BMW Have been producing motorcycles for over 90 years. This forum covers all models from the old flat twin to the HP4 RACE and beyond.

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Unread post by Saul »

Copied and pasted this post from the original on my other site

Bike was bought back in 2012 and this was written just after.

The original photos of the bike with the re-covered seat were corrupted hence I only have the thumbnails from the post and a photo of the bike before I picked it up.

This IS probably my favourite bike so far. Unfortunately I no longer have it but I would have no reservations about buying another.

Well I picked the bike up on Wed. Not the best of days to pick up a bike. Not warm, mix of sun and showers and just happened to rain as I was riding away from the sellers home. Luckily it wasn't too bad until I got to a petrol station at which point the skies let loose. I did have all my waterproofs though and by the time I had put them all on the downpour turned to a slight drizzle. I'm not a fan of riding in the rain these days but I have to say the BMW was fantastic! In fact it was a bit of a revelation. Apart from the test rides I had on the 650GS, F800 and the 1200GS last year I had only ridden the old air cooled R80RT's back in the early 90's. The 4 valve per head oil cooled beemers are completely different bikes!
First thing I noticed was how the front end did not dive under braking. The front Telelever suspension seems to absorb all bumps, speed humps and pot holes without flinching! Coupled with the excellent ABS brakes the difference between the BMW and my previous Triumph was like night and day. The Triumph's brakes were pretty pathetic and it was always a bit of a fight to bring the monster to a halt, especially two up. That brings me on to another aspect of this fantastic bike, the weight or I should say lack of it. The Triumph was a heavy old beast and a real handful at low speed through traffic. The BMW on the other hand is almost like a ballerina, floating along, changing direction easily and perfectly poised and balanced even at walking pace. It's also a lot easier to wheel about and get onto it's center stand

Pic below is before I re-covered the seat.
Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 20.38.58.png
Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 20.38.58.png (229.31 KiB) Viewed 3785 times
One area however where the Triumph shines is in build quality. Unfortunately these R series BMW's are not particularly well made, at least as far as the cosmetics go. The finish on this one and apparently most others does not stand up to the British weather very well. Corrosion is apparent in plenty of places although most of it I can put right so it's not a massive issue. It seems the paint was very thin and the alloy, particularly around the front of the engine is going to need quite a bit of work to bring it back to it's former glory. Most of the plastics whilst showing their age, can be recovered to almost new so that's not of major concern. There was a tank pad on the tank but it's been removed leaving an unsightly outline of where it was. I will however get a new one to cover the marks. There's some corrosion around the filler cap which has been painted over with silver paint but that will need rubbing down and redoing properly as will one of the cylinder heads. I will be recovering the seats tomorrow as the riders seat had a tear in it which was covered with gaffer tape. I wanted to change the colour anyway so both seats will be changed from black to red.

Mechanically I can't fault it. It starts easily, ticks over smoothly and pulls like a train.

Not had much of a chance to get out and about on it because of the weather but hope to do the seats then take it for a blast. Looks like tomorrow will be a sunny day if somewhat on the cold side.

Oh by the way, just got this fantastic mirror called the Riderscan. It's a mirror which gives you a 180 deg view of what's behind and to the side of you! It's so simple and yet so bloody brilliant! I would go as far as to say it's a life saver. Check it out at their site. I will fit it tomorrow and report back but anything has to be an improvement over the standard BMW mirrors!

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Re: BMW R1100RS

Unread post by cooltouch »

That Riderscan sounds very interesting. Just went over there and scanned through what must be hundreds of pics, showing how folks have mounted it to all sorts of bikes. Can't wait to read your "rider's report" on it.

A fellow Airhead bud and I were out on a two-day jaunt on our bikes that took us across a good portion of the state of Texas a few years back. He had just bought an R1100RS -- which was very uncharacteristic of him, cuz he was a diehard Airhead guy. He decided he was gonna take the R1100 on the trip. Well, things went along fine for most of the trip until we were heading back to Houston. It was a hot summer day and my bike was feeling it. But his being an "Oil Head" (used engine oil to cool the cylinders and head in addition to plain old air), it was doing just fine in the heat. So anyway, we got back onto the Superslab out of San Antonio and he just put the hammer down. Doing an easy 95-100mph, and I was struggling to keep up. My R90's top end was feeling the miles by that time (compression was way down in both cylinders) and it was really straining. I could tell because I have an oil temp gauge on that bike (a handy accessory on an air-cooled motorcycle) and the oil temp just kept climbing and climbing. Finally, when it hit 250F, I just said screw it and let him go. Slowed to about 80 mph and my oil temp dropped back down to a comfortable level. Oh well. I still haven't rebuilt my R90's top end -- it's still fine for around-town stuff -- but it's definitely on the short list now.

Speaking of R1100s, I have another friend who's had an R1100RS for years. I first met him right after he bought it. Sure seems like a big bike when you're just standing there beside it. Big and heavy. But I recall him telling me about how nimble it was on the road. In fact, he used to take it to a local racetrack when they'd have a track day and he'd take it out on the track and put it through its paces. According to him, it handled the turns in that bendy road course with aplomb. A very well designed machine.

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