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BMW R 1100 GS

Who knew, in 1980 when BMW put out the first G/S bikes (R80G/S) that the "dual sport" would, in about 30 years, become a whole new subgenre of motorcycles? BMW has now sold more GS bikes than any other model, and the R1200GS for 2010 has undergone yet more updates - now with dual overhead cams (which other bikes have had for... what, 60 years? but anyway).

This is a photo of the first generation of GS bikes:

My R1100GS is the 2nd generation GS, colloquially known as an "Oilhead". This means that, though primarily air cooled, the engine is equipped with an oil cooler, which earlier models did not have. It also has 4 valves per cylinder and a more modern, squarish looking cylinder cover.

I got this GS - my 2nd '95 GS incidentally - from a retired Air Force officer that bought it in California in early 1996. Between then and November 2007, he only put 9,421 miles on it. I got a good price on it because not only had he just bought an R1200CLC (big cruiser), but the ABS was nonfunctional and he had been quoted well over $1,000 to fix it by a local Maryland BMW dealer who shall remain nameless.

This was my main bike from January 2008 until July 2010. I am now in the process of converting it to pull a sidecar, most likely a Ural, so I can take long trips with my daughter.


Specs You Need To Know

  • Actual displacement 1085cc
  • Front tire size: 110 / 80 R 19
  • Rear tire size: 150 / 70 R 17
  • Tires that fit: Metzeler Tourance, Z6
  • best website for tires: SW Moto Tires
  • Front brake pads: EBC FA 407 HH (need 2 sets)
  • Rear brake pads: FA 363 HH
  • Fuel capacity: 6.3 gal, last gal reserve w/light on; use 87 octane
  • Oil (crankcase) capacity: 3.7 quarts (with filter change), use Mobil 1
  • Oil filter: Mobil 1, size M1-102
  • Transmission (gear) oil:
  • Final drive (gear) oil:

What came on it when I bought it w/9,400 miles on it
  • BMW top case w/mounting rack
  • Givi windshield
  • standard L/R hard cases, in good condition
  • nonfunctional ABS
  • K&N air filter (must be cleaned & re-oiled)

Work I've done to it
  • Swapped parts with former R850R: handlebar w/heated grips, Remus exhaust pipe (elim cat conv, lowered pipe), full-size side cases L/R
  • Spiegler stainless steel braided brake lines
  • replaced ABS unit (Anton in Charlottesville)
  • lubed final drive splines
  • lubed clutch splines (Anton)
  • kickstand works itself loose from time to time
  • replaced oil pressure switch (Anton)
  • put in standard air filter
  • replaced fuel filter
  • added "penny tech" driving lights
  • replaced stock (low) seat with Sargent front & rear seats
  • installed Ohlins shocks front & rear
  • installed Centech AP-2 fuse block to run all the electrics
  • installed upgraded (loud!) horns
  • installed Gerbing lead for heated jacket liner
  • put in the correct "chip" that tells the computer there's no catalytic converter
  • installed wide, rotatable footpegs
  • replaced the very tall BMW stock top box with a low, wide Pelican case system from Caribou Cases
  • installed SW Motech crash bars