paint worn off
  • Original front wheel chain and lock are in spine tube
  • Dashboard is missing right and left labels
  • Dashboard is not cracked
  • Instrument cluster is not cracked
  • Clock is not working
  • Volt meter is working
  • White lettering under center idiot light stack is worn off
  • Rear vendor badges and signs under seat are intact and original
  • Under seat storage compartment in tail is not broken
  • Tire pump under seat
  • Brown side stand installed
  • Rear engine mount threads stripped on left side (Brown Side stand)
  • Side stand original mount is very loose and wallowed out
  • Side stand and center stand springs intact
  • Center stand mounting bolts and bushings are not loose
  • Rust on rear frame and rear foot peg bolts
  • Foot peg rubber is not cracked or worn
  • Swing arm bearing plastic caps are not missing
  • Frame has rust, missing paint and stone chips

Steering and Front End

  • Choke lever paint is worn off in places
  • Rubber dash on handlebars is not ripped
  • Steering damper knob is not broken
  • Front brake reservoir is low
  • Front brake reservoir is not cracked and is not leaking
  • Lettering on left and right switch assemblies is missing in places
  • Front brake lines are not corroded
  • Front calipers show no leaks
  • Front rubber brake lines show no cracks
  • Rear brake lever works
  • No fork oil leaks visible


  • Under dash wiring connectors outer sheath has pulled back exposing wiring
  • Wiring harness to headlight has no cracks in outer sheath
  • Wiring connectors near battery outer sheath has pulled back exposing wiring
  • All running lights work and turn signals flash
  • Headlight works on low and high beam


  • Push rod tubes leaking
  • Oil pan gasket leaking a bit at rear
  • Oil pan is very clean
  • No oil leaks at valve covers
  • Oil leak at bottom of front cover
  • Valve cover paint has chips
  • Bottom of valve covers do not show scrapes
  • Pulse air system piping seems intact with no cracks in rubber hoses
  • Air box metal hold down straps rusty
  • Carburetor dome center round inserts rusty
  • Carburetor dome screws are rusted
  • Carburetor engine side very dirty and covered in crud
  • Carburetor and choke cables bent with exposed outer sheath
  • White paint on carburetor badges mostly missing
  • Black float bowl on right carburetor. [New metal bowl in spare parts]
  • Oil cooler bypass is not leaking
  • Exhaust headers and cross over are very rusty
  • Mufflers have some small dents
  • Mufflers chrome has numerous stains
  • Rear tail light and turn signals not cracked
  • Rear fender not cracked
  • San Jose fork brace installed

Transmission, Drive Shaft, Rear Drive

  • Rusty transmission fill plug
  • Some oil stains on back of transmission near drive shaft boot
  • Oil at bottom and rear of transmission
  • Tachometer cable boot is cracked
  • Rear drive was painted black and paint is peeling
  • Rear drive drain plug shows leaking
  • Shift lever linkage is loose

Rear Brakes,  Wheels

  • Rear brake line bracket on frame under battery is rusted
  • Rear brake reservoir is low
  • Rear master cylinder shows no leaks
  • Rear brake fluid reservoir hose looks very old
  • Rear cast wheel paint is chipped
  • Front cast wheel paint is chipped
  • Some oil on rear wheel next to wheel bearing
  • Some oil on rear brake bracket on rear axle

Plan At This Point

Major Service

I will do a major service and then I hope to ride the bike for awhile to get some impressions about how well the engine is running and the suspension is performing.  Interestingly enough, a lot of the rubber is in good condition indicating that a previous owner cared for the bike. The following are currently work that needs to be done.

Carburetor, Petcock Rebuild & Refinish

Before I ride the bike for awhile, I’ll do a complete carburetor rebuild and refinish including repaint the white lettering on the carburetor badges. I’ll rebuild the Karcoma petcocks and refinish them.


Although I can’t know for sure, due to the mileage, I expect the valves and seats have been replaced, but when I pull them, I can confirm the condition.

I’ll pull the oil pan, inspect the oil pickup and replace the pan gasket. I’ll pull the pistons and likely replace the rings based on an inspection. I may also upgrade the pistons, rings and wrist pins if I install 9.5:1 pistons replacing the modest 8.2:1 pistons the bike comes with. I’ll replace the push rod tube seals, head and base gaskets.

I’ll replace the front and rear engine seals, oil pump o-ring and cam shaft seal. I may also replace the timing chain as with this many miles the crankshaft sprocket is likely worn and the chain stretched.

Transmission, Clutch, Rear Drive

I’ll remove these and inspect the clutch for wear and the transmission seals for leakage. I’ll remove the black paint and refinish the rear drive.

Frame. Luggage Mounts & Swing Arm

I’ll powder coat these. I’ll fix the broken weld on the luggage mount. I’ll replace the rear engine mount with stripped threads.


I’ll inspect the disk brake pads and inspect the front and rear master cylinders and replace as needed. I’ll inspect the steel brake lines for rust and replace if required. I’ll replace the rubber brake line components.


I’ll pull the fork tubes and inspect the internals. I may upgrade the fork to a cartridge damper. The rear shocks will likely be replaced as well.  Wheel bearings will be inspected and adjusted.

Electrical System

The tape at the bottom of the voltage regulator is hanging, so it’s possible this has been worked on. The wiring harness will be removed so the frame can be powder coated. I’ll repair the outer plastic sheath where it is torn and separated from a connector body. I’ll need to repair/replace the clock.

Engine Electrical System

I plan to open up the electronic ignition “bean can” to lube the advance pivots and clean it. I’ll likely replace the Hall Effect sensors as preventative maintenance. These eventually fail due to heat and time. I may replace the alternator and diode board depending on condition. Due to an intermittent charging light flicker, I’ll replace the alternator brushes first. I’ll replace the rubber diode board mounts as these are the wrong solution to a problem BMW had.


It’s clear that the frame and body work will need repainting and the rims need repainting or powder coating. I’ll replace the missing stickers on the dashboard, repaint the white lettering under the indicator lights on the instrument cluster and the white paint on the raised lettering on the rear of the seat cowl.


2019-01-30 Edit planned procedures, reorganize content.

12 thoughts on “00 BMW 1983 R100RS Pre-Project Inspection

  1. Hi Brook,
    Nice blue Easter egg you have brought us here, looks like a promising project.
    Looking forward to read your work logs.

    Thank you for the update


  2. This is gonna be SOOooooooo informative to watch the process. I’m sure I will learn a ton about what to do/ look for in my 1982 R 80 RT! Press onward

    • Hi Joe,

      Thank you. I’ll certainly be learning a few things myself. I’ve already found a number of differences between 1973 and 1983 BMW design and engineering.


  3. Hi brook,
    I’m hoping you can help me with a problem on my 1983 r100. When i bought it the back brake pedal didn’t seem to do much. After an inspection i could see the pads were in a bad condition but nothing else obvious. I changed the pads but couldn’t seem to bleed the brakes. Ive had the whole back brake assembly off the bike (appart from the disc). I noticed a bit of weeping where the caliper joins together so split the caliper & replaced the small o ring. I put the brake assembly back together (off the bike) and it seemed to bleed up fine. When putting it all back on the bike i had got the hose between the master cylinder & caliper on the wrong way so i slackened it slightly and spun it into the correct position. I made sure everything was tightened up and tried to bleed it again & it was having none of it 😡😡😡
    Unfortunately i ran out of time to do anymore but will be back at it tomorrow. I hope you can help. I’m an electrician with limited mechanical expertise 😂
    Many thanks, Luke

    • Hi Luke,

      I’ve not done this work yet on my ’83 R100RS. I’ve heard it can be frustrating to get the air out of that system. One trick I’ve heard is to use a syringe to push fluid in through the bleeder valve to fill the caliper. Others have continued pushing fluid from the bleeder valve until fluid returns to the fluid reservoir. Tapping on the fittings while pumping also is suggested to help small air bubbles break free. Removing the caliper and tilting it so the lines are up hill should help as gravity is now your friend and bubbles will rise upward along the pipe back to the fluid reservoir.

      I hope this is helpful.


      • Thanks for your quick response brook. We ended up taking the caliper off as the bleed nipple is at the bottom so spun it round to try and push the air to the top. I haven’t tried injecting fluid thru the bleed nipple but that is another avenue to go down. I’l let you know how i get on. Great blogs by the way. Like i say I’m of limited mechanical knowledge but your blogs are easy to follow & very imformative. Keep up the good work 👍🏻👍🏻

  4. Hi Brook, Great blog, the pictures and notes are very helpful and amazingly thorough. I just became a first time BMW owner, an 83 or 84 R100RS that has sat since 85! It looks complete but needs a top to bottom rehab. Can you help clarify the year, the last ten vin digits-02E6226XXX. I read this may be an 84. Engine # is 83 399XXX. The brake lines show 05/83. It’ll be a major project, just want to know what I got. Thanks, Stuart

    • Hi Stuart,

      Thank you for the kind words and welcome to BMW airhead bikes 🙂

      Take a look at Phil Hawksley’s site to learn what VIN were made for each model year.
      –> http://www.bmbikes.co.uk/enginechassis.htm

      Note, BMW typically started a model year on September 1 of the preceeding year. For example, the 1st 1984 bikes were available in September 1983. For this reason, some early 1984 model year bikes show 1983 on their title.

      I hope this helps.


  5. Aloha! I just finished reading your article in the December issue of BMWON. I am about to start restoration of a 1972 Yamaha 350 two-stroke twin. I was happy to see that your strategy closes matches my own ideas.

    I have been browsing your website and I am wondering whether there is a link to the Excel spreadsheet that was featured in the magazine article. At first glance, it seems that it would be great time-saver.

    In the meantime, I will be following your restoration projects. I’m sure there are a wealth of ideas that I can apply to my own projects.

    Mahalo! And keep up the good work.


    • Hi Robert,

      Thank you for your note. Your project bike is one I would like to own. Best of success on it.

      The spreadsheet(s) are simple. The parts one is nothing more than a listing of parts by category. I copy the part number and description from an on-line fiche, such as found at MAX BMW’s web site. I use their prices for budgeting. When I order parts, I fill in the actual price and/or tax and shipping I paid and change the color of the text to reflect it is ordered. When I get the parts, I change the color to indicate I received them. So, not difficult to make up such a spreadsheet for your project. I imagine Yamaha’s part numbers are hierarchical to indicate major sub-assembly the part belongs to, so organizing parts ordered by sub-assembly will help keep track of things.

      The work plan spreadsheet is just a way to collect the work I need to do. I review the shop manuals and then put in some of the main activities required to flesh out the work. It is a tool to help me visualize what sequence I need to do the work before I begin and to ensure I have thought about tools, special or otherwise, and have all the parts I need. So, you can put as little or as much detail into it as you wish. The main thing is to use it as an aid to thinking about all the work you need to do and in what order.

      It sounds like you are in Hawaii. If so, enjoy 🙂


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.