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Old 10-06-2014, 05:37 AM   #1
Grayghost66 OP
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Need advice on an RS

Hi all,

Having ridden my whole life I'm now at that stage where I'm starting to reflect back and making a bucket list. I'm not THAT old but what to see what I can fit in.

I have always loved the look of the R100 series with that great looking fairing and classic lines. I have owned my 1992 BMW R100GSPD since new and really enjoy wrenching on it! An older RS wouldn't be that different just different nuances.

I want to start looking for one and would like advice from those who know these bikes.

1. Which are the most desirable years for the RS?
2. Are there any years or year to take a pass on? Why?
3. There is a 1978 RS that has come up from sale that I want to go look at. It is non molested with the original silver blue colour. Was the 1978 a good year?
4. What year or years did BMW do the "smoke" paint finish?

Thanks for the help. Any comments are most welcome.
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:52 AM   #2
ME 109
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How/where do you want to ride it?

81-84 were the best RS years. And the smoke years too if I'm not mistaken.

I wouldn't be saying that just because I have an 81
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Old 10-06-2014, 05:53 AM   #3
boxerboy81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grayghost66 View Post
Hi all,

Having ridden my whole life I'm now at that stage where I'm starting to reflect back and making a bucket list. I'm not THAT old but what to see what I can fit in.

I have always loved the look of the R100 series with that great looking fairing and classic lines. I have owned my 1992 BMW R100GSPD since new and really enjoy wrenching on it! An older RS wouldn't be that different just different nuances.

I want to start looking for one and would like advice from those who know these bikes.

1. Which are the most desirable years for the RS?
2. Are there any years or year to take a pass on? Why?
3. There is a 1978 RS that has come up from sale that I want to go look at. It is non molested with the original silver blue colour. Was the 1978 a good year?
4. What year or years did BMW do the "smoke" paint finish?

Thanks for the help. Any comments are most welcome.
From your username, it's clear you need a 1981 smoked gray Gray Ghost R100RS. 81-84 twin shocks generally good gear, though the 83/84 might have the best package with some g/box changes. Here's a nice one, except for the cs.



boxerboy81 screwed with this post 10-06-2014 at 07:57 AM
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Old 10-06-2014, 07:52 AM   #4
Beemeup
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'78 was a great year, although mine was not the RS there's some things I like better than newer ones. I like the aluminum air filter covers better than the plastic box. I rode mine for a long time outfitted with a RS fairing and RS heads w/ 40mm carbs. I had about everything except a rear disk brake but seldom use it anyway. I also put a 81-84 front end on and that's probably the best improvement with the Brembo brakes.
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Old 10-06-2014, 08:22 AM   #5
CafeDude
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Just my own opinion having owned a '77 (spoked wheels), as well as a '79 (cast wheels) example; the early (spoked rim) examples are the best in terms of vintage vibe and as an investment. But all RS's are great all-season bikes.

The shunned red smoke bikes are now sought after. If you can find a good one with great original paint, jump on it (assuming you like that paint scheme).

I'm partial to the silver/blue two-toned paint scheme like on the '79 model. That one presses my buttons the most.

The rear disks are kinda weak. Even with an EBC upgrade, I could never get mine to stop as well as it should.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:44 AM   #6
supershaft
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The most desirable is probably '77's.

The best working? The later the model the better they get. '81 was a giant leap in the right direction. '85 was a good step in the right direction. Popular airhead lore has the earliest ones being the best for making more power from the factory but that deficit is easily surpassed and then some with simple mods. Smartly hot rodding the earlier models requires a LOT of '81 on parts that are already on the later models. Your better off with a later model IMO.

It's the same deal with R90S's. A lot of people consider '74's the most desirable. I would want a '76!
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:52 AM   #7
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buy the Bill Stermer book.
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:09 AM   #8
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I know they're not as sought after but a properly done Mono RS to me is the ultimate RS Airhead.

Only 750 of them ever made it to the US, Canada & Australia, and that's from years 86 to 93 so they may be harder to find.

They came stock with the fatter K bike forks discs and brakes, 1/2" shorter wheelbase, and more torque than the higher HP older versions (more midrange power).

When Cycle World tested the Mono it had a better quarter mile time than the larger carb, no pollution device early RS.

Improved electronic ignition, added quart of oil in the sump, Nickasil bores, added frame welds, quicker steering geometry (wheel size and rake/trail), and most importantly, the mono rear end.




(Commence Mono bash thread now……)
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:54 AM   #9
supershaft
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+1! They are better in so many aspects. The main things I can't live without are the later brakes and clutch. Nikisil cylinders, electronic ignition, and tubeless tires (I would convert snowflakes and Lesters to tubeless) are a real close second. I also like the 18" front wheel on Mono's. The forks are beefier. The swingarm is beefier. The wiring is left out of the headlight R65 style! The late model airboxes are a lot better IMO. The list could go on!
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Old 10-06-2014, 12:25 PM   #10
Grayghost66 OP
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Originally Posted by supershaft View Post
+1! They are better in so many aspects. The main things I can't live without are the later brakes and clutch. Nikisil cylinders, electronic ignition, and tubeless tires (I would convert snowflakes and Lesters to tubeless) are a real close second. I also like the 18" front wheel on Mono's. The forks are beefier. The swingarm is beefier. The wiring is left out of the headlight R65 style! The late model airboxes are a lot better IMO. The list could go on!
Thanks everyone for the great input. I will look for the book that was mentioned in the previous post. Wonderful to have this forum to get such valuable information!!!!
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Old 10-06-2014, 12:46 PM   #11
patrkbukly
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Points vs Electronic

Well shouldn't we open this hornets nest too? 1979,1980 vs 81 on?
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:10 PM   #12
supershaft
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Well shouldn't we open this hornets nest too? 1979,1980 vs 81 on?
Hornets nest? To who? A very small and very vociferous bunch. The issue was settled by 99.9% of us a long time ago. Electronic wins!
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Old 10-06-2014, 02:15 PM   #13
Beater
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I agree ... the mono's were the better bike, and I have had both. Sold both for a GS ... The '78 I had (higher compression, 40mm Bings) was the most powerful Airhead I have ever owned. The '87 RS I played with was a hair lighter (it felt powerful) and was a magnitude better at the corners.

I'm not an RS guy, but if I had to have one again, the mono would win the debate, hands down. That being said, there is no real substitute for wire wheels. But even my '78 had the first generation snowflakes.

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Old 10-06-2014, 02:56 PM   #14
CafeDude
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Hornets nest? To who? A very small and very vociferous bunch. The issue was settled by 99.9% of us a long time ago. Electronic wins!
Awesome! Hopefully everyone that owns a clearly inferior '77 or '78 RS will agree and will dump their bike on me for peanuts!
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Old 10-06-2014, 04:40 PM   #15
airsmith
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77's and 78's , both have some great things and some of the one year only things, an 84 is all around the simplest, updated shifter in gearbox, light flywheel,, runs fine on mid-grade gas..change out the lower fairing center back to the grill type....
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