This particular model marked the advent of what is now commonplace in motorsports advertising: bragging about being designed in a wind tunnel. In this case, a wind tunnel in West Germany.
Google Image Search "R100RS" today and you’ll get a lot of custom cafe-racer interpretations. Some stunning; many not so much. Most original RS fairings have long been stripped and stuffed into a dumpster—scrapped to clear the canvas for some custom café creation.
And that’s all fine and good, but the original R100RS does deserves some respect. This bike helped define a burgeoning Sport Touring category when it hit dealership showroom floors in 1977. It came with hard cases, standard, and a low handlebar with ample ground clearance. And it just begged to be ridden fast and far.
"The top speed of around 125mph was impressive, but it was the ability of the R100RS to maintain a 100mph cruising speed for hours on end that makes it a true classic.” — Motorcycle News
Later in its service life the RS would later morph from a dual-shock configuration to a mono-shock bike, with a host of iterative upgrades—beefier fork tubes, better rear suspension tech, better brakes up front and a third Brembo disc brake in the rear from 1978 onward.
The platform was hugely popular for BMW. It sold 33,600 twin-shock models between 1976 and 1984, and another 6,000 after it upgraded it to a Mono Shock from 86-92.
Owners: Billy Joel / 20th Century Cycles: 1977 BMW powder blue R100RS; James Dalton: 1983 dark blue R100RS