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ACHTUNG!!!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by MaxPete, Sep 10, 2020.

  1. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Well, it is now time for me to reveal my latest love...Gretel.

    She is a big, buxom Bavarian - born in 1983 in Berlin in the heart of Prussia (so...like....she is....you know...German - in case you hadn't picked that up), and I have been lusting after her for more than 40 years.

    She is a BMW R100RS - IMO, one of the most beautiful motorcycles, or any type of vehicle, ever offered for sale to the general public. The R100RS was introduced in 1977 when I was 19 years old and I was totally smitten. When everyone else had posters of Farah Fawcett and Cheryl Tiegs on their walls (or bedroom ceilings....:rolleyes: ), I had a poster of a matt powder blue BMW R100RS on mine (the...wall, that is....needless to say). Unfortunately, the new-bike cost (as I recall it, about three or four times that of an XS650 - if not more) was simply out of my reach as a starving student. Marriage, children, mortgages, education and other irrelevancies interfered in the interim - but after 43 years, I decided to buck-up and buy my dream.

    Gretel has gone about 95,115 km (around 59,000 miles) but these bikes are reputed to go 2-300,000 km before major work is needed. She has had a top-end rebuild plus the frame is powder coated and she has been repainted black and red. The colour scheme is, frankly, not my first choice, but the work has been done to a top-notch standard and it is growing on me. The blue & white BMW emblems are missing off the tank and the R100RS sidecover decals are missing too - but both are on their way, so she will be complete soon. I have had new tires installed (interestingly, they are the same size as those on the XS650 Standards) and there are zero leaks or stains on the engine or transmission cases. Her shaft drive rear end is dry and quiet and she rides like a dream at...well, pretty frickin' fast speeds.

    She came to me very nicely equipped with both the usual dual and the relatively rare solo (actually 3/4 length) seat - both in mint condition, a tool kit, a complete spare exhaust system in solid condition with good chrome, a bunch of other spares and a very nice set of BMW (aka Krauser) bags with chrome brackets. She has air-assisted rear shocks which give a nice steady ride and she also has a beautiful leather Bagster tank cloak (see photo) to which I can attach the very nice tank bag without risking a scratch on the tank. The one wrinkle is that I only have one key to the ignition and one key to each bag - and BMW key blanks are not easy to come-by - but I have a bunch of blank keys on order.

    TECHNICAL & RIDING IMPRESSIONS:
    The 1000cc BMW airhead is obviously a big twin so she has a pleasant sort of thumpy exhaust note, not unlike an XS650 but she runs much smoother. Vibration is, in my view, not a factor here. The starting drill is about the same as an XS650: fuel - ON (two petcocks), choke - ON, hit the button (no kicker) and thumpity-thumpity....she is running. She cranks slowly, like a car - but she always goes and settles down to a nice idle at about 1000 RPM. The idle has a gentle side-to-side motion as the horizontally-opposed boxer engine pistons go in and out together - firing on alternate revolutions. She has a cartridge type oil filer ($7.95 USD) inside the RH side of the crankcase and an oilcooler in the fairing. The valve adjustments are even easier than on an XS650 - remove valve cover, loosen locknut and adjust the screw-type lash adjuster. Even doing the top-end is an easy (if somewhat expensive) task) with no need to remove the engine from the frame (even for a lower end job the engine can stay in as the crank comes out through the front cover).

    The electrical system is pretty simple - no EFI, no electrically powered windscreen, no microprocessor-anything, no on-board galley or entertainment systems. The alternator is adequate and it uses external excitation which requires carbon brushes, just like our XS650s. Like the XS650, the 1980+ R100RS came with an electronic ignition system which is reportedly very reliable and since Gretel is an '83, I will not be messing with points on her.

    She has a fully synchromesh 5-speed gearbox which can be separated from the engine and removed - leaving the engine in the bike. The clutch is a dry single disc unit (again, like a car), so there is no wet clutch drag at idle. The clutch pull is quite light and the controls, while a bit quirky, all come to hand easily and work just fine. The stock horns are pretty fearsome (twin Fiamms within the fairing) but, Germans do have a somewhat...aggressive reputation in certain circles for some reason. The Brembo brakes are good (triple disks - all drilled) and the suspension is quite soft and has a long travel, yet it is well damped so you don't get the feeling that she is going to go wobbling off into some Alpine meadow for a yodeling session. The fuel economy is good - upwards of 50 MPImpG with the 40mm Bing CV carbs (very similar to our Mikunis) and there is no bucking or hesitation anywhere in the RPM range. Overall, you get the impression of a very well designed and built motorcycle that has been carefully tuned to work well at high speeds for long distances. I am told that 100+ MPH all day is not a problem (at least for the bike....).

    The first thing I noticed on sitting is that she is pretty tall. I am just under 6' and she is about as tall as I would be comfortable with. She is also quite light - around 503 lbs wet (around 50 lbs more than an XS650), which is more than 230 lbs less than my Honda ST1300. That huge weight difference could be a factor for me as I had a knee replacement last year and I ain't getting any younger or taller. Right now, I can handle the ST1300, but someday....
    The R100RS seating position is pretty low and forward (the bars are waayy out there and nearly flat) - but I am getting used to it.

    The BMW airheads were built in several displacement classes (from 450 through 1000cc) for nearly 20 years and so many OEM parts are still available. In the aftermarket, there are several very good parts suppliers and while bits seem more costly than for the XS650, the supply is good and nobody is beefing about quality. These bike were expensive and lasted a long time - so most of them seem to be in nice shape and people keep them going.

    The one real problem (and it truly IS f@cking annoying) is the sidestand. Some nitwit in the German Ministry of Transport decided that all motorcycle sidestands should fold up as soon as weight is removed from the stand - so, when you get on the bike and stand it up vertical, you hear "CLANG" as the sidestand folds up. That is annoying enough - but when you look down to re-extend the stand, you cannot (and I do mean CANNOT) see any part of the stand. As carefully designed by some twit in Bavaria, the stand is completely obscured under the carb and cylinder assembly and so you fish around for the foot-tang and push it down, but you cannot get it far enough forward and down to get the weight back on the stand before it goes "CLANG" again. The first few times I rode her it must have taken me 4-5 minutes of faffing around with the invisible sidestand - plus no small amount of "extended vocabulary" - to get the bike securely parked.

    Other than that, she is nearly perfect and every bit as pretty to me as she was in 1977. I guess a gal as beautiful as this has a right to be a bit of hag the odd time.....

    Don't worry fellas, I am not in any way abandoning my XS650s - but Gretel is something I have wanted since I was a teenager and at 62, there's no time like the present.

    Anyhow, here she is....
    1983_R100RS-RH-front_solo.jpg 1983_R100RS-LH-rear_solo (2).jpg 1983_R100RS-LH-rear_dual.jpg 1983_R100RS-LH-front_dual.jpg
    1983_R100RS-instruments_2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
    kiwi, FLEA, lakeview and 8 others like this.
  2. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Ausgezeichnet!!!
     
  3. Paul Sutton

    Paul Sutton Sprained Ankle Top Contributor

    Well done MaxPete :heart:. I am sure you will soon master that side stand.
     
    Boog, Mailman, madmax-im and 2 others like this.
  4. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    On the sidestand... surely the spring can be moved to give an "over center" placement when extended. Put up some closeup pics. I like a good challenge.... :geek:
     
    Paul Sutton, MaxPete and madmax-im like this.
  5. madmax-im

    madmax-im Yamaha...Go your own way... XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    My Goodness Pete..that is beautiful..love the paint job and the wheels too....Congratulations on a fine acquisition..just stunning...:smoke:
     
  6. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

    Pete
    Looks nice. Not sure on your bike. The oil filter for my RT is hinged in the middle.
    Also pop your tail light lens off. You may find a spare key taped in there. I did. Have owned the bike for almost 25 years and never new there was a spare key in there until last year.
     
    Mailman, Jim, Paul Sutton and 2 others like this.
  7. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I could have done that - but I didn't want to cut-up a stock part (call me a purist) and so I have a "Brown" sidestand on order from Bob's BMW in the Boston area. Apparently, it is the hot set-up for people who like their bikes NOT f@cked up from falling over in the driveway.

    The other big plus for the Brown's stand is that you can actually see it while sitting on the motorcycle.

    What the heck - its only $166 USD (around $11,340 CDN at the present rate of exchange).

    Here is the quote for the product from Bob's BMW:

    BROWN'S SIDESTAND FOR 1970-'84 AIRHEADS
    [​IMG]

    PRICE:
    $166.50
    PRODUCT CODE:L20116

    SELECT QUANTITY
    [​IMG]

    PRODUCT DETAILS
    DESCRIPTION

    Back in stock!
    Brown's side stand is made for owners of 1970-1984 Air-Heads (except R65, R80G/S & ST) who prefer their bikes NOT fall down when parked on the side stand. Yes, the stock stand in those years was rather notorious for dumping bikes. The Brown's stand has been a staple accessory for many years; famous for being so trustworthy. It's easy to install and it actually works!
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2020
    lakeview, Jim, Paul Sutton and 2 others like this.
  8. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Ahhhhh....now THAT is a good idea Greg! THANK you for that suggestion!

    ...and yes, the oil filters are hinged in the middle - very odd. I guess you cannot get it out of the engine without removing either fairing or the exhaust - unless it is hinged.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

    It's the frame that's in the way on mine.
     
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  10. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Yup - I think that the frame is the same or nearly so - between the RS and the RT. In any event, tthe former owner had just changed the oil, so I haven't gotten in there yet. I have five filters on order, so I am ready for 25,000 km of riding though.
     
    madmax-im and Jim like this.
  11. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

    I never used my side stand. I always have used the center stand. My RT came with a aftermarket ride-off center stand. Easy up. easier off.
     
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  12. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    oooohhh-nice! Do you have a name or a picture of it? Getting this thing up on the centrestand is a real arm-job.
     
    GLJ and Jim like this.
  13. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

    No idea of the brand. Very easy to get up. Step down on the tang, slight pull up on handle. To get off, sit on bike, pull in clutch, feet on pegs, put in gear and take off like normal.
    upload_2020-9-10_17-44-46.png upload_2020-9-10_17-50-28.png upload_2020-9-10_17-46-30.png
     
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  14. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Cool! I'll have to look around for one of those.

    I have the stock stand and it puts the bike up pretty high - and, as I mentioned, it takes a fair heave to do that.

    BTW - I just nipped outside and had a look inside my taillight - but no key. There is however a pretty sophisticated all-LED taillight assembly which incorporates a flasher so that whenever I step on, or pull on the brake, the taillight flashes 4 or 5 times.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2020
    Mailman, Jim, madmax-im and 1 other person like this.
  15. azman857

    azman857 '80 XS 650SG Rider XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Congratulations Pete! Enjoy your RS. I never got used to the short handlebar on mine. That's not to say I didn't love her. Ride the wheels of her!
     
    GLJ, Mailman, MaxPete and 1 other person like this.
  16. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Well bought Pete! Beautiful bike , you’re gonna love it. Your article brought back some memories of my R100/7, I totally forgot about that crazy side stand, I never did upgrade it, lucky I never dropped that bike! I also had the ride off center stand, used it all the time, really easy to get up on the stand and taking off was fun! I also forgot about that goofy hinged oil filter! Great bike though and all day comfortable!
    Move over Lucille! Pete’s got a new girlfriend, fraulein Gretel is in the house!
    55986BC8-837E-4355-80BA-C99BA3F78A38.jpeg
     
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  17. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

  18. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Thanks all and Bob - do you have any information on that ride-off centrestand?

    Pete
     
    Jim likes this.
  19. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

    I'm pretty sure it's a Reynolds center stand. I think they come up on E-Bay now and then.
    upload_2020-9-10_19-10-35.png
    upload_2020-9-10_19-11-26.png
     
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  20. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Excellent - thanks Greg. Now I have a clue of what to look for.
     
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