Over the years I've had a few BMWs. It started off with the R65 with RS fairing that was used as a commuter on a daily 70 mile round trip along motorway. Even at the time it was more than twenty years old but it did the job perfectly and didn't ever miss a beat. The R65 was used for holidays too and it took myself and a mate touring through Spain where it would happily hold 100 two up. The 65 was replaced by a new generation boxer R1100RS, a fantastic bike. That went when the commute was no more. I was BMW-less for a few years then felt I needed a boxer in my life once more so along came a very nice original 1980 R80. I didn't keep it for long, I passed it on when I found a good R100R. The R100R was a hoot to ride, loads of grunt, brilliant brakes and great acceleration. It was however undergeared and lacked a fairing so that was passed on too eventually.
|The R100RS design team, chief designer Hans Muth kneeling.|
After two years without a BMW the yearning started again. This time I knew I wanted a 100RS - the power of the 1000cc motor and the sophistication of the RS fairing. A classic bike that would be reliable and cruise in total comfort at modern speeds. It had to be either a very early one or very late. Early for the character or late for the suspension and brakes.
|I knew that if I had a R100RS this could be me. 'The Saint',|
Ian Ogilvy with ST2, 1977 BMW R100RS.
I was searching for a while before seeing the one I wanted. The bike looked right and I committed to it unseen, luckily it turned out to be a good bike sold by a top bloke, Paul, on the Isle of Wight. The bike was advertised as 1976. I'd always thought that '77 was the first year but production did indeed begin at the end of '76 and this example is from December. The date was confirmed by the numbers page on Paul Hawksley's excellent BM Bikes site. This particular one had spent the first few years of its life in Italy before being imported to the UK, it carries the reg number from the year it was imported.
The 1977 model year BMW has a few differences from later models, the wire wheels are the most obvious. There is also a different, smaller tail light, white letters on the speedo and rev counter and the footrest position is different from later models. The footrests are different in a bad way for folks with larger feet as the space between toe and carb is very minimal.
|1976 BMW R100RS.|
|Absolute classic design.|
|Early RS tail view.|