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Old 08-27-2012, 07:59 PM   #1
tar356 OP
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Building an R 1100 R /GS

Maybe the appropriate title should be; "What to do with your low mile 1100R?"

As promised to many, I'm starting a thread on how to give your 1100R more off-road capabilities. It would be much easier to say I'm "converting my R to a GS", but I'm not changing everything. Now before the purist or nay-sayers jump in and say, "It's easier and cheaper to just buy a GS...", let me explain why I went through this process:

1. I had an extremely clean '99 with only 19,000 miles.
2. I don't particularly care for the beak on a stock GS.
3. I don't want or need 60+ pounds of fuel on board.
4. I like a good project.
5. These bikes are worth far more than what the blue book says.
6. I already own it.

Ok, with that said, here were the parameters for the project:

1. GS suspension and wheels.
2. Better handlebars for offroad use.
3. Has to look "factory".

Sounds simple right? It is. Let's take a look at the "donor" bike (not pictured are the System bags).



Some will say, "It's too nice to cut up", don't worry, all of the changes are completely reversible.

Stay tuned.
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tar356 screwed with this post 08-28-2012 at 02:10 PM Reason: typos
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:19 PM   #2
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Subscribed to thread.

just picked up a 96 r850r
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Old 09-17-2012, 01:47 PM   #3
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I'm in

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Old 09-17-2012, 04:45 PM   #4
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I just picked up a 97 R850R with 17,000 miles on it that I am doing the same thing with. I am looking at changing out the wiring harness so I can put on a GS instrument panel (I hate not knowing where my temp is at). With that goes the rectangular highlight, and I will also do the suspension, wheels and maybe the rear rack.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:55 PM   #5
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Sounds cool! Subscribed.
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:01 PM   #6
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Me too

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Old 09-19-2012, 03:55 PM   #7
tar356 OP
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Sorry for the delay...

The bike is done and rides great! I'll start getting some pics/info together and post.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:29 AM   #8
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Rear suspension

After doing some homework and realizing that BMW obviously used a common platform for their bikes, I realized this is going to be easier than I thought. Let's start with the rear suspension. The GS sits approximately 3+ inches higher than the R. To get the lift you will need to change two parts, yes, just two; the shock and the torque arm.

I sourced a low mile stock 1100GS shock and found a torque arm on flea bay. You have to use a shock built for the 1100, either stock or an aftermarket equivalent, the 1150 shock has a different lower mount. Full disclosure; I plan on buying an Ohlins, but didn't want to drop $800+ on an experiment. The stock shock is fine for now, but even in it's pristine low mile condition it's only marginal.

The torque arm for the GS is shorter which brings the swing arm down, helping create the lift. I had the arm powder coated and fitted a new bushing. Done. Not sure what brand of powder coat my guy uses, but his color "Stardust" is an exact match to the factory silver.





More to come.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:41 AM   #9
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Wheels and brakes

You will need a set of GS wheels. I happened upon a great set that a fellow inmate was selling. The wheels will be the biggest expense for the project, but are a must. Look for 1100GS wheels or 1150GS up to '01. Nothing else mates up.

My bike had the R cast wheels and, unfortunately, the brake rotors from the R cast wheels will not transfer over to the hubs of the GS wheels. So, it's a plus if your "new" GS wheels have rotors on them like mine had! Otherwise, you will soon realize how overly expensive BMW rotors are.

When you take off the R wheel you'll notice that the brake rotor is still on the final drive and that your GS wheel has the rotor attached to the hub??? Not to worry...the R rotor is attached to a carrier which is held on by a couple of screws. Remove the screws and the carrier/rotor assembly comes off. Install GS wheel.

I didn't post any pictures of this because it's very intuitive. You'll see when you pull the R wheel off.

The front is even easier; remove R wheel and install GS wheel.
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Old 09-20-2012, 07:54 AM   #10
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Curious .. will the rear seat make way for the tool rack of the GS?
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:05 AM   #11
tar356 OP
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As far as I know, the main frame and rear frame are the same for both bikes. If you have an R, you'll know that the rear seat slides off easily. When you pull the seat and look in there, you'll see nice threaded inserts too. This makes way for a nice sized rack (which I intend to fabricate in the near future). So, I'll be able to switch back and forth between the seat and rack as needed.

Not sure about fitting the GS rack.
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Old 09-20-2012, 09:28 AM   #12
JimVonBaden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tar356 View Post
You will need a set of GS wheels. I happened upon a great set that a fellow inmate was selling. The wheels will be the biggest expense for the project, but are a must. Look for 1100GS wheels or 1150GS up to '01. Nothing else mates up.

My bike had the R cast wheels and, unfortunately, the brake rotors from the R cast wheels will not transfer over to the hubs of the GS wheels. So, it's a plus if your "new" GS wheels have rotors on them like mine had! Otherwise, you will soon realize how overly expensive BMW rotors are.

When you take off the R wheel you'll notice that the brake rotor is still on the final drive and that your GS wheel has the rotor attached to the hub??? Not to worry...the R rotor is attached to a carrier which is held on by a couple of screws. Remove the screws and the carrier/rotor assembly comes off. Install GS wheel.

I didn't post any pictures of this because it's very intuitive. You'll see when you pull the R wheel off.

The front is even easier; remove R wheel and install GS wheel.
This has been done before, but you are providing some very good info.

Make sure you used the correct wheel bolts on the rear wheel.

Also, you can get fairly reasonably priced aftermarket rotors from several sources.

Good work, keep it up!

Jim
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Old 09-20-2012, 11:39 AM   #13
krellheat
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GS foot peg brackets are longer than R dropping the foot peg downward a bit. Also front strut stanchions on GS are longer.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:11 PM   #14
tar356 OP
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Interesting comments....

Jim: I'm fairly sure the wheel bolts are the same....60mm long? The fiche also lists the same part number for the wheel bolts for both the cast R wheel and spoked GS wheel. Typo in the fiche?

Krellheat: Are you sure the 1100GS inner fork tubes are longer on the GS? I thought so too, because the fiche shows a different part number and gives a length. So, I picked up a set. When I took mine apart, I noticed the R tubes on the bike looked the same....out came the measuring tools. The tubes on my R were identical in every dimension, so I left them. I'm assuming they are correct because the bike rides perfect, and trust me, it has been "tested" thoroughly since.

Keep the info comin!
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:25 PM   #15
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The GS is longer.

GS
01 31 42 2 331 224 STANCHION - L=634MM 2.93 2 $324.67

R. 01 31 42 2 330 554 STANCHION 2.93 2 $360.74
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